The Department of Psychology, housed in the Psychology and Human Service Studies Building, represents Elon University's largest liberal arts major, with nineteen full-time faculty and more than 300 majors and 300 minors. At the heart of the program is an emphasis on psychology as a basic and applied science. Rooted in the scientific method, emphasis is placed on developing in students a love of learning built upon abilities to gather information systematically; to think critically, logically, and creatively about that information; and then to communicate one’s conclusions effectively to a diverse range of audiences. As a socio-cultural discipline, emphasis is placed on developing in students an informed and sensitive appreciation for the complex causes of human behavior, and the knowledge and skills to have a constructive impact on human affairs from the level of individual and family functioning to policies governing broader social institutions.
Large enough to offer a range of courses, internships, and research opportunities normally associated with a larger university, yet small enough to provide close personal mentoring, the psychology program puts into practice an educational philosophy that the field is best understood by studying psychology, and by actively doing psychology. Graduates interested in careers in psychology are well positioned to be competitive candidates for graduate training; graduates interested in other careers are well grounded in the analytical skills and the psychological-mindedness necessary for success in a wide range of occupations.
Our curriculum is based on the American Psychological Association undergraduate learning goals and objectives and we are continuously planning, assessing, and modifying our course offerings in order to ensure that students are prepared for a career in psychology or related field. We offer a solid grounding in research methodology as well as basic and advanced courses in major subfields of the discipline (behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology). We also offer many special topics courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Animal Behavior, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Educational Psychology and Psychology of Leadership. Along the way, we hope students will explore experiential learning opportunities in psychology, including study abroad, internships, and the closely mentored opportunities in independent research. We also encourage students to get involved in psychology-related student organizations, including the Psychology Club, which is open to all majors and minors, and Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology.
Read our department newsletter (Spring, 2014) by clicking here.
The first-authored peer-reviewed empirical article by the assistant professor of psychology describes how infants’ and mothers’ interactive behaviors during free play change as infants progress from sitting to walking.
Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, professor of psychology, was the mentor for both projects.
The assistant professor of psychology presented motor development research at the biennial conference of the Society for Research in Child Development, held in Baltimore, Maryland.
The peer-reviewed article by the professor of the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program describes how cohort-building and belongingness can support both student success and faculty research productivity.
Jess Sabatino '19, a criminal justice studies minor, builds skills while interning at the Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center.