/ Psychology Department

After Graduation

Our graduates have gone on to earn advanced degrees and pursue careers in psychology, medicine, social work and law.

As a psychology graduate with a degree from Hope, you’ll be equipped with a strong understanding of human thought and behavior, advanced critical thinking skills and a valuable ability to understand those around you.

If you’re planning to pursue a doctorate, we have many graduate school resources for you. Are you planning to join the workforce? A psychology degree provides a valuable foundation for many careers.

Our recent graduates have gone on to pursue Ph.D.s, MSWs, law school and medical school. Seventy percent of our students found employment within six months of graduation, while 38 percent enrolled in grad school.


A psychology degree is beneficial in many work settings because you’ve spent your time at Hope learning to listen and communicate effectively and understand people. Combined with well-honed critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze situations and behavior, you bring a skillset that is valuable in many fields. If you want a career in psychology, then graduate school is the next step.

Not every psychology graduate pursues psychology or counseling as a career, though, choosing instead to contribute to related fields — everything from law to research analysis, marketing, education, social work and even theater. As a psychology graduate, you’ll find that virtually every kind of graduate or professional program is open to you. There are a variety of tools online to guide your search, including Careers in Psychology and Choosing a Psychology Specialty. Read more about becoming a counselor/therapist on the Huffington Post.

Our graduates are employed in an array of positions, including:

  • Human resources
  • Mental health assistant
  • Youth director
  • Teacher of English as a second language
  • Rehabilitation technician
  • Psychiatric technician
  • Sports marketing
  • Victim advocate
  • Behavioral analysis technician
  • Certified nurse assistant (CNA) in a hospital setting
Graduate school

If you’re looking to practice psychology — whether that’s neuropsychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology or another specialty — then graduate school is in your future. Visit our Boerigter Center for Calling and Career’s graduate school page for general information on how to apply, where to go and how to pay for it.

Master's degrees

If you’re interested in pursuing grad school, but not in becoming a practicing psychologist, you can work toward a master’s degree, whether it’s in social work (MSW), school psychology or sports psychology. Psychology graduates can pursue advanced degrees in industrial and organizational psychology, applying their skills to improving workplace design, job satisfaction and leadership.


For psychologists, there are two different paths for pursuing your doctorate:

  • Ph.D.
    A Ph.D. is ideal for training psychologists who not only understand research and apply it, but also conduct it. Many programs for Ph.D.s combine the scientist and practitioner model. If you are interested in research or teaching at the university level, the Ph.D. provides you more opportunities.

  • Psy.D.
    A Psy.D., on the other hand, is intended to prepare graduates for careers as practicing psychologists, trained in research-based and practice-related knowledge. Keep in mind: Students who choose to pursue a Psy.D. will have fewer options for research funding, scholarships and faculty jobs.


Visit our alumni page for information on resources and services 

Graduate training

Our graduates are pursuing many types of graduate training, including:

  • School psychology specialist degree
  • Masters of Social Work
  • Clinical psychology Ph.D.
  • Clinical psychology Psy.D.
  • Counselor education master's
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Cognitive psychology Ph.D.
  • Seminary
  • Master of Education in intercollegiate athletic training occupational therapy, physician's assistant school

Graduates are volunteering in such organizations as:

  • Teach for America
  • Peace Corps
  • Americorp
Letters of Recommendation

Students often ask faculty members to write letters of recommendation. In most cases, we’re happy to do so. Follow these steps to get started.

What our graduates are saying

“I am grateful for the lifelong friendships I made with other students, Holland community members and Hope professors who inspired me in areas such as scholarship, leadership, faith and service. While I was at Hope, I didn't realize all of the unique opportunities afforded to students so readily, particularly through my psychology major. However, when I interviewed for graduate school programs, I was surprised that many other recent college graduates hadn't had similar exposure to internships, research or volunteer experiences that I received through psychology classes and extracurricular pursuits. By embracing the opportunities and challenges offered at Hope and becoming a member of the greater Holland community, Hope graduates can grow and flourish in extraordinary ways.”

—Sarah Thoman
Psi Chi Kay Wilson Officer Team Leadership Award
Psi Chi Regional Research Award