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Why did you decide to get into psychology and what kinds of classes did you need to take in college to get the degree?

I was curious on what classes are needed and how long it took.

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Alan’s Answer

Mandy, speaking for myself, I didn't exactly go into Psychology. I did get my Master's degree in Early Childhood Education, but had it been in another school they must likely would have designated it as "Early Child Education and Development," which would have allowed me later on to teach Developmental Psychology. And I do have a passion for it, particularly Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. If you like psychology, find "Everybody Rides the Carousel" on YouTube or wherever. It's kind of old (to you), but wonderful.

I did have an interest in Psychology as an undergrad, but I was too busy with other things. I took Introduction to Psych, of course, and, at the graduate level, took Developmental Psychology and some variation of "Abnormal" or "special needs" psychology. That was all I needed to become a teacher, but someone majoring in Psychology would need more. Take a look at some college websites to see what their Psychology program looks like.

The question is, what do you want to do with it? Do you want to become a psychotherapist, practicing either in an agency or on your own? Would you want to be a school psychologist, in which case you'd want to take some child development and education courses. Or might you consider going on, to become a psychiatrist, a doctor? A psychologist is more involved with working with patients, individually or in groups, while a psychiatrist specializes in prescription management and neurology (although good psychiatrists do both). So, how long it takes depends upon what your goal is. But take it one step at a time, starting with what direction you want those steps to take you.
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Prativa’s Answer

Many individuals are drawn to psychology because they have a genuine interest in understanding human behavior, emotions, and the mind. Some common reasons to study psychology include:

1. Interest in Human Behavior: A fascination with understanding why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
2. Helping Others: A desire to help individuals overcome mental health challenges and improve their well-being.
3. Problem-Solving: An interest in solving real-world problems related to human behavior and cognition.
4. Research and Analysis: A passion for conducting research and analyzing data to gain insights into human psychology.

To earn a degree in psychology, students typically need to complete a range of core and elective courses. These may include:

1. Introductory Psychology: A foundational course that covers the basics of the field.
2. Research Methods: Classes on research design, data collection, and statistical analysis.
3. Abnormal Psychology: Examines various psychological disorders and their treatment.
4. Developmental Psychology: Studies human development from infancy to old age.
5. Cognitive Psychology: Focuses on memory, learning, thinking, and problem-solving.
6. Social Psychology: Explores how individuals are influenced by others and their social environments.
7. Clinical Psychology: Covers assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders.
8. Neuropsychology: Examines the relationship between brain function and behavior.
9. Personality Psychology: Studies individual differences in personality traits.
10. Ethics in Psychology: Addresses ethical issues and guidelines for conducting research and therapy.
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Ollie’s Answer

Hi Mandy! My personal story is that my undergraduate degree is actually in Anthropology. I went to graduate school for Counseling Psychology because I discovered later that I wanted to help young people by becoming a school guidance counselor. Graduate school is 2 years & I earned my Master's in Education, M.Ed. However, you can major in Psychology as an undergrad, but you will still need to attend graduate school in order to get a professional-level position in the field.

Hope this helps!
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Justin’s Answer

Speaking for myself only, I studied psychology because I attended a STEM-heavy high school and thought the "hard" sciences didn't have any answers for life (I'm older so I have a more nuanced view now...).

I also thought it was very interesting, as the field is still discovering itself. There's really not a single path through it, though the required courses I took covered a lot of the history of psychology and how it has branched off into so many disciplines. (Oh goodness, I just remembered now there was a required course for programming in R, which is used for calculating statistics. That literally fell out of my brain.)

For my college, beyond this loose framework, I had to take discipline-specific classes, of my own choosing. I was a bit loosey-goosy - I took Drugs and Behavior, Neuroplasticity, Learning (basically Behavioral Psychology), Psychology of Reward, and... I think Neural Networks. My thesis was ultimately on the usage of idioms - this is the field of linguistics.

My apologies for the long story; what I'm trying to get at is that there isn't really a defined track for a Bachelor's Degree, and there's so much you can study and specialize in.

That being said, I parrot what Alan had said: if you were to pursue psychology, I HIGHLY recommend you focus on a specific field. Because the degree encompasses so many subjects, it becomes hard to stand out from other holders of the same degree. As to what that field would be, I'll leave it to you; psychology mixes with so many disciplines, like neuroscience, AI, psychiatry, forensic science etc.
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Patrice’s Answer

Choosing to delve into the world of psychology requires some serious contemplation. Be ready to put in some sweat and time, as it's a field that can test your mettle. The science of human behavior is a fascinating subject that draws many. I, for one, was captivated by the study of human performance behavior - the question of "why" we act the way we do. I wanted to help individuals improve their performances in both sports and personal life.

My curiosity about human behavior reached its peak during my graduate studies, while I was pursuing a Master of Legal Studies in Sports Law and Business. I found a wealth of information on performance behavior within Sports Law. This sparked my interest to dig deeper into the psychology of sports, leading me to a Ph.D. program that suited me perfectly.

So, if you're considering a degree in psychology, my advice would be to follow the passion that ignited your interest. Be open to changing your path if you find yourself drawn to a different aspect of psychology. Best of luck on your journey!
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Jacob’s Answer

I chose to pursue psychology because I have a deep fascination with understanding human behavior and the mind. To obtain a degree in psychology, you typically need to take a variety of courses that cover the fundamental aspects of the field. Some common classes include Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Social Psychology. You'll also likely study Research Methods and Statistics to develop critical research skills.

The duration of your studies can vary, but a bachelor's degree usually takes about four years to complete. If you decide to pursue graduate studies, such as a master's or Ph.D., it can take several more years. My advice would be to explore various subfields of psychology during your undergraduate years to discover your specific interests, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from professors and advisors to shape your academic path. Psychology is a rewarding field with diverse career opportunities, so your educational journey can be both fulfilling and impactful.
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