Frequently Asked Questions
Are Teaching Assistant positions avaliable? Are they paid positions? What qualifications do I need?
Psych Central (1150 KMBL) is a great place to begin building experience in tutoring others, especially Psych 111 students. Students working there as teaching assistants earn credit in Psych 492R or 410R. Psych Central gains new employees every semester or term. Graduate students fill many paid teaching assistant positions, but there are often undergraduate positions available. In addition to talking with Psych Student Support Services (1005 KMBL), you may ask professors whether they have paid undergraduate teaching assistant positions available. Also, talk to students who are already teaching assistants and ask them about possibilities. While some positions pay, most undergraduate students only earn credit for the experience. It is often best to approach the professors who have a positive opinion of your work or professors who have instructed you before.
If I passed the AP Psychology exam, does that count for Psych 111?
If you scored a 3, you will earn general credit toward the requirement of completing 120 credits for graduation, but it will not substitute for Psych 111. A score of 4 or 5 on the AP test will fulfill the Psych 111 requirement.
How do I go about getting involved in research?
There is no prescribed way to get involved in research, and it generally requires initiative on your part. Far too many students don’t proactively seek chances to do research, instead assuming that opportunities will present themselves. In many cases, this is a false assumption. To make sure you don't miss out on valuable research opportunities, the key is to get started early! First, identify the professors you might want to work with. You can find out the research interests of the professors on the Psychology Department website. The Psych Student Support Service Office also periodically sends announcements via e-mail about professors who are seeking students to be research assistants, but they don’t carry any kind of comprehensive list. Psych Student Support Services can give advice on how to best approach professors that you are interested in working with. Read some of the published work of professors to make sure you are interested in the research that they are doing. You could also approach the professors directly to ask about their research and other literature that would better prepare you to work with them. When you do approach a professor about working with him or her, you may phone or use e-mail, but it is often more effective to visit in person during the professor’s office hours. Office hours are listed in the Psychology Department office (1001 KMBL) and outside each professor’s office. Remember that it may not be easy to arrange an opportunity to do research with a professor, much less the one you hope to work with, because there are far fewer professors than students. For this reason, you should start early in your search for research experience. If the professors you really want to work with are too busy for a semester, you can approach them again the following semester. You might also consider working with a professor who is not your top choice as far as your research interests are concerned but with whom you would enjoy working, and in this way gain valuable experience. Once professor has agreed to work with you, be responsible and follow through on your commitments. Do more than is asked, and volunteer for and expect to do tedious or menial work. You must show that you are sincere in your interest to do research before a professor is inclined to trust you with larger responsibilities.
What is a capstone course?
Capstone courses are designed to integrate undergraduate students’ knowledge from classwork with a hands-on experience in teaching, research, and/or community service. The courses are intended for juniors or senior, and are generally small—often fewer than 10 students. Thus, capstones also present a unique opportunity to become better acquainted with a professor and his or her work. Capstone subjects vary from semester to semester and generally have a narrow focus. Brief descriptions of the courses are available when registering for classes on myBYU. For further questions, visit or contact Psych Student Support Services (1005 KMBL).
How do I register for a capstone course?
Some capstones may be added on myBYU, but most must be added by contacting the professor who will be teaching the course. If you have further questions, contact Psych Student Support Services email@example.com
Are there research opportunities outside of BYU for undergraduate psychology majors?
It requires some internet research and some persistence on your part, but there are definitely opportunities to do research outside of BYU! Here is one useful website to get you started: http://www.apa.org/education/undergrad/research-opportunities.aspx
How do I set up an academic internship?
The initial set-up for an academic internship should begin with the Family and Social Services Internship office in 945 KMBL. Here they will assist you in finding a successful internship that will help you heighten your undergraduate experience (http://fssinternships.byu.edu/Login) Once you have selected and filled out the on-line paperwork for the internship, you will work with the Psychology Internship office, 1007 KMBL, to receive the approval to add the course, firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I receive academic internship credit for work I already did in a previous semester?
No. This is prohibited by the BYU academic internship policy.
Where can I go to search for an internship?
You can look through employment listings in your local newspaper or visit the FHSS Internship Office in 945 KMBL to look through their database for available internship opportunities.
What can I do with my degree?
There are six common career paths following a psychology degree. They include outpatient and residential care, social and human services, human resources, therapy, teaching, and professional graduate schools (i.e., medicine, business, law, and so forth). Note that in order to do therapy in its traditional sense, you will need at least a master’s degree. To teach high school psychology, you must receive a teaching certificate. Teaching at higher levels requires graduate degrees. The best on-campus resource for information on professional opportunities with a degree in Psychology would be the FHSS Advisement Center. You can also check out the online Psychology Career Center at http://psychologycareercenter.org
What types of psychology-related jobs are available in Utah County? How do I find them?
There are jobs in Utah County both for people working on undergraduate psychology degrees and for those who have completed degrees, but the competition can be intense. Among the main employers in the area are the Utah State government (go to www.dhrm.utah.gov for listings) and the local mental health providers, such as Wasatch Mental Health, Provo Canyon School, Heritage Schools, Chrysalis, Slate Canyon Youth Center, Center for Change, and the school districts. You might also check under “Mental Health” in the Yellow Pages. If you are having difficulty finding employment, you may want to try volunteering or completing an internship in order to attain experience and build your résumé. You can also check out this job search section of the BYU Alumni website: https://alumnicareers.byu.edu/search
How do I get a job related to human resources?
According to some professionals working in human resources (HR), you can generally get a job in human resources with only an undergraduate degree. In this case, you should expect to start in an entry-level position for HR departments. . Historically, it has usually been more competitive to find a job in human resources in Utah than in other states. Thus, if you want to work in human resources, you should be willing to look for work outside of Utah. One valuable resource for affiliating with HR professionals is the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), which has a student chapter at BYU (see www.byuobhr.blogspot.com). There are often activities that connect students with working professionals. It is also recommended for interested students to take additional Human Resource Management courses, which are available to psychology students. They are listed under the Organizational Behavior division of the classes offered by the Marriott School of Management: OB 327, OB 429, and OB 330 are especially beneficial for preparing students for HR work. Another viable alternative to gain experience in human resources would be to register for an HR internship, under the course BUS M 494 with Roger McCarty. This course allows students to render project-based services, in teams, to various companies, some of them large corporations or Fortune 500 companies while working with faculty. This section is an on-campus internship and is strongly recommended as an elective for students interested in OB/HR strategy. It is for students who want to obtain practical experience that will help them compete effectively in an HR career. Students work in small groups with faculty supervision to complete a project for an outside organization. Interested students must register for this section and then complete an online application at https://marriottschool.byu.edu/fieldstudies/student/oncampus. Questions can be directed to Roger McCarty (801-422-8928 or email@example.com) in the Marriott School of Management.
How much money can I expect to earn in various professional careers within psychology?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics offers detailed statistics about occupations. Their website is www.bls.gov
How do I learn about the GRE? How can I prepare for it?
A visit to www.GRE.org will answer most questions. Some who have done well on the exam recommend GRE prep courses while others recommend studying from a GRE prep manual. What works for you will largely depend on your study habits. If you have enough self-discipline to study on your own and can learn and review concepts from a book, then a prep manual should suffice. If you have a difficult time motivating yourself or would like concepts explained by a teacher, a course might be more suitable. Whichever method of preparation you choose, make sure that you have the opportunity to take at least one practice test in order to familiarize yourself with the computer format. Most prep manuals come with CDs or websites for practice tests, as do most prep courses. You may also want to explore the American Psychological Association’s website: www.APA.org
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