I've heard that a degree in psychology can be useful in other fields. What are some
common career options if I choose this route?
Actually, most people who major in psychology do not go on to study psychology in
graduate school. An undergraduate major in Psychology provides an excellent foundation
for entering other disciplines such as medicine, law, business and human resources,
and other helping professions such as rehabilitation, speech pathology, and audiology.
A major in psychology, combined with other appropriate courses, will give you an excellent
preparation for entering these professions.
Students who major in psychology at the undergraduate level often plan to pursue post-graduate
training in other fields such as one of the health professions (e.g., medicine, dentistry,
physical therapy), law, business/management, social work, or speech pathology. While
a degree in psychology can provide excellent preparation for another profession, students
must make sure they take the necessary preparatory courses for admission to post-graduate
training in these other areas.
The Health Professions: Psychology majors who plan to pursue post-graduate training in dentistry, optometry,
podiatry, medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, pharmacy
or some other health-related profession will typically have two advisors, one advisor
in the Psychology Department who will help them fulfill the requirements for the B.A.
or B.S. degree, and one advisor in the Pre-Health Sciences who is located in the College
of Arts and Sciences, Room 107 Scates Hall.
It is important for students planning on entering one of these health professions
to learn about the preparatory courses they should be taking for admission into a
graduate program in the health sciences. Information about the Pre-Health Sciences
advising program can be obtained by visiting oom 107 Scates Hall, by phoning 901-678-5454,
or by consulting the College of Arts and Sciences website.
Law: Psychology majors who plan to attend law school should take additional courses in
areas such as English, history, criminal justice, political science and philosophy.
While law schools do not specify the major(s) that pre-law students should pursue,
they do prefer students who have enrolled in courses that are reading- and writing-intensive.
Students wanting to enter law school must take the LSAT entrance exam. Information
about this exam and about specific law schools can be obtained from the College of
Arts and Sciences website.
Business/Management: Graduate schools of business vary widely in the undergraduate courses of study they
require of their entering students. Some require an undergraduate major in business,
whereas others require no business courses. If you are planning to enter graduate
school in business, you should consult the catalogs of some of your choices. As an
example, the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the U of M requires the
following for admission to its M.B.A. program:
- ACCT 2010, 2020 ECON 2110, 2120
- ISDS 2710, 2711, 3510
- MGMT 3110
- MKTG 3010
- MATH 1312
- FIR 3130, 3410
Social Work: Admission to a graduate program in social work requires a course in human biology
as well as a strong background in the liberal arts, including courses in the following:
economics; government, political science or history; sociology or anthropology; and
philosophy. Within psychology, it is recommended that courses in abnormal psychology
(PSYC 3102), social psychology (PSYC 3106) and developmental psychology (PSYC 3103
and 3104) be taken. The general section of the GRE must be taken prior to admission
to graduate school.
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology: Psychology majors planning to pursue graduate training in audiology and speech-language
pathology should consult the graduate program they are interested in attending to
determine specific requirements. The Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology department
at The University of Memphis requires no additional coursework beyond that required
of the B.A. or B.S. in psychology. However, programs at other universities may require
specific courses in audiology or speech-language pathology that are not offered at
the U of M, so you may need to take additional undergraduate courses prior to full
admission to one of these programs. The general section of the GRE must be taken prior
to admission to graduate school.