IU East to offer bachelor’s degree in psychology

July 12th, 2010

Indiana University East will offer a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree program this fall.

Currently, students interested in majoring in psychology are enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Social Sciences with a concentration in psychology.

Joanne Passet, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said that the B.S. in Psychology degree is more readily recognized by employers and graduate admission committees.

“It’s wonderful that we can now offer this degree program to our students,” Passet said. “Our psychology faculty is very passionate about their teaching and research. They are great mentors for our psychology majors.”

Psychology is the largest declared major in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences with over 100 students enrolled in the program in spring 2010.

“Creating a stand-alone bachelor’s degree in psychology is an important part of the IU East strategy to offer as broad a spectrum of traditional bachelor’s degrees as possible,” said Larry Richards, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “In the near future, I expect to see similar stand-alone bachelor’s degrees in traditional disciplines such as sociology, political science, history, mathematics, and biochemistry, as well as in additional professional areas such as health science and health administration. The IU East mission is to be the region’s leader in baccalaureate and master’s degree programs.”

Students who graduate with a psychology degree will contribute to the economic development and social welfare of the region by being prepared for employment in mental health fields, social services, business, administration, human resources management, market research, and areas where the ability to understand and work well with people is required. The program also prepares students for graduate work in research, counseling, social work and occupational therapy.

Suzi Shapiro, associate professor of psychology, said the degree program strengthens the role that learning in psychology can play on the personal development of the student. It allows the student to focus on the aspects of psychology that are of interest to the student and support his or her personal and professional goals, she added.

“While students are still expected to learn about the discipline of psychology as a whole, there is more flexibility in choosing courses, allowing students to focus on the mental health issues of the field versus courses that would apply to business, learning, or other fields that require knowledge about how average people think and behave,” Shapiro said. “The new degree also emphasizes areas of psychology that are essential to the general understanding of human behavior, such as knowing about the biology of the human nervous system and how human behavior develops over time.”

Many of the upper division courses are available online. Students who have completed psychology courses at other institutions should be able to apply most, if not all courses, to the new program.

“The new Bachelor of Science in Psychology allows students to take a greater concentration of psychology courses (compared to the Bachelor of Behavioral and Social Sciences degree), which should help better position students for careers specific to psychology as well as prepare them especially well for graduate degrees in psychology,” said Duane Lundy, assistant professor of psychology.

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree, contact the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at (765) 973-8219.

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