The Best Classes to Take in High School for Psychology

The Best Classes to Take in High School for Psychology

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Some high school students know that they want to pursue a psychology degree in college while they are still in high school and want to take electives that will help them while they are pursuing it in the future. Which high school electives help prepare high school students for a psychology degree?

Psychology, social science, child development, communications, debate, ethics, and anatomy are the best high school elective classes that will prepare high school students for a psychology degree. English, biology, and statistics classes will also help prepare high school students for a psychology degree.

Now that you know what the best high school electives are for people who plan on pursuing a psychology degree in college, you are likely wondering why these are the best options. Keep reading to find out which high school classes are best to become a psychologist.

Social Science And Psychology Classes

If your high school offers a psychology class and you want to get a psychology degree in the future, you should definitely take the class! This will give you a good 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 a psychology class, consider taking one of the social science classes that they offer.

Social Science Classes High Schools Offer

  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • History
  • Government
  • Geography

Even though geography and economics may not seem like they are relevant to a psychology degree, they will help you develop critical thinking skills, which will help you in the future. (Source)

Potential psychology majors should also take a sociology class if possible. Sociology classes study:

  • 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 humans and why they behave in the ways they do. (Source)

Child Development

If possible, take a child development elective in high school because you will learn about children and how their minds work in the class. Many psychologists work with children, and you will learn more about children and their minds during college courses that are required in order for you to complete your psychology degree.

If you take a child development class in high school, you will have base knowledge that will help you succeed in future college courses that will teach similar information.

Communication or Debate

Psychologists and people who have a psychology degree need to effectively communicate with a variety of people who think and communicate in different ways. To help build these skills, you can also take any high school electives that will help you learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively. (Source)

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 effectively argue. This skill connects to communication, so you will learn how to effectively communicate. However, you should also learn how to resolve issues and keep calm during arguments during or outside of your debate class or club. An angry psychologist will not help many people!


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 and you can develop stronger ethics. These skills are important in the study and practice of psychology.

When you eventually become a psychologist or get your psychology degree and work in the field, you will study people and you need to be ethical during that study. An ethics class will help you understand ethics and better understand what your personal ethics are.

“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.”

Dr. Saul McLeod

Other Non-Elective Courses to Take

Although there are many electives that will help you in the future when you pursue a psychology degree, there are core classes that will also help you greatly.

If you will pursue a psychology degree, you should try to take as many of the following high school courses as you can:

  • English
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Statistics
  • Biology
  • Anatomy

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 properly format and write essays. You will likely learn how to properly do research in your English classes, so don’t disregard that portion of the class as you will do a lot of research in the future when pursuing your psychology degree.

You will need to take many math classes while pursuing a psychology degree, so take as many math classes as you can, including statistics.

Take biology, human biology, or anatomy. You will likely only have to take one, even if your high school offers both. If you have the chance, take anatomy or human biology because these courses specifically study humans. When pursuing your psychology degree, you will study humans frequently, and these classes will give you a much-needed foundation.

If your high school doesn’t offer a psychology class but there is an after-school club that focuses on it, go to the club as often as you can. In the club, you will learn about psychology theories and ideas that are important to know about if you are planning on pursuing a psychology degree. It also looks great on a college application, even if you eventually decide not to pursue a psychology degree. (Source)

The clubs and electives that your high school offers will vary depending on the high school and the amount of funding that they have, but take some time to find out what electives your high school offers and find out if they will help you when you pursue a psychology degree in the future. Take time to learn what is being taught in your science, math, and English classes as they will help you while you pursue your degree.