Psychology is the science of behavior. Courses in this discipline convey the principles, methods and theories that are necessary for a better understanding of human and animal behaviors. Students who choose this subject as their major are expected to fulfill certain requirements, but the program is structured to allow considerable flexibility. Studying psychology at WVU allows students to work toward a liberal arts degree rather than a specialized degree that prepares students for a specific type of job. Typically, individuals tailor their schedules according to the career paths they choose, and these decisions generally fall into three categories: pursuit of graduate studies, pursuit of a career applying principles of psychology to human problems or pursuit of a career in a nonrelated field.
Psychology majors select upper-level Psychology courses according to their interests, career plans and intent to pursue graduate training in the discipline. Students who intend to major in Psychology should be aware that jobs are available for individuals with an undergraduate degree, but graduate work is required for many positions. For Psychology majors, the most common electives are biology, child development and family studies, communication studies, mathematics, philosophy, political science, social work, sociology and anthropology and statistics. Additional science courses, or completion of the B.S. degree requirements, are recommended for those considering graduate training.
There are ample employment opportunities for the Psychology graduate who wants to use his or her major in the areas of assessment and treatment, human resource management, residential care, or community and social services. Graduates find opportunities in alcohol and drug intervention, inpatient and outpatient facilities for persons with chronic mental illness or developmental disabilities, educational and occupational testing, group home counseling, geriatric counseling, youth center management, employment counseling and family planning.
A bachelor’s degree in Psychology is an excellent background for careers in regular or special education, business, sales, health services (medicine, nursing, pharmacy), public health, gerontology, law, administration, personnel management, government, advertising and public relations.
Psychology is a good fit for careers outside of psychology. For instance, the major allows students to increase intrapersonal and interpersonal understanding, which is valued in fields of industry and management. In addition, students develop problem-solving and project management skills, as well as information literacy skills that are also important in most careers.
Students with applied interests should consider completing the course sequence that has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certifications Board (BACB), which certifies professionals at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Students who complete the course sequence and experience requirements are eligible to take the certification exam to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA).
Approximately 25% of psychology majors continue their education to earn graduate degrees in psychology, medicine, law, social work, education or business.
Sample Course Schedules
Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.
Freshman YearPSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology BIOL 115 Principles of Biology WVUE 191 First Year Seminar SOCA 101 Introduction to Sociology MATH 126B College Algebra 4-Day
Senior YearPSYC 491A Prof Field Experience:Capstone PSYC 302 Behavior Principles PSYC 423 Cognition and Memory PSYC 301 Biological Foundatns-Behavior PSYC 490A Teaching Practicum:Capstone
English Proficiency Requirements
All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.
WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.