Tips for Being a Successful Psychology Major

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Earning a degree in psychology can give you more than a few opportunities once you graduate. Majoring in this field is a fantastic way for you to learn about others as well as yourself, to give yourself new challenges, and to have a degree that will be able to open doors for you in a variety of graduate programs and fields. 

Before Deciding to Major in Psychology

That said, if you do desire to major in psychology, know that it’s a massive field, and it can also be incredibly competitive, especially once you get to grad school. You should consider attending formal discussions on a variety of graduate programs for this major, speak with different psychology professors, and even talk with professionals from some of the various fields.

Research

Even if you aren’t sure you’ll be a fan of it or when you have doubts about whether or not you’ll be good at it, go after those research opportunities and make sure you know how to write your essays in APA format. Getting some experience in research through one of the practicum courses, becoming a member of a research team, or even by writing your Honors thesis can provide you with significant benefits. 

One thing is you’ll learn more about your interests. You’ll also develop your statistics and technical writing skills, improve your skills at analytics, connect with the supervisor or professor with whom you’ll be working, and maybe even publish a scholarly type of article. All of these things will increase your chances of being accepted at a graduate school. 

GPA

Whatever your major is, you should always strive to maintain a high GPA. That said, due to graduate programs in psychology being so competitive, getting and keeping the highest grades possible is actually a MUST. In a perfect world, you should ensure your GPA remains over 3.5. Be sure to reach out to your professors if you are having a difficult time with a concept. Don’t just try to wing it and then hurt your grades.

Summer Internships and Jobs

Doing some work that’s related to psychology outside of the classroom setting will demonstrate that you’re committed to the field while also providing you with hands-on experience that can enhance your resume. It can also assist you with specializing in a certain area of the overall discipline. These are just a few reasons to pursue a summer 

internship or job in a psychology setting.

If you come to find that you have a bit of extra time during your school year and you need some additional cash, see if any of your peers need a tutor in psychology. As an example, an RA can acquire many different skills that are necessary for different fields of psychology. Other psychology majors can get involved with advising academically if they become a preceptor. 

There are quite a few different opportunities and jobs that will allow you to gain skills that can be helpful to you as a major in psychology, you just need to think outside of the box so that you can make any connections clear on your CV and in interviews. 

Finally, you need to narrow your interests in the field. Psychology happens to be quite a broad major. Earning an undergraduate degree still leaves you with a variety of options. Depending on the area you focus on, graduate school can mean earning more money once you graduate. 

Beyond that, the sooner you decide which one of the various fields in psychology most interests you, the more you’ll be able to aim your experiences toward that field. This will make a graduate school application and your resume that much stronger. You’ll also ensure that you love the career you’ve chosen.