Gabrielle F. Principe, Chair
About the Department
The Department of Psychology offers courses in both traditional and newly developed areas of psychological science. The department supports two degree programs: a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. Both degrees provide an excellent liberal arts and sciences education and offer a strong grounding in the major domain areas of psychology. However, the two degrees differ in their focus, so students should carefully note the requirements of each degree and decide which will best serve their academic and occupational goals. The Bachelor of Arts degree provides a broad undergraduate overview of the field of psychology. Students who are considering entering a career in human services or a psychology-related field where graduate training in psychology is not required (e.g., social work, education, business, or health-related occupations such as nursing or physical therapy) may consider the BA degree. The Bachelor of Science degree provides the same broad background in psychology, but also prepares students for advanced training in the field of psychology or a related scientific discipline. This degree provides a curriculum that emphasizes mathematical and methodological skills that psychologists utilize when studying human behavior, as well as the behavior of non-human animal species. The BS degree will be especially useful for those who plan to pursue advanced graduate-level study in psychology or a related natural science discipline such as neuroscience or medical research.
In addition to courses offered in the various domain areas of psychology, there are several opportunities for students to tailor their learning through individualized-learning experiences. For example, students who participate in our Internship Experience have the opportunity to apply psychological theories and principles that they have learned in the classroom to a real-world setting. Students in the internship program work in diverse settings such as an after-school program that fosters emotional and social development in children, research centers at the Medical University of South Carolina and an enrichment program at a senior center in Charleston. The Department of Psychology also offers a Teaching Mentorship Experience to foster foundational skills necessary for those pursuing training in educational settings. Teaching Mentorship and Internship experiences allow students to obtain exposure to working in human services and may increase their graduate training and/or employment opportunities. In addition, the Department of Psychology offers three different courses that allow students to develop advanced research skills under the supervision of an academic mentor: Tutorial, Independent Study, and Bachelor’s Essay. Students who participate in these courses often present their work at professional conferences, and in some cases, submit their manuscripts to scholarly journals for publication. These intensive research experiences are highly recommended for students working toward the Bachelors of Science degree.
NOTE: Psychology majors and students considering one of the psychology degree programs should review the advising resources found on our advising website: http://psychadvising.cofc.edu/