Set up an appointment with the Department Chair, Steve Siviy, (email@example.com) to declare your major.
There is an advantage to declaring a major as soon as possible. Early in the spring semester, you will receive preregistration materials specially designed for psychology majors. These will allow you priority into psychology courses.
A minor in Psychology is not available. Psychology is a large major, and the faculty could not handle the demand for courses if a formal minor were offered. However, some students choose to take several psychology electives at the 200 level; this called a "concentration." While this would not be formally recognized on your transcript, you can note on your resume that you took a concentration in Psychology and point these courses out to employers or graduate schools.
At Gettysburg, you will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree as a psychology major. This is purely a function of tradition in the liberal arts - disciplines in the social sciences typically give BA degrees where disciplines in the natural sciences give BS degrees.
Gettysburg's psychology majors find success both in graduate school and the employment market. Those who enter the work force immediately after graduation find doors open in business management, human resources, education, mental health, social services, and other areas.
Class of 2011: Where Are They Going?
Class of 2012: Where Are They Going?
Gettysburg College also has a solid track record of placing psychology students in graduate programs, often with fellowships to fund their continued education. We have students in graduate programs designed for careers in an academic setting where they will teach and do research in such areas as social, developmental, clinical, cognitive, and personality psychology. Other graduate programs aim to train students for careers in psychotherapy, counseling, school psychology, and social work as well as management psychology, employee selection and training, and organizational behavior. In addition, Gettysburg psychology students routinely gain admission to graduate programs in medicine, business, law, and education.
Gettysburg's psychology major has a strong research focus. You may think that this has nothing to do with your goal of becoming a therapist. In fact, we believe that to understand and identify abnormal functioning one must also understand normal functioning, and it is from research that we find out about human behavior and mental processes.
Your undergraduate experience is intended to give you breadth of knowledge in the discipline, and the graduate work will give you depth of knowledge in a particular sub-discipline. Gettysburg has a strong tradition of placing their majors in excellent graduate programs, and it is because of the structure and content of the major that our students are good candidates for graduate-level work.
Most graduate programs are interested in whether you are a good student and have some experience with research. Regardless of which type of program you are applying to, having helped a faculty member with a research project and/or having conducted an independent study such as honors research will be impressive. Clinical programs also look for contact with clinical populations. This can be achieved through summer jobs, internships, or type of employment following graduation. Your professors within the department may have suggestions about where you might find these opportunities, but also consult Career Services for their internship files.
The answer to this question depends on your career goals. There are generally three career options for psychologists: clinical (therapist of some sort), experimental, and applied (industrial/organizational, ergonomics/human factors, or applied developmental). Of course, some of our majors continue their education in other areas (e.g., medical school, law school, business school, education). If you are interested in furthering your education in psychology but are not interested in working in a clinical setting, you should look for an experimental or applied graduate program.
Absolutely -- you simply need to plan carefully for this experience. This is what is important to remember for either studying abroad or the education minor:
Gettysburg allows students to transfer in three courses from another institution - and that does not include the study abroad courses (your semester abroad will be counted just as a semester here in terms of course credit). In order for a course to count toward the 10 required courses for the major, the course must have an equivalent course in the Gettysburg curriculum. For example, if there is a course in Developmental Psychology at another institution (including the abroad institutions), because we have that course in our curriculum, taking it would count toward the four 200-level courses you need to take. However, if there's a course in Forensic Psychology that you might be interested in, by all means, take it, but understand that it will count toward the 32 courses needed for graduation but not the 10 needed for the psychology major.