Careers

Study Psychology. Do Anything.

What can I do with a Psychology major?

Our graduates work in a wide variety of fields due largely to the skills they learn in studying psychology.  These skills include, but are not limited to, the ability to critically evaluate and understand complex ideas and theories, data analytical skills, the capacity to be independent learners, and the ability to clearly, concisely and effectively articulate their thoughts in both written and oral format.  In addition, students benefit from gaining insight into and understanding why they (and others) think, feel and behave as they do – insight that is invaluable in working and interacting effectively with people in all settings.

About a third of our graduates move directly to some form of graduate or professional program, another third enter the work force directly in various disciplines and areas and the rest do a period of service before returning to graduate school or the work force. Or pursue other options (such as independent projects or travel).

Skills you'll learn

  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds
  • Well-developed higher-level thinking ability in analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information
  • Excellent people skills
  • An understanding of their own and the behavior of others
  • Predict and understand the behavior of individuals and groups
  • Evaluate the legitimacy of claims about behavior
  • Know how memory and learning function
  • Have insight into problematic behaviors
  • Demonstrate the capacity to adapt to change
  • Understand and operate effectively throughout the channels of an organization
  • Manage difficult situations and high-stress environments
  • Start and carry out projects with limited information or experience
  • Show persistence in challenging circumstances
     

Catherine Reidy ‘13

Global macro and comparative analytics researcher - Eurasia Group

Catherine Reidy majored in psychology and anthropology before attending the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. “Studying psychology is interesting because you learn a lot about yourself in the process—things that make you think and develop. I’ve always been intrigued with the study of the human person and the way that we interact with others in society. My advisers taught me the meaning of research integrity. They inspired me to care more about the world outside of my own interests—to do research and work that matters and that will make a contribution.”

  • Catherine Reidy ‘13

    Global macro and comparative analytics researcher - Eurasia Group

    Catherine Reidy majored in psychology and anthropology before attending the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. “Studying psychology is interesting because you learn a lot about yourself in the process—things that make you think and develop. I’ve always been intrigued with the study of the human person and the way that we interact with others in society. My advisers taught me the meaning of research integrity. They inspired me to care more about the world outside of my own interests—to do research and work that matters and that will make a contribution.”

  • Kristin Cullinan '19

    Fulbright Teaching Assistant - Madrid, Spain

    Psychology applies directly to my current position, as I work mostly in the Psychology Department at Universidad Camilo José Cela. Furthermore, nearly everything I do as a teaching assistant requires me to utilize the wide range of speaking, reading, writing, researching, and analytical skills that I developed through my Arts and Letters studies. Throughout this year, I have provided instruction in several undergraduate courses and I also assist a professor with the RULER research project, a collaboration with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

     

  • Mark Hardy '19

    Analyst - Volition Capital

    "By delving into the intricacies of human behavior, I could appreciate why different people with different backgrounds have different ideas and patterns of behavior. Every Psychology class I took incorporated evidence-backed research to corroborate every point which ingrained in me a data-driven mindset that is ket to any analyst role. This was a very marketable skillset for employers and I was able to make the most of it and land a position with Volition." Says Hardy who majored in psychology and minored in computing and digital technologies. 

  • Natalie (Jackson) Hibshman '17

    M.D. student - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

    “I loved psychology and the brain. I was happy I chose to major in Arts and Letters Pre-Health and psychology because it allowed me to explore interests outside of science, and I ended up with a studio art minor because of that freedom. My route to medical school has helped me because I feel that I can think outside the box. Those of us in medical school with bachelor of arts degrees have been regarded as the creative thinkers of the class. You need those deviations to make strong teams, and I think all of our eclectic backgrounds will make us better physicians someday.

