Why study Psychological Science
Psychological Science is the study of human behavior - how people grow, develop, how they think and learn. Students enrolled in courses and degree programs in our department will learn to use scientific methods to understand learning, motivation, life-span development, personality, normal and abnormal behavior, group and social behavior, the physiological mechanisms of behavior, sensation and perception, the treatment and prevention of psychological disorders and promotion of mental health, and the application of psychological science in the workplace. Department faculty have diverse educational backgrounds, research interests, and clinical expertise. Graduates of our programs are well-prepared to pursue employment opportunities in a wide variety of settings in community agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, health care settings, business and industry.
The program is designed for students who are interested in the field of psychological science. This program is suited both for students who want to enter the workforce or go to graduate school after graduation.
Psychological Science faculty have expertise in:
- Group and Social Behavior
- Life Span Development
- Normal and Abnormal Behavior
- Forensic Psychology
- Psychological Mechanisms of Behavior
- Sensation and perception
- Application of Psychological Science in the Workplace
A strength of our psychological science program is the opportunity to work closely with globally recognized faculty as an undergraduate student. While most psychology/psychological science programs have some level of opportunities to engage in research, our department provides the desirable circumstance of working very closely with the faculty member on research projects. This approach provides greater access to faculty as compared to common models of being supervised primarily by graduate students. Such collaboration results from both having students join projects ongoing/proposed by faculty members, or faculty supervision of a student’s proposal. Our faculty strongly encourage these collaborations and will be happy to work through research ideas that one might be cultivating. Another strength of the program is the goal of having interested students gain applicable field experience in their areas of interest. The department has a history of supporting and cultivating field experience placements at a variety of sites within the region. Moreover, we have a faculty member who serves as the Field Experience Coordinator. The coordinator is tasked with identifying possible field experience sites, maintaining compliance for the selected sites, and overseeing the entire process. These field experiences are beneficial for students interested in gaining experience for both immediate workforce placement, and for students seeking admission to a graduate program.
For example, we offer an Applied Behavioral Analysis Certificate that prepares individuals to become a Registered Behavioral Technician. This certificate is one example of how our program helps meet regional workforce demands as Ft. Campbell is a center for families with children with special needs and autism spectrum disorder in particular. The need for skilled workforce to serve this population is significant. In addition to producing immediate workforce graduates, such as entry level mental health or business-related positions, our department has an excellent track record of students being accepted into graduate-level programs.
A partial list of graduate programs, in addition to our own graduate programs, to which our students have been accepted includes – Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee, Indiana University, Kent State University, East Tennessee State University, New Mexico State University, and University of Central Arkansas. These programs provide training in areas such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, counseling, neuroscience, industrial – organizational psychology, and similar fields.
What will I learn
- The objective of the program is to provide the student with a firm foundation in basic psychological science. This includes knowledge of basic content areas, as well as the skills fundamental to all areas of psychology.
- The Department of Psychological Science and Counseling has adopted the APA undergraduate psychology major learning goals and outcomes.
- A student completing the major in psychology should be able to conduct a search of psychological literature, read and understand journal articles, evaluate hypotheses or theories on the basis of empirical data, design and conduct a research study, and write a paper following APA.
- Students will also learn psychological "superpowers" such as how to learn effectively, how to manage stress and anxiety, how to complete a complex task, how to understand personality traits and individual differences, scientific literacy and learn about biases and prejudices.