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Psychology is the study of behavior from cognitive, social, clinical and biological perspectives. Among other things, psychologists study the most effective ways to deal with others and how humans can best adapt to change, stress and a variety of other situations that are a part of daily living. Major subfields within the discipline include human cognition, emotion, behavior, social interactions and mind­brain relationships. In addition, upper­division courses explore behavioral genetics, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, child development, women’s health and judgment and decision making.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The department regards the science of psychology and neuroscience as an ideal platform to enhance students’ critical thinking, creativity, complex reasoning, research skills and written and oral communication effectiveness. The program has been ranked by the National Academy of Sciences as one of the best in the country with respect to the quality of the faculty and their scholarly productivity. The undergraduate degree provides an excellent background for positions in administration, recreation, health education, personnel work, labor relations, advertising, public relations, vocational rehabilitation, research and much more.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Graduate Studies

The department offers five subplans for students pursuing the PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience: behavioral genetics, behavioral neuroscience and clinical, cognitive and social psychology. Students awarded the PhD degree must demonstrate that they are proficient in some broad subject of related learning; that they can critically evaluate work in the field; that they can work independently; and that they can make original and significant contributions to the field of study.

Graduate Degree Requirements


The department offers two undergraduate certificate programs, one in neuroscience and another in cognitive science. The Certificate in Neuroscience offers cross­disciplinary training for students in psychology and the biology majors (IPHY, EBIO and MCDB). Completion of this program demonstrates that graduates have interdisciplinary breadth of knowledge in the biological sciences. The Certificate in Cognitive Science is cross-disciplinary for students in psychology, linguistics, philosophy and computer science. This program provides students with interdisciplinary knowledge of the cognitive sciences.

Research Opportunities

The department is committed to a scientific approach to psychology. Facilities that support the program include excellent laboratories and on­campus research centers and institutes, including the Institute of Behavioral Genetics (IBG), the Institute for Behavioral Science (IBS) and the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS). The quality and breadth of the undergraduate program is enriched by independent research opportunities and seminars available through these institutes.The Computer Laboratory for Instruction in Psychological Research (CLIPR) provides support to the department through access to computers in teaching and research.