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Welcome to the Psychology Department!

Because you have chosen Psychology as your major, you likely know that Psychology involves the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Due to this focus, psychology is relevant to many other areas of study both inside and outside of the social and behavioral sciences. The undergraduate program in Psychology offers students a well-rounded liberal arts education. In addition, the program provides excellent training for qualified students who wish to pursue graduate work in such disciplines as Clinical, Cognitive/Neural Sciences, Industrial Psychology, Education, Gerontology, Counseling, Management, Medicine, Law, and other human service programs. The undergraduate major emphasizes the range of psychology while allowing the student some electives to pursue in depth a particular aspect of the field.

First Year Orientation Video

Tips for Incoming Students

  • We want you to be successful, so make sure you spend the appropriate amount of time studying for each course. Most universities recommend that students study at least two hours outside of class for every hour spent in class. Many students are taking 15 hours per semester, which probably means spending about 15 hours a week in class. Therefore, studying at least 30 hours a week outside of classes would be recommended. Combining the 15 hours a week in class and the 30 study hours outside of class, many students will need to plan to spend about 45 hours a week on school.
  • USF has tutoring services through the Library. Go to http://www.lib.usf.edu/asc/ to learn more about the tutoring services offered as well as the workshops offered on study skills, time management, and improving your test taking skills.
  • Have transcripts from all institutions (high school, community college) and organizations (IB, CLEP, AP) sent to the USF Admissions office.
  • The Psychology Degree is a Bachelor of Arts Degree. The BA degree has a foreign language exit requirement which requires you to successfully complete two semesters of the same foreign language at college level. This major accepts any foreign language, including American Sign Language. If you have experience with a foreign language other than ASL, you may take a placement exam (Foreign Language Placement Test) to determine your level of knowledge and to see if you are able to test out of the courses or you may take the CLEP exam through the test center (http://www.usf.edu/testing-services/test-options/clep.aspx) for Spanish, French, or German and earn college credit. If you already have knowledge of American Sign Language, you may contact the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at csdadvising@usf.edu to determine if you will be allowed to take a placement test for that language.
  • Until you have completed 30 credit hours, all freshmen will have an Academic Advising (AA) hold placed on their account that prevents them from registering until they see an advisor. You will not need an appointment for your first semester because we will be at your orientation to let you know what courses you should take for summer (if applicable) and fall, but you will need to make an appointment during the fall semester to have your hold lifted in order to register for spring. Make your appointment early in the fall semester to ensure you will get an appointment. At that time, visit our website at http://psychology.usf.edu/ and click on schedule advising appointment at the bottom of the page.
  • In addition to the Major courses, Foundations of Knowledge and Learning courses, Foreign Language courses, and Exit courses as outlined on our website http://psychology.usf.edu/ug/major/, most students need additional credit hours to reach 120 hours needed for the degree. For these extra hours, many students choose to work on a minor or second major. We suggest you begin considering options for the extra credits. Here is the link to the undergraduate catalog which lists all of the majors and options for minors: http://www.ugs.usf.edu/catalogs.htm (click on your appropriate incoming catalog year).

Career and Graduate School Information

  • If you are not sure what career you would like to pursue, please meet with a career counselor during your first semester to determine the appropriate direction. You need to know your career in order to choose the correct major. Here is the career center’s website- http://www.career.usf.edu/ .
  • A Psychologist is not the same as a Psychiatrist. Both require you to attend graduate school, but Psychologists have completed a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. Doctoral program in Psychology whereas Psychiatrists have completed medical school. To become a Psychiatrist, you may complete a BA in Psychology along with the pre-requisites for medical school.
  • If you plan to pursue a pre-med track or a pre-health professions track such as pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy or pre-occupational therapy, you may work on any Bachelor’s degree (including Psychology), but you will need to contact the pre-health advisor at cas-healthprofadvise@usf.edu to learn the specific prerequisite courses to take while working on your other degree requirements. Here is the link to more information on health professions- http://www.cas.usf.edu/healthprofessions/index.aspx . Nursing is a different major and you should contact the Nursing Department at http://health.usf.edu/nursing/index.htm to learn more about pursuing a nursing degree.
  • With a few exceptions, you must complete a graduate program to work in the field of Psychology or Counseling, but you do not have to complete a doctoral program. You may complete a Master’s program in another department such as in counseling to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. See more information on our website at http://psychology.usf.edu. Graduate programs have competitive entrance requirements so remember that every grade makes a difference.
  • As with many helping professions jobs, most jobs in the field are not high paying, so you must enjoy what you do as with any job. Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook website at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ and click on professional and then social scientists to learn more about Psychology related careers and the salary ranges.
  • Our Psychology program is heavily based in research and you will be required to learn statistics (if you don’t already have credit for a statistics course) and research methods. If you plan to pursue a graduate program that requires you to have research experience such as a Ph.D. program, you should assist with as much research as possible while working on your degree after you have completed Research Methods.
  • We do not have an internship program as part of the undergraduate program, but you may choose to do volunteer activities while working on your degree. Visit our website at http://psychology.usf.edu for information on potential volunteer opportunities.
  • Interested Psychology majors, who meet the requirements for the Honor’s program, should visit our website for more information http://psychology.usf.edu.

For more information, visit the College of Arts & Sciences information page for First-Year Students at http://www.cas.usf.edu/2016/.