Career Planning and Development

Counseling and Career Office

General information about career opportunities and procedures for finding employment can be obtained at the Career Development office at 1305 Main Street. In addition, this office keeps on file lists of jobs that past psychology majors have obtained.

Students from Moravian College will emerge from the major with realistic ideas abut how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of setting.

What Do Psychologists Do and Where Do They Work?

Careers in psychology are rapidly growing in number as the area is continuing to expand and diversity. The American Psychological Association (APA), the largest professional organization in the field, now has 47 separate divisions each representing a different specialty. Psychologists can be found working in a variety of settings ranging from health-care to business and industry to education and research. Many careers in psychology involve working directly with people, for example, as licensed psychologists, counselors, teachers and human service providers. Other career possibilities are more task- or research-oriented, e.g., consultants, administrators and researchers.

Opportunities at the Bachelor's Degree Level

According to the APA booklet, Psychology: Scientific Problem-Solvers-Careers for the 21st Century, some of the fields that graduates with bachelor's degrees in psychology have entered include:

  • Administrative support
  • Public affairs
  • Education
  • Business
  • Sales
  • Service industries
  • Health
  • Biological sciences
  • Computer programming
  • Employment counselors
  • Corrections counselor
  • Interviewers
  • Personnel analysts
  • Probation officers
  • Writers

A baccalaureate degree in psychology also provides a strong foundation for further training in other fields including medicine, law, social work and business.

Additional training beyond the baccalaureate level opens up even more career options, especially beyond the supervised research or human services assistant levels.

What are the opportunities for part-time employment within the Psychology Department?

The department employs work study students to do a variety of tasks. Work study eligible students should speak to the Chairperson or department secretary. Positions are usually available for general clerical and animal room assistant.

What do people who graduate with an undergraduate degree in psychology do?

Please see the American Psychological Association booklet entitled "Careers for the Twenty-First Century" in the Secretary's office (room 228) for this information or see the following web site

How do I arrange to do an Independent Study or Field Study?

Students with an overall G.P.A. and 2.7 or above may wish to speak with their advisor prior to registration about the IS/FS options. Information about this option may also be found in our field study file and bulletin board.

Field Study

(PLEASE NOTE: A list of various internship jobs and the locations can be requested from department secretary)

Field study in psychology consists of elective, planned, supervised learning activities which take place in off-campus settings and for which credit is granted as an extension of the student's major academic program. It is the feeling of the Psychology Department that this joint venture of student, school, and agency offers a unique educational experience. It provides an opportunity to see classroom material come to life, allows early firsthand exposure to a possible career, and provides for the possibility of an exciting tutorial relationship with a professional in the field.

The experience itself is only one component in justifying the granting of academic credit for field study. It is the joint responsibility of the student, faculty coordinator, and field supervisor to insure that the field study is a valid academic experience. This is accomplished in part by the development of the field study contract generated by the student . The preliminary contract is reviewed by the faculty coordinator, the department chairperson, the academic dean, and when possible, the field supervisor and modified, if considered appropriate. This contract documents that the emphasis of field study as an academic experience for credit is upon supervised learning with grades based upon measurable assignments. It is the responsibility of the department and the student to guarantee that the field study fits meaningfully into the student's academic program.

Normally, field study is open only to majors with Junior or Senior standing who have at least a cumulative average of 2.7 and who have completed any course work which the faculty coordinator judges to be prerequisite to the field study experience as proposed.

At a minimum, the student will meet bi-weekly with the faculty coordinator in order to insure continuing evaluation of the student's progress.

At mid semester, the faculty member will meet with the field supervisor and the student to evaluate the learning experience, informally review the student's evaluation form and make appropriate improvements in the field study. For new placements (first experience for the agency or for the faculty coordinator with that agency), it is expected that an earlier on-site visit be made as well. The purpose of this earlier visit is to clarify the goals of the field study program with the agency and to consult with all concerned as to what will constitute the final contract.

