Preparing for a Career in Health Services

The Psychology Department offers many opportunities for students to get involved in research. Students can earn Departmental credit (PSYCH 499), for working in faculty members' labs as part of their research teams. PSYCH 499 opportunities are posted on a bulletin board in the hallway just outside of Guthrie 119 and also listed on the psych department website under Research and Internships.

Some examples of research studies that may be of interest to students planning a career in a health-related field are:

  • Pain management for trauma patients
  • Alcohol consumption in women
  • Autism and mental retardation
  • Health psychology and cancer prevention
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Exercise and hormone levels in older women

Typical lab duties and experiences that may be especially valuable for students with an interest in health services are:

  • Data collection and management
  • Interviewing subjects
  • Recruiting subjects
  • Library research
  • Running Experiments

To find out about getting involved in research across campus, and to learn about research training grants available for students, visit the Undergraduate Research Program webpage at

Related Courses

Courses that may be of interest to students planning a career in a health-related field:

Code Title
ANTH 305 Anthropology of the Body
ANTH 322 Comparative Study of Death
ANTH 355 Aging in Cross-cultural Perspective
ANTH 375 Comparative Systems of Healing
ANTH 440 Child Rearing, Culture & Health
ANTH 475 Perspectives in Medical Anthropology
ANTH 476 Culture, Medicine & the Body
GENET 351 Human Genetics: The Individual & Society
MHE 401 History of Modern Medicine
MHE 413 History of Alternative Healing
MHE 481 The Pursuit of Health in American Society
MHE 485 Concepts of the Body in 19th and 20th Century America
PSYCH 202 Biopsychology
PSYCH 322 Introduction to Drugs & Behavior
PSYCH 333 Sensation and Perception
PSYCH 357 Psychobiology of Women
PSYCH 451 Health Psychology

Check the quarterly Time Schedule for course availability and times.

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

Students who participate in internships and volunteer work get the chance to explore different career options on a first-hand basis. Credit is available for this type of experiential learning, via PSYCH 497 (Fieldwork Seminar), or GEN ST 350 (Independent Fieldwork).

Psychology majors interested in the health services field have previously found internship and volunteer positions at

American Cancer Society

Work with the local chapter of this national organization on such public health issues as breast cancer, tobacco use and childhood cancers. A variety of opportunities for interns in community education, research, and assisting with special projects and programs.

Lifelong Aids Alliance (formerly Northwest AIDS Foundation)

Opportunities to work in the areas of outreach and community education.

U.W. Medical Center

Many volunteer opportunities at the Med Center. The Center's Artist-in-Residence works with psych majors who want to offer their artistic talents and energy to help run arts and crafts group sessions for rehab medicine patients.

Special Tips

See a pre-health studies adviser at the Undergraduate Advising Center, 171 Mary Gates Hall, 543-2550. Students interested in attending medical school should see a pre-med adviser. Contact Jason Boyd in the Undergraduate Advising Center, 171 Mary Gates Hall, 543-7547.

Join Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-med honor society. or 685-4736

Think about a minor in:

Think broadly about the wide variety of career options available for students interested in health and health related issues. Some possibilities are:

  • Genetic Counseling Nursing
  • Physical Therapy Public Health
  • Health Administration Medicine
  • Occupational Therapy Dentistry
  • Prosthetics/Orthotics
  • Health Research