Psychological Sciences Major's Handbook

The Handbook is primarily directed at Psychological Sciences majors and sophomores who are planning on a major in Psychological Sciences. It is also aimed at nonmajors who are interested in psychology, particularly those who are considering graduate work in psychology or in a related field.

Potential Psychological Sciences majors should find the first several sections particularly valuable. These sections deal with the content and future value of the Psychological Sciences major.

Junior Psychological Sciences majors are the main targets of this Handbook. Juniors have sufficient time to prepare for either graduate work or a job. They also have sufficient time (including one more summer) to get some relevant practical experience. The section on Suggested Courses, which covers a wide range of interests, will help in planning your remaining semesters. The Job Hunt and Graduate School schedules begin in the junior year. We want you to take advantage of many important opportunities that would be lost by waiting until the senior year to start making long-range plans.

Psychological Sciences seniors feel the pressure of suddenly having to decide what to do after graduation as time is running out. Preparation for job hunting should be underway early in the senior year and Career Services can be a major help with finding and choosing jobs. Putting off thoughts of what to do next until after graduation might be tempting, but it is a very poor strategy.

A psychology background is well suited to many graduate programs within psychology and in related areas. Those heading for graduate programs should take the GRE in the Fall of the preceding year. A section on preparing for the GRE covers useful hints for studying and for taking the test. Choosing graduate schools for a particular program is a complex task with many factors to consider. The application process itself is very important, even if time-consuming and difficult. Application deadlines usually start in early January so you must get started early in the senior year.

After reading relevant sections of the Handbook, seniors should seek the advice of faculty members before making final decisions concerning jobs and careers. The last section will help to ensure that this advising session is valuable and an efficient use of the time of both the faculty member and the student.