We have found that this close monitoring of the field study experience has a number of positive effects. Having a contract helps to balance the particular needs of the student and the agency. The close supervision contributed to an accurate evaluation of the student's performance at the end of the semester. The faculty coordinator becomes a resource person providing guidance in reading resources, is available if and when problems arise, and helps the student relate his/her field experience to class work. The coordinator also provides the student with an opportunity and a reason to reflect upon the ongoing experience.

At the end of the semester, the field supervisor will formally evaluate the student and return the completed evaluation form to the faculty coordinator to determine the final grade. If requested by the field supervisor, copies of any final paper, projects, experiments, etc., will be provided to him or her.

Work Study

Departmental Assistants are preferably full majors in psychology or inter-departmental majors who qualify for financial assistance (work study) and who have skills deemed essential by the staff for the efficient functioning of the academic program. Assistants are chosen and designated by the staff for renewable on-term appointments.

It is to be understood that serving as an assistant carries unique responsibilities. The assistant, by the nature of his/her performance, is conveying a significant and visible image of standards of conduct. Assignments are appointed with the expectation of the exercise of good judgment, fairness, a balanced perspective of their roles as responsible upperclassmen, peers and above all, paraprofessional associates.

Graduate School

(see student resources for more information and helpful links, and course descriptions for classes recommended for preparation to graduate school

Suggested Schedule for Career Planning and Applying to Graduate School

Sophomore Year

  • After completing most of the liberal education requirements in the first year of college, begin to work on the basic psychology major requirements, including the introductory course Introduction to Psychology and the intermediate courses Experimental Methods and Data Analysis I and II.
  • Declare your major in Psychology by making an appointment with the Chairperson of the department.
  • Become acquainted with several faculty members in the department.
  • Arrange an appointment with your new advisor to conduct an in-depth interview on the tracks of Psychology and future plans.
  • Write a preliminary resume.
  • Join and become actively involved in the psychology-related student organizations: Psychology Club, Psi Chi, or the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Junior Year

  • Be sure to complete liberal education guidelines.
  • Begin research with faculty and continue throughout junior year.
  • Think about letter of recommendation resources (e.g., research supervisor, professors of small classes).
  • Explore opportunities for joining professional organizations (e.g., obtain faculty sponsorship for a student membership in the American Psychological Association).
  • Assume a position of leadership in one of the psychology related student organizations.
  • Review a comprehensive introductory psychology book to review for the Psychology portion of the GREs.
  • Register for, and take the Psychology Subject exam portion of the GREs in the Spring term.
  • Redraft the preliminary resume.
  • Attend the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting.
  • Apply for field study if interested in industrial/organizational or clinical/counseling psychology.
  • Explore the field study file for possible volunteer learning experience as well.
  • Begin work on a paper of one's previous research for possible publication or presentation.
  • Attend all relevant workshops and seminars offered by the Career Development Office.

Summer Between Junior and Senior Year

  • Obtain psychology related employment.
  • Buy study guides for the GRE, begin studying, and practice taking the GREs.
  • Continue to review a comprehensive introductory psychology book to review for the Psychology portion of the GREs.
  • Begin to investigate prospective graduate programs (consult with faculty and use local library resources).
  • Do a third draft of resume.
  • From research work, write paper(s) for publication or presentation.

Senior Year

  • Complete as much as possible all impressive degree requirements, research and field work by December, continue the research, field work and volunteer activities because they may be helpful later on.
  • Take full advantage of the Career Development programs offered (e.g., resume writing, mock interviewing).
  • September: Buy the current issue of APA's Graduate Study in Psychology and write to prospective schools for application materials. Register in September to take either the October or December GREs. Begin requesting letters of recommendation, following suggestions in the handbook. Through application materials, find out about additional requirements or tests needed by individual programs.
  • November: Have a letter of intent written and a polished resume completed.
  • December: Send completed applications to schools way ahead of deadlines. Request transcripts to be sent from all colleges attended.
  • If not continuing on to graduate school immediately, continue research, field work, and faculty affiliation as long as possible.

Spring Senior Year

  • Actively seek out employment possibilities.
  • Sign up for employer interviews with the Career
  • Center Verify that all requirements for graduation have been met.