The concentrations offered by the psychology department are designed to provide students with a framework for learning more about a specific field within psychology and child development through the benefit of additional instruction and hands-on experience. The practicum component of each concentration is an opportunity to apply classroom learning to research projects or applied practice. Concentrations are not the equivalent of minors, nor will they appear on a student’s transcript. However, completed concentrations may be listed on a student’s resume and addressed in letters of recommendation from faculty.
Psychology in the Community/Civic Engagement Concentration
Global Citizenship Concentration
Child Welfare Concentration
Child Life Concentration
The Gerontology Concentration is designed to provide additional information and experience to students who are interesting in studying or working with older adults. Students who are considering careers such as activity director, nurse or other health care professional, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, geropsychologist, and other vocations that have significant contact with older adults may benefit from this concentration. Students who plan to work in the field upon graduation will benefit from an applied practicum. Practicum placements may include settings such as retirement/nursing homes, hospice, community aging centers, and other related settings. Students who will be applying to research-based gerontology programs are strongly encouraged to complete a research practicum with a gerontology focus.
Required courses for the Gerontology Concentration
PSY 222 Adult Development and Aging
PSY 343 Research or Applied Practicum (2 credit hours) (Gerontology focus)
1 of these 2 options:
PSY 349 Advanced Topics in Geropsychology
PHR 235 Group Facilitation
The Experimental Concentration is designed for students preparing for graduate school in an experimental psychology master’s or PhD program. Such graduates often go on to academic careers in psychology (e.g., at colleges and universities) or applied research positions (e.g., at a research think tank). A strong research-oriented undergraduate background is key to gaining admission to competitive graduate programs, thus a research practicum experience is required that involves immersion in the various phases of conducting research. Furthermore, additional coursework in statistics and in the history and philosophy of psychology is required for those seeking the Experimental Concentration. It is also strongly recommended that students interested in applying to graduate school be proactive in taking advantage of research-related opportunities, such as working with a faculty member on her/his research, joining Psi Chi honor society, attending a professional meeting/conference (and, ideally, presenting research), and taking the practice GRE through the CCC.
PSY 343 (Research Practicum) (2 credit hours)
Elective Psychology Lab Course (e.g., PSY 314)
Member of faculty research team
Attend/Present at a professional conference
GRE Practice Exam (CCC)
The Community/Civic Engagement Concentration is designed to provide additional information and experience to students who are interested in using their psychology or child development background to work for their communities. Such graduates might go into graduate programs in related fields (e.g. social work, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse treatment, etc.) or they may enter the workforce directly, engaged with community or nonprofit organizations. Those students applying to PhD programs are strongly encouraged to complete a research practicum in collaboration with a community organization (typically offered in conjunction with the Center for Strong Communities). Students who will be entering the workforce upon graduation may benefit from an applied practicum at a community or nonprofit organization. Examples of applied practicum settings include child advocacy centers, domestic abuse shelters, substance abuse treatment programs, and other related agencies and organizations.
PSY 343 (Research or Applied Practicum) (2 credit hours)
SLS 203 (Non-profit Mgmt)
Nonprofit Leadership Certificate
Significant Volunteer Experience
The Global Citizenship Concentration is designed to provide additional information and experience to students who are interested in cross-cultural psychology or related fields where having significant cross-cultural or international experience is a benefit. Those students applying to PhD programs in psychology or child development are strongly encouraged to complete a research practicum with a global or multicultural focus. Students who will be entering the workforce upon graduation may benefit from an applied practicum at an agency with an international or cross-cultural focus. Examples of applied practicum settings include international organizations and the Sudanese Education Initiative.
PSY 343 Research or Applied Practicum (2 credit hours)
2 years of foreign language (equivalent)
(Study abroad or J-term/Summer program)
Global Citizenship Organization
Peace & World Concerns
The Child Welfare Concentration emphasizes the importance of child and family well-being, with special emphasis on children with special needs including developmental disability (such as Autism), health issues, abuse/neglect, and social inequality in either a local/national or international context. This concentration is designed to prepare students for varied direct practices with children and families, including positions of applied research, intervention, advocacy, and program development.
PSY 343 Research or Applied Practicum (2 credit hours)
The Child Life Concentration provides the initial coursework and practical experience necessary to pursue certification as a Child Life Specialist. Child life specialists help children facing a broad range of challenging experiences typically related to health and hospitalization and provide emotional support and guidance to the children’s families. In addition to the requirements in the concentration, certification requires the completion of a supervised internship and passing a professional examination. Internship placements are very competitive so are not guaranteed.
Requirements: (10 courses required for Child Life Professional Certificate Examination)
PHR 336 (with instructor’s approval)
PSY 343 (applied, in a child life setting)
Internship (per Child Life certificate requirements)