Psychology Major: How To Become A Psychologist

Psychology major has unintentionally formed the major part of human existence and this has led to much attention paid to the study of psychology. To understand the man and his environment needs a good understanding of psychology too. Therefore it is necessary to pay attention to psychology in order to understand the human mind, behaviour and relationship with one another. So many who have developed an interest in Psychology or psychology major may seek to know how to become a psychologist.

Studying psychology is the best way to attain the mastery of human behaviour and this is aided by anthropology because anthropology studies people’s culture. The study of psychology is an interesting path because it helps us to come to terms with human behaviour. Not only does the study of psychology make us understand human behaviour, but it also facilitates our mental processes making it less difficult for us to understand how people around us think, feel and act.

Psychologists all over the world have through various works such as the one carried out by Harrison Howarth and co-workers to ascribe psychology to medicine. This post is made to properly explain a psychology major, how to become a psychologist and what a psychologist does. Read through to learn more.

Table of Contents

What Is Psychology?

Generally, psychology is a branch of science that deals with the study of the mind and behaviour. It touches across both the intentional and unintentional acts, conscious and unconscious acts like human feelings and thinking. As an academic field/scope, psychology is a social science just like economics and also natural science too.

The knowledge of psychology is essential in the understanding of problems associated with humans as well as proffering solutions to these problems. It is also a tool for the assessment and treatment of mental health problems. Good knowledge of psychology can help in the treatment of glossophobia.

What Is A Psychology Major?

Psychology majors get a wide grasp of human behaviour as well as the ability to comprehend and evaluate research results about human behaviour. Cognitive, developmental, behavioural, and neurological research, as well as learning, personality, social, and clinical psychology, are all included in the psychology curriculum.

This core behavioural science discipline’s essential principles and scientific methodologies are emphasised throughout the courses. Students in psychology should undertake and analyse laboratory and field research, as well as participate in internships, to broaden their learning experience outside of the classroom.

Is Psychology Hard To Study?

This is a question many ask, but is it really difficult to study psychology? Why do many find it difficult to study psychology? Is psychology difficult? These and many more questions bother students who find psychology difficult. But, Is it very difficult to study psychology for a student who is just average? Let’s find out in the subsequent paragraphs.

Psychology is not a difficult program to study and excel in; if you are interested in the subject, you will find it to be the easiest to learn. However, if you are uninterested in it, it may be one of the most difficult subjects to pass. I believe that if a kid is skilled at cramming, he may do well in a psychology major and easily pass it, but he will almost certainly never be a competent Psychologist.

To study psychology, you don’t need to be very bright; all you need is the appropriate mindset. To be successful in a profession grades are not crucial. Most essential is the knowledge and most important is the application of the information that one has received over their term of study.

What one requires is an interest in a particular subject. Select Psychology just if you are interested in assisting people with their issues at hand. But not by being empathetic. You need to understand a people’s troubles to aid them but without becoming sympathetic wherein you also brood with that person.

Since Psychology is a mind connected science, one needs to first train their mind before helping others from their troubles. You first need to teach yourself that even if you are mediocre, you have a desire and you aspire to attain the dream. Then no one can stop you. Believe in yourself and then you may pick any track of study even if you are an ordinary student.

See: How To Choose The Right College | Factors To Consider

What Courses Are Required In Psychology?

A bachelor’s degree in psychology programme provides students with a general overview and history of the profession. It also provides them with an introduction to scientific methods and key principles and prospective areas of specialisation. Graduates will be prepared to pursue graduate studies in psychology or to serve as support to professionals in non-clinical functions at the undergraduate level.

Coursework for bachelor’s degrees in psychology may include:

  • Introduction to General Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Introduction to Drugs and Behavior
  • Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Psychology of Education
  • Educational Psychology
  • Psychological Statistics
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Perspectives on Psychological Issues
  • Psychology of Aging
  • Sex, Evolution, & Human Behavior
  • Social Psychology

Why Study Psychology?

Human behaviour and the brain that controls it are poorly understood. The more we understand human brains, the more we can unlock animal and plant minds. AI and cognitive science also use psychology. Learning how brains process data, react to stimuli, and take in information might help us construct human-like robots. We may even break the human-machine barrier.

The study of psychology is both an interesting and difficult endeavour. However, a large number of individuals are unaware of the fact that doing so also helps you build a variety of interpersonal skills and talents that apply to the job.

