The Catholic University of America

Why Major in Psychology at CUA?

Although students major in psychology for a variety of reasons, in general most students select psychology with one (or more) of five broad goals in mind: (1) a liberal arts education; (2) preparation for employment, not only in psychology, but in related fields; (3) enhancement of one's ability to understand and evaluate human behavior; (4) preparation for graduate study in psychology; and (5) preparation for graduate study in other fields. The Undergraduate Program in Psychology has been specially designed to meet the requirements posed by these different goals.

(i) A liberal arts education.
The psychology curriculum provides the student with a broad base in the behavioral sciences, and the distribution requirements of the School of Arts and Sciences ensure grounding in a foreign language, in the humanities, philosophy, literature, religion, math, and the natural sciences. Our department offers a unique education with the solid liberal arts curriculum and small-to-medium sized classes of a private liberal arts college, coupled with the outstanding faculty of a top-level research university.

(ii) Preparation for employment in psychology and related fields .
Employment opportunities for psychologists can be found in a variety of areas, including advertising, management, mental health, child development, education, medicine, forensics, communication, marketing, personnel and human resources, and government. Majoring in Psychology at CUA allows you to develop human relations skills coupled with research skills that are desirable to employers and critical to job success.

(iii) Enhancement of one's ability to understand and evaluate human behavior.
Students learn to apply theories and findings from psychology to their daily life and experiences, and in doing so, may find that they understand themselves and other people better and have learned important information that will help them in their interpersonal relationships and careers.

(iv) Preparation for graduate study in psychology .
Majoring in psychology is the best preparation for graduate study in psychology. Details of CUA's graduate school preparation are provided in a separate link.

(v) Preparation for graduate study in other fields .
The psychology major can be used as preparation for graduate study not only in psychology, but for other fields. As one former student (now a physician) commented, "I use a lot of my psychology training in medicine, and I used a lot more last year with the residents and students in my job as chief resident." Students who are interested in careers in law, medicine, social work, education, or business often select psychology as an undergraduate major.

The most successful Psychology majors have a blend of interpersonal, verbal, and quantitative skills. They share a curiosity about why people behave in strange and unpredictable ways, and are often the ones their friends turn to for help and advice. Many are interested in child development, or are fascinated by how the brain works and how we learn and remember things. They are highly motivated and seek out opportunities to do research with faculty, participate in off-campus internships, as well as volunteer for human service positions. CUA Psychology attempts to provide a supportive environment to develop this diverse array of interests and goals.