Teaching Assistant Jobs
Are Teaching Assistant positions available? Are there paid positions? What qualifications do I need? 

Transfer/Class Substitutions
If I passed the AP Psychology exam, does that count for Psych 111?

Research
How do I go about getting involved in research?
What is a capstone course?
How do I register for a capstone course?
Are there research opportunities outside of BYU for undergraduate psychology majors ?

Internships
How do I set up an academic internship?
Can I receive academic internship credit for work I already did in a previous semester?
Where can I go to search for an internship?

Job Info
What can I do with my degree?

What types of psychology-related jobs are available in Utah County? How do I find them?
How do I get a job related to human resources?
How much money can I expect to earn in different professional careers within psychology?

Graduate Studies
What types of graduate programs are there? How can I differentiate between clinical and nonclinical programs, PhDs and PsyDs, and so forth?
How do I start looking for a graduate school?
How do I learn about the GRE? How can I prepare for it?

My question isn't here!

 

 

Are Teaching Assistant positions available? Are they paid positions? What qualifications do I need?

Psych Central (1150 SWKT) 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. If you are interested, go to Psych Central and make an appointment with the Graduate Student Coordinator in order to discuss possible openings. 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 SWKT), 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 undergraduate coordinator’s office (Psych Student Support Services) 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 SWKT) 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 SWKT). 
 
 

How do I register for a capstone course?

 
 

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: 
 
 

How do I set up an academic internship?

There are two ways to set up an academic internship. The first is to already have a psychology-related job in place, and then the Psychology Internship Office for approval to participate in the Psychology Internship Program (psychinternship@byu.edu, 1007 SWKT). The second option is to look for volunteer or employment positions which would fulfill the Psych 399R requirements. This second option is much more preferable than the first option.

  

Once you have obtained an approved internship, you must make sure the appropriate paperwork is filled out before adding the class. These forms can be obtained online or by contacting the internship office.
 
 

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?

 There are many ways to locate an internship. You can look through employment listings in your local newspaper, talk to the graduate student liaison in 1007 SWKT, or search through the numerous databases available here 403. You may also click the links below for other ideas on finding an internship. 

http://fhssinternships.byu.edu/ 500

 

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 resources, which can help you see professional opportunities with a degree in psychology, are Psych Student Support Services and the FHSS Advisement Center. There are also less common career paths; to read about some of these possibilities, visit http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb01/careerpath.html or 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 severe. 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: http://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 http://byuobhr.blogspot.com/). There are often activities that connect students with working professionals, sometimes with monthly luncheons. 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 section 002. 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 http://marriottschool.byu.edu/fieldstudies/student/oncampus.  Questions can be directed to Roger McCarty(801-422-8928 or roger_mccarty@byu.edu) or Reid Robison(801-422-2412) 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 http://www.bls.gov/home.htm. 
 
 

What types of graduate programs are there? How can I differentiate between clinical and nonclinical programs, PhDs and PsyDs, and so forth?

The Rider University web page has some great answers. The following is based on much of the information on their website: 
 
General Information: 
There are several types of graduate programs in psychology. The most common are experimental, developmental, social, biopsychological, cognitive, clinical, counseling, school, and organizational psychology (also known as industrial-organizational psychology, or simply I/O). These last four (clinical, counseling, school and I/O) are considered by the American Psychological Association (APA) to be the four distinct areas of applied psychology. Other more specialized graduate programs might be devoted to sports psychology, psychology and law, or behavioral medicine. Large psychology departments at large universities may include many of the most common programs mentioned above, but most universities will have only a few of them. 
 
Programs in Applied Psychology: 
 
