College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychology

Undergraduate FAQs

Here you will find the most commonly asked questions regarding undergraduate studies in the Department of Psychology.
If you have advising questions please email: psych.advising@wsu.edu

1. Q: What can you do with a Psychology Degree?
A: Listed below are just a few of the possibilities for employment once you receive your degree:

- Advertising Copywriter - Opinion Survey Researcher
- Advertising Manager - Personnel Administrator
- Affirmative Action Officer - Personnel Manager
- Alcohol Counseling - Police Officer
- Clergy Member - Placement Director
- Community Relations Officer - Prisoner-Classification Interviewer
- Consumer Affairs Director - Probation and Parole Officer
- Counselor - Psychiatric Assistant
- Customs Inspector - Public Relations Representative
- Daycare Center Supervisor - Public Statistician
- Director of Volunteer Service - Recreation Director
- Health Educator - Sales Representative
- Laboratory Assistant - Scientific Instrument Salesperson
- Management Trainee - Social Worker
- Manager/Employee Welfare - Technical Writer
- Market Research Analyst - Urban Planning Officer
- Media Buyer - Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
- Newspaper Reporter - Writer

Remember that this is just a brief list of the opportunities that abound! Talk with a Psychology Faculty Member about career options.
2. Q: Is Psychology the right major for me?
A: Psychology degrees from Washington State University prepare students to enter the job market in a wide variety of fields when teamed up with an adequate minor. Keep in mind your future goals when choosing a degree. The program is designed for those who: (a) wish to study psychology as part of a liberal education; (b) plan to use their training in related vocations such as the professions, governmental organizations, business and industry, and psychological services; and/or (c) are preparing for graduate work in psychology.
3. Q: What is the difference between clinical and counseling psychology?
A: Clinical and counseling psychologists engage in similar activities, including practice, research, teaching, consultation, and administration.

Clinical psychologists tend to work with more severely disturbed populations, whereas counseling psychologists tend to work with less pathological populations and conduct more vocational assessments. Thus, clinical psychologists are more likely to work at settings such as inpatient hospitals and VA centers, whereas counseling psychologists are more likely to work in university counseling centers.
4. Q: What should I do if I plan on going to graduate school?
A: To prepare for graduate school you should work closely with a faculty member. Graduate schools typically look for students who have: (a) research experience and clinical experience; (b) GRE scores above 1100; (c) grade point averages above 3.0. In addition, some students find it beneficial to get experience through a practicum (working in the community).
5. Q: How can I find out about research and TA opportunities within the Psychology Department?
A: For research opportunities, almost all faculty members in the Psychology Department have undergraduate research assistants. Check out the faculty web pages for the interest areas and then talk to the faculty member whose research most closely matches your interest.

For TA opportunities, check with your advisor, she will have a list of instructors who have mentioned they would like a TA. Also, check out the bulletin board on the second floor of Johnson Tower by the elevators, where some instructors post opportunities.
6. Q: Are there summer internships for undergraduate students?
A: The Psychology Department does not offer internships during the summer. There are sometimes research and TA opportunities during the summer.
7. Q: Advising - when and how does it work?
A: Before you can register each semester, you must meet with an advisor. Advising takes place in April (for Fall registration) and October (for Spring registration). Watch your email and the whiteboard outside of the main Psychology Office for dates and times. Please visit the Advising Signup Website for an advising appointment at any time.
8. Q: What are the requirements to major in Psychology?
A: The Bachelor of Science in Psychology requires a minimum of 30 credits of Psychology. Students are required to take a minimum of 10 credit hours of psychology in residence at Washington State University and must maintain a cumulative and Psychology GPA of 2.0. If you intend to waive the foreign language requirement at the college level, you must provide the Psychology Department with a high school transcript showing 2 years of foreign language or junior high transcript with 3 years completion.
9. Q: What are the certification requirements?
A: To certify for the BS in Psychology, you must complete Psych 311 with a ‘C-‘or higher and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. To certify for the BA in Psychology, you must have a total of 24 credits and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
10. Q: What are the requirements to minor in Psychology?
A: The minor in Psychology may be certified after completion of 60 semester hours. Psych 105 or Psych 198 is required. Students must complete 18 credit hours in Psych; of which at least 9 must be taken at WSU and at least 9 must be in letter-graded 300-400 level courses. Psychology courses must be taken for a letter grade, except for Psych 445, 497, 498 and 499. A minimum GPA of 2.00 or higher is required in all coursework used for the minor.
11. Q: What is the Junior Writing Portfolio and when do I have to begin/complete it?
A: The Writing Portfolio is a two-part, mid-career diagnostic to determine if your writing abilities are ready to handle the challenges of your Writing-in-the-Major (M) Courses and other upper-division courses that assign writing. Please visit: the Writing Portfolio website for complete instructions on completing this requirement.
12. Q: What is UCORE and how do I know if it applies to me?
A: UCORE requirements were developed to help students achieve WSU’s Learning Goals and Outcomes. Four broad categories are divided into ten requirements; only approved classes will fulfill them. Match courses in the WSU Catalog to UCORE requirements. Of the 34 total credits, only three, three-credit courses may be taken within the major. For complete details, please visit the UCORE Requirements handbook website.

UCORE applies to new freshmen students who enter WSU in fall 2012 and after.

Transfer students who enter WSU fall 2012 through summer 2013 will follow the current General Education Requirements.
By definition, transfer students are students who earned ANY amount of credits after high school, excluding summer. Students who earned credit while still in high school are freshman.

Current students will continue to follow the General Education Requirements as outlined in the 2011-12 catalog.
13. Q: What should I do if I have a complaint about my advisor?
A: Students having complaints about advising should refer them first to the advisor. If the complaint is not resolved, then the student may refer the complaint, and the remedy sought in writing to the chairperson of the department to which the advisor reports. In the of Division advisors serving more than one department, the student must communicate with the chairperson of the program for which he/she is being advised. The chair's decision shall be rendered within 20 business days. The University Ombudsman is available at any stage for advice or assistance in resolving advising complaints.

For more information, refer to Student Support Services.
14. Q: What should I do if I have a complaint about my mentor?
A: Mentoring complaints must be directed to Student Support Services.
- For complaints regarding instruction or grading, follow instructions for Academic Regulation 104
- For petitions on Academic Calendar Deadlines, follow instructions for Academic Regulation 57
- For petitions regarding Graduation Requirements, follow instructions for Academic Regulation 109
15. Q: Where can I find information about Graduation and/or Commencement?
A: There are a number of steps undergraduates must take in order to graduate and participate in commencement. Please refer to WSU's Commencement web page for more information.

Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4820, 509-335-2631, Contact Us