Psychology is a diverse scientific discipline concerned with mental processes, behavior, and applications of its principles to enhance the human condition. The Department of Psychology at Chico offers coursework at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate major in psychology is a diverse forty-one unit liberal arts program. Required courses in the major provide a solid foundation in the field’s methodological and scientific principles, while elective courses allow exploration of additional academic and applied topics. The major includes three laboratory courses, providing students direct experience with the methods and content of psychological science.
The master's programs in psychology include both an MA and an MS, which contain different emphases. The MA in Psychology has options in Psychological Science and Applied Psychology. The MA Option in Psychological Sciences provides coursework for students planning to enter a doctoral program or to teach at a community college. The MA Option in Applied Psychology prepares students for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential for School Psychologist authorization. The MS in Psychology meets the course content requirements for California Marriage and Family Therapists licensure eligibility.
Faculty and Facilities
With nineteen full-time faculty members, the department assures students of a broad coverage of areas in psychology and a wide choice of instructors. The Department of Psychology utilizes modern, up-to-date laboratories and classrooms, including biopsychology, learning, statistics, and counseling laboratories.
Opportunities for work in psychology are expanding in number and scope, especially for those with graduate degrees, while an undergraduate degree remains excellent preparation for continued graduate work in psychology or other fields such as business, law, or medicine. At the undergraduate level, the study of psychology is good preparation for numerous professions. Many employers are interested in the skills that psychology majors can bring to the workplace. Psychologists contribute solutions to problems through careful collection of data, analysis of data, and development of intervention strategies—in other words, by applying scientific principles, the hallmark of psychology. The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), suggests future growth in the fields of education, health promotion and working with older adults in many settings. All three of these areas are arenas in which psychology majors have much to contribute. The economic outlook for people willing to pursue graduate training in the field of psychology is very bright. The professional opportunities in this field are expected to increase by 12% through 2018, according to the BLS, with some subfields such as industrial-organizational expanding by 26%.
The Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Titles lists over 100 occupations that psychology majors can pursue from academic counselors to volunteer coordinators. More precisely, the most common job areas identified by the BLS for psychology bachelor's degree holders are management, sales, social services, personnel training, administration, insurance, business services, and auditing. The College Board's College Handbook reports that half of college graduates in psychology work for businesses and non-profit organizations. Another 16% work for the government, 14% work for educational institutions, 13% are self-employed and the remaining 9% work in private, charitable organizations. According to a survey of bachelor’s degree holders in psychology, two thirds believe their job is closely or somewhat related to their psychology background and that their jobs hold career potential.