Alternatives to a Psychology Degree
Are you wondering if psychology is the only route for study in understanding the mind and human behavior? When selecting a college major related to psychology, know that there are alternatives that incorporate the more theoretical sides of psychology with practical applications. In this article, we’ll discuss that balance by looking at the various alternatives to a psychology degree.
By SPRING PHAM
A psychology degree is undeniably alluring, and it draws in people who are invested in learning about various aspects of human behavior and cognition. But, did you know that there are alternatives to a psychology degree? You could combine your fascination with psychology with fields like other social sciences, art, entrepreneurship, or social work.
1. Other Social Sciences & Policy Studies
If you’re also interested in the broader realms of societal behavior, it could be useful for you to look at programs that include sociology, anthropology, or political science amongst other social sciences. These let you branch out and study societies or groups of people. Sociology is the study of human social behavior and its institutions. Anthropology is the study of human cultures and societies. Political science is the study of government and politics.
An interesting program is the BA in Environmental Analysis & Policy at Boston University. Students take a wide variety of classes in the social sciences, with a specialization in the environmental field, and ultimately gaining the skills to analyze policy.
2. Art Therapy
Art therapy is a dynamic alternative to a psychology degree, offering a unique approach to understanding mental health and emotional well-being. It’s a pretty interdisciplinary field that combines psychology, art, and human development to help others. To practice art therapy as a licensed practitioner, you will need to pursue a graduate degree in the field, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll talk about academic alternatives during the bachelor’s degree.
Take a look at the BA for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies at CUNY. Rather than double majoring in psychology and art, the program allows you to chart your own program tailored to your unique goals. See below for a sample; though, note that it is not specifically catered to art therapy.
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Choosing entrepreneurship as an alternative to a psychology degree can offer a unique avenue for individuals interested in creating innovative solutions to address psychological or social challenges. Entrepreneurship, like many other fields, is predicated on a mindset of creativity, problem-solving, and resilience. Projects could include creating a wellness app, a community-based support network, or a mental health organization.
Check out the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Minor at Rice University. This gives you a fair amount of free range to pursue a major of interest that could further contextualize the studies in entrepreneurship.
4. Social Work
A degree in social work, which combines psychology, public health, and sociology, is compelling due to its versatility. Students are given multiple opportunities to gain hands-on experience and develop skills in assessments, case management, and intervention planning. Moreover, because it’s flexible, you could work with law enforcement or do expert testimony (for those interested in the fields of criminology and forensic psychology), do clinical work with various populations, or even work in schools or with government agencies. There is a large emphasis placed on advocacy and community engagement.
Look at the social work programs at The University of Texas at Austin, which offers the major at the undergraduate level and spans to doctoral degrees.
While a formal psychology degree is undoubtedly valuable, it’s not the only path to studying psychological principles such as human behavior. These alternative routes provide engaging ways to explore theoretical psychology with practical applications. So, if you’ve ever thought about diving into the complexities of the human psyche, consider these alternative avenues – you might discover something unique and fulfilling to you!