Exploring Psychology

Check out the different areas of psychology in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University to determine what matches your educational interests and career goals.

Search the Web for "psychology", "psychology careers" and "learning psychology." Keep a critical eye and talk with your advisor or a faculty member about the information that you find to make sure it is accurate.

General psychology

WMU general psychology classes will help you decide if psychology is right for you. Our introductory core consisting of PSY 1000, PSY 1600 and PSY 2500 is the same for both majors and minors. Other resources to pursue:

School psychology

While WMU does not have a graduate level program in school psychology, we offer PSY 5170: Psychology in the Schools as an elective for psychology majors. This course covers issues of importance to future school psychologists.

Behavior analysis

Several of our courses within both the major and the minor integrate crucial information about behavior analysis and the practice of psychology as a natural science. Key courses include: PSY 330, PSY 360 and PSY 460.

Forensic psychology

While we realize that this is an area of interest to many students, our department does not offer any coursework specifically in forensic psychology. Most individuals interested in this field find that having a double major or a minor in criminal justice is helpful to them.

Art and music therapy

While the department does not currently offer any course work in these areas, you are encouraged to talk with advisors in the art or music departments about possible coursework options.

Industrial/organizational psychology

WMU offers students several courses in industrial/organizational psychology including:

  • PSY 4440 Industrial/Organizational Behavior Analysis (Majors should enroll in this course. Minors should enroll in this course if interested in this area. PSY 3440 is an elective for minors only.)
  • PSY 5470 Practicum in Organizational Performance Improvement
  • PSY 5480 Instructional Design

In addition, PSY 5970 Behavior Based Safety is offered regularly and provides a background to individuals interested in industrial/organizational psychology.

Clinical/counseling psychology

Clinical and counseling psychology programs often look for some research and applied experiences. Courses that may be appropriate include all of the introductory core as well as PSY 5610 Introduction to Clinical Psychology.

Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy

Divisions related to clinical and counseling psychology within the American Psychological Association:

Sports and health psychology

PSY 4630: Health Psychology, a course in the management of health-related behaviors, fulfills an elective requirement for both majors and minors.