Best Undergrad Degree

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Phyroxis, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Phyroxis

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    Hello there,

    First off, thanks for taking time to read this.. I'm not quite sure if its been addressed before, I've done my best to search the forums.

    I am seriously considering a Ph.D or PsyD, but fortunately have some time before I have to decide which of the two to pick. My current dilemma is between undergrad degrees.

    I'm currently slated to transfer next fall to a 4 year university (entering as a Junior) I've done all of my general ed requirements and am currently accepted as a business major. I originally thought this would be a great plan. If I never make it into a grad program, then I have a practical degree to fall back on. After reading a lot of the stuff on these forums, however, I am feeling less certain about my choice. It seems like the only way to get into a graduate program is paved with psych undergrad and research.

    Luckily I'm at a place where I can still change my major to Psych. Most of my electives have actually been psychology courses, so I am actually more prepared for a Psych undergrad than even a business.

    I'm really considering switching majors, but there is that level of insecurity about what could happen if I don't make it into a grad program..

    Anyone have advice on my situation? Anything would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advanced!
     
  2. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    I think you need to change your major, or perhaps double major, in order to be competitive for a grad program. I have a combination background as well, but at the masters level (information systems). It's nice to have that as a fall-back, though I seriously doubt I ever would unless I was desperate :D So I understand what you're saying. My B.A. is in psychology though. There are minimum course requirements to get into a grad program, so you at least want to make sure those are covered. I also think the degree to which this will matter will depend partially on the type of grad programs you apply to (Research focused PhD vs. clinically focused PhD vs. PsyD vs. Masters).
     
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  3. Olivia101884

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    Cosmo gave great advice. Why couldn't you just double major? I was a double major in college, as were the majority of my classmates. And I went to a college with a lot of requirements (for example, a 6-semester foreign language requirement!) so it definitely can be done :)
     
  4. Phyroxis

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    Thanks guys. I will see if I can do a double major, but that seems like a TON of work.. I feel like if I were to change to a Psych major, then I'd want to spend all of my time working on it. When not at classes or doing homework then working as a RA some where. A double major, I feel, would take away from my focus. Though, its certainly not set in stone either way.
     
  5. BamaPsych

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    Wow, you sound exactly like me a year and a half ago =). I was a business major wanting to go into clinical psych. At first I was going to continue with business and minor in psychology for the same reasons you are doing business - i wanted a practical degree to fall back on. However, the semester after I devised that plan, I realized I would be miserable anyways if I did business as my career so I went ahead and made the switch.

    You can definitely succeed on the psychology path if you major in business assuming a few things:
    1.) You will still need 15-18 hours (a minor in psychology or equivalent) worth of psychology classes to be competitive.
    2.) You will need a background in psychology - aka research and/or clinical experience.

    The problem is, it will be harder for you to obtain this "background" in psychology without doing the major, but it IS possible. It will take a lot of work though to be getting a degree in business, because you'll be spending a lot of your off time getting psychological-related experience.

    Follow your heart. i was in your shoes - I made the switch to psych even with the apprehension from parents and friends "what the heck are you going to do with a BA in psych"? I have never made a better decision in my life and I couldn't be happier. Good luck with this important dilemma!
     
  6. Ollie123

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    I'm in a clinical PhD program, and have undergrad degrees in psychology and business/human resources. Also, the bulk of an accounting degree.

    My answer depends on what school you are at. If you are at a run of the mill school, definitely double major. Its worth it, and the business background really can be helpful in psychology - I've used Microsoft Access and other database tools in research that I learned about in business classes. Not to mention a strong understanding of finances and record keeping never hurt anyone. I imagine it would be even more helpful if you plan on going into private practice, or want to take on administrative positions.

    If you are at Wharton or someplace similar....then I wouldn't. My program was ranked in the top 50 for business but comparing notes with a friend at Wharton - they simply covered infinitely more material and there's no way he could have taken on a second major and still had time for the extra stuff that matters as much or more than your coursework.

    Of course, Coursework DOES require a fair bit of work at many schools, but a double major and the extras (like research) should still be completely manageable for someone with grad school hopes at a typical school. Think of it as practice for grad school - I did the double major, worked in 2 labs, and taught tennis part-time my senior year (not to mention clubs and the like). I'm still at least 3x as busy now as I was then;)

    The key is getting efficient with your studying - knowing what you have to learn and how long it will take you to learn it.
     
  7. Phyroxis

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    Thank you so much Ollie, and everyone else who answered. I'm going to be at a California State school next year, so it sounds like a double major will be advantageous for me. I was actually already thinking of a HR concentration.
     
  8. Psyched77

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    Another vote here for double majoring. That's what I did, & it really wasn't that much extra work (considering the amount of electives I had to feel). You should check into your school's requirements, because you might be pleasantly surprised. (I even knew a few people that triple majored!)
     

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