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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Psychology

Majors Overview April 5, 2015

Careers in counseling, community relations, human services, or social services are available for Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology program graduates. Get information about this degree program and its coursework; career choices; job and wage outlook; and continuing education, licensure, and board certification choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Psychology

Admission criteria relating to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology program typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Students enrolled in these programs are imparted fundamental training in natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities and are taught about tactics, strategies, theories, and concepts applicable to human behavior.

Students enrolled in some programs have the choice of pursuing a specialization or concentration in the field, including organizational studies and human development, among others.

While aspiring psychologists are required to hold licensure and a doctoral degree, holding a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology could lead to improvement in a student’s leadership, communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills as needed to pursue other psychology careers. Additionally, schools offering the program encourage students to enhance their learning experience by participating in hands-on activities, including internships, and by conducting research.

Coursework

Education in human behavior and related sciences is available through these programs. An overview of several aspects of psychology is obtained by students; these include abnormal, physiological, and developmental psychology. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Cognitive psychology
•Personality theories
•Psychological research methods
•Perception
•Child development

Career Choices

Aspiring psychologists may need to hold a higher qualification than merely a bachelor’s degree in psychology; they may often need a graduate degree or a doctorate. However, earning a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology would suffice for individuals that seek psychologist positions in federal government agencies and various other careers.

Graduates may also pursue positions in counseling assistance, research, education, community relations, human resources, social work, or social services. They may also choose from positions such as:

•Counseling aide
•Case manager
•Human resource specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

Respective job growth rates of 23%, 7%, and 5% have been predicted for medical services managers, human resources specialists, and psychiatric technicians over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); in 2012, these professionals brought in average annual wage of $88,580, $55,640, and $27,440, respectively.

Continuing Education, Licensure, and Board Certification Choices

Those who wish to pursue graduate training in psychology or a related field will find the B.A. in Psychology a suitable program. Students are allowed to focus on personal interests by completing graduate programs, such as a Doctor of Psychology (Ph.D.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology, whereby they would also become eligible for licensure as a school, counseling, or clinical psychologist.

Licensure is compulsory in every state for psychologists that work directly with patients. Professionals can also pursue board certification through the American Academy of Clinical Psychology or the American Board of Professional Psychology, among other organizations, to showcase their expertise.

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