College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology Department

The Psychology Department is one of the largest and most active departments in the college and is an especially popular program for those interested in the social sciences. The faculty represents a blend of clinical, developmental, community, and experimental orientations. The department offers a major which leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree and also offers a Psychology minor, an Interdisciplinary Disability Studies minor, and a Specialization in Developmental Disabilities.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Psychology is to foster critical and creative thinking grounded in the principles, methods, and ethics of psychology as a scientific discipline and as a profession. The department values both basic and applied research; we are especially committed to scholarship that is innovative, collaborative and/or interdisciplinary and that is relevant to diverse populations and to individual or community well-being. The faculty emphasizes high quality instruction, research and creative activity as well as service to the community through coursework, supervised research, and partnerships. We strive to enable students throughout the university to understand human behavior, contribute solutions to human problems and achieve the capacity to respond to a changing world. In this way the department is actively committed to the university mission to promote sustained regional social and economic development.


The Psychology major augments a general liberal arts education and provides the basis for graduate training and careers in mental health, community development, education, research, and business and industry. The Psychology curriculum acquaints students with the theoretical and empirical foundations of the major sub-fields of psychology (human development, basic processes, the social context, and individual differences). The curriculum reflects the importance of scientific methods and provides students with hands-on experience in designing and conducting their own research; indeed, over the years, many of our students have been able to present their work at scientific conferences or have it published in academic journals. The curriculum also emphasizes the applications of psychological knowledge and skills in many areas of human functioning and gives students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills through a variety of placement opportunities on campus and in the community.

The department currently has over 850 students who have declared Psychology as a major or additional major. The department also offers a minor, and Psychology may also be designated as one of the two concentrations for students in the Bachelor of Liberal Arts program. Courses are available both on campus and online, with an extensive array of offerings during fall, spring, and summer sessions. The department currently has 25 full time faculty, enabling us to cover a wide variety of specialties in both teaching and their research. We offer more than 40 different undergraduate courses, ranging from basic courses such as General Psychology and Child and Adolescent Development, to more specialized courses such as Psychology and Law, Developmental Psychopathology, and Health Psychology. Students also have the opportunity to take advanced undergraduate seminars, with enrollments of 16 or fewer, where they can learn about some of the most current advances in Psychology, studying with faculty whose own research is contributing to those advances.

The department provides varied opportunities for students to earn academic credits by assisting faculty members with their research and participating in their community partnerships. Within the major, the department currently offers one specialization, in Developmental Disabilities, where students have the chance to gain hands-on real-world experience in a two-semester Practicum sequence; other specializations will be available soon. There are also two master’s degree programs, in Community Social Psychology and Autism Studies, that undergraduates can apply for and even begin taking courses in while still pursuing their bachelor’s degree. And in fall 2016, the department will launch its first doctoral program, the Ph.D. in Applied Psychology and Prevention Science. Each year the department offers special awards to graduating seniors and master’s degree students who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in scholarship, research, community service and leadership. In addition, the department is a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, and holds an annual induction ceremony to honor new members.

The Psychology Department also offers a Master of Arts in Community Social Psychology, a Master of Science in Autism Studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Psychology and Prevention Science. See graduate catalog.

For more information about department and programs, visit the Psychology Department's website or contact us.