Why You Should Major in Psychology

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Why do so many students opt to major in psychology? Choosing a college major can be a very difficult task, especially if you are torn between competing degree options. Psychology might interest you, but you also need to consider if related subjects like education, sociology, or even something like anthropology might be a better fit.

In order to select the major that is right for you, it is important to start by assessing your interests and goals. Psychology is one of the most popular degrees at colleges and universities throughout America, but is it the right choice for you?

How to Decide

Picking a major is a critical crossroads in your education, so it is important to spend some serious time learning about your options and reflecting on your own interests, goals, and career plans.

First, explore some of the best reasons to earn a psychology degree, including the opportunity to learn more about yourself and others and the chance to study a challenging yet fascinating subject.

Next, learn some of the major factors you should consider before you decide to major in psychology. All college degrees come with pros and cons, and psychology is no different. Thinking about what you will do with your degree after you graduate is a great place to start.

If you are keeping an education and career research journal, this is a great opportunity to write down some of your thoughts as well as the information you learn about your degree options. Consider starting a list of all the pros and cons of majoring in psychology and see if your observations have an impact on your decision.

A Few Reasons to Major in Psychology

In addition to offering a tremendous opportunity for personal growth, majoring in psychology opens up a wide range of career opportunities.

A few other reasons why you should consider majoring in psychology include:

  • A strong interest in the subject
  • A desire to learn more about the human mind and behavior
  • An interest in helping others
  • A passion for research
  • Interest in going to graduate school

If you are still wondering if psychology is the right choice for you, then be sure to check out some of these great reasons to earn a psychology degree.

A Few More Things to Consider

As any high school senior or college freshman can attest, choosing a college major can be a nerve-wracking decision. If you are interested in the field of psychology, there are a number of things you should consider before you choose a psychology major.

  • Taking stock of your interests, talents, and professional goals can help make this important decision easier.
  • Consulting with your academic advisor and members of the community already working in your field of interest may also be helpful.
  • Thinking about whether you want to commit to graduate school is also important. Many careers within psychology require at least a master's degree, so it is something you should think about early on.

If you are seriously considering earning a degree in psychology, then be sure to check out a few more of the things you need to think about before you major in psychology.

A Few Reasons Not to Major in Psychology

Psychology can be an exciting degree choice that opens up a lot of options for students, but that does not mean that it is the right choice for everyone. What are a few of the reasons why you might want to avoid this major?

  • If you struggle to cope with stress, then psychology might not be a good choice for you. Careers in mental health naturally involve stress and high-pressure situations. If you fear that dealing with these challenges will eventually lead to burnout, then you might want to consider a different career path.
  • If you absolutely do not want to go to graduate school, then you might want to consider some non-psychology undergraduate majors. The reality is that many careers in psychology require at least a master's degree, and many require a doctorate degree. If you don't plan on devoting the time, money, and effort toward graduate education, then psychology might not be the right choice for you.

Why Do You Want to Major in Psychology?

Share your thoughts on why you want to major in psychology:

  • Explain why you are interested in psychology. Psychology might be a good choice if you enjoy learning about the human mind and behavior, have an interest in psychology research, or love working with people.
  • Describe specific career options you have already considered. Be sure to spend some time researching different psychology careers in order to get a good idea of the different opportunities that are out there.
  • Visit your academic advisor or campus career center and discuss any insight you may have gained from the experience. Students sometimes overlook the many resources that are available through their own college or university. An academic advisor can help you assess your strengths and interests in order to determine which college major might be best.

A Word From Verywell

Now that you have explored some of the great reasons to earn a psychology degree as well as the major factors you should consider before deciding to pursue one, it is time to reflect. Do you still feel like psychology is the best choice for you? Are you starting to get a clearer picture of what you would like to do in your future career?

Don't worry if you are starting to question your decisions. It is totally normal to feel undecided. The key is to keep researching your options and exploring your own interests in order to gain deeper insight. Even if you are starting to question whether psychology is right for you, be sure to look at some of the many different career options that are available, or try a psychology career quiz. As you learn more, you might just find the career path that is perfect for you.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Center for Education Statistics. Fast Facts: Most Popular Majors.

  2. Simpson S, Simionato G, Smout M, et al. Burnout amongst clinical and counselling psychologist: The role of early maladaptive schemas and coping modes as vulnerability factorsClinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. 2018;26(1):35-46. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01897

  3. American Psychological Association. Careers in psychology.

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is the author of the "Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition)" and has written thousands of articles on diverse psychology topics. Kendra holds a Master of Science degree in education from Boise State University with a primary research interest in educational psychology and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Idaho State University with additional coursework in substance use and case management.