Why Study Psychology

Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes, as well as the application of knowledge gained through that science. Psychology attempts to develop theories on the basis of careful description and experimentation, and then to apply that scientific information in useful ways. Its domain is wonderfully diverse, including everything from rats learning mazes to athletes using mental imagery, from pathological conditions to healthy development, from the physiology of stress to the influences on courtroom behavior, from memory and problem solving enhancements to mindfulness and meditation techniques, and much more.

Why Study Psychology at Ship

Shippensburg University has energetic psychology faculty with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. We offer high-quality research, internship, and service-learning opportunities, and have a broad selection of courses. The student to faculty ratio is low, especially in advanced classes and classes for our majors, which means quality and small-school personalized attention for you.

You may earn academic credits by getting involved in undergraduate research. Some of our students present their work at national and international meetings each year. These opportunities are especially valuable for those interested in pursuing doctoral degrees in psychology or related fields. Most schools offering traditional doctoral degrees are research-intensive places and are highly competitive. There may be 400 applicants for just a few positions. Our faculty's areas of research interests include:

  • Technology's impact on learning and relationships
  • Sports fans
  • Emotion regulation in relationships
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Power and privilege
  • Parent-child interaction
  • Narcissism
  • Sexualities
  • Consciousness
  • Autism and development disabilities
  • Higher order cognitive processes

We have an active internship program that allows you to earn three to six credits outside the university setting. Students find positions with agencies that provide supervised experiences in areas related to psychology. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, he or she writes an academic paper about the experience. Internship experience can be a very valuable addition to your resume or graduate school application. Our graduates often tell us that their internship was their most useful and most enjoyable college experience.

In addition to internships that allow you to apply what you learn in class to real-world settings, some courses have Service Learning Project components that allow you to work on problem-solving initiatives in the community.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

Many employers respect a bachelor’s degree in psychology because it says the graduate has studied human behavior in ways that other degrees may not offer. The bachelor’s degree qualifies you for many entry-level positions in mental health services. It is also true, though, that when individuals go on to earn postgraduate degrees they typically increase their earning power.

Persons with degrees in psychology are employed in a wide variety of roles, including the following:

  • Clinicians, counselors and human service workers
  • School psychologists research and academic psychologists
  • Industrial and organizational psychologists
  • Human factors engineers
  • Forensic psychologists

Average salaries for psychology-related jobs in PA range from $29,000 - $64,000.

The psychology department structures its courses into three goal categories: knowledge base, skills/careers, and social awareness. You are required to take courses from each category along with courses to satisfy psychology electives and free electives, which can be selected from the full range of offerings. 39 credits in psychology are required, but most majors take more. Students must also satisfy the university’s general education requirements.

A faculty advisor works closely with you to find the courses that meet your particular needs. Shippensburg psychology majors can choose an advisor based on the faculty member’s areas of interest.

We also offer an 18 credit Psychology Minor.

Student Groups

Our students have organized a Psychology Club where you can find the best and brightest of your peers. The Psychology Club welcomes and appreciates new students becoming involved. Many interesting activities are offered by the club, including travel to conferences, speeches by well-known psychologists, visits to other campuses, and social events. Membership in the local chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society, is also available to students meeting the necessary GPA requirements.

Franklin Science Center 114, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1657
Department Website