Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. It seeks to understand the mechanisms of perception, cognition, emotion, and attitudes in guiding behavior. Although psychology focuses on the individual, behavior depends on the broader social context and complex interactions across biological systems. Thus, psychology encompasses a broad range of topics that overlap with disciplines across the social and biological sciences. An undergraduate degree in psychology will provide students with a foundation of key concepts, principles, and themes in psychology and acquaint them with the methods and techniques researchers use to study psychological processes. The psychology major prepares students for a variety of careers including social work, public policy, business, or medicine and provides a solid foundation for graduate study in psychology, either clinical or as a research practitioner, and other related fields (e.g., neuroscience, education). In accordance with Rutgers University Learning Goals and the American Psychological Association's recommendations for undergraduate psychology programs, our five main goals for psychology majors are:
1. Knowledge Base in Psychology
Students majoring in psychology will be able to describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in the discipline and will develop a working knowledge of psychology's primary content domains.
2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking
Majors will be able to interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research and be able to use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena.
3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
Majors will recognize and respect values that contribute to building a society that strengthens and supports community relationships and is responsive to multicultural concerns. Majors will be able to apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
Majors will demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills to clearly present psychological arguments and research. Majors will develop flexible interpersonal interaction skills that optimize the exchange of information while respecting diverse perspectives.
5. Professional Development
Majors will apply psychological content and skills to career goals, whether within or outside the discipline of psychology.