Over the past 25 years, scientific psychology has experienced tremendous growth and development throughout China. In 1989, there were five universities possessing psychology departments. By 2007, this number had increased to almost 200 private and public institutions dedicated to the scientific study of human cognition and behavior. Today, approximately 10,000 students are enrolled in B.A.-level psychology programs throughout China. In addition, there are over 2,000 students enrolled in M.A.- and M.S.-level programs, and more than 300 others enrolled in Ph.D.-level psychology programs. All of this reflects the rapid and extensive development of psychological science to be found in China today. This burgeoning growth is reflected and fueled by the federal government’s recent decision to include psychology as one of six areas of science to receive prioritized funding.

In the past few decades, China’s economy and society have undergone rapid and extensive development and change. This has greatly increased her need for an increased number of professional psychologists. For example, there are less than 10,000 psychologists working in China today, yet there are more than 1,000,000 vacancies in the field. As China continues her advance into the 21st century, this critical need for psychology professionals will only grow at a very rapid rate.

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The field of psychology encompasses both research, through which we learn fundamental information about human and nonhuman animal behavior, and practical application, though which this information is applied to solving social problems and prompting healthy human development (see above chart*). In China today, a large number of UIC Applied Psychology graduates are working in applied settings.  However, there are still many areas that have great need of more applied psychology professionals, including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, community psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, and many other areas. 

Note:

* The chart represents employment settings for those with recent doctorates in psychology. Totals amount to 97% due to rounding and exclusion of 17 “not specified”responses. Adapted from D. Michalski, J. Kohout, M. Wicherski, & B. Hart (2011), 2009. Doctorate Employment Survey (Table 3). Retrieved from the APA website: http://www.apa.org/workforce/publications/09-doc-empl/table-3.pdf