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What to major in: psych or business(BA level)?

StillJaneStillJane Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited August 2013 in Other College Majors
I'm good at humanities based topics, but only OK in math. I want to go the PHD route(so BA doesn't weigh in that heavily), and my main goal is to get good grades out of my BA. Thoughts?
Post edited by StillJane on

Replies to: What to major in: psych or business(BA level)?

  • NovaLynnxNovaLynnx Registered User Posts: 1,406 Senior Member
    You didn't provide a whole lot of information for me to give you a specific answer. What do you want to pursue at the PhD level? What careers are you interested in having? I have a BA in psychology and am a human resources manager despite never taking any business or HR courses. Both degrees offer flexibility to pursue different career interests.

    If you have an idea of what field you'd want to pursue at the PhD level, you'll want to make sure you're fulfilling some basic requirements. For example, a PhD program in psychology may require undergraduate courses in intro to psych, statistics, and research methodology. So you would want to have those done in undergrad, otherwise you'll be playing catch up in graduate school. The same is true for business; they may require some introductory accounting or finance courses, economics, etc. These requirements vary based on the program, and some programs may admit you on the condition that you fulfill those courses before enrolling in the graduate courses; other programs may not even consider you if you don't have that basic foundation (after all, it may be difficult to demonstrate a sincere interest in their research if you've never even taken a business or psychology course).

    There is overlap between the fields. I studied mostly social psychology and I had considered a business PhD in marketing with a focus on consumer behavior (which has a strong psychological foundation in research). Human resources utilizes psychological research to ensure an engaged workforce (think industrial and organizational psychology courses).

    Also, your GPA is only a small part of the PhD application. Research experience will be much more important, and if it is relevant to what you want to research in graduate school, even better. So the BA matters in that it will help determine the opportunities you have available to form relationships with professors who can help you get where you want to go. A business professor may not offer the best advice for pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, and a psychology professor may not offer the best advice for pursing an MBA. But at the same time, a psychology degree is valued in a business field like consumer behavior, and a business degree may be valued in industrial and organizational psychology. Your BA does not need to be in the same field as what you pursue at the PhD level, but it is helpful if it "makes sense" for your career goals. Don't just choose the easy degree so you get good grades, then try to apply for PhD programs in a completely unrelated field.
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