What you'll learn as a psychology major at UW-Platteville

UW-Platteville’s bachelor’s in psychology is for people who want to understand how and why people think, feel, and behave the way they do. Psychology is a science that investigates the causes and dynamics of behavior patterns and a profession that applies knowledge, skills, and techniques to the solutions of individual and social problems. Our program is designed according to American Psychological Association guidelines and provides a foundation in psychological theory and the application of psychology to real-world issues.

Students can prepare for a career by gaining valuable internship experience, volunteering in the community, or participating in the highly recommended Cooperative Field Experience program, which enhances professionalism and allows you to apply what you have learned in class to the workplace.

Careers in psychology

A psychologist can be a scientist, practitioner, or both who specializes in the study of thought, emotion, and behavior and the treatment of behavior-related problems. 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 couples, families, and groups. He or she may also provide services to schools, agencies, organizations, industries, and institutions.

As a psychology major, you have a wide range of career paths to choose from, with jobs in human services, business, and educational settings such as:

  • Mental health counselor
  • Social worker
  • School psychologist
  • Data analyst/research specialist
  • Youth care worker
  • Substance use disorder counselor
  • Human resource specialist
  • Educator
  • Behavior technician

Psychology is a diverse field with many different types of positions and professions. For most positions, employment is based on level of education, training, and experience. With an undergraduate degree in psychology, you may obtain a position as a caseworker in social services, work in a residential facility, assist individuals with developmental disabilities, or work in human services. In order to practice counseling, you would need to pursue additional training in graduate school at the master's level.

Discover by Doing

Psychology at UW-Platteville offers a student-centered approach.

Focused on experiential learning that connects your education to your future career, there are opportunities to help others through various research projects.

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Innovative programming

After being admitted to the program, you will be matched with a faculty advisor who will provide guidance and support to help you reach your academic goals. The program allows you to specialize in your area of interest and create a more unique experience by selecting an area of emphasis.

Major in Psychology

Students select a 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 semi-professional 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 in 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 coursework needed for the State of Wisconsin Social Worker Training Certificate.

Aging Studies Emphasis

An emphasis in aging studies will increase your understanding of the biopsychosocial aspects of aging and will better prepare students for working with the aging population. 

Substance Abuse Counseling Emphasis

The substance abuse counseling emphasis fulfills the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services requirement of 360 hours of approved, specialized education in substance use disorder counseling. Students completing the requirement can work as certified substance abuse counselors in the State of Wisconsin with only a bachelor's degree. 

Social Work Training Certificate

Psychology majors can take classes in social work allowing them to pursue licensure as a certified social worker with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

The psychology department has agreements with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, that allow psychology majors who finish the social work certificate coursework to receive master's degrees in social work from these universities in shortened periods of time. Students attending Clarke can finish an MSW in approximately 14 months, while students attending UW-Milwaukee can finish an MSW in approximately a year and a half. Standard time to completion is two years.

Our Faculty and Staff

The psychology department consists of full-time faculty and part-time instructors who offer 26 different courses. We also strive to match each psychology major with an advisor with whom you will feel comfortable.