The Department of Psychology offers an undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. The psychology program has been designed to comply with the recommendations provided by the American Psychological Association, providing a broad base of knowledge with a focus on the scientific aspect of psychological science. This program will provide you with knowledge of psychology's basic terminology, research and statistical methods, major theories, and classic and current research and in-depth knowledge in areas of specialization; the general problem-solving skills common to all the liberal arts, plus the special research techniques of psychology, from experimental design to interviewing; and provide you with insight into your own psychological development, values, potentials, and career, through reflection and interaction with scholarly material, professors, and fellow students.
All professors in the Department of Psychology have doctoral degrees and are trained researchers. We are a diverse department and our areas of expertise range from consulting work to research on human memory, the influence of groups, animal learning, behavioral neuroscience, mental disorders, child development, and social justice.
A variety of options encourage you to move beyond the classroom:
- You can do your own research project. To help you, we have laboratory facilities in Franklin Science Center that will allow you to experiment with rats, videotape interviews, use computers, and so on.
- You can do an internship by finding a position as a therapeutic support staff (TSS), assist children and adolescents in a school setting, attendant at a halfway house, personnel manager's assistant, or any psychology-related job and by writing a paper on the experience.
- You can attend talks by guest speakers, and take trips to conferences, institutions, and research facilities.
- You can join a Living Learning Community made up of psychology majors to form a network of friends with similar goals and have access to additional support in order to enhance your success and growth in the program.
- You can choose to participate in service learning projects working with children, and elderly in the community.
- If you qualify with an overall QPA of 3.0 or above and a 3.2 or above in psychology, you are invited to apply to Psi Chi, a national honor society. You must have completed three psychology courses at Shippensburg University and three semesters at Shippensburg University.
Honors in Psychology Program (48 crs.)
The Honors in Psychology Program is open to psychology majors who have and maintain a 3.6 overall QPA and 3.8 Psychology QPA. Students in their second semester (freshmen class) and beyond (up to and including first semester juniors) who meet this requirement will be invited to participate. If you are a transfer student who would like to participate or if you believe you are qualified and were not asked, please contact the department.
Honors students must earn their 15 Knowledge Base credits from some combination of 300-level courses, 400-level courses, and/or honors credit in 200-level courses. Students must earn nine credits from the following: PSY 379 - Capstone Seminar in Psychology Credits: 3 , PSY 381 - Honor Thesis I Credits: 3 , and PSY 382 - Honor Thesis II Credits: 3 . Honors students must also earn 6 hours of honors credit from some combination of 300-level and 400-level courses (beyond those used to satisfy core or elective requirements for the major). With departmental permission, 500-level graduate courses can be taken to fulfill the requirements for these 6 credits. Upon graduation, the successful completion of this Honors program provides with additional designation as Honors in Psychology.
Psychology Career Opportunities
A bachelor's degree in psychology is a popular liberal arts degree for people seeking basic managerial positions in industry and government.
While the bachelor's degree will open up some mental health care positions, most students who wish to work specifically in psychology go on to master's programs in areas such as counseling, experimental, and industrial/organizational psychology. Some students pursue doctorates in areas such as clinical, developmental, and social psychology. More than 30 percent of our graduates go on to earn an advanced degree.
A bachelor's in psychology can lead to careers in:
- Clinical psychology
- Cognitive psychology
- Counseling psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Health psychology
- Industrial/organizational psychology
- Legal psychology
- Behavioral neuroscience
- Physiological psychology
- School psychology
- Social psychology
- Quantitative psychology
Students wishing to change majors to psychology must have a 2.30 quality point average and must apply the first 3 weeks of each semester.