Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Appalachian State University’s Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a concentration in sustainability is ideal for students desiring broader study to prepare them for a career that requires an understanding of the behavioral and cognition aspects of human-implicated environmental problems. In addition, students who focus on this area of study will develop an appreciation of how increasing human well-being and health is a key component of developing sustainable communities.
This degree’s curriculum provides a background for pursing a graduate degree in experimental research on this topic. In addition, students in this concentration who choose a career in the non-profit or for-profit sectors will benefit by their understanding of the psychology of sustainability issues.
Understanding the behavioral and cognitive aspects of sustainability has implications for:
- Working in industrial/organizational psychology, human resource management, interpersonal relationships, health and wellness;
- Helping community members thrive and overcome barriers;
- Developing the necessary infrastructure for scaling up psychological services in rural areas.
Employment: Psychology majors are competitive for many bachelor’s entry-level jobs because of their ability to think critically, their strong oral and written communication skills, and their tendency to be concerned by real-world problems and ability to pull from scientific literature to solve them.
Graduate school: Many students from this major pursue master’s or doctoral level graduate education in experimental or developmental psychology, medicine, counseling, or other allied health professions. Because these professional programs are highly competitive, students are advised to apply to many different programs in order to maintain their competitiveness.
A minor is not required, but it is possible to complete with a Sustainability concentration.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Appalachian State University Chapter of Psi Chi - A chapter the national honor society in psychology sponsored by the American Psychological Association. It is open to students who complete nine hours of psychology course and meet a cumulative GPA requirements.
- Students in the department are involved with research presentation days and competitions through the Council on Undergraduate Research, including the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
- Southeastern Psychological Association - a regional psychological association affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA).
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Appalachian is a leader in sustainability, a framework for creating a world where environmental, societal and economic qualities exist in balance to meet the resource needs of today and of future generations.
- Students will have the opportunity to interact with faculty doing sustainability-related research and teaching both within the Department of Psychology and across campus, exposing them to a transdisciplinary approach to sustainability.
- Students at both the undergraduate and graduate level participate in research with faculty on a volunteer basis or for academic credit. Each semester, approximately 70-100 students participate in research per semester.
- The Department of Psychology offers four graduate degrees in clinical, school, experimental psychology and industrial/organizational-human resources management, which provide undergraduate students a useful window to see what graduate training is like.
- Students are encouraged to pursue an internship with the help of the department’s internship coordinator and to take service-learning courses.
- Scholarships are available through the department.
Boone and Hickory
This concentration began in 2018. Possible career paths include management, supervisory, advocacy or other positions with sustainability-related businesses or non-profits.
Dr. Rose Mary Webb