Psychology and Business

Both the understanding of human behavior and the skill in analysis of data provided by a major in psychology are very useful to students interested in careers in management and business. Market research, human resources, advertising, and sales make direct use of knowledge gained in psychology courses. Students interested in business typically enter the work force soon after completing the requirements for a BA. Many return to school a few years later to obtain an MBA (Master in Business Administration) or another advanced degree. At Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, for example, nearly all students have had full-time work experience. Northwestern undergraduates interested in business should consult the Pre-Business information prepared by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Certain psychology courses are especially relevant for students thinking of careers in business. Among these are PSYCH 204-Social Psychology, PSYCH 384-Close Relationships, PSYCH 228-Cognitive Psychology, PSYCH 335-Decision Making, and PSYCH 387-Consumer Psychology and Market Research. Skills in data analysis acquired through PSYCH 201-Statistical Methods, PSYCH 205-Research Methods, and PSYCH 351-Advanced Statistics and Experimental Design are likely to prove useful as well. Because some graduate business programs (as well as those in economics) require a background in calculus, pre-business students may choose to count MATH 220, 224, and 230 as three of their Related Courses for the psychology major.

Students interested in business careers can find many relevant courses in other departments. Some students interested in management and business choose to complete a minor in economics or business institutions, a second major or minor in international studies, an Integrated Marketing Communications certificate through Medill, or a Kellogg undergraduate certificate. Others choose elective courses that may not fulfill requirements for any particular program, but that best fit their interests and strengthen their skills. Participation in Chicago Field Studies can also be a good choice for students with business interests.