Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes (thought) where the focus is on individuals. The word psychology comes from the Greek words "psyche” (mind) and “logos” (knowledge of). Psychology, as a recognized field of study, has only been around for a little over a hundred years, but people have had discussions of human behavior for centuries.
The Department of Psychological Sciences has been ranked among the top 50 psychology departments in the country (out of more than 300). The many professors (see our list of faculty) you will have in class wear a number of different hats. They conduct and publish research that advances the field of psychology and train our nearly 100 graduate students. They also teach more than 90% of our undergraduate classes, giving you the opportunity to learn from several of them during your time at Purdue. Another strength of our department is its breadth -- we offer courses in almost every area of psychology, organized by the eight topic areas listed below.
With a bachelor's degree in psychology, your career opportunities will be many and varied. After graduation from Purdue, you could obtain advanced training in Psychology, earning master’s and doctoral degrees. This advanced training could lead to a career as a clinical or counseling psychologist, as a professor of psychology, as a researcher, or some combination of the three. You may also choose to seek a career in one of the following affiliated fields such as clinical social work, social work, mental health counseling, marriage & family therapy, or school counseling. Another option is to enroll in a graduate program in such fields as law, medicine, or business. Your knowledge of psychology will be invaluable if you join one of those professions.
An alternative career path would be to take a job immediately after graduation. Like many psychology majors at Purdue, you might begin your career in one of the "helping professions." For example, you might work in a hospital, group home, fitness center, or delinquency prevention program. You might instead have a job in a government agency, where your knowledge of human behavior would be both helpful and applicable. Another path would be to begin a career in business and industry, applying your skills in areas such as personnel selection and training, advertising, consumer-product research, or public opinion polling. Because you will learn about many aspects of psychology while at Purdue, you will be prepared for many career opportunities.
Whatever your specific choice, you will benefit from the excellent education that you receive at Purdue. We also encourage you to Like us on Facebook or follow PurduePsych on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest opportunities.These will be informative, but should not be seen as a substitute for talking with your advisor and professors when you have questions.
Areas of Psychology
- Mental health, various forms of mental illness, and other facets of Clinical Psychology
- Perception, attention, memory, and other facets of Cognitive Psychology
- Infants’ understanding, children’s memory, thinking, and other facets of Developmental Psychology
- Employee selection, motivation, and other facets of Industrial / Organizational Psychology
- Learning & Memory in animals
- Arousal, brain functioning, and other facets of Behavioral Neuroscience
- Statistics, measurement of human characteristics, and other facets of Mathematical and Computational Cognitive Science
- Stereotyping, attitudes, relationships, social influence and other facets of Social Psychology