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Welcome to the Psychology major and minor

Our students and faculty want to learn about what makes people do the things they do, feel the things they feel, and think the way they think. They are interested in the mental health problems that affect individuals and what treatments effectively reduce such problems. They are also interested in how what we know about people can be directly applied. For example, how can we apply what we know about what makes people tick to counseling or therapy, business, industry, or other areas. These issues, and many other, are explored in the Psychology major. Students can also select to simply get a taste of these issues through our Psychology minor.

Students working together at table

The Psychology major introduces students to the many factors that explain human behavior, thoughts, and feelings to prepare them for a wide range of professional and academic experiences beyond college. Students will both have an opportunity to learn about current knowledge in the field broadly and to select electives that will allow them to learn more about specific specialty areas. For example, many of our students come to the major with an interest in helping others or pursuing a career in counseling or therapy. These students will have the opportunity to develop basic counseling skills and knowledge about abnormal psychology and mental health while still also exploring the other facets of psychology. The major draws on the extensive experience of our faculty in the areas of clinical, counseling, social, and cognitive psychology; human development; cognitive neuroscience; learning and memory; the biological basis of behavior; and animal modeling.

Essential to the psychology major are active and experiential learning opportunities for all students. For example, all students complete at least one internship during their time at UNE. The internship is a critical part of helping students to link the concepts they are learning in their coursework to the work they pursue after graduation. We have a well-developed network of sites that have accepted our students into their organizations for these training experiences and work with students to match them to an experience that fits their interests.Internships provide students with the opportunity to learn experientially and to explore different career directions. In fact, many of our students elect to complete a second internship as part of their degree to gain additional experience, and internships often lead to the first jobs after graduation for our students. In addition to the in-depth internship experience, all faculty in the major employ active learning opportunities within their courses. Students explore the real world implications of the concepts they learn in the classroom starting their first year on campus.

Psych students studyingAn additional experiential opportunity that many of our students complete is participation in faculty led research. All students, as they move through the major, learn what current research tells us about how humans engage with each other, think, feel, and behave. They also have opportunities to discover how this knowledge is obtained through the scientific process, with faculty members providing a supportive environment in which students learn the thinking skills important to reading and conducting research. Students as part of the major complete at least one small research project with a group of peers on a topic they select together. In addition, many students elect to participate in on-going professional research with a faculty member. Numerous students develop their own research questions with a faculty mentor and these faculty supervised projects result in presentations and publications for those students.

Finally, students completing a psychology major may elect to complete a minor area of study as well. Faculty advisors work with each student to help them identify a minor that will help them to achieve their future goals. For example, many of our majors plan to provide counseling services after graduation and elect to complete a minor in either mental health rehabilitation or art therapy (both minors offered within the Psychology Department). Other students may have interest in applying their knowledge of psychology in a business setting after graduation and may decide to pursue a minor in the Business Department.

Our goal is to ensure that as students leave the major they have developed not only knowledge consistent with their interests, but also applied skills that will assist them as they move forward into careers or additional educational opportunities (e.g., graduate school in psychology, graduate work in other allied health fields).


Panelists from the Athletes and Mental Health event are members of UNE's support services
Panelists from the Athletes and Mental Health event are members of UNE's support services

Mental health and the pressures of athletics explored in IPEC event

UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) brought more than 200 students from varying disciplines together to explore the role of mental health in athletics. Katie Hawke,...