Master’s Programs (full time or part time) 
There are a variety of master’s programs in fields related to clinical and counseling psychology. Usually these programs train students in basic counseling skills. Some programs may have specialized areas of training such as marriage and family counseling, drug addiction counseling, group counseling, vocational counseling, family therapy, child therapy, divorce mediation, prison counseling, and so forth. When it comes time to apply for jobs, it is very advantageous to have an area of specialization. People with master’s degrees usually work in group counseling practices, clinics, programs for niche populations (drug abusers, victims of domestic abuse, chronic psychiatric patients, and so forth), and employee assistance programs. Having a Master of Social Work degree or a Master in Family Therapy degree can also open up opportunities to practice therapy. In many states, people with master’s degrees cannot have their own private practice. Earning a PhD will enable you to make more money and may open up different doors for you, but it is not absolutely necessary to have one. In some cases, a master’s degree may be ideal! In fact, with the current rise of managed care systems in the field of mental health, insurance companies may only pay for psychotherapy provided by clinicians who are part of a group practice. While PhDs may be in charge of the group, they may very well hire clinicians with master’s degrees to do therapy with the clients who are referred to the group. If you are determined to get a PhD, you can sometimes get a master’s degree from one school and then transfer to a PhD program at another school. However, you will probably lose credits, as some credits will not transfer between schools. Many PhD programs also prefer to train students right from the start of their graduate careers and do not give advantages to transfer students. 
 
Counseling Psychology (EdD or PhD, usually 4–5 years full time; sometimes less competitive programs to get into than clinical psychology programs)
Counseling psychology programs usually emphasize training in counseling or psychotherapy methods. These programs also include some training in research methods (i.e., statistics and experimental courses), but usually are not as rigorous as courses in clinical psychology programs. However, counseling programs that offer a PhD rather than the traditional EdD often have intense research training. Similarly to clinical psychology programs, counseling programs require internship experience and a dissertation. In recent years, the distinction between counseling and clinical psychology programs is disappearing. A counseling program is often completely separate from the psychology department at some universities. 
 
PhDs in Clinical Psychology (5 years minimum; full time; can be difficult to get accepted) 
These programs educate students about issues related to mental health and mental health treatment. Many programs emphasize research and will require you to take courses in statistics and experimental design. You will be expected to conduct experimental research, which will culminate in your dissertation. A dissertation is a year-long research project that you design and conduct on your own (with help from a committee of faculty members). Most programs are behavioral, cognitive, biological, or psychoanalytic in their approach. Some programs mix all of the above. A few are humanistic/ existential. During the first few years in a clinical program, you will get some training in psychotherapy and psychological testing, but the most intense clinical training usually comes later, during an internship. A few PhD clinical psychology programs underplay the research component and spend more time on training you to do psychotherapy, but most programs weigh heavily on the research. 
 
PsyD in Clinical Psychology (4–5 years; full or part time; can be difficult to get accepted) 
PsyD programs lead to the degree Doctor of Psychology rather than the traditional PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy. They were created as an alternative to PhD clinical psychology programs. They are designed specifically for people who want to practice psychology and are less interested in quantitative research. There is some research training, but much more time is spent on learning the various aspects of clinical work (i.e., individual and group psychotherapy, testing, marriage and family counseling, and so forth). Usually internship experiences in a wider variety of settings are required more than in PhD programs. PsyD clinical psychologists usually work in hospitals, clinics, and private practice. 
 
Clinical Social Work (MSW, 2–3 years full time) 
Social work programs are an alternative to psychology training. Clinical social work programs teach students about working in the mental health and social welfare systems. Training in counseling and psychotherapy sometimes is not as extensive as in psychology programs, especially PhD and PsyD programs. Research usually is not emphasized. Many clinical social workers do individual and group psychotherapy.
 
School Psychology (usually 4–5 years for PhD or EdD, 2–3 years for master’s degree) 
School psychologists are trained to do counseling and psychological testing in a school setting. Their strength, therefore, is their understanding of school systems and education. They would probably work with the school's students or the staff. Some school psychologists may also have an additional private practice. Some school psychology programs offer an EdD. Others, which may place more emphasis on research training, will offer a PhD. 
 
Back to top
 

How do I start looking for a graduate school?

There are helpful websites for looking at school profiles, including GradProfiles.comGradSchools.com, and Petersons.com. If you are seeking a particularly academic track, consult http://www.phds.org. A helpful book published by the American Psychological Association, entitled Graduate Study in Psychology (2003 edition), is available in 1150V SWKT. It lists over 500 graduate programs and includes information on the number of applicants during the previous year, the number of accepted applicants, financial aid and tuition, admission criteria, websites, and other useful information. The book is not available for checkout but may be used in the Psych Student Support office. 
 
 
  

How do I learn about the GRE? How can I prepare for it?

A visit to http://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 

Back to top ​​​
​​​​​​​