WHAT DO PSYCHOLOGISTS DO?
A psychologist can be a scientist, a practitioner (or both) who specializes in the study of thought, emotion, and behavior and the treatment of behavior-related problems. Educational or professional experiences help the psychologist to understand how different patterns of thought and behavior develop in a wide variety of social contexts and environmental 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.
WHY MAJOR IN PSYCHOLOGY?
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 department consists of seven full-time faculty and six part-time instructors who offer 26 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 advisor with whom he or she will feel comfortable. Students who wish to change advisors may see the department chairperson and request a different advisor.