Full-time Faculty: 8
Available for: Major, Minor
Popular Second Majors
integrative Health Science
Internships and research are two of the hallmarks of this program.
If you enjoy science and are interested in studying human behavior and mental processes, consider a major in psychology. While Stetson University's Department of Psychology strives to provide a strong foundation for graduate work in psychology, the program also teaches knowledge and skills important for many other areas of graduate study and a variety of careers.
You will study how to clarify concepts, locate and search information sources, evaluate scientific information, design experiments, do statistical analyses of data and prepare clear, concise written reports. You also will have the opportunity to develop skills in communication and interpersonal relations that are vital in some careers and helpful in all.
A Distinctive Program
Two of our most important educational features are our internship program and the senior project. Properly planned, these two experiences can be significant stepping-stones toward graduate work or direct entry into the workforce.
In your last two years, you will be encouraged to include a supervised internship as one of your courses. This internship allows you to deepen your understanding of the ethical and professional issues central to psychology and to obtain practical experience by working in an approved fieldwork setting.
You will also complete research for a capstone requirement, the senior project. Each student works independently under the supervision of a professor to design a psychological experiment, test participants, analyze the data, prepare a scientific paper, and make an oral presentation of the results.
The Department of Psychology offers many different courses, and we use a wide variety of teaching styles and course formats, depending upon the learning goals of the course. Stetson's small classes encourage interaction between students and their professors. Students and teachers get to know each other, and students have ready access to their teachers outside of class.
Academics and Research
Although most students do their senior project in their final year, some choose to complete it in the junior year so that they will have more time to publish their work in a professional journal, present it at a conference, or collaborate with a faculty member on additional research. Our majors have presented their research — and won awards — at the annual convention of the Southeastern Psychological Association (S.E.P.A.), the Stetson Showcase (a daylong symposium) and other venues.
Students also have the opportunity to apply for a Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.) grant. The S.U.R.E. grant provides funding for equipment, room and board, travel and other expenses for students to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project proposed by the student. Recent projects include: an evaluation of interventions promoting female condom use and a study of men's body image and the relationships among self-objectification, drive for muscularity, and behavioral consequences like disordered eating behavior, excessive exercise, and supplement or steroid use.
Facilities and Opportunities
The Department of Psychology is housed in Flagler Hall, a historic building that received a major renovation in 2011. In addition to smart technology in all main classrooms, the department has an interview room for use by students when conducting senior research, a reading/resource room with career and graduate school resources, and research labs including a behavioral neuroscience lab and a psycho-technology lab for video game research. A general access computer lab with 20 computers is located next to the department office.
The department offers a number of special opportunities to students. Undergraduate Teaching Apprentices assist in an undergraduate course under the supervision of a faculty member. Research Apprentices become part of a professor’s lab and may be involved in all aspects of research—reviewing literature, testing subjects, analyzing data, writing up results, and publishing or presenting that research. In recent years, research apprentices have been co-authors on presentations at the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society annual conferences as well as on articles published in professional journals. Both teaching and research apprenticeship programs offer course credit.
The Stetson University chapter of Psi Chi, the international honorary society in psychology, is very active and won Model Chapter Awards in 2014 and 2015. The group offers free tutoring for students, hosts regular movie nights, sponsors lectures and book discussions, and helps to bring speakers to campus to speak about current issues in psychology.
Preparation for graduate study
In the past few years, Psychology graduates have been accepted into master's and doctoral-level programs in such diverse fields as applied behavior analysis, bio-ethics, business administration, clinical psychology, criminal justice, drama therapy, forensic psychology, genetic counseling, health psychology, higher education administration, human resources, industrial/organizational psychology, law, marriage and family therapy, medicine, mental health counseling, music therapy, neuroscience, public administration, social psychology, social work, and youth development.
Qualified graduates of the Department of Psychology may be directly accepted into any of the three master's-level programs offered by Stetson University's Department of Counselor Education—clinical mental health counseling; school counseling; and marriage, couple and family counseling—without submitting scores for the Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.) or Miller Analogies Test (M.A.T.). To qualify, a student must major in psychology at Stetson University, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 for all work at Stetson University, successfully complete a group interview, and have satisfactory letters of recommendation. Students who do not meet these criteria may apply for admission in the normal fashion.
Awards and Recognition
Psychology faculty include a winner of Stetson University's most prestigious teaching award, the McEniry Award, and an internationally recognized expert on the effects of media on violent behavior. All of the department's professors are committed to excellence in teaching, and each of the full-time faculty members is actively involved in a program of either research or writing. Full-time faculty and their areas of research are listed below.
- Christopher Ferguson, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, the effects of media on violent behavior
- Camille Tessitore King, Ph.D., University of Virginia; neuroanatomy of the gustatory system
- Robert Askew, Ph.D., University of Washington; measurement of symptoms and health status indicators of physical and psychological health
- Michelle Camden, M.A., University of Central Florida
- Laura Crysel, Ph.D., University of Florida; the dark triad, social cognition, schadenfreude
- Danielle Lindner, Ph.D., University of Central Florida; body image, eating disorders, obesity, mindfulness-based interventions
- Richard Medlin, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the development of homeschooled children
- Erin Moore, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City; human sexuality
Undergraduate Awards and Honors
The department grants the Psychology Department Award for Excellence in Research and the Outstanding Seniors in Psychology Award. Qualified students have the opportunity to join Psi Chi, the international honorary society in psychology.
Courses and Curriculum
» View the Stetson University Course Catalog for more information on the curriculum and courses for this academic program.
Beyond the Classroom
In addition to participating in the many forms of volunteer work and community service available at Stetson University, many psychology students choose to do one or more internships. Students have completed internships in many professional settings, including crisis stabilization units, the DeLand Police Department, military research facilities, parenting skills programs, the Sanford Zoo, programs for special needs children, psychiatric facilities, public and private schools, the neuropsychology unit of a nursing home, residential programs for adolescents, and substance abuse treatment centers.
About half of our graduates pursue advanced degrees in psychology or other fields of study. Students who choose not to attend graduate school have found careers in all sorts of occupations, including advertising, human resources, paralegal work, nursing, college admissions and many others. Here is a sampling of what some of our 2015 graduates are doing now:
- Ellen Smittle is pursuing a master’s degree in drama therapy at New York University.
- Benjamin Trigani is pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.
- Carline Barnes is in the combined Juris Doctorate/Master of Science in Criminal Justice program at the Roger Williams University School of Law.
- Alexis Torres is in a combined Juris Doctorate/Master of Business Administration program at Florida State College of Law.
- Alexandria Merritt is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
- Chandler Ledray is pursuing a Master of Social Work degree at University of Illinois, Chicago.
- Adriana Ugarte is a behavior therapist at the Florida Autism Center in Daytona Beach, where she interned during her senior year.
- Julie Stevens is in the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology program at University of Ghent, Belgium.
- Sammi Jo Manning trains birds of prey at Eagles Flying Raptor Center in Ireland, where she plans to open an animal therapy division.
- George Salis is teaching English in Bulgaria and finishing his first novel.
- Jasmine Banegas is serving with City Year in Miami where she mentors and tutors at-risk youth to help them stay in school.