Years in the making, psychology minor established

By Rebecca Wood, Staff writer

During the end of the spring semester, the University of Illinois Department of Psychology released a new minor that students can pursue with any major on campus.

Billy Vermillion, academic adviser in psychology, said the department was constantly asked during campus events, such as major and minor fairs, when a psychology minor would be available.

“It’s been something students have been asking about for years now,” Vermillion said.

He explained how the minor has already been so popular because it can be applied to almost any major, especially in fields with personal interaction.

“Psychology applies to just about everything,” Vermillion said. “You gain skills in statistical analysis, communication, empathy building and other areas that are important for any career path a student is on.”

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According to Vermillion, a student must take a basic introductory course, a basic statistics course, one biological cognitive course, one clinical, developmental or social class, and two advanced courses anywhere in the department.

“We have informational meetings concerning the minor on a weekly basis, and more information is available on the department website for students,” Vermillion said.

Vermillion said the minor can be declared any time and no other psychology courses have to be completed before the minor. The department expects many students to express interest as word continues to spread.

Sarah Weibel, sophomore in LAS, hopes to pursue the psychology minor with the goal of going into human resources because it combines working with people and management.

“I want to be able to interact with people, but also understand people. I think a psychology minor would be so important to have for both those areas,” Weibel said.

John Balch, senior in Media, was aiming to double major in advertising and psychology going into freshman year. However, a heavy course load ruined those plans.

“I really enjoy advertising but want to do psychology at the same time,” Balch said. “The industry I want to go into is advertising strategy, which is basically uncovering human insights that can be used to create a strategy.”

He said it’s a good minor for advertising since you are essentially just manipulating how people look at products.

Being a senior, Balch said he is not concerned with the amount of coursework that goes into this new minor.

“I think I planned it well in advance, though, so I already have most of the classes under my belt,” Balch said.

Vermillion said overall the minor is reasonably doable for any major, being that it requires 18 credit hours.

“You can tailor the minor to what fits your needs as a student,” Vermillion said. “With 18 hours, it can typically fit into any plan you have.”

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