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PSYCHOLOGY

Psychology is the study of observing and interpreting how people interact and react through mental processes and behavior.  Through these strategies, psychologists are able to treat individuals with mental health and addiction issues.  A psychologist uses principles, procedures and research methods to identify patterns and possible causes for a particular form of behavior.  Psychology is rooted in emotions, thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Students in a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology typically take courses in general science, social science, mathematics, college writing and electives of their choice.  Specialized courses include general and advanced psychology, child and adolescent development, psychology of personality, abnormal psychology, theories of learning, the brain, mind and behavior, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and social or community psychology.  A foreign language may also be required.  Practicums are generally part of a psychology student’s graduation requisites.  Total credits are between 36 and 45.

Students learn methods of observation and assessment.  These techniques may include the use of personality and intelligence questionnaires, clinical studies and laboratory experiments.  The end goal is to discover the cause of behavior based on events in an individual’s life and assist the individual through various procedures to regain his or her quality of life and mental health recovery.

The field of psychology is substantial as a whole and students most often decide to specialize in one aspect.  Employment can be located in the healthcare system, research, advocacy, government, education and industry.  Self-employment is an option as well.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately 34 percent of psychologists are self-employed.

Psychologists held approximately 170,000 positions in 2008.  Job positions for psychologists with a Bachelor’s degree may be somewhat limited, as many psychological occupations require a master’s degree.  That said, however, a bachelor’s degree is a stepping stone to further upgrading education to qualify for a wider variety of jobs.

State certification is compulsory to practice as a psychologist.