The Department of Psychology at Bridgewater State College
The Psychology Department at Bridgewater State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Psychology. In addition, the department offers a Master of Arts degree with a specialization in Clinical-Psychotherapy. An Honors Program in Psychology provides highly motivated psychology majors with opportunities to enhance their academic program through intensive scholarly study and research designed to be of assistance in post-graduate employment or in the pursuit of an advanced degree in psychology.
The objectives of the Department of Psychology are to 1) provide all students with an understanding of psychology and what psychologists do; 2) give students (where applicable) a background in psychology that will help them do their jobs better; 3) give our terminal majors sufficient training to enhance their opportunities for vocational placement in psychology-related occupations; 4) give our majors who intend to become professional psychologists sufficient preparation to permit them to be competitive in achieving admission to and success in graduate schools.
For those seeking careers in Psychology specifically, it should be mentioned that such careers often require advanced educational training, such as a Master of Arts degree (roughly an additional 2-3 years from the Bachelor’s degree), or a Doctoral degree (a Ph.D. or Psy.D., roughly an additional 4-7 years from the Bachelor’s degree). This is particularly true in order to forge a career that will entail a reasonable amount of responsibility and a better salary.
What is Psychology Anyway?
There are many possible ways to define psychology. It certainly entails studying things such as:
Though Psychology is about all these things, one classic definition is that psychology is the scientific study of behavior. Behavior can refer to external observable behaviors – such as talking, laughing, driving, or crying – or internal harder to observe behaviors that occur inside one’s mind – such as planning, thinking, feeling content, or imagining.
As a science, psychologists try to find answers to questions about behavior and the mind by using the methods of science. In order to gain new psychological knowledge, this means that one be able to carefully and empirically measure or observe behaviors. Measurement and observation of behaviors can be tricky – how does one observe thinking? How does one know when a type of psychotherapy really works? How does one measure happiness? How does one observe what areas of the brain are active during mental tasks?
The Psychology Curriculum
The Psychology Major consists of 15 courses for a total of 44 credits. All majors must receive a C or better in any Psychology course in order for that course to apply to the major. Opportunities for faculty-student research and internships and practica are available for highly motivated psychology majors.
Because of the scientific nature of psychology, a core component of the Psychology Major, along with any other scientific discipline, is the Statistics and Research Methods course sequence. Learning about statistics enables one to describe and make inferences about observations that are collected on behaviors. Learning about research methodology encourages the development of critical thinking and trains students how to read, and do, actual psychological research.
One note should be made concerning considering the dual-major with an Education major. Though Psychology may be an appropriate double-major for early-childhood or special education majors, Psychology is probably not the best choice for other kinds of Education majors. Those with specific questions on this are encouraged to contact the Education Department at Bridgewater State University for further details.
For More Information
Please feel free to visit the Psychology Department Web site and look over the Bridgewater State University catalog for more information on the Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Bridgewater State University.
For more information about this major contact:
Last Modified: June 25, 2012