The more I’ve been doing coursework for my general psychology class that I originally took for general ed, the more I’m thinking that I would rather get a degree in psychology and just do the pre-med reqs on the side (and get a minor in biology in the process, since the reqs line up near perfectly for it). I know that the major doesn’t matter, and I plan to take some upper division biology classes as electives so it won’t look like I’m shirking away from the hard science classes. I’m wondering though what kind of stuff I would learn if I majored in that (outside the obvious of course), what the classes are like, etc…is there anyone out there who could tell me? I know one of our posters has a BS in psychology, I just can’t remember their name for the life of me.
I have a minor in psych plus a bunch of grad credits from psych classes I took to supplement my grad degrees. There are many areas of psych you can concentrate in, but I enjoy neuropsych and cognitive psych. Depending on the school and the courses they offer, you will learn about how the brain functions for behavior and theories of behavior, learning, perception, etc. Psychobiology is a course I took as an undergrad (a higher-level course) that encompassed how the brain controls the body - neural impulses, hormone release, etc., etc. I enjoy the biological aspect of psych, but any area of interest you pick will be fine because you are interested in it!
I have a B.A. in psych. Your typical required classes are things like biopsychology, social psychology, cognitive psych, developmental psych, basic statistics, research methodology (possibly psychometrics, though probably more basic)… Most schools will offer (or likely even require) abnormal psych as well, though the U of C didn’t. Major areas you would usually have a number of courses to choose from include all of the above as well as language-related courses and early childhood education or similar.
My favorite psychology courses were Nonverbal Communication, Psychology & The Law (basically intro to forensic psych), and Theories of Emotion and the Psychology of Well-being, though the latter was not nearly as interesting as the first two.
As far as what the classes are actually like? Reading, reading, and more reading My typical psych classes had a 2-3 paper requirement each quarter, an oral presentation or two, and no tests. The smaller electives were largely discussion classes with very little lecturing. Some of the more basic required classes like biopsych were the opposite though - entirely test-based and large lectures.
For as much as I am enjoying taking my science requirements right now (and I truly am, it is nice to be back in school, and studying the hard sciences rather than behavioral for a change) if I were to go back and do undergrad again I would probably go for the psych degree again, and take considerably more science electives - along the lines of what you’re thinking of.
James and Meg, thanks for the replies. It sounds more like this would be a good idea for me, since I like reading as far as homework goes, because it’s pretty straightforward when the assignment is to simply learn it. My general psychology class I’m taking right now is the same way, for the entire semester, four 3-4 page papers are required. I’ve already done an additional paper for extra credit though…doesn’t hurt.
That’s the main reason why I’m looking at this, James. Science classes such as biology are fun, but I’m having /more/ fun with psychology, so. I certainly won’t have any shortage of science electives…I plan to take human anatomy, microbiology, and immunology in addition to the courses required for a minor in biology. Again, thanks for the input!