Are graduate studies available for this program? No
Can you major in this program? Yes
Can you minor in this program? Yes
Popular second majors: biology, sociology, religious studies
Internships and research are two of the hallmarks of this program.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
If you enjoy science and are interested in studying human behavior and mental processes, consider a major in psychology. While Stetson University's psychology department 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.
What makes the program distinctive?
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 psychology department 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 University'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 the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.). 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 a study of how the brain processes speech and music and an examination of the obstacles parents face in getting a diagnosis of autism for their children.
Facilities and opportunities
The psychology department 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, a reading room with career and graduate school resources, a small biopsychological research lab, an observation room with a one-way mirror, and additional research spaces. A general access computer lab with about 20 computers is located next to the psychology department office.
The department offers a number of special opportunities to students. Each year, we present a Brain and Learning Lecture Series. In this series, everyday experiences such as learning, remembering and deciding are discussed in light of recent advances in brain research. Each year, a special guest lecturer is invited to speak, such as Dr. Patricia Greenfield of UCLA, who is an expert on the effects of media and the Internet.
The Stetson University Chapter of Psi Chi, the international honorary society in psychology, is very active. The group offers free tutoring for students, hosts regular movie nights, sponsors lectures and book discussions, and helps bring speakers to campus such as Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of the New York Times bestseller Crazy Love.
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 bio-ethics, business administration, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, genetic counseling, health psychology, higher education administration, industrial/organizational psychology, law, marriage and family therapy, military intelligence, mental health counseling, social psychology, and youth development.
Awards and Recognition
Psychology faculty include the Chair of the Association of Heads of Departments of Psychology, a co-winner of the Exemplary Program Award given by the Association for General and Liberal Studies, and a nominee for U.S. Professor of the Year. All of our professors are committed to excellence in teaching, and each of our 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.
- Toni L. Blum, Ph.D., Ohio State University; memory, decision making
- C. Dwaine Cochran, Ph.D., University of Georgia; health psychology, industrial psychology
- A. Richard Kindred, Ph.D., Brandeis University; the role of language in intimate communication
- Camille King, Ph.D., University of Virginia; neuroanatomy of the gustatory system
- Richard G. Medlin, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the development of homeschooled children
- Carriella H. Nance, Ph.D, Florida State University; social cognition, deception
Undergraduate Awards and Honors
The department grants the psychology Department Award for Excellence in Research, and grants awards for Outstanding Seniors in Psychology. Students have the opportunity for membership in Psi Chi, the international honorary society in psychology
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 court services programs, crisis stabilization units, military research facilities, parenting skills programs, programs for special needs children, psychiatric facilities, public and private schools, 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 graduates are doing now:
- Kristen Behrends ('12) is teaching English in Sierra Leone, West Africa, as a member of the Peace Corps.
- Chelsea LeNoble ('12) is working in a system technologies lab at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando.
- Jessica Burrell ('11) is a research technician at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Studies of Addiction/Treatment Research Center.
- Kathleen Joyce ('11) is pursuing her master's degree in Bioethics from Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and conducting research on the use of off-label psychiatric medications with children.
- Hannah (Meeks) Sharick ('08) received a master's degree in Biblical Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is serving as a missionary in Tokyo, Japan.
- Nikki Nowlin ('08) received her master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology and is treating children with developmental disabilities as a Certified Behavior Analyst.
- Skylar Tharp ('03) received a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is working with primary care physicians to provide more integrative, holistic care by screening patients for behavioral issues and providing brief psychotherapy.
- Sara Dodson ('02) received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University and now serves in the Office of Autism Research Coordination, Department of Health and Human Services.
- Brian Mistler ('01) received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida and is now a Gestalt therapist and Director of the Counseling and Student Wellness Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York.