Because of its equal focus on verbal and quantitative reasoning, psychology makes a versatile undergraduate major. Graduates are well prepared to pursue a variety of paths, including:
- Social Services. Paraprofessional or administrative work in social service and mental health agencies is a good option. But be aware that you’ll need an advanced degree to enter professional practice in these areas.
- Graduate School. If you plan to become a clinical psychologist, social worker or similar professional, you’ll need a PhD, PsyD or MSW degree. Check out the American Psychological Association's website for career information. Additional information about these fields is also below.
- Business. Typical jobs include work in banking, retail, human resources, nonprofits and even entrepreneurship.
- Law. Many psychology majors decide to go to law school. Psychology’s emphasis on drawing conclusions by summarizing the conclusions of others prepares them well because the law operates in the same way.
Clinical psychology is a doctoral-level profession that requires a state license to practice. Each state sets its own licensing requirements. In general, clinical doctoral programs approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) meet the standards of most states.
To become a clinical psychologist, you’ll need either a PhD or a PsyD. Both degrees will qualify you to earn a license; the main difference is that colleges and universities typically hire only psychologists with PhDs to teach and do research. In addition, PhD programs include extensive training in research methodology, while PsyD programs focus more on clinical training only.
Undergraduate psychology majors at Dominican can choose between a BA and a BS.
Doctoral programs in clinical psychology are ranked in the United States and Canada based upon the performance of their students on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. This is only one measure of the quality of a doctoral program. Students are encouraged to discuss their career goals with their advisors.
Social work is a master’s-level profession, so graduate school is a must. It typically takes two years of full-time study to earn a master of social work (MSW) degree, although part-time study may be an option at some schools. Social work is an independently licensed profession in all states. Social workers serve in many different settings, including:
- Community clinics
- Private practice
- Community agencies
Social work offers traditional areas of practice, including:
- Mental health
- Child welfare
- School social work
- Medical social work
- Crisis disaster management
Social workers can also focus on specific client groups, including adolescents, young parents or older adults.
Dominican offers a nationally recognized MSW program, as well as a Professional Educator License Endorsed in School Social Work Program for students who want to work in the school setting. The University’s School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
School psychologists work with students individually and in groups. They also develop programs to train teachers and parents about many vital issues, including:
- Effective teaching and learning strategies
- Managing behavior at home and in the classroom
- Working with students with disabilities or with special talents
- Addressing abuse of drugs and other substances
- Preventing and managing crises
School psychologists are trained in both psychology and education. They must complete a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (60 graduate semester credits). This is usually a two-year program that leads to a master’s degree. The training includes a 1,200-hour internship.
School psychology programs are often housed in schools of education in major universities or professional schools of psychology. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work.