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Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of the brain and behavior.

Why Major in Psychology?

Psychology majors learn about human development, learning and mental health. They often pursue careers in social services, business/sales, education and research. Many psychology majors pursue graduate degrees in various helping disciplines as well as research specialties in psychology.
You may be good at psychology if you are:

  • A critical thinker and interested in understanding the brain and behavior.
  • Good with people; someone who enjoys interacting and helping others.
  • Someone who enjoys analyzing and solving problems.

Coursework

Classes are developmentally arranged to allow you the chance to learn the basics first, such as developmental theories and research methods. Lower level classes focus on the breadth of psychology and introduce you to the various career options available.

Upper level classes then focus in on specific specialty areas such as substance abuse, abnormal psychology and helping skills. The major offers a good deal of flexibility in terms of course scheduling. A wide variety of topic areas are offered each semester making the major a good fit for students with diverse interests.

Degree Options

There are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees available with this major.

More about this Major

Outcomes

The biggest benefit of the psychology degree is flexibility. Graduates with backgrounds in psychology can go into virtually any field and find that their background in human behavior, the brain, research and helping skills is useful in achieving their career goals. Most psychology graduates pursue careers in business, education, health, the environment, human performance, education and public safety.

• A large number of recent graduates report attending graduate school.
• Undergraduate students have the opportunity to be involved in approximately 30 research labs/teams in the department.
Support services through the Student Advisement and Success Center are offered throughout the year, including advising, career planning and tutoring.

Courses You Might Take

PSY 251: Careers in Psychology

Student participates in a sensory altered experiment.
  • Explore the various career options for psychology majors
  • Discover which career options are best for you

PSY 361: Research Methods in Psychology

Students sitting around a table discuss a research project.
  • Investigate different methods used to explore the field of psychology
  • Gain essential critical thinking skills
  • Follow the scientific method to explore a topic in the field of psychology

PSY 385: Applied Behavior Analysis

Researcher uses computer and headphones to study facial expressions
  • Learn about the field of behavior analysis
  • Develop skills to use behavioral principles to modify behavior

PSY 413: Multicultural Counseling

Student presents a research poster.
  • Explore various cultural groups
  • Develop a better understanding of yourself and the world around you

PSY 433: Workshop in Counseling Procedures

Student presents a research poster.
  • Develop basic skills used in helping professions
  • Practice counseling skills in supervised “real play” interactions

PSY 436: Abnormal Psychology

Student using VR goggles to study brain function.
    • Learn more about mental health diagnosis and treatment

    PSY 475: Senior Seminar

    • Taken during the senior year
    • Develop a grant proposal in a topic of your interest

    Meet Some of Your Professors

    Hans Stadthagen-Gonzalez

    Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator-Gulf Park

    Favorite Courses: PSY 425: Cognitive Psychology and PSY 251: Careers in Psychology

    Expertise: Cognitive Psychology, particularly Psychology of Language and Bilingualism

    Mark J. Huff

    Assistant Professor

    Favorite Courses: PSY 425: Cognitive Psychology and PSY 456: Psychology of Aging and Dying

    Expertise: Episodic Memory, Memory Distortion, Attentional and Cognitive Control, Cognitive Aging

    Melanie Leuty, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Favorite Course: PSY 313: Vocational Development and Counseling

    Expertise: Counseling psychologist, career development, career counseling

    Joye C. Anestis, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Favorite Course: PSY 436: Abnormal Psychology

    Expertise: externalizing disorders in adults, personality assessment, psychotherapy outcomes

    Dr. Michael Madson

    Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator

    Favorite Course: PSY 435: Alcohol and Drug Use Interventions

    Expertise: College student substance use prevention and intervention

    Keith Radley

    Assistant Professor

    Favorite Course: Developmental psychology; Educational Psychology

    Expertise: Autism spectrum disorder, behavioral interventions

    Take the Next Steps

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    Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.