Penn State Lehigh Valley offers the first two years of coursework in psychology majors available at all Penn State locations, and it offers the baccalaureate degree in Applied Psychology (B.A.degree). The B.A. degree in Applied Psychology is a unique program of study of 127 credits, featuring non-traditional learning and intensive internship experiences taken in the junior and senior years. Students can choose among three areas of concentration to prepare themselves for careers in Psychology or Graduate school.
Class Sizes and Course Offerings:
The Class enrollments are typically small (15-30 students) across all Psychology courses at Penn State Lehigh Valley, even for introductory courses. A variety of core courses are offered each semester. For the categories and sub-specialties in Psychology that comprise credit distribution in the Applied Psychology major, most are offered one semester in each academic year.
Students are assigned a full-time faculty advisor when they first enroll at Penn State Lehigh Valley and then a full-time member of the Psychology Department will declare their intent to major in Psychology. Students typically keep the same faculty member as advisor until they either transfer or graduate. Students may also may get advising from a professional advisor in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and the campus Career Center is also helpful in maintaining current internship, career, and graduate study resources. The Psychology Department maintains information about events and programs related to Psychology.
The Applied Psychology major at Penn State Lehigh Valley provides a broad exposure to the field of Psychology that includes several required courses over the four years of study, including 12 credits supervised internship experience. During the first two years, students will take the introductory course (PSYCH 100), an introductory course in statistics (STAT 200), a developmental course (PSYCH 212), and a research methods course (PSYCH 301W). In addition, it is highly recommended that students complete the foreign language requirement for the B.A. degree by the end of the sophomore year. Satisfactory completion of these courses at Penn State Lehigh Valley meets the entrance requirements to all of Penn State's B.A. degrees in Psychology. The Applied Psychology major requirements typically commence in the junior year and make up the additional requirements for graduation. These requirements include a field experience course (PSYCH 295), the practicum placements (PSYCH 495), and a distribution of courses among four categories of sub-specialties in Psychology. The senior seminar in Psychology (PSYCH 496) is the capstone course for the major. An ample number of elective credits are available for students to explore their professional interests and related areas of study. An Applied Psychology Advisory Council, made up of community professionals, advises the faculty and administration on the degree program.
Penn State Lehigh Valley provides a unique environment for undergraduate students to develop both career and professional skills through internship and faculty-guided research activities. All faculty at the campus are active researchers, and students can work with ongoing faculty projects or projects of their own under faculty guidance. In addition, the internship provides opportunities for students to develop professional skills and engage in on-site research projects under the supervision of a professional. The campus supports research-related travel for students through campus grants.
The Lehigh Valley Campus also has an active Psychology Club and a sanctioned chapter of the national honor society for Psychology, Psi Chi. Each plays an active role in Psychology-related activities on campus, such as sponsorship of speakers and events, as well as service to the community. Students are nominated for membership in Psi Chi on the basis of their superior academic performance.
Who Should Consider Penn State Lehigh Valley for Psychology?
Because it is among the smaller Penn State campuses with about 800 full-time baccalaureate students, Penn State Lehigh Valley has a deserved reputation as providing a supportive, student-centered environment for learning. The low faculty-student ratio, small class size, and availability of support services make Penn State Lehigh Valley an exceptional academic environment. In addition, the close proximity of the campus to the major metropolitan centers of New York City and Philadelphia provide outstanding opportunities for extra-curricular activities and field trips in support of the academic life. Many students, also, choose the Applied Psychology degree because they are currently employed or because they are location-bound in their current life situation. In either case, students Applied Psychology is attractive with its combination of traditional academic classroom and applied professional experience. Finally, for the approximately 1/3 of Applied Psychology graduates who continue on to graduate school, several institutions provide quality coursework toward master's and doctoral degrees within commuting distance.
For admissions information, contact the Lehigh Valley Admissions Office at 610-285-5051.