Psychology is the third most popular major at HPU, and is typically the largest or second largest major in the College of Arts and Sciences. With more than 250 students in the major and 100 in the minor, it is estimated that our majors constitute approximately 5% of the HPU student body. Close to 90% of all HPU students take Introduction to Psychology as one of their social sciences.
Qualities of psychology graduates sought by employers
Psychology majors gain invaluable skills that are essential to a successful career. At HPU, psychology students are equipped to conquer the field with skills such as:
- Research methods and statistical skills
- Thinking and problem solving
- Information acquisition and synthesis skills
- Communication and intrapersonal skills
- Computer literacy
What can I do with this major?
Psychology majors have conducted research in:
- Using behavioral modification techniques to help autistic children function more effectively in their daily lives
- Studying factors that help cancer patients cope with their illness at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine
- Constructing profiles at the FBI headquarters that will help law enforcement agencies distinguish real and fake threat letters
- Learning about a psychologist’s role in the justice system with a Certified Forensic Psychologist
- Working with gerontologists and social workers providing services to patients with advanced forms of Alzheimer’s disease
Student clubs & organizations
- Psi Chi (international honor society for psychology)
- Psychology Club
Psychology majors at High Point University receive more than just a solid education. They also receive practical training through their research, internships and participation in professional meetings. Many of our graduates are currently pursuing masters and/or doctoral degrees in:
- Social Psychology
- Social Work
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Cognitive Psychology
- School Psychology
- School Counseling
Some graduates go on to work as Mental Health Support Specialists or to provide care and mental health services for those in residential and group homes. Other graduates are employed by school systems or are pursuing management in national organizations.
Psychology courses provide students with training in critical thinking and analytic skills. Our program provides students with a range of skills and abilities including, a broad knowledge base in psychology, research methods and statistical skills, thinking and problem solving skills, information acquisition and synthesis skills, computer literacy, communication and intrapersonal skills, and adaptability.
Featured Graduate Profiles:
Jamie Lennon, ’16 – Background Investigator at CACI International
“HPU gave me all of the resources I needed to succeed. I was constantly surrounded by professionals eager to lend a hand or assist in any way possible. The faculty in my departments were so responsive and helpful to every student’s needs and desires. My professors looked at all of us as individuals with goals and ambitions and genuinely did all in their power to help us reach our potential. HPU provided me with a culture of success as well. The positivity and pride of the university is beyond compare – so much so that it made me want to be a part of the success; to uphold the values of hard work and dedication.”
Erin Monahan, ’16 – Pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in trauma at Palo Alto University in California
“The most impactful moment was seeing all my hard work I had put into class pay off by being able to present my research at SNCURS, which was held at HPU this year, and seeing that my dedication to my undergraduate work helped me get into a Ph.D. program.”
Rebecca Dornan, ’16 – Attend graduate school for Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College
“My most impactful moment at HPU was my internship at the Mental Health Association of the Triad, which Dr. Lootens connected me with. This internship really sealed my decision that I wanted to become a mental health counselor. I loved working with the clients and staff, and learned as much as I could about what goes into a typical day for a mental health counselor. Not only did I learn at this internship; I was also able to meet many amazing individuals, and hear their life stories and how they got to where they are today.”
Jamie Mehrer, ’16 – Research Assistant at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital / Wesley Long Hospital and LeBauer Health Care in pulmonary and critical care research
“I was able to complete an in-depth undergraduate research project – which showed me that my passion really lies in research. The level of teaching at HPU is unbelievable, and has prepared me at every turn for the professional world I am now stepping into. I’m so proud to be a HPU student.”
Richard Byrd, ’16 – Dental school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
“HPU has most importantly taught me about how perseverance and hard work is essential for success even when obstacles come your way.”
