If you are thinking about majoring in psychology when you get to college, it is a good idea to start preparing as soon as possible. Taking the right high school courses can help you succeed in your college-level psychology classes.
Generally, you should focus on building a solid background in science and math while you are in high school. Good writing and communication skills are also important, so English and speech courses can also be very helpful.
In order to get a better idea of what high school classes you should take, schedule an appointment with your guidance counselor to discuss your academic plans. Your counselor can offer further advice on which courses might help you reach your goals. Browse through program catalogs or look at the course requirements of psychology programs online in order to learn more about the classes you will have to take in college.
Some of the courses you should consider taking in high school include:
If your high school offers an AP Psychology course, then you should definitively take advantage of this great opportunity. Not only does this course provide a great introduction to psychology, it may allow you the chance to earn college credits.
Writing / English / Speech
Psychology students are expected to communicate effectively, both in verbal speech and in writing. Taking writing and speech courses in high school is a good way to develop solid communication skills that will be very useful later on.
Psychology and biology have a great deal in common, so taking high school biology courses can be very helpful. During your university studies, you will cover topics such as cell biology, human anatomy, brain anatomy, genetics and evolution – topics all covered in high school biology courses.
Algebra and Statistics
Statistics play a vital role in psychology research and nearly all psychology programs require at least on statistics course. Taking math classes in high school is a great way to ensure that you are prepared for the demands of college. High school courses in algebra and statistics will help you learn more about concepts including independent and dependent variables, exponents, probability and graphs.
Many university psychology programs recommend that high school students take plenty of social science courses including economics, history, government, geography and sociology. These courses help increase your general knowledge base and help you develop critical thinking skills that will be important later during your academic studies and professional career.