USC Upstate psychology program

The psychology program at the University of South Carolina Upstate is designed to serve several groups of students: those planning to major or minor in psychology, those taking psychology courses for elective or cognate credit, and students taking introductory psychology as part of their general education requirements. The curriculum meets the needs of students who are diverse in background, age, educational experience and career goals by introducing students to the methodologies used to study experience and action, facilitating development of communication skills, and providing experiences in critical thinking.

Student and Faculty Engagement


Student and Faculty Engagement

Our program is very student oriented. Each student is assigned their own advisor to help guide them through their college career and for life beyond USC Upstate. Small classes, independent study, internships and the distinction program provide opportunities for students to work closely with faculty, preparing them to move into the work force or to on to graduate study.


Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Some Upstate psychology majors continue on to graduate school to study different branches of psychology such as school psychology, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, industrial and organizational psychology or human factors. Others branch out into fields such as neuroscience, social work, medical school, law school or the ministry. Other students choose to work after graduation and work as case workers for DSS or DJJ, as residential youth counselors, group home coordinators, as victim or patient advocates, in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, as employment counselors, in advertising agencies or market research or in college admissions as counselors or recruiters.

What can I do with a Psychology degree? PDF icon image

Infographic on what you can do with a Psychology degree

Internship and Research Opportunities
Photo of Student of Psychology

Internship and Research Opportunities

Both internship and independent study options are engaged learning opportunities for students to support their goals toward specific career opportunities and attending graduate school.

The USC Upstate Psychology Department has a thriving internship program. Since 1990, psychology interns have been placed in more than 30 agencies in Upstate South Carolina. Internships count as course credit toward the psychology major electives (PSYC-U499) or the child advocacy minor (CAST-U499).

Additionally, many students have the opportunity to conduct an independent study project under the supervision of a faculty member for course credit (PSYC-U399). Psychology majors’ independent research is routinely accepted for presentation at local, regional, and national annual conferences such as the SC Upstate Research Symposium, Discover UofSC, Southeastern Psychological Association meeting, Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference, and National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Students also have regularly received research awards at these conferences.

Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and Organizations

Students can also get involved by joining the various clubs and national societies associated with the department.

Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology and our University’s chapter was installed in 1993. Because this is a national organization it provides excellent networking opportunities and students also have access to scholarships to conduct research. Students can apply to be a member if they are in the top 35% of their class, have completed 3 semesters of college, and have passed at least 9 credit hours of psychology courses at USC Upstate. Interested students should contact Dr. Susan Ruppel or Dr. Scott Meek.

The Psychology Department also sponsors the USC Upstate Psychology Club, which presents monthly programs with informational topics such as research activities, preparing for graduate school, community service and internship or independent study opportunities. Interested students should contact Dr. Kenneth Barideaux.

Similarly, Prof. Jodie Martin, the Director of our Child Advocacy Studies program, sponsors the Child Advocacy Club, which presents monthly programs with informational topics, as well as opportunities for outreach and community service. Interested students should contact Prof. Jodie Martin or Dr. Jennifer Gray.

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