Psychology is the empirical and theoretical study of behavior and mental life. It is a science that investigates the causes and dynamics of behavior patterns, and it is a profession that applies knowledge, skills and techniques to the solutions of individual and social problems.
A psychologist may be either a scientist, a practitioner, or both, who specializes in the study of behavior and the treatment of behavior-related problems. Educational or professional experiences help the psychologist to understand normal human developmental patterns and how people normally perceive, think, and behave in a wide variety of environments and under many different conditions. The scientist conducts research to add to the ever-expanding fund of knowledge available to colleagues and the general public. The practitioner is trained to provide professional assistance to children, adolescents and adults, as well as to couples, families and groups. He or she may also provide services to schools, agencies, organizations, industries and institutions.
The major goal of the Department of Psychology is to provide students with an education which will help prepare them for life. While psychology is the study of human behavior, it is not meant to provide quick and easy answers to the "why?" of our behavior or the behavior of others. It will, we hope, provide you with information that will assist you in your search for those answers.
Students major in psychology for a variety of reasons:
- As preparation for graduate work in psychology;
- As a liberal arts preparation for employment in a wide variety of semiprofessional or psychology-related fields, including management and personnel work, sales and services, and social service work.
- As a second major in support of a more vocationally-oriented major. Many psychology majors also major in criminal justice, business and other related fields.
In addition, there are a significant number of students who major in psychology as pre-professional undergraduates in preparation for law, clergy or medicine, or to complete a bachelor's degree for nursing. Others have no more specific goal in mind than to obtain a quality liberal arts education.
In cooperation with the Department of Criminal Justice, undergraduate psychology majors may complete the course work needed for the State of Wisconsin Social Worker Training Certificate.
The psychology faculty consists of seven full and part-time instructors who offer twenty-six different courses. By keeping the number of our offerings at a manageable level, we can offer 70 to 80 percent of our courses every semester. Thus, students majoring in psychology can be assured that every required course and most elective courses will be scheduled every academic year. While our faculty is known for its “approachability,” not every faculty member can meet the needs of every student. For this reason, we strive to match each psychology major with an adviser with whom he or she will feel comfortable. Students who wish to change advisers may see the department chairperson and make their wishes known.