Careers / Graduate Education

UVA Career Center

Vist the UVA Career Center to access many resources to help you prepare for your career and graduate school. Explore the topics below:

Careers in Psychology

  • American Psychological Association: Learn more about careers in psychology.
  • Psych Web: Dedicated to students and teachers of psychology, get career advice for psychology majors, a review of psychology and religion as an academic discipline, and a full-length, free introductory psychology textbook.

Recommended Books:

Careers with a Psychology Bachelor's Degree

Psychology Related Careers: Those who are not ready or interested in going to graduate school often enter the job market and find work in areas that are relevant to their undergraduate training. Many of these jobs are in human service areas, for example, youth counselor, recreation assistant, or rehabilitation advisor. Other jobs may involve analytical or research skills. There are entry-level roles in many government agencies or nonprofits where you can gain exposure to the field.  The federal government, for example, hires Psychology Technicians with a bachelor's degree in psychology.  

General Liberal Arts Careers: Many employers seek graduates with a general liberal arts degree, and psychology majors compete successfully for many of these jobs. These jobs may include, for example, management trainee or salesperson. 

Visit the UVA Career Center to explore careeer opportunties in human services, counseling, and wellbeing and other areas that do not require advanced degrees.

Recommended Books:


Graduate Education in Psychology

Becoming a professional psychologist requires graduate training leading to careers in research, academia, or clinical psychology.  Traditional research areas include Cognitive, Developmental, Quantitative, Sensory and Systems Neuroscience, and Social Psychology. Persons interested in these areas usually pursue a doctoral degree.  Applied areas include Clinical, Community, Industrial/Organizational, Counseling, Educational Psychology and School Psychology. Careers in these areas are usually possible at the master's or doctoral levels. Graduate programs in Counseling, Educational Psychology, and School Psychology may be offered in Education or Educational Psychology Departments instead of traditional Psychology Departments.

Visit the following pages to learn more about graduate education:

UVA Psychology Graduate Programs

Graduate Education Outside of Psychology

Psychology majors are not limited to graduate studies in psychology. Some majors use their background to pursue careers in Social Work and Education.  Other students go on to Medical School or Law School. Careful preparation will ensure the proper background.  Review the following helpful resources to learn more:


LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Regardless of whether you plan to get a job or go to graduate school following graduation, you probably will find that you need letters of recommendation. Because the majority of lower-level courses in the psychology program are large lecture courses, many students reach their fourth year and find they have not established close relationships with faculty members. No matter how good a student you are, a letter written by an instructor who can only discuss your in-class performance will not be as strong or convincing as a letter written by someone who knows you better. You must plan ahead! Some tips: Take your relationship with your major advisor seriously. Schedule an appointment outside class with an instructor whose class you really enjoy. Sign up for an independent research project. Sign up for smaller psychology classes  so you can begin building relationships with your professors.