Jessie Drew, ’16 – Milieu Counselor at Family Service of Rhode Island in Providence, Rhode Island
“High Point University helped me to be successful in so many ways. Mentors provided me with the ability to find my passion and develop it. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works gave me an opportunity to create and run my own 3-year research project (entitled “The Effects of Narrative Medicine on Dementia Patients”) which allowed me to travel to several research conferences and present my data. My experience also helped me to get into graduate school.”
Jamie Durie, ’16 – Field Sales Consultant at Henry Schein Dental
This school is like a real-life LinkedIn. There are so many connections here through professors, career services and alumni who all are willing to help you out. The career services office and the HPU Sales Club have really helped me get to where I am now.”
Alex Ortowski, ’15 – Psychiatric Assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital
“I’ve had some wonderful mentors at HPU! On the educational side, Dr. Leder Elder was amazing. I took many of her classes and did research with her. She really helped me enjoy learning and find what I really liked in psychology.”
Amanda Szymanski, ’15 – Neurodiagnostic Technician at Duke University Medical Center
The psychology department at HPU is very comprehensive in teaching students all aspects of the field, such as research and clinical. Because of the rigorous coursework & excellent faculty, I discovered my passion for research. My professors have been instrumental in advising me, guiding me in conducting my own research project, and overall being sources of inspiration. Thanks to my advisor, I landed an internship at Cornerstone Healthcare, which made me a very competitive candidate for my position at Duke.“
Grace Brinkley, ’15 – Account coordinator at Endicott & Company Public Relations
“High Point University helped me achieve my career goals by providing me with an amazing support system of mentors and professors and allowing me to exercise my education and professional skills in real-world situations. I firmly believe that attending a smaller university accelerated my education and enabled me to make connections and experiences I would be lacking at a larger school. Throughout my four years, I fostered relationships and received one-on-one attention from my professors and various members of other departments, which helped me to identify a career path and create a foundation of networking contacts I plan to utilize far into the future.”
Caitlin Hines, ’14 – Pursuing her M.B.A. in the Communications Strategy tract at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter
“HPU helped me get here by having amazing faculty and staff that motivated me to succeed. Not only were professors always helpful and pleasant, but nearly any member of the HPU family was courteous, joyful and an amazing role model.”
The Most Desirable Qualities in Prospective Employees
- Communication Skills: Writing, public speaking, and social skills
- Motivation/Influence: Commitment to lifelong learning, ability to meet challenges
- Teamwork Skills: Ability to work with others
- Leadership Abilities: Ability to lead groups, communicate, and work effectively with others
- GPA/Academic Skills: Broad education, good grades
- Interpersonal Skills: Interacts well with others, has social skills
- Flexibility/Adaptability: Can cope with change and tolerate stress
- Technical Skills: Computer skills, internet skills
- Honesty/Integrity: Ethics, personal responsibility
- Analytic/Problem Solving Skills: Reasoning and thinking abilities
Qualities of Psychology Graduates
Psychology is a very broad field encompassing subfields of biology, development, perception, cognition, personality, and others. An undergraduate education in psychology provides an understanding of the major facts, theories, and issues in the discipline. A Bachelor’s degree serves as a base for a lifetime of learning about human behavior.
- Research Methods & Statistical Skills
Psychology students begin by asking questions about human behavior and become familiar with research methods used to answer these questions. They develop a basic understanding of research design, ethics, and analysis and interpretation of data.
- Thinking & Problem Solving Skills
Students are exposed to a diverse set of perspectives within psychology. This exposure trains them to think flexibly and to accept some level of ambiguity. Psychology students acquire skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and evaluation.
- Information Acquisition & Synthesis Skills
Psychology is a continuously changing field. Students learn how to use a range of sources to gather information and synthesize it coherently.
- Communication & Intrapersonal Skills
Psychology students are exposed to research on variety of issues such as culture, race, class, and ethnicity that allow them to become aware of, and sensitive to, others. They develop intrapersonal awareness and are able to monitor and manage their own behavior.
Psychology students develop familiarity with a wide variety of computer programs. They can effectively use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and statistical analysis software.
