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The Psychology Undergraduate Program

The Psychology Major and Minor

The Psychology Major

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology emphasizes integrating and applying scientific methodology to the study of human behavior.  Students develop an approach to learning that combines empirical, objective methodology, statistical techniques, and theoretical analysis of human behavior.  Graduates are expected to have the knowledge and data analysis skills that would support graduate study in any of the specialty areas of psychology.  They will be well prepared for employment in positions requiring the understanding and motivation of others.  Examples of such employment include positions in personnel work, social services, mental health agencies, law enforcement, and sales.

The Psychology Minor

The Psychology Minor allows students from many diverse fields and areas of interest (e.g., Business Administration, pre-Law, pre-Med, Education, Law Enforcement, and the Military) to attain in-depth knowledge of the Behavioral Sciences.  Students minoring in Psychology have the opportunity to enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills by reviewing the scientific literature and communicating their findings through multiple media (oral presentations, written papers, and conference presentations).  Students have the flexibility to pursue their career goals while obtaining a broad knowledge of psychology.

Who should major in Psychology?

Anyone interested in working in employment positions requiring understanding and motivation of others.  Recent graduates have entered a number of fields: business, medical professions, law enforcement, law school, neuroscience, school or educational psychology, clinical psychology, social services, chiropractic practice, banking, all branches of the Military services including Naval Aviation and the Air Force Behavioral Sciences Division, and numerous other professions.

What have our recent students accomplished?

*Katherine Shepherd ('08) participated in an internship at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, FL.  Katherine is currently a pilot with the Navy.

*Catie Park ('07) is enrolled in the Physician Assistant program at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

*Colette Baumle ('07) participated in the FBI summer internship program in 2006.  Colette is currently serving in the Air Force.

*Cassandra Cortes ('06) enrolled in the Master's program in Educational Psychology at the University of Houston.

*Christy Hannock ('06) attended law school at the University of Mississippi.

*Megan Kell ('06), Khadedra Bey ('03), Julie Richard ('03), and Brad Walker ('97) were all selected to work in the Air Force Behavioral Sciences Division.

*Noel Sawatzky ('99) was selected to participate in the Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. Spring Seminar in Economics and Liberty, in spring 1998.

*Stephen Holderness ('98), Gus Ruff ('94), Ross Gagnon ('93), and Dan Smith ('93) graduated from the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) School Psychology program through the Citadel Graduate College.

*Matt Watson ('97) graduated from the Master's in Business Administration (MBA) program through the Citadel Graduate College.

Psychology Department Activities and Opportunities

Psychology Club and Psi Chi Honor Society

The Psychology Club is open to all students interested in the study of human behavior regardless of their major.  The club seeks to maintain interest in scholarship and service, while promoting social and intellectual association among students.  The club meets regularly and has sponsored cookouts, lectures, and off-campus field trips.  Recent speakers have included Dr. Gilles Einstein (Furman University), and expert on prospective memory, and memory and aging.

Psi Chi, the national honor society in Psychology, has a Citadel chapter open to undergraduate majors or minors with a 3.0 grade point average who rank in the top third of their class.  Psi Chi activities promote scholarship and research which prepare students for graduate school or future endeavors in Psychology.  Colette Baumle ('07) represented the Citadel at the first bi-annual Psi Chi National Leadership Conference.  The Citadel chapter provides a unique opportunity for cadet and graduate student members and officers to work together.  Recently, The Citadel chapter received the Psi Chi Model Chapter Award.  

Service Learning, Research, and Professional Conferences

In conjunction with community agencies, the Psychology Department offers internship courses that involve juniors and seniors in "hands on" learning in disabilities, mental health, education, medical, and experimental research programs.  In addition, students and faculty participate in community volunteer initiatives such as preparing food at Crisis Ministries (a nearby homeless shelter), hosting dances for persons with disabilities, organizing disaster relief teams, and supporting unified recreation programs.  In 2006, the Psychology Department at The Citadel was recognized by the SC Council of Higher Education for having the most outstanding service learning program(s) of any college or university in the state.

The Citadel's Psychology Department has has an unusually large number of students who conduct and present original research in conjunction with a faculty member.  As early as the freshman or sophomore year, interested students can participate in research teams and/or be selected to attend regional conferences such as the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) meeting.  In 2007, the department funded seven students to fly to New Orleans, LA for the annual SEPA conference, where Caleb Dispenza ('07) and Catie Park ('07) won prestigious Psi Chi cash awards for their outstanding senior research projects on heroism concepts and gender issues in bullying, respectively.  Cadets also present regularly at the South Carolina Psychological Association meeting's student paper sessions, where Ben Pettis ('07) won a prize for his senior research on cyber-bullying.

All of these activities enrich and expand student learning and professional development beyond the classroom and campus.  In addition, students who have participated in these activities have a great advantage in subsequent competition for employment and/or graduate school.

Advising, Peer Mentoring, and Professional Development

The Psychology Department goes to extraordinary lengths to see that students find encouragement, competitive skills and knowledge, support, and guidance throughout their Citadel journey.  Freshman majors are assigned to a faculty academic advisor who will remain constant throughout their four years.  In addition, upper-class Psychology majors or minors volunteer as Peer Mentors.  Freshman majors who have not had General Psychology (PSYC 201) are assigned to a special section of that course reserved exclusively for majors.  Upperclassmen progress through a solid curriculum virtually identical to that for majors from other well-regarded institutions.  Psychology majors and minors have opportunities in the post-graduate professional environment.   A senior capstone course helps students integrate their experience and demonstrate their mastery of the body of knowledge of Psychology.  As a small major with a committed and welcoming faculty, the Psychology Department offers the perfect environment for a student to grow from an overwhelmed "knob" to a talented, secure, and competent young professional.