Getting Involved in the Psychology Major Jenn Hunt & Stephani Foraker
What Does It Take to be a Successful Psych Major? • Good grades is only the starting point! • Important to engage in individualized experiences & department activities • First-hand experience in research or applied settings • Student organizations
Why Should I Do This? • Learn what psychology is really like • Gain valuable experience for jobs or graduate school • Get to know faculty members • Develop skills & learn about yourself • Have fun!
Psychology Student Organizations • Psychology Club • Open to all students interested in Psychology • Informational & social events, speakers • Spring research project • Advisor: Dr. Reid
Psychology Student Organizations • Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology • Eligibility standards: High GPAs, credit hours • Informational, volunteer, & social events • Advisor: Dr. Foraker
Psychology Student Organizations • Psychology Students Interested in Community Outreach (PSICO) • Open to all students interested in community service • Raise money to sponsor families during the holidays • Advisor: Dr. DiPirro • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) • Open to all students interested in Human Resources • Advisor: Dr. Delprino
Research Opportunities for Academic Credit • Independent Studies (PSY 495) • One semester • Work closely with faculty a member • Complete a research study • No minimum GPA • Sample topics: • Body image in 6th grade students • How views of parents affect views of God • Gender bias in hiring judgments • Factors affecting road rage • Opportunities to present and publish research
Research Experiences for Academic Credit • Honors Theses (PSY 496 and 498) • Bigger research project - two semesters • Work with committee of three faculty members • Must have GPAs of 3.5+ in psychology and 3.25+ overall • Recent topics: • Social withdrawal in veterans with PTSD • Academic and social adjustment of students with ADHD • Prejudice against Canadians • Opportunities to present and publish research
Volunteer Research Opportunities • Psychology Club Research Team • Research Assistant • Work in faculty lab • Research Participant
Applied Experiences for Academic Credit • Field Internship (PSY 488) • Complete 150 hours (12 hours per week) at community setting • Weekly internship class • At least second-semester junior • At least 2.5 GPA • Apply before registration for next semester
Applied Experiences for Academic Credit • Internship sites include: • School psychology in Niagara Falls Schools • School counseling at Gateway Longview • Work with refugees at Journey's End • Work with serious mental illness at Transitional Services, Inc. • Inpatient psychological care at Buffalo Psychiatric Center • Substance abuse work at Northpointe Council
Applied Experiences for Academic Credit • Teaching Internship (PSY 488) • Assist a faculty member with a class in which you have excelled • Typical duties include • Leading test review sessions • Holding office hours • Helping with grading
Applied Experiences within Courses • Volunteer-Service Learning Courses • Require service connected to course objectives & community needs • 15-40 hours, depending on course • Can do in many departments
Volunteer Applied Experiences • Volunteer for community organizations related to psychology • Flexibility in # of hours • Opportunities within walking distance • Opportunities through Psychology Club, Psi Chi • Career Development Center
Graduate School in Psychology • Many careers in Psychology require a Masters degree or Ph.D. • Clinical, counseling, school • Academic researcher • Consulting • Very competitive – Need to plan ahead!
Undergraduate vs. Graduate Education UNDERGRADUATE • Broad education • Well-rounded • Class-based GRADUATE • Highly focused • Specialist • Research/experience-based with fewer classes
Admissions Process UNDERGRADUATE • Large number admitted • 100s or 1000s / year • Flexibility in final interests/major • Form a good pool • General qualifications & experiences GRADUATE • Small number admitted • Ph.D. programs: < 10/year • Commitment to specific area • Match with program and mentors • Look for specific experiences in that field
Finding a Job • Many parallels • Lots of applications for limited positions • Need experience as well as grades
How to be a Competitive Applicant • Grades: High as possible • >3.0 for MA, >3.5 for Ph.D • Solid course preparation • Likely exceed minimum requirements • Research!!! • Independent studies, research teams, senior thesis • Applied experiences • Internship • Related volunteering or work • Teaching
How to be a Competitive Applicant • Get involved in the department • Psychology Club, Psi Chi, PSICOs, SHRM • Leadership positions • GREs • Need to do well • Ongoing preparation: Read! • Specific preparation: Books, courses (e.g., Kaplan)
Final Message • As transfer students, you have less time, so start getting involved right away!