Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. It is traditionally a popular field of study. By the very nature of the profession, psychology is a service vocation. This major fits well with Waldorf's mission of "instilling values of service, community, critical inquiry, and lifelong learning." A bachelor's degree in psychology prepares students to be well-rounded, educated individuals as it reflects many of the goals of a liberal arts education by providing:
- A knowledge base
- Thinking skills
- Analytical reasoning
- Interpersonal skills
- Ethical values
The intent of the psychology program is to provide a comprehensive plan of study that will introduce students to many subfields of psychology and prepare them for careers in a number of human services careers as well as graduate and professional programs.
The program provides both a psychology major and a psychology minor for students. Because of the liberal arts base and interdisciplinary nature that psychology lends itself to, students who major in other disciplines may benefit from a minor in psychology or taking it on as a second major. Additionally, psychology majors are encouraged to take on a minor or a second major to meld with their psychology goals and interests. Psychology majors have taken on minors or second majors in Wellness, Criminal Justice, Theater, and English. Communications, Biology, Business, and Education also make a good complement to psychology.
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What can you do with a B.A. in Psychology?
If your dream career is to be a psychologist, your Bachelor’s degree will prepare you to move onto graduate school needed obtain a Masters, Ph.D. or Psy.D. needed to achieve your goals. The role of psychologist itself encompasses many career paths. You could go into counseling (e.g. become a child psychologist, clinical psychologist, social worker), you could become a psychiatrist (by going onto Medical School!) or you could go into academics (pursuing teaching and research in one of the branches of psychology). Through graduate studies, students may choose to specialize in areas including clinical, experimental, developmental, social, cognitive, human factors, sports, industrial/organizational, health, and forensics.
Recent Waldorf psychology major graduates have moved onto to graduate school to pursue these types of goals:
- Social Work @ University of Minnesota, Rochester
- Marriage & Family Therapy @ St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis
- Marriage & Family Therapy @ Bethel Seminary, St. Paul
- Art Therapy @ Adler School of Psychology
- Occupational Therapy @ St. Ambrose
Graduate school, however, is not necessary for all psychology majors! A B.A. in psychology can serve as a great foundation for other careers that may not carry the title of ‘psychologist’ but still benefit from an understanding of human behavior and mental processes, along with the critical thinking and problem solving skills obtained by examining questions through a scientific lens. By combining a psychology major or minor with another program, graduates give themselves a leg up in a competitive job market.
Graduates with a B.A. are equipped for jobs in social service (e.g. rehabilitation counselor, credit counselor, caseworker), research (e.g. market research analyst, quality research manager, research assistant), management/human resources (e.g. hotel manage, marketing specialist, product developer) or various professional careers (e.g. academic counselor, corrections officer, journalist, nurse).
Recent Waldorf psychology major graduates have been able to apply their degree both within and without the boundaries of psychology. Here is a sample of some of the jobs and careers graduates have entered:
- Program Coordinator at a skilled nursing facility
- Team Leader working with mentally disabled adults
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Caseworker in a family therapy clinic
- Preschool Teacher
- AmeriCorps VISTA Member
- Mental Health Rehabilitation Worker
- Senior Youth Worker for a social service organization
- Administrative Assistant
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Direct Service Specialist for disabled and developmentally challenged individuals
This is only a few of the many career possibilities for psychology majors.