University of South Carolina

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Psychology: What to Expect

As a psychology major at the University of South Carolina, you will receive training in theories and practices of psychology, combined with a liberal arts background. You will benefit from challenging courses and outstanding faculty members. The department offers two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The department provides a wide range of services to students, the University, and the community. Human research facilities include soundproof rooms for research in clinical, cognitive, developmental, personality, and social psychology. Two-way observation rooms also are available throughout the department for research, teaching, and supervising clinical skill courses. You will gain hands-on experience through internships and research opportunities. Each summer, 10 undergraduate students are given the opportunity to experience the Summer Research Experience in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where they will engage in research seminars, laboratory exercises, and one-on-one laboratory projects in this area of research.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science with a major in Experimental Psychology:

  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Psychological Statistics
  • Laboratory in Psychology
  • Survey of Learning and Memory
  • Community Psychology
  • Abnormal Behavior in Children
  • Sensation and Perception

A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. You may also choose to intern, volunteer, or conduct research abroad. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site for more information on opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.
Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of nearly 300 student organizations. Experimental Psychology majors can join Psi Chi, a student organization that furthers the advancement of psychology. Students can also join the Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle. Getting involved in an organization that interests you can help you network, meet new friends, and develop leadership skills. You can also seek out volunteer opportunities that relate to your major. Find a student organization on campus that interests you!
Graduate School is one of many possibilities following graduation. Experimental Psychologist majors often go on to receive graduate degrees in experimental psychology, clinical-community psychology, and school psychology. Some graduates also go on to medical school.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding entering freshmen or current students. The Department of Psychology offers a handful of scholarships each year.
Associated Learning Communities are an integral part of the university experience, providing you with the opportunity to live in an environment that promotes diversity, embraces excellence, encourages insightful faculty-student interaction and works to develop a strong sense of community. These academically themed communities also emphasize active service-learning experiences, study-abroad opportunities and undergraduate research. Students in the Psychology and Service-Learning Community will benefit from collaborative learning, leadership development, engagement in academic opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, and major and career exploration in psychology and other fields that drawn from psychological science. Students will participate in service-learning projects, interact with faculty, staff, and community service providers, attend regular meetings and special programs, and have the opportunity to pursue leadership positions within the community.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands-on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and can often lead to full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Career Opportunities

Experimental Psychology majors often seek careers as a public opinion analyst, market research analyst, occupational analyst, guidance counselor, educator, educational psychologist, therapist, or personnel management specialist.

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

About the Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology offers two undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The department also offers both the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Experimental Psychology, Clinical-community Psychology, and School Psychology. The Department of Psychology is in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina and is located in Barnwell College, just off the historic horseshoe.

Points of Pride

  • The Department of Psychology has developed research focus areas in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Prevention Science, and Reading and Related Processes.
  • The Journal of School Psychology has ranked the productivity of faculty research in the Department of Psychology as one of the top two nationally.
  • Our facilities include state-of-the-art equipment for research in human and animal behavior.
Additional Resources.
Department of Psychology Website
College of Arts and Sciences Website
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin