If you want to pursue a psychology degree, it is always better to prepare yourself ahead of time. Choosing the right high school classes will definitely help you with your college studies and might even boost your college application.
Aspiring psychologists should consider the following electives: Psychology, Social Science, Child Development, Communications, Ethics, and Anatomy. For core classes, you should focus on English, Statistics, and Biology.
Keep reading to find out how these classes will help you with your psychology curriculum.
1. Electives Directly Related to Psychology
If your high school offers a psychology course, you should definitely take the class! This will give you an excellent introduction to the field and help you determine whether or not you’re interested in pursuing it.
However, if your high school doesn’t offer any psychology classes, consider taking one of the social science classes that they offer, such as:
As a second choice, future psychology majors should also consider sociology classes such as:
- Social Life
- Social Change
- Social Causes
- Consequences of Human Behavior
Learning about these topics will help you greatly when you continue your education and pursue a psychology degree. After all, psychologists study many different people, and learning about these topics will help you better understand human behavior. (Source)
2. Ethics or Philosophy Electives
If your high school offers an ethics class as an elective, take it because you will be able to debate ethical issues with your classmates. Ethics is also crucial to the practice of psychology.
When you eventually become a psychologist or work in the psychology-field, you will give counsel to real people, and you avoid unethical judgment at all costs. An ethics class will help you understand essential psychology concepts such as informed consent, deception, and confidentiality.
Here is why ethics is important for psychologists, according to Dr. Saul McLeod:
“Ethics refers to the correct rules of conduct necessary when carrying out research. We have a moral responsibility to protect research participants from harm. However important the issue under investigation psychologists need to remember that they have a duty to respect the rights and dignity of research participants.”
3. Child Development Electives
It goes without saying that you should consider taking a child development elective because many psychology students will work in child psychology. Childhood is also a pivotal moment, a traumatic event in childhood has potential implications for the behavior of adults.
4. Communication or Debate Electives
Psychologists need to communicate effectively with their patients.
To build communication skills, you can also take high school electives such as debate and communication.
Although debate doesn’t seem like a class that will help you when pursuing a psychology degree, it will. During a debate elective or club, you learn how to argue effectively. However, you will also learn how to resolve conflicts and keep a cool during arguments.
Important: Best Non-Elective Courses to Focus On
Although many electives will help you in the future when you pursue a psychology degree, there are core classes that will also help you immensely.
If you pursue a psychology degree, you should try to take as many of the following high school courses as you can:
Psychologists and people who have a psychology degree write frequently, so you should take as many English classes as you can so you understand how to format and write essays properly.
You will need to take methodology and statistics classes while pursuing a psychology degree, so taking a statistics class in high school won’t hurt.
There are also interesting chapters for aspiring psychologists in biology, human biology, and anatomy courses. If you have the chance, take anatomy or human biology because these courses specifically study humans.
If your high school doesn’t offer a psychology class, check if there is an after-school club that focuses on it. In the club, you will learn about psychology theories and ideas. Being part of the psychology club will also look great in college applications. To boost your college application even more, you can consider working part-time in psychology-related jobs.