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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Psychology

Majors Overview April 5, 2015

Get information about Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Psychology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Psychology

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology program do not get professional training. They are instead imparted general education in theoretical perspectives related to the field. Those who complete the program can seek jobs in business, government, or mental health facilities. In order to work as professional psychologists, they would need further education.

Coursework in undergraduate psychology programs uses scientific approaches to teach about social interactions, human behavior, and the brain. Both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Psychology are available at many schools; B.S. programs include more labs and coursework related to science and math, including the mechanics of the brain and neurobiological processes.

Students involved in some B.S. in Psychology programs are allowed to focus their studies in a sub-field of psychology, such as developmental psychology, forensic psychology, or mental health. A good grasp of the ethics of psychology can be acquired, particularly by those relating to interaction with clients.

Over the duration of the program, coursework involves participation by students in clinical, practicum, or research hours, in addition to capstone projects or independent studies pertaining to an area of interest, such as human development or behavior.

Membership in student chapters of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, or Psi Chi (the National Honor Society in Psychology) may be available to students.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. The submission of an essay or activity resume by applicants may be sought by some schools.

Coursework

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology programs are offered foundational knowledge in sub-fields of psychology, statistics, cognition, and analytical reasoning. Students can also improve their skills in research, critical thinking, and technical writing. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Aging and adulthood
•Personality theories
•Clinical psychology
•Abnormal psychology
•Social development and psychology

Career Choices

Those who complete a B.S. in Psychology may seek entry-level jobs in psychology-related careers. Work may be available through psychiatric hospitals, detention centers, crisis center hospitals, halfway houses, and mental health facilities. Those who complete the program may seek positions such as:

•Administrator
•Psychiatric Assistant
•Assistant Director

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, psychiatric aides brought home an average annual wage of $27,440 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of five percent have been predicted for these professionals (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Aspiring professional psychologists would need a graduate level degree in psychology, usually a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), wherein their studies would focus on one specific area, such as health psychology, developmental psychology, or clinical psychology.

A dual graduate program is available through some schools, whereby the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program combines with a master’s degree in public policy or a different field. State licensure is also a requirement of psychologists that aspire to work with clients (BLS).

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