Why Major in Psychology?

Penn State Altoona’s Psychology degree program combines the knowledge, skills, and values of psychology with a broad liberal arts foundation. As a Psychology major, you will:

  • develop a knowledge base consisting of key concepts, principles, empirical findings, and applications of psychology
  • cultivate scientific and critical thinking abilities for reasoning about psychological phenomena, problem-solving, and information use
  • become familiar with ethical and social responsibilities in psychological science and practice
  • develop communication skills for effective scientific writing and presentations
  • build professional development skills related to time management, working in groups, and developing a meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.


Bachelor of Arts

The bachelor of arts degree program in Psychology is designed for students who have specific interests in foreign languages or who desire exposure to a broader curriculum that includes additional general education courses. Because this program is more broadly based, it is perfect for students who are interested in majoring in psychology but may be unsure of their specific future psychology career direction.

Bachelor of Science, Business Option

The bachelor of science degree program with a Business option is designed for students planning to go into the business world or to continue in psychology in the areas of personnel work or industrial/organizational psychology.

Bachelor of Science, Science Option

The bachelor of science degree program with a Science option is designed for students with interests in the relation of biology and chemistry to behavior, or who plan to go into a field where this knowledge would be helpful, such as drug counseling or psychiatry.


As a graduate of the psychology program, you can find work related to your major in a wide variety of employment settings, such as mental health, human resources, rehabilitation, social services, criminal justice, child care, and substance-abuse counseling.

In addition, a Psychology degree provides you with good research and writing skills, problem solving ability, and well-developed higher-level thinking, and therefore is excellent preparation for many other professions. Psychology graduates also find jobs in areas such as administrative support, public affairs, education, business, sales, service industries, health, the biological sciences, and writing.

Graduates also are prepared to continue their education at the master’s or doctoral levels, to pursue a variety of careers, such as clinical psychology, and to work in a variety of settings such as private practice and government.