While many major areas of study are acceptable preparation for a career in health care, psychology is an especially good choice for two reasons. First, pre-health science majors need scientific training and Psychology provides such training. A Baylor student with a psychology major must complete at least five basic science or methodology core courses within our department in order to earn a degree (e.g. statistics, measurement, and neuroscience). There are more of these courses available to those students interested.
Additionally, all courses in the department of psychology are taught from a literature/research based perspective. Modern psychology relies heavily on its scientific knowledge base to answer questions. At Baylor you will be thoroughly exposed to this scientific knowledge base. This exposure, along with your basic premedical curriculum, will vest you with the science preparation historically viewed as important for health service providers.
Secondly, psychology can teach you more about human and non-human animal behavior and cognition than other major offered at Baylor University. Course offerings range from theories of personality, learning, and abnormal behavior to developmental psychology, introduction to counseling, and social psychology. Psychology students develop a broad view of the current understanding of the human condition. This information is especially valuable to health service providers in their early training and practice. In essence, you will have a head start over persons majoring in other sciences since you will have majored in the science of humans and non-humans, the objects of your life's work. Moreover, you can earn academic credit for practicing your people skills (Community Volunteer Work, Psychology 3V90).
Finally, many people major in psychology because they anticipate a career in psychiatry. In contemporary mental health, psychiatry plays a vital leadership role. Psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals who can prescribe pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, as neuroscience knowledge plays an ever-increasing role in understanding some disorders, psychiatry's position as the point profession of mental health is not likely to ever be threatened. For some, these are compelling reasons to study medicine and specialize in psychiatry. Psychology is a sound premedical major for any area of medicine, but it is especially so for psychiatry.
In summary then, what are the advantages of a pre-health sciences major in psychology? First, you will receive sound methodological training in science. Secondly, we give you a head start by teaching you about the science of living organisms, how they behave and think, what motivates them, how they relate to one another, how you can improve your skills in relating to them, how they feel, and what can go wrong with them. And finally, if you are interested in a career in psychiatric medicine, there is no better major than psychology.
Courses of Special Interest to Psychology Majors Planning to Pursue a Postgraduate Degree in Health Science:
Helpful Psychology Courses Beyond Basic Degree Requirements:
Behavioral Neuroscience (4330)
Psychology of Perception (3423)
Psychology of Learning (3326)
Behavioral Medicine (4312)
Drugs and Behavior (3355)
Neuroscience Literature (4317)
Biological Basis of Mental Disorders (3419)
Electrophysiology of the Human Brain (4313)
Advanced Statistics (4400)
Social Psychology (3310)
Theories Psychotherapy/Counsel (3308)
Psychology of Women (3360)
Independent Research in Psychology (4V96)
Personality Theory (4327)
Lifespan Human Development (3350)
Helpful Courses in Other Departments:
Animal Physiology (Biology 3422)
Immunology (Biology 4301)
Histology (Biology 4426)
Genetics (Biology 2306)
Biochemistry (Chemistry 4341; Biology 4307)
Medical Anthropology (Anthropology 2325)
Epidemiology (Anthropology 4330)
Bioethics (Religion 4395)