For those who ask, why is it important to study psychology, there are several reasons why you should consider a psychology course. They include:

  • A Psychology degree helps you to get a job
  • It prepares you for higher education
  • To explore psychology
  • Psychology helps you to understand yourself and the people around you
  • Develop your communication skills
  • To develop research skills
  • Improve your critical thinking skills.
  1. A Psychology Degree Helps You To Get A Job

While a doctorate is necessary for therapeutic practice, many occupations in psychology just require a bachelor’s degree. Community service managers, management analysts, social and human service assistants, and mental health experts are examples of jobs in psychology that may need a bachelor’s degree.

A degree boosts earnings and employability. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree in psychology may improve your annual pay by $105,000. A BSc (Hons) in Psychology may lead to many lucrative and fascinating employment.

  1. To Explore Psychology

Because it gives students a grounding in psychological principles and ideas, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is a useful method to learn more about the area before making the time and financial commitment required to earn a postgraduate degree in the subject. This may serve as a reason for postgraduate studies for those who are interested.

You’ll obtain subject-specific knowledge and insight into the mind, brain, and human behaviour by studying psychology. You’ll study cognitive psychology, forensic and investigative psychology, education psychology, sport and exercise psychology, and critical social psychology on our BSc (Hons) Psychology degree.

This information will help you build a deep grasp of various specialised areas/applications of psychology, its scientific and theoretical foundations, and the flexibility and diversity of psychological functioning and its relevance.

  1. It Prepares You For Higher Education

A bachelor’s degree in psychology can also serve as a stepping stone to a master’s degree in psychology. For those who wish to practise clinical psychology, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree is required. Some colleges may grant “advanced standing” to graduate students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology who enter these programmes, allowing them to avoid some essential curriculum.

  1. Psychology Helps You To Understand Yourself And The People Around You

As your career progresses and you move into a management or senior post, you’ll face tough choices and great pressure. Your career depends on how you handle these circumstances. Knowing your personality and behaviour might offer you a distinct perspective on a job or project.

Using your understanding of psychology and behaviour to recognise these features’ underlying explanations and theories may help you succeed in varied contexts. People management and HR careers need conflict management, teamwork, and leadership. Employers and managers value employees who can successfully manage a team and improve working relationships. A psychology degree may help you obtain understanding and empathy for these vocations.

  1. Develop Your Communication Skills

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with people is an essential talent that is valued in almost all workplaces. Every student of psychology develops and improves this capacity, and most of the time they are completely unaware of their progress.

The capacity to frame an argument, present a subject in a way that is clear and objective, and cite relevant sources are all crucial components of generating materials at a level appropriate for students who have completed at least some higher education. After that, this mode of communication may be taken directly from the classroom to the workplace without difficulty.

  1. To Develop Research Skills

Researching a subject or problem is a talent that is sometimes undervalued in the workplace, even though it is a very helpful tool for both workers and supervisors. A degree in psychology will help you enhance your ability to locate sources, assess the usefulness of those sources, and present your results in a way that is both clear and accurate via the use of various assignments and projects.

After earning a degree in psychology, you will be able to assess tenders, study possible projects, and do much more thanks to this talent. This is true regardless of the profession or industry you choose to follow after graduation.

  1. Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

If a person is competent at their job, they will always assess every set of numbers, notion, and proposal that comes their way to ensure that they are making the best option possible. Students pursuing a certificate or degree in psychology are required to give careful consideration to every source and theory that they cite or use in their work, making critical thinking an essential component of these programmes.

By honing this ability with the guidance of a teacher and the assistance of your classmates, you may make it more likely that you will not make errors that will cost you money in the future while you are working.

What Are The Various Branches Of Psychology?

The field of psychology is a very broad one and anyone who wishes to study psychology can venture into these various specialities. The following are the various branches of psychology

  • Clinical psychology
  • Sleep psychology
  • Behavioural and cognitive psychology
  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • School psychology
  • Clinical child and adolescent psychology
  • Couple and family psychology
  • Clinical health psychology
  • Geropsychology
  • Police and public safety psychology
  • Rehabilitation psychology
  • Group psychology and group psychotherapy
  • Forensic psychology
  • Industrial and organizational psychology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Counselling psychology
  • Serious mental illness psychology
  • Clinical psychopharmacology

Who Is A Psychologist?

A psychologist is simply put as someone who studied and practices psychology. To make this more elaborate, a psychologist is a professional who studies mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional and social processes and behaviours and at the same time practices psychology. In their work, they look into the behaviour of individuals towards each other and their biotic and abiotic environment.

What Is The Difference Between A Psychologist And A Psychiatric Physician?

