The fourth most popular bachelor degree in the United States is psychology, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Why do this many students study psychology? What are the benefits of studying psychology at SUU?
417 of the 10,000 students currently enrolled at Southern Utah University major in psychology for a variety of reasons:
“I study psychology because learning what makes people “tick” never gets old!” said junior Brenna Owen, “There’s always something fascinating to learn about the mind.”
“I study psychology because I want to help children who are going through hard times.” said freshman Makayla Belliston.
“When I first decided I wanted to study psychology, it was because I loved to help people and I found myself being the friend that people would talk to when something was wrong.” said junior Victoria Johansen, “I absolutely love being that friend, or that person for anyone.”
Psychology is one of the quickest growing fields of study on the undergraduate, graduate, and high school levels. A degree in psychology is fairly flexible and comes with a surplus of opportunity and a variety of opportunity in several professional fields.
Past SUU psychology students have gone into a variety of fields including social work and cancer research. Other common career fields for psychology majors include research, education, therapy, counseling, legal work, family, business, and health care among many others.
Both Belliston and Owen wish to follow the clinical psychology route. Belliston dreams of being a clinical social worker and Owen desires to be a clinical therapist. Johansen wants to go into mental health and addiction therapy.
SUU’s specialized learning opportunities set it apart from comparable universities with psychology programs.
“SUU has a unique psychology program because we provide our undergraduate students a graduate-level experience through numerous internships, faculty-student research collaborations, animal labs, and international opportunities,” said Garrett Strosser, department chair and associate professor of psychology.
While many other universities across the nation conduct similar research through computer simulation, SUU has access to a live animal lab. The SUU psychology department’s pigeon lab allows students to participate in undergraduate research. SUU is also home to a highly active chapter of Psi Chi, an international honor society for undergraduate and graduate students in psychology.
The personal accolades of SUU’s psychology professors add to and increase the prestige of the university. Professor Lynn White published a textbook in 2018 and received SUU’s Distinguished Mentor for the 2018 Festival of Excellence. Professor Steve Barney received the Community Engaged Exemplar award in 2018, the Distinguished Faculty for Diversity and Inclusion in 2018, and was elected for Faculty Senate President-Elect. Professor David Shwalb co-authored a textbook published in 2018.
“I personally believe that psychology is the future of our world.” Johansen continued, “I find myself excited when I learn more about this field because understanding the things around me and why events occur helps me to understand myself better as well as my family, friends, and strangers I meet on the street.”
SUU psychology students can choose the research-focused course of study or the clinical/counseling focused option. SUU also offers a social work license, in addition to the psychology major and minor. For more information about the psychology program, visit their website.