What can you do with a major in psychology?

This fascinating field caters to adult learners who want to help mend minds and pioneer new research projects.

Psychology isn't all ink blots and Freudian analysis, and as scientists learn more about the brain, this fascinating field caters to adult learners who want to help mend minds and pioneer new research projects.

Curious about what you might study as a psych major? Here's a taste of what you can expect when you go back to college:

Contemporary brain research

Along with brain mapping technology and studies on common cognitive conditions like dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, scientists are perpetually finding new quirks of the brain. For example, researchers are bringing the neurological condition synesthesia to the front of experiments. This rare brain condition involves sensory crosses – syntesthetes commonly listen to music and see colors or associate certain letters with tastes.

Many abnormal psychology classes briefly touch on this condition, which has neither positive nor negative effects on the brain. If you decide to become a psych major, you can go on to research synesthesia and just about any other unique neurological conditions you find fascinating.

Alternative forms of therapy

Why not use your creative side to heal troubled minds? While you're going back to college, you can explore a number of methods and alternative therapies in all of your classes. Art and music therapy, for example, employs the use of the creative half of the brain to relieve anxiety, mental illness, addiction, depression and some neurological problems.

Many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder have been treated with music therapy, and even in elementary schools, teachers often use music to calm down some of their more rambunctious students.

As an alternative therapist, you could work in nursing homes, correctional facilities and even psychiatric hospitals.

Potential career paths

After graduating as a psychology major, you can use your education to pursue any number of career paths, from school counselor to psychiatrist, and pave your way to a promising future.

As a college adviser, many of whom majored in psychology, you'll help students choose their coursework based on their passions and personality. With a background in psychology, these advisers give learners the support and advice they need to succeed.

If you're up for a challenge, becoming a psychiatrist is both lucrative and rewarding. The job requires an additional four years of medical school, a year's worth of interning and three more years of residency. After that, you'll tackle the most difficult cases, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and manic depression.