Most times, people misunderstand psychiatric physicians as psychologists. This is because their mode of work is quite similar but with so many distinctions. The psychiatric physician can prescribe medications for patients while the psychologist cannot. This seems to be the major difference between the psychologist and the psychiatrist.

A psychiatric physician is not trained in psychological testing most times and this is common among psychologists. The psychologist is given thorough training in psychological testing, scoring, interpretation and reporting.

What Skills Are Required To Become A Psychologist?

There are important qualities that one must possess to pursue a psychology major. These skills are a must-have for a psychologist to effectively carry out his duties and also have a rewarding career. They include:

  1. Communication skills

Because psychologists spend a significant portion of their time listening to and interacting with patients or discussing their studies, it is important for them to have excellent communication skills.

  1. Analytical skills

When they have collected enough data, psychologists must analyze it and offer conclusions based on their findings.

  1. Integrity

In order to maintain patients’ trust, psychologists are required to keep their patients’ issues private, and patients must have faith in the psychologists’ ability to address delicate issues.

  1. Problem-solving Skills/Critical Thinking

In order to gather information, plan research, assess programs and come up with therapies or remedies for mental and behavioural issues, psychologists need to be able to think critically and solve problems.

  1. Interpersonal skills

Because they study people and try to assist them, psychologists need to be able to collaborate well with patients, clients, and other experts in the field.

  1. Observational skills

Psychologists investigate attitude and conduct. They must recognise the potential meanings of facial expressions, bodily positioning, behaviours, and interactions.

  1. Patience

Because doing research or treating patients might take a significant amount of time, psychologists need to possess the trait of patience.

Which Body Accredits Psychologists?

Becoming a psychologist, especially a clinical psychologist requires licensure. This means that you require a licence to practice as a clinical psychologist. To get this practising licence for psychologists, there are bodies accredited to issue these licenses. You have to visit any of these regulatory bodies to get your license.

Although there are basic minimum requirements that you must meet to get a licence. These requirements differ according to state and country. In the United States and Canada, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) regulates and sees to the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This ASPPB also houses and regulates all State and Provincial licensing boards.

To be issued a license to practice as a psychologist, one must meet the following requirements:

  • He/she must graduate from an accredited school with the appropriate degree (especially a psychology degree)
  • The person must have completed and passed a supervised clinical experience
  • He/she must also pass a written and/or oral examination from the EPPP.

Apart from these requirements, the license has to be renewed annually. To renew this license in some states, some continuing education credits are required. These credits are obtained via some other means such as workshops and audit classes. In many other countries, there are other bodies for the regulation of psychologists.

How To Become A Psychologist

The Steps to becoming a psychologist involve following the laid down academic pathways. To become a psychologist, you need to obtain the necessary academic degrees and acquire specialised training. The following are the 4 main steps to become a psychologist.

  • Get A Bachelor’s Degree
  • Obtain An Advanced Degree In Psychology
  • Complete An Internship/Industrial Attachment
  • Get Licenced

These steps on how to become a psychology major are to equip you with the necessary skills to be found worthy in character and learning. Let us detail these steps to become a psychologist.

  1. Get A Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree is a foundational degree for every major, be it accountancy, policy analyst, information technologist, economist, dental hygienist, esthetician, etc. Getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology is often the first step for aspiring psychologists. Courses in general psychology, experimental and developmental psychology, and statistics are required before beginning this programme.

  1. Obtain An Advanced Degree In Psychology

Depending on where you want to work and what you want to specialise in (such as child psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy), you may be able to get a psychology licence after getting a Master of Arts or a Master of Science.

If you have to get a doctorate, you can choose between a PsyD, which is a practical degree for people who want to be counsellors. A PhD, which is more focused on research, an EdD, which stands for “Doctor of Education,” and an EdS, which stands for “Education Specialist.” Check the requirements of your state and think about what you want to do with your career to decide which degree is right for you.

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  1. Complete An Internship/Industrial Attachment

Master’s or doctorate students in psychology must complete an internship or postdoctoral programme. This compulsory psychology internship provides you with hands-on instruction with qualified psychologists. Most States demand a two-year supervised internship with about 1,500 to 2,000 hours of supervised training and experience.

You gain on-the-job training, discover whether a speciality is suited for you, and serve others. Mental health careers frequently need an American Psychological Association (APA) approved internship in clinical or counselling psychology.

  1. Get Licenced

The qualifications for becoming a licenced psychologist differ from state to state. Find out what your state’s criteria are by contacting your state board. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) has a wealth of information on state boards.

The ASPPB administers the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). In certain situations, you must submit a case study to a board of psychologists.

