Psychology Department Mission Statement

The mission of the psychology department is to support the University and the larger community. It does so by providing a diverse, dynamic, and personalized learning environment and experiences that inspire student achievement, foster academic excellence, instill ethics and values, promote service, and facilitate lifelong learning. These objectives are ingrained in the Psychology Department's constitution, which can be reviewed here.

Psychology students will develop the knowledge, understanding, appreciation, discipline, and skill that will enable them to function personally and professionally as informed and socially responsible citizens. These are achieved through lectures, readings, research, laboratory experiences, writing assignments, discussions, service, and other personal and professional academic and scholarly activities.

The Psychology Department offers an academic major and minor. It serves students through courses that fulfill general education requirements as well as foundation requirements for other academic and professional programs.

Program Goals

To fulfill the department’s mission, our faculty members do the following.

  1. Provide superior classroom instruction on theories and concepts relevant to the science and application of psychology.
  2. Engage students in experimental psychology by providing relevant laboratory and supervised research experiences.
  3. Engage students in clinical/counseling psychology by providing relevant, supervised, professional practicum, service, and internship experiences.
  4. Provide classroom instruction and encourage activities which promote and facilitate critical thinking, moral and ethical reasoning, oral and written communication, and digital literacy.
  5. Provide classroom instruction and experiential activities to foster an understanding and appreciation of, and a respect for diversity across individuals and cultures.
  6. Provide academic advisement relevant to individual student needs.
  7. Promote and support the personal and professional development of students and colleagues.
  8. Promote and support service and social responsibility of students and colleagues.
  9. Meet or exceed the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association for the undergraduate psychology major (http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/about/psymajor-guidelines.pdf).


Learning Outcomes 

Students will demonstrate proficiency in order to meet the following goals as established by APA and as adopted by the Department of Psychology.

  • Knowledge, skills, and values consistent with the science and application of psychology
    1. Knowledge Base of Psychology
      Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major
      concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems. Students completing foundation courses should demonstrate breadth of their knowledge and application of psychological ideas to simple problems; students completing a baccalaureate degree should show depth in their knowledge and application of psychological concepts and frameworks to problems of greater complexity.
    2. Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking
      The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods. Students completing foundation-level courses should learn basic skills and concepts in interpreting behavior, studying research, and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena; students completing a baccalaureate degree should focus on theory use as well as designing and executing research plans.
    3. Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
      The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity. Students completing foundation-level courses should become familiar with the formal regulations that govern professional ethics in psychology and begin to embrace the values that will contribute to positive outcomes in work settings and in building a society responsive to multicultural and global concerns. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should have more direct opportunities to demonstrate adherence to professional values that will help them optimize their contributions and work effectively, even with those who do not share their heritage and traditions. This domain also promotes the adoption of personal and professional values that can strengthen community relationships and contributions.
    4. Communication
      Students should demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills. Students completing foundation-level courses should write a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, explain the ideas of others, and express their own ideas with clarity. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should produce a research study or other psychological project, explain scientific results, and present information to a professional audience. They should also develop flexible interpersonal approaches that optimize information exchange and relationship development.
    5. Professional Development
      The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation. Foundation-level outcomes concentrate on the development of work habits and ethics to succeed in academic settings. The skills in this goal at the baccalaureate level refer to abilities that sharpen student readiness for post baccalaureate employment, graduate school, or professional school. These skills can be developed and refined both in traditional academic settings and in extracurricular involvement. In addition, career professionals can be enlisted to support occupational planning and pursuit. This emerging emphasis should not be construed as obligating psychology programs to obtain employment for their graduates but instead as encouraging programs to optimize the competitiveness of their graduates for securing places in the workforce.

American Psychological Association. (2013). APA guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major: Version 2.0. https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/about/psymajor-guidelines.pdf