Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. An undergraduate degree in psychology will prepare students to work in the social service industry and will provide a solid foundation for graduate study in the field as either a clinical or research practitioner. In accordance with Rutgers University Learning Goals and the American Psychological Association’s recommendations for undergraduate psychology programs, our four main goals for psychology majors are:
1. Content in Psychology:
Psychology majors will gain a thorough understanding of the biological basis of behavior and factors that contribute to positive and negative outcomes of such behavior. Through our introductory courses, students will develop an awareness and familiarity of the scientific study of human behavior and the neural, cognitive, sensory and motor processes underlying it throughout the lifespan. Further, students will learn about current psychological research and theory on development, emotions, personality, social interactions, and psychological disorders and their treatment. This is accomplished by students taking the required introductory sequence (101 & 102), along with History & Modern Viewpoints in Psychology (423).
2. Research in Psychology:
Students will understand and apply scientific methods used in psychological research and will develop skills utilizing statistical and experimental methods. This goal is accomplished by students completing Statistical Methods (301), and Experimental Methods (302).
3. Higher-Order Cognitive Skills:
In order to promote student thought, scientific curiosity, critical thinking, and analytical skills and to apply psychological theory to personal, organizational, and social issues, psychology majors will be able to learn and demonstrate their knowledge of the field while fulfilling four of the six area requirement courses: Cognitive Processes (304), Critical Thinking (308), Developmental Psychology (323), Social Psychology (335), Abnormal Psychology (363), Perception (371), or Physiological Psychology (484).
4. Civic Engagement:
Through our Fieldwork course (369/370), Junior and Senior psychology majors have the opportunity to work at an internship site under the supervision of a licensed and trained mental health professional in order to be adequately prepared for a career in the social service field. This experience will allow students to directly apply their background knowledge of psychology in a professional setting. This experience will further enhance the student’s ability to work with, and be a part of, a treatment team in the delivery of mental health services.