The work of the psychologist is a search for knowledge about human and animal behavior to enhance the human condition. The Department of Psychology at Chico offers course work at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate major in psychology is a diverse forty-one unit liberal arts program. The major includes the completion of three laboratory courses to ensure that students have direct experience with the content of psychology.

The master's programs in psychology provide both a MA and a MS which contain different emphases. The MA in Psychology includes options in Psychological Science and Applied Psychology. The MA Option in Psychological Sciences provides course work for students planning to enter doctoral programs or to teach at community colleges. The MA Option in Applied Psychology includes course work in preparation for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential for school psychologist authorization. The MS in Psychology meets the course content requirements for California Marriage and Family Therapists licensure eligibility.

Faculty and Facilities

With twenty-three faculty members, the department assures students a broad coverage of areas in psychology and a wide choice of instructors. The Department of Psychology utilizes modern, up-to-date laboratories and classrooms, including biopsychology, learning, statistics, and counseling laboratories.

What Can You Do with a Background in Psychology?

The baccalaureate program provides a diverse curriculum in general psychology with opportunities for service learning, and individual and collaborative research. While the BA in Psychology is not sufficient for a person to work as a professional psychologist, there are a number of careers related to psychology open to bachelor's degree holders that may be entered without additional education, e.g., human services, business, education, or a variety of health-related fields. Graduate work is required for all professional work in psychology.

Career Outlook

One-third of all professional psychologists are employed in colleges and universities as full- or part-time instructors, researchers, and counselors. Local, state, and federal governments constitute the next largest employer of professional psychologists, employing them in a variety of agencies, such as mental health, youth placement, and criminal justice facilities. School systems and corporations employ a considerable number of professional psychologists as school psychologists, counselors, organizational/human resource psychologists, and ergonomic psychologists. Finally, some psychologists are in private practice as clinical psychologists, counselors, psychotherapists, or consulting psychologists.

Persons majoring in psychology will increase their career options by completing a second major or a minor to complement their academic background in psychology. To further enhance their career options, students are encouraged to broaden their experience through volunteer work, internships, and research.