As a psychologist, you can assist individuals to deal with life’s challenges and mental health issues. You require a PhD, PsyD, or EdS to work in psychology. Several states enable master’s degree holders to become psychologists.

Psychologists must take a one-year internship or postdoctoral training after earning an undergraduate and graduate degree. Any undergraduate may apply for a master’s in psychology. Once licenced, psychologists may offer counselling, psychotherapy, testing, and treatment for mental problems. They’re not physicians and can’t prescribe drugs. Psychologists help medical physicians treat patients.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Psychologist?

When pursuing a profession in psychology, you may ask how long it takes to become licenced and what degrees are required. It’s not always clear-cut. College completion duration varies on speciality and career interests.

If you’re pursuing a profession in psychology, you should know the educational and training requirements. Before deciding on a job, thoroughly consider your goals and aspirations. Becoming a certified psychologist might take as little as 8 years to 12 years, depending on the individual circumstances.

To get a job as a clinical psychologist, you will need a bachelor’s degree (which typically takes between four and five years to complete) in addition to a master’s and doctoral degree (four to seven years of graduate school). Higher education will take the majority of individuals between eight and twelve years to complete for this particular field of expertise.

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Psychologist?

Many variables influence the overall cost of a graduate degree in psychology, including the kind of institution (private vs public), location (including the cost of living), specialisation, financial aid, and the desired professional aspirations of the student.

Keeping in mind that these yearly tuition expenses are only averages, your expenditures may be lower or more depending on the institution and programme you pick. The cost of an online psychology degree may also vary depending on the institution and the programme.

A broad variety of clinical psychology programmes are available to help you finish your graduate education at a price and pace that works best for your budget and schedule. Below are the average costs of a postgraduate degree in psychology between private and public schools.

Average Annual Tuition Costs To Earn A Master’s Degree In Psychology (Public Institution):

  • In-state residents: $10,477
  • Non-residents: Just under $20,000

Median Annual Tuition Costs To Earn Your Doctorate Degree In Psychology (Public Institution):

  • In-state residents: $11,000
  • Non-residents: $24,000

Average Annual Tuition Costs To Earn A Master’s And Doctorate Degree In Psychology (Private Institution):

  • Master’s degree: $30,000
  • PhD: $34,000

This data is according to the APA’s 2020 Graduate Study in Psychology Tuition Cost Survey. 

What Are The Best Psychology Programs In The USA?

Programs leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology can be pursued in-person or online in a variety of schools across the United States. Even though the American Psychological Association (APA) only grants accreditation to doctoral programs, it does provide standards and guidelines for evaluating different psychology programs. This can equally guide your decision-making process

The following schools are among the top 10 schools to study psychology in the United States. A list of the best schools to study psychology in the USA are:

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Rice University
  • Duke University
  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University

Where Does A Psychology Major Work?

Where can I work with a degree in psychology? What is the best place to work as a psychologist? Once you are through with your degree and completed an internship, you can then decide where to work.

In clinical, counselling, or educational settings, as well as in private practice, many psychologists work in therapeutic capacities of one type or another. Research is being done by other psychologists on a broad variety of issues that are connected to mental processes and behaviour. Those who belong to the latter category of psychologists almost always find employment in academic institutions (e.g., universities, medical schools, or hospitals).

A bachelor’s degree in psychology may be a valuable degree that prepares graduates for a wide variety of employment in many different fields. A psychologist can work in any of the following institutions:

  • Government agencies
  • Hospitals and clinics (including VA hospitals)
  • Management consulting firms
  • Marketing research firms and other businesses
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Schools and universities
  • Social service organizations

How Much Can A psychologist Earn?

Psychology is a profitable field. The salary of a psychologist is highly dependent on the kind of psychology work that you do in addition to where you work, including the city and the industry. Other factors that determine a psychologist’s income are qualifications, specialty, and experience. M.Phil and PhD psychologists earn well.

Private practitioners make more. Many private practice psychologists work part-time as independent consultants. Clients may request evening or weekend work. Healthcare workers may work evenings or weekends. Most clinic, government, industrial, and school psychologists work full-time hours.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, in May 2021, psychologists made $81,040 annually. Half of an occupation’s employees earn more than the median salary, while half earn less. 10% made less than $47,850, while 10% earned more than $133,890.


Psychology is an interesting area of study and it is very important if you want to understand yourself, the people around you or your environment. Learn about human behaviour and help individuals be happier and more productive. The field of psychology needs more competent individuals to study for a psychology degree. The content of this post will not only serve as an introduction to what a psychology major presents in terms of career, jobs and salary of a psychologist but also the best schools to study psychology.

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