The brain, a three-pound organ, offers psychology majors the chance to learn how it controls intelligence, senses and body movement.
The psychology program offers opportunities for research and professional skills often not found in other programs.
Psychological assessment, interviewing and fieldwork are offered to students so they may get a more practical understanding of the major.
“The psychology major should be pretty simple (because) most prerequisites for the course should be already completed, such as the prerequisite for statistics which is intermediate algebra. This major is pretty open for most students,” said Larry Hatcher, professor of psychology.
Besides the courses required in the major, additional courses may be taken depending on a student’s interest, such as the teaching of psychology or child psychology.
Students take courses in areas such as memory and cognition, as well as learning personality, through state-of-the-art equipment.
The software allows students to design rapid-action experiments.
Other equipment allows for recording of physiological responses in experiments, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
In addition to these courses, the foundation of a psychology major requires basic courses such as biology, algebra and statistics.
“Psychology is the study of behavior; therefore it can help find certain solutions for psychology, which is relevant to anyone and anyone can benefit for what psychology teaches as well as benefit from its solutions,” Hatcher said.
Careers in psychology are expected to grow in the next decade as growth in business, health and education sectors have increased the demand for those with psychological experience.
The great demand for those majors is due to the overall growth of baby boomers.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of psychologists is expected to grow at a rate of about 12 percent through the year 2018.
A psychology degree gives a variety of career options.
Some careers options include: psychotherapy, administration and organizational development.
Other careers utilizing the psychology degree include: lawyer, dentist or police officer.
The American Psychological Association states that studying psychology prepares students for other professions because of experience with collecting, analyzing and interpreting data.
Psychology majors can join the psychology club. The club provides members chances to increase their experience in psychology with field trips, faculty and student discussions, study groups and volunteer service.
“Its a good idea for students to get involved in the psychology club as its purpose is to allow students to learn outside of the classroom,” Hatcher said. “We show films and allow professors to provide relevant discussions.”
Psychology majors are also encouraged to join Psi Chi, the psychology national honor society.
Marie Cassar, assistant professor of psychology, said that organizations such as these create an environment for psychology students to enrich their learning experience.
“There are important organizations which allow the students to share ideas between themselves and really the students develop their own community,” she said.
The faculty comes from a strong foundation of research that represents features of modern psychology.
Kyle Rexer, a psychology junior, said that the strong faculty in psychology is what helped him decide to take psychology classes.
“I love the program as the professors are always willing to go the extra mile to help students,” he said. “With individualized focus, they have really made a difference in my education at SVSU.”
Cassar said students who are interested in obtaining a certain degree, including psychology, should speak with professors for guidance.
“I encourage students to develop a relationship with at least two to three faculty members who have interests similar to yours for advice, mentoring and possible letters of recommendation,” Cassar said.