Why Major in Psychology?
Psychology majors are prepared for all kinds of careers in mental health and social services, as well as in business, teaching, healthcare and others. Psychology majors develop important skills in:
- Critical thinking and understanding the brain and behavior
- Interpersonal skills & helping others
- Analyzing and solving problems
Psychology majors at Southern Miss are taught career-relevant skills which will prepare them for wherever their career path may lead. Each class helps with the development of a well-rounded resume and the curriculum is focused on ensuring undergraduate students are ready for the world of work as well as pursuing graduate degrees, medical school or law school. Psychology is a great foundation from which to build your career!
What Will I Learn?
Psychology majors enjoy a great deal of flexibility in course offerings designed to educate psychology students about the breadth of psychology. Psychology majors seek to answer questions such as:
- How do I make sense of the information I read online?
- How do we change as we age?
- How is behavior influenced by group membership?
- How does culture influence behavior?
- How does the brain work? How do our thoughts affect our actions?
- What prevents mental health problems? How are mental health problems treated?
The biggest benefit of the psychology degree is flexibility. Graduates with backgrounds in psychology can go into virtually any field and find that their background in human behavior, the brain, research and helping skills is useful in achieving their career goals. Most psychology graduates pursue careers in business, education, health, the environment, human performance, education and public safety.
Psychology majors learn about human development, learning and mental health. They often pursue careers in social services, business/sales, education and research. Many psychology majors pursue graduate degrees in various helping disciplines as well as research specialties in psychology.
Students are encouraged to join Psychology Club which offers opportunities for professional development, service projects, and social activities.
Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology has a chapter on both the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses. Membership is open to high achieving juniors and opportunities for professional development are available.
Research opportunities provide Psychology majors with hands-on, active learning experiences which extend their classroom learning to the real world. Students are integrated into all aspects of the scientific process and learn to become critical, innovative participants on the research team. Many students complete independent projects and present their work to the wider academic audience both at Southern Miss and across the country. High quality research apprenticeships such as these prepare students for graduate school in psychology or for careers where critical thinking, organization, and data management are valued traits.
The Psychology Scholars Program was developed for high achieving undergraduate psychology majors with the goal of enhancing engagement in the department and challenging them academically, socially, and intellectually in preparation for advanced educational and career pursuits. Through the Psychology Scholars Program, this exclusive group of students receive training and mentorship that will enhance their success in applying for graduate school or seeking a Psychology-related career. Psychology Scholars represent the School of Psychology in recruitment events and provide support to incoming Psychology majors through small group meetings.
Scholarship applications are available by visiting: https://usm.academicworks.com. Psychology students should pay particular attention to the Larry & Elizabeth Payne Education and Psychology Scholarship Fund and the Zed Houston Burns Scholarship Fund.
The School of Psychology offers three awards, offered annually for students displaying outstanding academic achievement.
- Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award: Any undergraduate student involved in research is eligible. To apply, students must fill out the application and provide a 500 word summary of their project.
- Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award: One award is given at each academic level: sophomore, junior, and senior. Students are evaluated on criteria such as GPA and achievements in psychology (e.g., research involvement, clubs, leadership roles, community work, etc.).
- Outstanding Graduate Research Award: All graduate students are eligible. Theses and dissertations are welcome, but submissions are limited to one per student. To apply, students must complete the application and provide a 500 word summary of their project.
Students are responsible for completing application materials, obtaining faculty signatures, and submitting materials by the February deadline each year.
School of Psychology faculty travel to London each summer for a month-long course investigating Psychology. This class investigates how school and clinical service delivery operates in the UK versus the USA with a focus on autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders.
Peer tutoring is offered through the School of Psychology Statistics Tutoring Center located in OMH 134.
Student support and engagement are offered through the College of Education & Human Sciences Student Advisement & Support Center. The Center provides individualized advisement plans tailored to meet the interests of the student. Faculty mentors provide advice regarding career planning and support for navigating the demands of college. Psi Chi (National Psychology Honor Society) and Psychology Club offer Psychology majors professional development opportunities and social activities.
Psychology faculty represent expertise in all domains of psychology
Psychology faculty represent every major area of Psychology and are committed to providing challenging curricular experiences for students. Experts in Brain and Behavior, Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology make up our diverse faculty and teach classes for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Faculty research labs offer one opportunity for psychology majors to experience the scientific exploration of real-world problems and to extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
- Psychiatric Technician
- Business, sales, advertising
- Human Resources
- Case Manager
- Youth Minister
- Recreational Therapist
- Sheila Bullock, 2015,
Family Nurse Practitioner, Pearl River County Hospital
- Sarah McMurtry, 2007,
- Jacquelyn Johnson, 2018,
Summer Treatment Counselor, Florida Atlantic University