Why Psychology at DePauw?
Psychology is a wide-ranging field, and our department has faculty members with PhDs from diverse areas of Psychology, such as clinical, developmental, social, industrial/organizational, learning, cognitive, and neuroscience. For a small liberal arts university, this is a terrific range of expertise across Psychology while providing the benefits of a small school: you receive close mentoring from our faculty as teachers, advisors, and even research collaborators. We are committed teachers as well as scholars of our fields, and we are readily accessible to our students.
Our department has small class sizes: the largest class is Introductory Psychology, with a typical limit of 33 students, and our 200/300 level classes generally have between 12-22 students. For the senior thesis, you meet one-on-one with a faculty mentor each week to discuss the research literature on your topic and to get feedback on your ideas and drafts of your thesis. The Roadmap of Our Psychology Major gives advice on ways to progress through our major. As a quick preview, our major includes (at least) 3 lab classes, as hands-on learning experiences are extremely beneficial. Moreover, we incorporate active learning and discussion throughout all of our classes. We also have a terrific network of alums and current students, and we encourage our students to try a variety of internship and co-curricular experiences to learn about themselves and what career directions will be a good fit.
What will a major in psychology prepare me to do?
Many of our students pursue careers in the field of Psychology, but you should not narrowly think of a major in Psychology as occupational training. To function as a professional Psychologist, one must obtain a graduate degree in the field; about ten percent of our graduates follow this route. Another twenty percent use their degree as a background for other graduate work, such as Law or Medicine. Thirty percent go into business settings, and the remainder pursue a variety of careers, often in social service areas. Students with a degree in Psychology find employment in mental health agencies, personnel departments, advertising agencies, financial institutions, management trainee programs, etc.
Even when our majors decide not enter a career in Psychology, we believe our department's curriculum still has much to offer as preparation for your career and life. Many of our courses offer a useful perspective on human behavior, while others provide training in statistical analysis (including computer software), research design, technical report writing, and presenting in public. The senior thesis offers opportunities for improving skills in problem solving and in the presentation and defense of ideas. All of these skills transfer readily to public service, business and a variety of other settings.