Skip to header Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Psychology

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Addiction Studies, Applied Psychology, Life Science, Pre-Graduate School, Urban Psychology
Program description

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology curriculum reflects the discipline’s major functions- scientific research, teaching, acting as a healing profession and raising philosophical questions about the assumptions, values, and ideals of human beings and their societies, which reflects psychology’s origin in philosophy. Through a core set of requirements, the student systematically develops understanding and skill in scientific methods of inquiry, focusing on the human mind and behavior. To fulfill degree requirements, students may pursue the standard curriculum by selecting courses from four content areas that introduce students to the healing and philosophical sides of psychology and provide a broad understanding of the field as a whole; or the student may apply to one of several more focused concentrations that draw upon the special strengths of the VCU Department of Psychology.

Career opportunities

Some students may choose to study psychology because they enjoy the subject and wish to pursue careers requiring “any major.” In this scenario, it is critical to develop desirable skills through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer experiences. Some skills valued most by employers include communication, interpersonal leadership, teamwork, and computer skills. Other students may major in psychology because they want to work in a related field.


Many entry-level helping positions are available, however the amount of direct client contact is limited for those who only have a bachelor’s degree. Students may wish to pursue graduate education in psychology, social work, counseling, college student personnel, or other fields to increase opportunities and earning potential. Graduates can also find work with programs such as Americorps, PeaceCorps, Fulbright Student Program, or City Year.

Change of major requirements

Submit a change of major to declare. Students will receive an online orientation video about the major. Students can meet with a psychology advisor, if they choose, by emailing psyugrad@vcu.edu to request an appointment however an appointment is not required for a change of major approval.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Adult Learning and Instruction
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Sales Representative
  • Social and Human Services Assistant
  • Social Science Research Assistant
  • Training and Development Specialist
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Counselor
  • Higher Education Administrator
  • Psychologist
  • Researcher
  • Therapist
Highest level of math required
  • STAT 210
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.0+ major GPA
Department name:
Department of Psychology
Building/room location:
806 West Franklin Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1193
Email:
psyugrad@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Explore minors, certificates, and skills-based courses.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Begin the PSYC 214 and PSYC 317 sequence and complete both with grades of C or higher.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend an event sponsored by OMSA.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Attend the Psychology Department’s Research Internship Fair.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Consider applying to student leadership opportunities.
  • Volunteer with student organizations, non-profit organizations, education facilities, or human services agencies to build human service skills and explore populations and issues of interest.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Research the requirements to pursue a Qualified Mental Health Professional or Applied Behavior Analysis certification for bachelor-level employment opportunities in behavioral health.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend fall and spring panels about life after the B.S. in Psychology.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Be sure you've completed the PSYC 214 and PSYC 317 sequence and earned grades of C or higher in both.
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Discuss taking PSYC 494 Research Internship and PSYC 493 Fieldwork.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Review weekly PSYUGRAD eBlasts for opportunities to build cultural competence.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Consider taking a psychology service learning or independent study course like PSYC 492.
  • Develop career-related skills by pursuing part-time opportunities in areas such as youth development, program or event planning, advocacy, research, case management, crisis work, community outreach, training, teaching assistant, or marketing.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields and revisit your gap analysis assessment to continue adjusting your strategic career plan with Career Services.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Complete PSYC 451 History of Psychology, your major capstone course.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Complete the major capstone course, PSYC 451.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain additional practical experience through internships, externships, and skill building opportunities like service learning, assistantships, student leadership, or independent study.
  • Join a professional organization related to your industry of interest and consider serving on a committee to build and practice career-related and leadership skills.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Review PSYC eBlast for job, internship, and research assistantship positions for graduating psychology majors.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Psychology

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Addiction Studies, Applied Psychology, Life Science, Pre-Graduate School, Urban Psychology
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Explore minors, certificates, and skills-based courses.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Begin the PSYC 214 and PSYC 317 sequence and complete both with grades of C or higher.
  • Attend an event sponsored by OMSA.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Attend the Psychology Department’s Research Internship Fair.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Consider applying to student leadership opportunities.
  • Volunteer with student organizations, non-profit organizations, education facilities, or human services agencies to build human service skills and explore populations and issues of interest.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Research the requirements to pursue a Qualified Mental Health Professional or Applied Behavior Analysis certification for bachelor-level employment opportunities in behavioral health.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Attend fall and spring panels about life after the B.S. in Psychology.
Year 3
  • Be sure you've completed the PSYC 214 and PSYC 317 sequence and earned grades of C or higher in both.
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Discuss taking PSYC 494 Research Internship and PSYC 493 Fieldwork.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Review weekly PSYUGRAD eBlasts for opportunities to build cultural competence.
  • Take on a leadership role in a cultural organization.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Consider taking a psychology service learning or independent study course like PSYC 492.
  • Develop career-related skills by pursuing part-time opportunities in areas such as youth development, program or event planning, advocacy, research, case management, crisis work, community outreach, training, teaching assistant, or marketing.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields and revisit your gap analysis assessment to continue adjusting your strategic career plan with Career Services.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Complete PSYC 451 History of Psychology, your major capstone course.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Complete the major capstone course, PSYC 451.
  • Gain additional practical experience through internships, externships, and skill building opportunities like service learning, assistantships, student leadership, or independent study.
  • Join a professional organization related to your industry of interest and consider serving on a committee to build and practice career-related and leadership skills.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Review PSYC eBlast for job, internship, and research assistantship positions for graduating psychology majors.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
View graphic versionView graphic version