Psychology is the discipline concerned with behavior, cognitive processes, and emotions and how these processes relate to an individual organism's physical state, mental state and environment. Its early beginnings emanate from philosophy, natural science, and medicine. Today, undergraduate study of Psychology is very broad, including courses related to biology, various perspectives on individual functioning, theories of counseling, and the study of the effects of sociocultural surroundings on human behavior.
Why Study Psychology at CHC?
Psychology is a marquee program at Chestnut Hill College—the College is widely known for it, and the program is one of the largest and most comprehensive majors offered at CHC. In addition to a B.A. degree, students can pursue both masters and doctoral level studies right here at the College.
For the most exceptional and committed students, there is a combined program which allows one to receive a B.A. in Psychology as well as an M.S. in Counseling at an accelerated pace. In all Psychology disciplines, students will learn from some of the best minds in the field, all of whom bring years of teaching and fieldwork experience to their CHC classrooms.
Students who qualify with a 3.2 career GPA and 3.5 major GPA, who are of junior or senior standing, who have completed at least four psychology courses and who rank in the top 35% of their graduating class, may be invited to join Psi Chi, the National Psychology Honor Society, an affiliate of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.
This program offers:
- Major: Psychology
- Minor: Psychology
Considering that understanding human nature and behavior are integral to all aspects of people's endeavor, there are many opportunities to apply what is learned in Psychology.
Often, undergraduate majors go on to earn graduate degrees in specific areas to work in a variety of fields according to their interests and talents. Clinical psychologists and counselors can practice therapeutic techniques in hospitals, mental health clinics or services, in colleges or universities, research laboratories, or in private practice.
Some psychologists choose to concentrate on research endeavors and find academic institutions where they can focus on an area of interest, such as human development, psychological testing, physiological psychology, or industrial/organizational psychology. In industry, law or other settings, psychologists can be consultants on organizational problems, environmental issues, public policy, consumer issues, advertising, sports or survey research and opinion polls.
The opportunities to find a meaningful and interesting future using training in psychology are numerous, varied and interesting. These include:
- Clinical psychologist or psychoanalyst
- Licensed clinical social worker or specialized counselor
- College professor
- Sports psychologist
- Industrial/ Organizational Psychology (Specialty)
- Forensic psychologist
- Survey or polling expert
- Behavior Technician (BT), Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst), Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Industrial/ Organizational Psychology
Industrial/ Organizational Psychology is a rapidly growing area of psychology that emphasizes application of psychological principles to understand and change behaviors, thoughts, and feelings related to the workplace. Industrial/ Organizational Psychologists receive training in a wide variety of domains such as prediction and selection (data-based approach to recruitment and promotion of employees), employee training, performance management, employee satisfaction, employee motivation, attitudes pertaining to the workplace, job analysis, leadership, coaching, workplace safety, workplace attitudes, and diversity and inclusion among other topics. The mean annual salary for Industrial-Organizational Psychologists is $ 112,690 (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). Currently there are approximately 10,000 members in the society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology from 75 different countries (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2022). Both large and small organizations employ or consult with Industrial/ Organizational Psychologists including Google, Amazon, FedEx, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied behavior analysis emphasizes the scientific use of behavioral principles to promote behavior change of social significance. Behavior analysis is parsimonious in emphasizing the same scientific perspective in both experimental behavior analysis (emphasis on basic research) and applied behavior analysis (emphasis on behavior change and intervention in a variety of natural settings). Applied behavior analysis has applications in psychotherapy, substance use and abuse, criminology, community-level interventions, geriatrics, brain injury, education, animal training, health-related behavior, communication, romantic relationships, organizational behavior management, and education. Additionally, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an empirically supported treatment for autism. Clinicians with expertise in ABA frequently work with neurodiverse populations, and the demand is currently high in this specific subspecialty area
Providing ABA for neurodiverse populations offers a variety of career options. Based on a 2018 statistic, 1 in 44 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Students with some college or a bachelor’s degree can work as a behavior technician or as a registered behavior technician (RBT). Individuals can obtain an undergraduate-level certification as an Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) as an opportunity for career growth following initial experience, training, and completion of coursework. Additionaly, career growth and promotion in a primarily supervisor role is obtained via a graduate degree and graduate-level certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Finally, individuals can pursue Clinical Director roles after gaining experience as a BCBA. As reported by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (2022), there was a 5,852% increase in demand for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) from 2010-2021. The demand for assistant behavior analysts (BCaBA certification) has increased by 64,382% in the past 12 years. Pennsylvania is the second highest state nationally experiencing a recent increase in demand.
The career-path delineated above offers increasingly greater opportunities to work with individuals, other employees, and as part of an interdisciplinary team. Services are provided across a diverse variety of settings including clinics, schools, homes, facilities, and community settings. Although annual pay varies by state and specific position, RBTs make roughly an average $34,397 annually, BCaBAs make an average of $44, 666 annually, BCBAs make an average $64,311 annually, and clinical directors make an average $82,000 annually (AppliedBehaviorAnalysisEdu.org, 2021).
There are numerous companies, schools, clinics, and mental health institutions in the Philadelphia region at which Psychology majors have an opportunity to pursue internships in their junior or senior years. In fact, it's not uncommon for an internship to lead to full-time employment after graduation.
If you are interested in becoming a Psychology major at Chestnut Hill College, please email the Natural and Behavioral Sciences Center at email@example.com
AppliedBehaviorAnalysisEdu.org. (2021). 2021 Behavior Analyst Salaries (by State). https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org/salaries/
Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2022). US employment demand for behavior analysts: 2010-2021. Littleton, CO: Author.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Data and Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (2022). SIOP Membership Demographics. https://www.siop.org/Membership/Demographics
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020
19-3032 Industrial-Organizational Psychologists. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193032.htm