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University of Rhode Island — Psychology
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Get Prepared
How do I prepare for a career in Psychology?

High School Psychology builds on a foundation of arts, sciences, and humanities. Students interested in this field should successfully complete high-school courses in each of these areas. Many professors recommend basic science courses, such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and - of course - psychology, if your high school offers it. Science courses can teach you to think logically and analytically, which will give you a good background for understanding and conducting research. Courses in arts and humanities, such as history, sociology, and literature, can help you begin to understand people and what motivates them. Good written and oral communication skills are also essential for success in psychology. Lastly, you can also take advantage of volunteer opportunities in psychology while you are in high school to see if the field is for you.

College The bachelor's degree psychology curriculum at URI provides a theoretical knowledge base through coursework, research experience, and experiential learning. Students first achieve a broad perspective of psychology as a discipline and then gain more in-depth knowledge of various topic areas within psychology. Because psychology is so heavily influenced by other fields, success in liberal studies courses, such as natural and social sciences, communication and writing courses, mathematics, and foreign language is essential as well. Psychology students also develop critical thinking and analytical skills through courses on the methods of inquiry and analysis. With this solid foundation, students then take courses that challenge them to apply psychological theory, facts, and methods to the practical needs of individuals, organizations, and society, all with sensitivity to diversity. In addition, as personal interests and objectives emerge, students have the opportunity to take elective psychology courses to expand their existing knowledge and best prepare for their particular careers. Advanced undergraduate students also learn to apply the knowledge from the classroom to the real world through experiential and research experiences. They learn whether they actually enjoy working in the field of psychology so they may make informed decisions about their careers. Students can develop important contacts for future jobs and acquire impressive career credentials.

For more detailed information about the courses available in this psychology, go to the Curriculum Tab.
For more detailed information about experiential learning in this psychology, go to the Experiential Learning Tab.

Graduate School Many students choose to pursue graduate or professional education after completing their bachelor's degree in psychology. Graduate study builds on the competencies of the undergraduate education in psychology and trains students for more advanced roles in clinical, research, and/or academic settings. Because of the breadth of psychology as a discipline and as a profession, there are a wide variety of graduate programs available, depending on the career you seek. Each type of program has different recommendations with regard to the courses you should take as an undergraduate and the experience in research and/or applied areas you should have before applying. Talk to an academic advisor about your future plans to ensure that you are well prepared for graduate study in psychology.

For more information about graduate schools in psychology, go to the Graduate Studies Tab.