The foundation behind all programs at Gannon University is to better students so they are successful in their futures. Gannon’s psychology program is no exception to this statement.

Gannon University’s psychology program aims to prepare students for graduate school and life beyond college.

“We want our students diploma-in-hand, confident in their ability to go out into the workforce or grad. school, and confident in their ability to apply themselves,” said Barbara Townsend, psychology professor. The program accomplishes this by promoting core liberal arts classes intertwined with research-based courses.

Chances are, if you took an introduction to psychology course, you were asked to participate in some studies for the older psychology majors. The studies are often simple tests mediated by a psychology student. These studies help students apply what they learn in class about scientific research.

Contrary to popular belief, psychology isn’t just about studying mental illnesses. It’s focused on teaching students about becoming a good scientist.

“They’re not just about psychology, they’re about the scientific method and what makes good research,” said Matt Kridel, senior psychology major.

Psychology students are also required to take courses addressing counseling, social work, psychology of women and other research courses.

Internships for the psychology program are not mandatory, but are highly encouraged, especially if a student wishes to progress onto graduate school and achieve a doctorate degree. Another way students can appeal to graduate programs is by joining clubs specific to the psychology department, such as Psychology Club or Psi Chi, the honors fraternity for psychology students.

After undergraduate school, students can pursue a multitude of opportunities.

“Psychology graduates have many options for graduate school. Many enter master degree programs in clinical psychology, community counseling or school counseling,” said Townsend. “Doctoral programs offer a diverse variety of study fields including industrial/organizational psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology, to name a few.”

Kridel said he hopes to work with LGBTQ youths and suicide prevention after graduation. He also said his time at Gannon has “beyond prepared me for graduate school. I’ve learned an extensive amount of information not just about being a psychologist, but especially about being a good scientist”.

The core of Gannon’s psychology program is focused on helping other humans.  Professors help their students learn as much as possible; in turn, the students can go into the work force, and help other people address their problems.

By conducting some research of my own about the program, I’ve discovered that the basis of the psychology department is simply human compassion. The professors’ compassion for their students translates to how the students perform in graduate school and beyond.