Graduates pursue careers in business as advertising or human resources directors, as well as in human services, such as child life specialty, mental health, social and medical services and religious ministries. Many also enter graduate school in licensed psychology, counseling, law and occupational therapy.
Opportunities in psychology
Research experience in psychology is valuable for attaining faculty recommendations, acceptance into graduate school and relevant experience for a variety of careers. Students who participate in research have opportunities to present their work at the Arthur Olson Student Research Symposium as well as at professional conferences such as the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago, Illinois.
The psychology department’s research program recommends the following:
Faculty-directed research opportunities include:
- Dr. Qijuan Fang’s Developmental Psychology Lab studies the effect of attachment, bullying, and social media on adolescent mental health; diversity/multicultural research; and psychometric studies.
- Dr. Lindsay Howard’s Clinical Psychology Lab studies sociocultural models of disordered eating using ecological momentary assessment (EMA).
- Dr. Ben Jeppsen’s Counseling Psychology Lab studies the relationship between prayer and mental health. How is the way that we pray related to depression and anxiety?
- Dr. Shannon Proskch’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab studies the neural mechanisms of music cognition with a particular interest in rhythm perception, music & movement, and social interaction.
- Dr. Anne Zell’s Social Psychology Lab studies motivated reasoning and moral tradeoffs, narcissism and psychopathy, and social comparison.
Students gain a greater understanding of psychology when they can observe it being applied in real-world settings. The Psychology Department strongly encourages students to gain hands-on experience relevant to their future career through volunteering, working or doing a practicum. These experiences help students to learn about themselves, discern their vocation, and build a strong resume. Students interested in practicum should complete the practicum application and make an appointment to talk with Dr. Jeppsen.
Practicum opportunities include:
- Avera or Southeastern Behavioral Health
- Children's Inn
- Volunteers of America
- Helpline Center
- Arch Residential Treatment Center
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Applications for internships, jobs, and graduate programs often require letters of recommendation. Students seeking recommendation letters from faculty members in the Psychology Department should use this Letter of Recommendation Request Form.
Courses & Organizations
Students majoring in psychology have considerable flexibility to take electives that allow them to tailor their education to their career goals.
Psychology students can choose an optional emphasis in these areas:
- Business/human resources
- Social services
Psychology also pairs well with a variety of other majors, so many psychology students choose to complete a double major.
An interdisciplinary minor, such as children & youth, or neuroscience, or aging studies, often complements a psychology major.
Psychology students often participate in:
- Psychology Club
- Lost & Found
- Serving And Learning Together (SALT)
- Viking Advisor
- Psi Chi International Honor Society