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Psychology

Degree: BS, BA

Campus: Columbus, Lima, Marion, Mansfield, Newark

College: Arts and Sciences

Psychology is the study of the biological, cognitive, emotional and social processes related to human and animal behavior. Using scientific methods to study, explain and predict behavior, psychologists explore such questions as how the brain learns and stores information; what triggers our biological rhythms, aggression and personality characteristics; how human relationships develop; what leads to judgment and decision making; how society deals with mental illness and behavioral disorders; and the psychological impact of activities such as work and sports.    

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in psychology within the College of Arts and Sciences. Students may choose to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. 

The psychology major consists of 36 credit hours of psychology courses and a prerequisite course, Introduction to Psychology.

Course work for the psychology major includes:

  • Data Analysis in Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • A core course from each of four areas: brain and behavior, cognitive psychology, clinical and development psychology, and social psychology

In addition, students must take at least two advanced courses.

Students completing a BS degree must also take Quantitative and Statistical Methods in Psychology, and an advanced research course (Cognitive Psychology Laboratory or Social Psychology Laboratory).

For students interested in incorporating a study abroad experience into their education, the Department of Psychology offers the annual Psychology and Culture in Europe study abroad program. The Psychology Department also offers scholarships for students studying abroad. 

Students may participate in community-based internship experiences at settings such as Suicide Prevention Services, Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, Northwest Counseling Services, the American Red Cross, Goodwill of Columbus, COSI, the Student Wellness Center and Northwestern Mutual Financial Services. Students completing internships can receive credit through the Internship in Psychology course. 

The Department of Psychology offers unique and challenging opportunities for Honors students. There are over 10 psychology Honors courses at both introductory and advanced levels. Honors students are encouraged to participate in research activities through participation in faculty research projects. Honors students seeking a three-year intensive research experience can apply for the Psychology Honors Research Mentorship Program. Students also may choose to design and implement their own research project via the Honors thesis track. 

Many psychology majors are also involved in Ohio State’s Scholars programs, and students in the Health Sciences Scholars, Mount Leadership Society, Sport and Wellness Scholars, and International Affairs Scholars programs often choose psychology as a major.

Students can become involved in faculty research labs as early as their freshman year. Psychology faculty and graduate students offer over 50 research opportunities for interested students. Each year, 600–700 students earn course credit for research experience through the Undergraduate Research in Psychology course. Students may present a poster of their research at the annual Psychology Research Colloquium, the Denman Research Forum, or can travel to a regional, national or international conference. The Psychology Department offers Conference Travel Scholarships and Summer Research Fellowships for students involved in research.

The department’s faculty are among the top researchers in areas such as stereotyping and prejudice, stress and breast cancer recovery, language development, Alzheimer’s, and schizophrenia. 

There are two student organizations in the Psychology Department: the Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the national psychology honors society. Both organizations host academic, social and service activities to facilitate student interaction, learning and service. 

A strong liberal arts education with a major in psychology will prepare students for entry into many career fields and graduate/professional programs. The following are some of the fields that graduates with bachelor’s degrees in psychology have entered: administration and management, business and industry, casework, child care, employment interviewing, gerontology, health services, marketing and public relations, personnel, probation and parole, psychiatric assistant, research or laboratory assistant, sales, preschool teaching, and technical writing. 

Close to 60 percent of psychology graduates pursue postgraduate education in a wide variety of fields, including psychology, counseling, social work, education, student affairs, law, medicine, human resources, nursing, public health, occupational and physical therapy, city and regional planning, and public policy. For more information on our alumni, check out our Alumni Survey results.

Postgraduate areas of study specific to psychology include clinical, child clinical, cognitive, community, comparative, counseling, developmental, educational, environmental, experimental, forensic, gerontology, health, industrial/organizational, neuropsychology/psychobiology, psychometrics, quantitative, rehabilitation and social psychology. Students who earn advanced degrees in psychology have many career opportunities. Most psychologists are found in academic settings, independent practice, hospitals, clinics or other human services settings, and in business or government.

Psychology Advising Office
1835 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-5750
psychologymajor.osu.edu

Ohio State’s psychology department ranks 10th nationally among public universities and 21st among all institutions (U.S. News and World Report).

Interested in a career in health care?

Check out the Health Care Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a health care career.