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What's Your Major? - Psychology

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Category: academics Video duration: What's Your Major? - Psychology
Deanna shares her studies in psychology and her interest in the relationship in human behavior to the environment.
My name is Deanna and I'm currently a fourth year at Virginia Tech. I'm a psychology major and primarily my classes revolve around establishing the connection between the brain, our environment, and our behaviors. As psychology students, we seek to understand the underlying reasons for our behaviors. Originally, I started off as a journalism major, but I decided that I wanted to add a more "science-y" subject to my resume, and I really enjoyed the AP psychology course I took in high school. I also thought that it would be good to have knowledge in many topics and it would make the job market a little wider for me post-graduation. I added psychology at the end of my freshman year and it was the best decision I've made academically thus far. Psychology is a super flexible major, meaning that you can kind of take it in whatever direction you want. If you want to be in a more counseling or therapy job after graduation, you can take classes like abnormal psychology or psychological disorders of children, for example. If you wanted to take a more biological approach, you could double-major in neuroscience and psychology. And if you don't know what route you want to take immediately upon arriving at Virginia Tech, you can take a bunch of classes just to see what you like. Last year I worked in a physiological psychology research lab under a doctoral student, where we examined the connection between physical symptoms like heart rate and viewing emotional responses. The participant would watch a video displaying a certain emotion and indicate what they thought was being portrayed. I worked directly with participants, examined data, and eventually helped with the annotated bibliography for the final paper. This semester, I'm working in a clinical lab where I contact clients to see if they're still interested in receiving psychological services. And I interpret client data that can be used for future research projects. After I graduate, I'm planning on going to graduate school to further my education. I'm applying to a variety of masters and PhD programs, primarily in the clinical psychology discipline. If I were to get my master's, I would like to work as an addiction counselor and if I were to get my PhD, I'd like to work as a practicing clinical psychologist. The psychology major at Virginia Tech has given me a great foundation for this path. There are tons of research opportunities, which is great for graduate school, and all my professors have been incredible. They're all extremely knowledgeable, supportive, and passionate about what they do. I truly have not had a psychology professor that I didn't love. And I think that speaks volumes about the program.