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Psychology


Barbara Fritts Worby '03

Meet Barbara Fritts Worby '03
“In my first psychology class at Elmira College, I was so excited to learn about each topic in the textbook that I instantly knew I had found my major. Now, I have my doctorate in counseling psychology.”

Barbara Fritts Worby '03,
Psychology Resident


Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. At Elmira College, the psychology major is designed to expose students to various approaches to that study. The foundation of the curriculum for our majors rests on four essential elements. It begins with an introductory survey of psychology as a field, followed by a sequence in research methodology including courses in statistics and experimental design. Finally, this foundation is completed with a course in the history of psychology, typically taken by students in their senior year.

Psychology majors also select from a variety of other courses placing emphasis on specific topics such as neuroscience and experimental methods (e.g., physiological psychology & cognitive processes) and clinical practice (e.g., abnormal psychology & basic counseling techniques). An advanced seminar in a special topic in psychology or an advanced research methods course functions as a capstone to the program, helping students to integrate information from their previous studies.

Many Psychology majors hope to find careers as psychologists. Such careers typically require a doctoral degree (a Ph.D. or Psy.D.), for which the Elmira College undergraduate major in psychology provides an excellent base. As professionals, psychologists work in diverse settings, including those that are clinical (e.g., doing counseling and psychotherapy), industrial (e.g., selecting and managing employees), and those that are educational (as school psychologists and academic researchers).

Other Psychology majors look to careers in other areas, but find useful the skills and information they have learned. Skills such as scientific hypothesis testing, cultural sensitivity, attention to multiple factors in determining behavior, working with uncertainty, and probabilistic thinking are all learned in Psychology courses. These skills transfer readily to careers in the sciences, allied health professions, and the business world.