Our program is dedicated not only to disseminating knowledge to students, but also to leading them to create and apply new findings in psychology. As a department, we focus on the science of psychology in three sub-domains: Cognitive Psychology, including Cognitive Neuroscience; Developmental Psychology; and Social/Personality/Health Psychology. Cutting across these areas are many common interests, including the biological basis of psychological processes, cognitive change and the role of instruction, computational modeling of psychological processes, individual differences and special populations, language learning, and psychosocial effects on health.
The faculty actively pursue research in these areas with rigorous methodology, a concern for underlying processes and biological foundations, and precise, often quantitative, description. They select specific topics with an eye for both theoretical importance and potential for eventual application. This approach has led the department to honors such as being placed first in scientific impact by a major national report. Our undergraduate program offers a major in Psychology awarding both the B.S. and the B.A. degree and a major in Cognitive Science that awards a B.S degree. There is also a unified Biology/ Psychology major. A minor in Psychology is available for students majoring in other departments. Of course, many students who do not pursue a major or minor in psychology enjoy our courses as well.
A key feature of our undergraduate program is student research. Majors take two classes in research methods. Many students perform research by working in a faculty lab, taking an independent course for credit, doing a senior honors project, or volunteering to work with a graduate student. The department also actively participates in a nationally funded undergraduate research program that supports students working for a year in a faculty lab as a way of recruiting them for mental-health related research careers. To fund their research efforts, our students frequently receive university undergraduate research grants, and they are major contributors to the spring undergraduate presentation day ("Meeting of the Minds") for grant recipients. In addition, our undergraduates have been very active in attending professional conferences and presenting research there. Our scientific orientation serves students with broad interests, including clinical psychology - for which a science education is outstanding preparation. We also offer some clinically oriented courses, and interested students have opportunities for internships in clinical settings.
We're proud of our undergraduate program and welcome your interest in it.
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Erik Thiessen
Undergraduate Program Coordinator: Emilie O'Leary