Document Type



While psychology is one of the United States’ most popular undergraduate majors, we face a shortage of mental health workers which has created a lack of access to quality care. A gap exists between students’ interest in psychology as an academic subject and their interest in mental health careers. Using quantitative survey data from psychology majors in a required orientational course, this study assessed why students major in psychology, their feelings about the psychology major, and their post-graduate plans. Many psychology majors reported wanting to help others, which was associated with wanting a psychology-related career. Students of color reported a lack of racial and ethnic representation in the psychology field, but this did not prevent goals of pursuing psychology-related careers. Feeling supported within the major and feeling positively about being a psychology major made students more likely to want a psychology-related career. Thus, psychology majors are a valuable recruitment source for the mental health field. Implementing more support and representation within psychology would improve the field and encouraging psychology majors to pursue mental health careers could alleviate strains on our mental healthcare system.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Ashley Hansen-Brown, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Sandy Neargarder, Committee Member
Dr. Nesa E. Wasarhaley, Committee Member

Included in

Psychology Commons