Psychology students develop reading, writing, and presentation skills required for effective written and oral communication. They are able to structure coherent arguments for a variety of situations.
Psychology students quickly learn that there is no perfect experiment exists. They learn how to design the best research study possible and to adapt to changing demands on the way.
(Appleby, 2000; Edwards & Smith, 1988; Grocer & Kohout, 1997; Landrum, Davis, & Landrum, 2000; Lloyd & Kennedy, 1997; Sheetz, 1995; National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2000)
Kuther, K.L. (2011). The psychology major’s handbook (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Kuther, T.L., & Morgan, R.D. (2012). Careers in psychology: Opportunities in a changing world (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage.
Kuther, T.L. (2006). Your career in psychology: Clinical and counseling psychology. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Kuther, T.L. (2005). Your career in psychology: Industrial/organizational psychology. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Kuther, T.L. (2004). Your career in psychology: Psychology and the law. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
The Department of Psychology offers a B.S. degree in Psychology. To graduate from High Point University with this degree, students must complete the following:
B.S. in Psychology
|University Core Requirements
Requirements for the B.S. in Psychology (44 credits):
Required Core Courses (16 credits)
- PSY 2000. Introduction to Psychology (4)
- PSY 2100. Statistics for Psychology (4)
- PSY 3100. Research Methods in Psychology (4)
- PSY 4100. Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (4)
Required Electives: (28 credits)
Select 3 courses from Area A, 2 courses from Area B, and 8 credits from Area C
A. Survey of Psychology
Choose 3 of the following courses (12):
- PSY 2200. Personality Psychology (4)
- PSY 2250. Abnormal Psychology (4)
- PSY 2300. Lifespan Development (4)
- PSY 2400. Social Psychology (4)
- PSY 2500. Cognitive Psychology (4)
- PSY 2600. Biopsychology (4)
- PSY 2880. Special Topics (4)
B. Psychological Processes
Choose 2 of the following courses (8):
- PSY 3210. Person Perception (4)
- PSY 3310. Child Development (4)
- PSY 3320. Adolescent Development (4)
- PSY 3410. Social Cognition (4)
- PSY 3420. Close Relationships (4)
- PSY 3450. Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4)
- PSY/GBS 3470. Cross-Cultural Psychology (4)
- PSY 3510. Language and Thought (4)
- PSY 3520. Sensation and Perception (4)
- PSY 3610. Health Psychology (4)
- PSY 3620. Human Sexuality (4)
- PSY 3710. Career Development & Psychology (4)
- PSY 3880. Special Topics (4)
C. Applications of Psychology
Choose 8 credits from the following courses:
- PSY 4110. Undergraduate Research (no more than 4 credits will count toward the Psychology major)
- PSY 4120-4130. Independent Study (4)
- PSY 4190. Psychological Testing (4)
- PSY 4200. Counseling and Psychotherapy (4)
- PSY 4210. Personality and Psychopathology (4)
- PSY 4301. Family Dynamics (4)
- PSY 4311. Cognitive Development (4)
- PSY 4342. Cognitive Aging (4)
- PSY 4430. Social Influence (4)
- PSY 4450. Organizational Behavior (4)
- PSY 4510. Learning and Memory (4)
- PSY 4610. Drugs and Human Behavior (4)
- PSY 4710-4750. Student Internship Program (no more than 4 credits will count toward the Psychology major)
- PSY 4880. Special Topics (4)
Required supporting courses: BIO 1100, BIO 1399, or BIO/PHS 2060
Note: PSY 2100 has a prerequisite of MTH 1130 or higher.
Note: All psychology majors are expected to complete the Psychology Department Assessment Packet, including the Major Field Test, during their final semester before graduation. Please see your advisor for details.
Cross-Cultural Psychology Maymester: Students travel through Spain, Morocco and Portugal to observe and analyze the complex role culture plays in human behavior. While studying in the Iberian Peninsula, psychology students explore Moorish castles, wander exotic markets, see an exciting Flamenco show and experience rich culinary traditions.