Most simply, psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Topics of investigation include learning principles, personality traits, social influence, cognitive/perceptual processes, counseling approaches, emotional development, etc. Although at first blush, these areas appear to be abstract research curiosities, they are much more than that...
Psychology is all about you and those around you. So, it is a fascinating area of study because the subject matter involves the human experience. However, an understanding of psychology offers more than answering questions you may have about others. Very early in psychology's history, it defined itself as not only a science, but an applied science.
Today, psychology can be found in a variety of places, including counseling, marketing, human resources, leadership, education, engineering, health issues, law, and community studies. In many cases, these areas would not exist without psychology. For example, something as simple as the button layout on a copy machine involves an understanding of human cognitive and perceptual abilities-- assuming it was designed correctly!
The Ferris State University Psychology Program provides students with a solid base of psychological knowledge and its application.
First, it requires that students be exposed to a broad range of psychology, including its basic principles, theories, and concepts. As a result, students are expected to take courses representing core areas of psychology, including the areas mentioned at the top of this page. Outside of these requirements, students are free to take courses that are of special interest to them with advisor consultation. Thus, students have a great deal of freedom when determining what psychology courses to take and can tailor their Program experiences to suit interests and career aspirations. (Click here for a copy of the program course requirements.)
Second, it requires that students obtain hands-on exposure to psychology by engaging in research, internships, and/or practicum. For example, students have completed research in the areas of social, developmental, animal, & perceptual psychology. Recently, three joint student-faculty research projects were presented at a professional psychology conference. In addition, many students have obtained hands-on research experience in the Program's Animal Cognition Lab. Also, students have acquired on-site experiences in settings where human services professionals work (e.g., school psychology, counseling, etc.). Such experiences are important for those students wishing to obtain graduate study in applied areas or finding work helping others right out of college.
Both the hands-on and course-related requirements are designed to ready students for work in the applied areas mentioned above and to prepare students for graduate school. (The vast majority of students who have applied to graduate programs have been accepted to programs across the nation.)
Dept. of Social Sciences
Ferris State University
820 Campus Drive, ASC 2108