In a classical sense, Psychology is the "Scientific study of behavior" which simply means that Psychologists seek to unravel the multiple relationships between how the person's varied ways of doing things affects (and is affected by) that person's environment.
At Catawba, our Psychology program balances the "scientific" aspects of the discipline with the "application" of that science to issues of human concern. A field of great fascination and endless variety, the involved and complicated subject of Psychology is one all of us practice and use daily.
The very broad and expansive nature of Psychology is presented by our major through the flexibility you will find built into our program. You will learn the multiple facets of Psychology while in the midst of a strong liberal arts curriculum. You may not yet be certain about HOW you will "use" your Psychology major after you graduate. At Catawba, our flexibility acknowledges and addresses that uncertainty.
About the program
If typical, you will enter the Psychology program at the beginning of your second year at Catawba. The major you will pursue is committed to a general approach to education in Psychology rather than presenting a specific school-of-thought. The program accomplishes this general focus by having you, and all Psychology majors, take a common set of required (or, "core") courses during your second, third and fourth years. You can expand upon this "core" by other elective courses, practica and independent study which may be consistent with your developing job interests. The faculty in the Psychology department will work closely with you as you progress through your undergraduate education and as your job interests crystallize.
At the completion of your Psychology Major, you will have a broad but basic understanding of the discipline so that you can seek entry-level employment in jobs for which psychological knowledge and skills are a distinct advantage. Some of the less obvious "skills" you can obtain in our major include:
- Literacy. You will become a concise and informative writer.
- Numeracy. When faced with numerical information, you will be able understand, evaluate and interpret their meaning.
- Research Skills. You will be able to gather information about human experiences and functioning in a systematic way.
- Information-finding Skills. You can locate, read and extract information on a particular topic when required to do so.
- Problem-solving Skills. You will have the ability to apply different strategies to understanding problems and how to develop practical steps to implement a solution.
- Perseverance. If an outcome is not immediately attainable, you will be able to develop alternate methods for attainment.
- Interpersonal Awareness. You will learn about mechanisms of social communication and sources of interpersonal conflict.
- Higher-order Analyses. Rather than being sidetracked by the details of a specific situation, you will be able to look for general principles.
The arenas in which these skills, coupled with your knowledge about Psychology can be as diverse as personnel, management, sales, psychological services, research or technical writing. In addition, you also will find that Catawba's Psychology curriculum prepares you quite well for graduate training if that direction becomes an interest of yours.