  • Meghan Pugach, Ph.D '03

    Psychologist - Rosie's Place

    "I'm currently working as psychologist at Rosie's Place, a shelter and multi-service center for poor and homeless women in Boston.  I also have a private practice, where I treat children, adolescents, and adults with a range of presenting concerns. Beyond the practical research skills I gleaned at Notre Dame, I was also strongly influenced by the professors who helped me to develop my ability to think critically about topics in the classroom, and more importantly, about the world outside. On a daily basis, my undergraduate experience continues to inform my work."

     

97% of recent Notre Dame Psychology majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, joined the military, or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.

35% find full-time jobs

  • Advisory-risk staff, Ernst & Young
  • Associate, Nielsen Company
  • Associate consultant, Bain & Co.
  • Associate director, Georgetown Learning Center
  • AVS compliance project manager, Acquity Group
  • Behavioral security technician, HSS
  • Business analyst, Coburn Ventures
  • Clinical trial research coordinator, University of Chicago
  • Consultant, Strata Design
  • Data scientist, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Human resources associate, Eli Lilly and Co.
  • Innovation consultant, enFocus
  • Intelligence officer, U.S. Air Force
  • Legislative correspondent, U.S. House of Representatives
  • National account manager, Coyote Logistics
  • Program analyst, eviCore Healthcare
  • Research assistant, National Institutes of Health
  • Research fellow, Yale University
  • Technical writer and marketing assistant, Element Scientific

Our graduates are armed with a set of desirable data analytic and critical thinking skills that make them highly attractive to employers across a range of industries.  These skills are further enhanced by the fact that our graduates understand the basis of human behavior and are able to navigate the relational components of their professional lives with some ease. This is noteworthy as research has shown that an integral part of what makes people successful in their professional lives is their ability to manage emotions (their own as well as those around them).

39% go to graduate or professional school

  • African studies: Oxford University
  • Art therapy: Art Institute of Chicago
  • Audiology: University of North Carolina
  • Education: Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University
  • Irish studies: Trinity College Dublin
  • Law: George Washington University, Indiana University, Loyola University,
  • University of California-Davis, University of Chicago, University of Michigan,
  • Villanova University
  • Marketing: Vanderbilt University
  • Medicine: Baylor University, Loyola University, Michigan State University,
  • Northwestern University, Ohio State University, University of Virginia,
  • University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, Vanderbilt University
  • Nutrition and metabolism: Boston University
  • Occupational therapy: Rush University
  • Osteopathic medicine: Ohio University
  • Physical therapy: Duke University, Northwestern University
  • Psychology: Columbia University, DePaul University, Emory University, Indiana
  • University, Pennsylvania State University, University of California-Davis,
  • University of Colorado, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, University
  • of North Carolina, University of Southern California, Washington University at St.
  • Louis, Yale University
  • Public policy: Indiana University
  • Social work: Case Western Reserve University, University of North Carolina
  • Speech pathology: George Washington University

Our graduates go on to graduate programs ranging from Ph.D., Psy.D., MSW., and Masters programs in various areas of psychology (clinical, developmental, industrial-organizational, and even quantitative).  Majors who also complete the Pre-health supplementary major enter professional schools in the medical field becoming doctors, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, physical therapists or occupational therapists.  Others go to law school.

An excellent way to prepare for the rigors of graduate school is to complete a senior thesis as it provides excellent experience in putting into practice the theory that is learned in the classroom while also developing the capacity for independent work.

15% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education, Austin, Texas
  • AmeriCorps, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps, San Francisco, California
  • Farm of the Child, Honduras
  • L’Arche, Ireland
  • Open Arms Home for Children, South Africa
  • Teach for America, Chicago, Illinois
  • WorldTeach, China

Post-graduate service not only offers graduates the opportunity to give something back to communities in need, it also provides them with the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom, develop additional transferable skills, and transformative experiences that help guide their longer-term career and life goals.

1% join the miliary

4% launch independent projects

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Independent projects include activities such as writing a novel, making a film or fine arts project, traveling the world, caring for a family member, etc.

Further Reading

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