Student majoring in history or any of the philosophy or religion majors will receive the B.A. degree. Students majoring in the behavioral sciences have the option of receiving a B.A. or B.S. degree. All students receiving a B.A. degree must complete the modern language requirement.
The department of Psychology offers a traditional, basic program of courses in psychology, covering major content areas and preparing students for graduate training. A special emphasis of the Psychology program is on relationship education/training and counseling, consistent with common student interests and current trends in the field.
Students completing the Psychology major will:
• demonstrate understanding of the basic principles, theories, and techniques of psychology
• demonstrate the ability to think critically about fundamental, enduring issues in the field of psychology
• apply skills in oral and written communication
• have firsthand job-related experience in an area of special interest in psychology
• be prepared for graduate training in an APA accredited program.
Information for students interested in learning more about psychology:
Psychology Downloads Field Experience in Psychology Careers in Psychology
Psychology Degree Requirement Forms
Field Experience/Internship in Psychology
What is it? Field Experience in Psychology offers students practical experience in applying classroom knowledge of psychology to the workplace. Field experience promotes professional work skills and contacts. A carefully chosen placement can strengthen applications for graduate school or lead to possible job offers. Field experience is required for the psychology major. Most field placements are not paid. Students typically complete 240 hours of work at their chosen field placement to earn 6 credit hours.
How to get started: Field experience is generally completed during the summer after a student’s junior year or during the senior year. That means students need to begin the process of locating and securing an internship during their junior year, or at least a full semester before they anticipate beginning the placement.Students should begin by talking with the field experience director, Dan Shull, to obtain the packet of guidelines, deadlines, and necessary forms to be completed. Deadlines need to be met the semester prior to the expected completion of field experience. Failure to meet with Mr. Shull and complete paperwork by the deadlines will result in the student being unable to complete the experience hours in the upcoming semester. Students should also begin talking with psychology faculty and advisors early in the process. Ideally, the field placement should be chosen in an area of interest within psychology. One intended goal is to help the student better understand his or her chosen career path and determine its fit with the student’s skills and interests.
Goals and requirements: The internship experience should facilitate each student’s learning of the four Life Skills (e.g., ability to think critically and problem-solve regarding situations that arise on internship). The internship will also address each student’s ability to apply theories, principles, and techniques of the psychology field to real-life internship settings.
Discussion Posts: Psychology majors are required to complete weekly discussion board posts and reply to the posts of classmates who are also on internship. This online discussion will be moderated by a psychology faculty member and will take the place of keeping a written journal. The online discussion will help the student incorporate the Life Skills, apply theories to internship experiences, and address any obstacles or concerns that arise during internship. Discussions may also address final training issues (career preparation, professionalism).
Presentation: Students must also complete a formal 12 – 15 minute presentation in a venue to be determined with the psychology faculty. Most students will present information about their field experience to fellow students in ongoing psychology classes, such as PSYC 101 Careers in Psychology.
Where can I do my internship? Field experience can be completed in a variety of agencies related to psychology, including mental health, social service, medical, research, and even business and government settings. Several options are available locally, or students may wish to pursue placements at distant sites with approval of the field experience director and the student’s major advisor. Our students are competitive at national internship sites as well.
Please note that prior to contacting organizations to discuss potential field experience work, students should first contact the field experience office regarding dates and deadlines. Failure to do so could result in not receiving credit for work completed (e.g., if the appropriate paperwork is not filed and approved prior to beginning placement).
For more information on specific dates and deadlines for Field Experience project approval, click here.
Some examples of recent field placement sites include:
- Younghouse Family Services – Burlington, IA
- Mental Health Institute – Mt. Pleasant, IA
- Flexible Services – Hope Haven – Mt. Pleasant, IA
- Insight Human Services – Mt. Pleasant, IA
- Life Solutions (formerly Rescare)
- Christamore Family Treatment Center – Mt. Pleasant, IA
- Burlington Area Domestic Violence Shelter and Sexual Assault Program – Burlington, IA
- Department of Human Services
- ISU Extension - The Family Connection
- Area schools
- American Cancer Society
- Law enforcement agencies, parole offices, juvenile court office, correctional facilities
- Local business/industry
Careers in Psychology
PSYC 101 Careers in Psychology: All psychology majors complete this course to help them understand the diverse career opportunities available with the psychology degree.
Some majors choose to go on to graduate school after IWC in order to earn a master’s or doctoral degree. Types of graduate programs in psychology include:
Related fields include graduate study in social work, guidance, and applied counseling areas such as rehabilitation or substance abuse. With carefully chosen coursework, the psychology major can also prepare students for graduate school in related areas, such as business, healthcare administration, law, neuroscience, and public health.
After completing graduate degrees in Psychology, students are prepared for careers in academic psychology, research, and professional psychology.
Academic psychologists work in colleges and universities. Some academic jobs emphasize teaching, some combine teaching and research, and some focus mostly on doing research.
Professional psychologists work in client care settings including independent practice, psychiatric and general hospitals, medical schools, community mental health centers, and correctional facilities. Professional psychologists conduct psychotherapy and psychological testing. In most states, providing therapy services requires either a masters or doctoral degree in psychology or social work plus supervised experience until licensed.
Research psychologists often work in universities, medical schools or hospitals, business, industry, and government. Examples of research in business and government include research on the effect of re-integration programs for soldiers following deployment, the relative effectiveness of clothing advertisements, or the cost effectiveness of a new state program for early intervention with children who have special needs.
Some psychology majors choose to find employment after IWC. They may enter direct service provision jobs, such as a case manager with the Department of Human Services, treatment worker at a youth rehabilitation center, substance abuse counselor, activities director, college admissions counselor, or victim’s advocate with the court system. Others pursue work as research assistants at a hospital or university setting. Some take positions in government or human resources, utilizing their knowledge of human behavior. Sales, fund raising, and business leadership positions also are well suited to psychology graduates.
Top 10 occupations for bachelor’s degree in psychology
- Managers, execs, administrators
- Sales, including retail
- Social workers
- Management related job
- Personnel, training, labor relation
- Admin (records, phone operator)
- Insurance, securities, real estate, business
- Other marketing & sales
- RN, pharmacy, therapists, PA
- Accountants, auditors, other financial jobs
Source: College Majors Handbook, 2004
DeGalan, J., & Lambert, S. (1995). Great jobs for psychology majors. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons.
Keller, P. (1994). Academic paths: Career decisions and experiences of psychologists. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Morgan, B. L., & Korschgen, A. (2001). Majoring in psych?: Career options for psychology undergraduates (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Career paths in psychology: Where your degree can take you. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
A Student’s Guide to Careers in the Helping Professions: http://teachpsych.org/otrp/resources/resources.php?category=Advising
APA guide to careers in psychology:
Examples of psychology careers outside of academia: