Psychology is the study of behavior. Psychologists are interested in discovering new knowledge about human and animal behavior and in applying that knowledge. Some of the questions psychology considers are:
- How do we learn and remember information?
- Why do people develop behavior disorders?
- What are the changes involved in moving from infancy to old age?
- How do other people influence our behavior?
- How is behavior regulated by the brain?
- How do we perceive the physical world?
- How do psychological factors affect physical health?
Psychology is a relatively young and a very dynamic science and profession. Most of what we know has been learned in the past 50 years. Much is left to be discovered by the psychologists of the future. Students considering Psychology as a field of study should have strong mathematical and communication skills, good problem solving ability, as well as an interest in research and other biological and physical sciences.
The Department of Psychological Science offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), an undergraduate Minor in Psychology, a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Health Psychology, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Organizational Science. The primary objective of the undergraduate programs is to provide a solid background in the fundamentals of psychology as a science. Graduates of the program should be prepared for a variety of careers or for graduate study. Although many careers in psychology require an advanced degree, opportunities for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in psychology include serving as a teacher or psychological assistant in social service agencies, mental health centers, child care centers, centers for the mentally challenged or the emotionally disturbed, and juvenile offender facilities.
Students whose interests are more laboratory-oriented might become laboratory technicians or research assistants. Also, psychology majors find their skills useful in various areas of business, such as management, advertising, personnel, public relations, and marketing.
Graduate school is a possibility after the student completes the B.S. degree. For a psychologist with a master’s degree or doctorate, the career opportunities grow (see the UNC Charlotte Graduate Catalog for information on the M.A. and Ph.D. programs). In addition, many psychology graduates broaden their skills by attending graduate schools in the areas of business, counseling, criminal justice, education, and law.
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