Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology

Q1. What is psychology? Who is a psychologist?

Psychology is a science concerned with explaining the behavior and emotional experiences of humans, and related mental and physiologic processes via using scientific methods. Students who are graduated from psychology department of universities’ faculty of arts and sciences are called psychologist.


Q2. What are subfields/branches of psychology?

There are many subfields of psychology that are going parallel to scientific developments. Clinical psychology, social psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, industrial and organizational psychology are some of them.


Q3. Will I be called “clinical psychologist”?

No. Students who complete 4-year psychology undergraduate education get psychologist title. People who want to specialize in clinical psychology field may get their degree by applying related graduate programs, as it is in all other subfields. It is required to get master’s/doctorate degree after getting bachelor’s degree in order to become specialized in clinical psychology field and being eligible to practice.


Q4. What are the job opportunities for people without master’s degree in psychology?

Psychology alumni can work in various fields without being specialized in any subfield. Human resources, public relations, marketing research, informatics, finance, advertisement and education sectors are some instances of these fields. It is also possible to serve in civil service with the psychologist title gained. In case of need these openings in civil service are announced.


Q5. If I study psychology, will I be eligible to prescribe medication?

No. Only the doctors who are graduated from medical faculty and dentists are eligible to prescribe medication. Psychologists are graduated from faculty of arts and sciences and they are not eligible to prescribe medication.


Q6. What is the difference between a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, a therapist and a counselor?

Psychiatrists are professionals trained in medicine and they can prescribe medication in order to treat cases like depression, psychosis, schizophrenia. Clinical psychologists are professionals who have required theoretical and practical training in order to apply various psychological tests, to make psychological assessments, to employ various psychotherapy techniques and to consult. Therapy approaches of clinical psychologists have much more psycho-social-cognitive nature than being structural. Therapists take part in treatment process and they are professionals who have required theoretical and practical training in one or more treatment technique. Counselors are professionals who consult in areas they are specialized. Consultancy is made for finding solutions for problems that are faced in various parts of life such as industry, family, and law.


Q7. What is involved in undergraduate education in psycholog?

Undergraduate education in psychology involves courses that are intended students to acquire skills and knowledge related to basic scientific research (such as Statistics, Research Methods, Laboratory Techniques and Instrumentation etc.), required courses (such as Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Psychological Measurement, Developmental Psychology etc), applied courses (Industrial Psychology, Traffic Psychology, Psychological Testing, Clinical Observation and Interview etc) and elective courses (Cross Cultural Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Human Sexuality, Forensic Psychology etc). In addition, students are required to complete two internships in our department. Undergraduate education in psychology should be considered as pre-specialization level. On the other hand, professionals who have bachelor’s degree in psychology can also work in many fields that do not require specialization.


Q8. What is my chance to find a job as a psychologist?

It can be said that psychologists working in different public or private corporations have wide range of job opportunities. A psychologist who has successfully completed an undergraduate education and has master’s degree in a field that he is interested in has a higher chance of finding a job.


Q9. I have an interest in other fields (sociology, media and communication etc.) as well as psychology and I am indecisive about which one I should study. What can I do about this?

If the conditions (like a certain GPA) required by university are fulfilled, it is also possible for students to complete a minor or double major program as well as psychology. For instance, if a psychology student completes a double major program in sociology, he is conferred on diploma for these two fields.


Q10. Does having education in English pose an obstacle for me to understand subjects covered?

Students who give the required importance to and complete the preparatory class successfully do not face with any obstacle throughout undergraduate education. In addition to preparatory class, it is also important to continue improving reading, writing and speaking skills throughout undergraduate education.


Q11. What is the rate of unemployment among psychology graduates?

The general rate of unemployment is around 11-12% in Turkey. While this rate is for 4% for psychology students, it is 2% for Izmir University of Economics Psychology Department graduates.


Q12. Where do psychologists work most frequently?

Most psychologists work in state hospitals and private hospitals, run their own private offices, work in alcohol and substance addiction treatment centers, and in diet clinics.
Additional to this, there are lots of psychologists who work in field of education. For instance, there are psychologists who work as academicians or researchers in universities and psychologists who work in field of psychological test application and reporting in education field. Apart from these, psychologists can work in various public services. For instance, there are psychologists working in court house, in social service and in security chief office. Moreover, there are lots of psychologists working in field of industry, public relations and human resources on the issues such as enhancing labor productivity, work safety, hiring, promoting or displacing workers and awarding employee.


Q13. Is a career in psychology right for me?

If you have a great interest in understanding human nature, if you are comfortable with working/studying with people, if you are interested in natural sciences, reading and making researches, if you are patient and if you are good at coping with stress it is possible to say that a career in psychology is right for you.


Q14. Do I have to apply for master’s degree after I get my bachelor’s degree?

When you get your bachelor’s degree, what is written on your diploma is “this person is completed prescribed program of study”. In order to get the “psychologist” title you are required to get a master’s degree, in other words you are supposed to specialize one of subfields of psychology. However, there are still various job opportunities you can get as a psychology graduate.


Q15. How much money can I earn if I work as a psychologist?

The answer of this question depends on what you do, where you work, whether you have specialization or doctorate degree and your experience. However, it is observed that newly graduates start to work with payment that changes between 1500 TL and 2500 TL.
It is possible to say that psychologists working

  • as academician in state universities are paid 3500-7000 TL according to their title,
  • as academician in foundation universities are paid 3500-7000 TL,
  • as clinical psychologists in civil service are paid 1800-2800 TL,
  • as clinical psychologists in private sector are paid 2000-7500TL,
  • in human resources field of private sector are paid 1500-5000 TL,

in private rehabilitation centers are paid 1000-3000 TL.