Full-time Faculty: 7
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 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 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 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, a reading room with career and graduate school resources, and five research labs including: a behavioral neuroscience lab, the psycho-technology lab which is used for video game research, and the cognitive and applied psychology lab (CAP). A general access computer lab with about 20 computers is located next to the department office.
The department offers a number of special opportunities to students. Each year, the department presents 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. 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 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 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.
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, a co-winner of the Exemplary Program Award given by the Association for General and Liberal Studies, 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
- 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
- Danielle Lindner, Ph.D., University of Central Florida; body image, eating disorders, obesity, mindfulness-based interventions
- Laura Crysel, Ph.D., University of Florida; the dark triad, social cognition, schadenfreude
- Anne Sinatra, Ph.D., University of Central Florida; applied experimental and human factors psychology
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 to join 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:
- Samantha Warta '14 is studying human-robot interaction at the Cognitive Sciences Lab at the University of Central Florida.
- Dawn Calache '13 is in the combined Juris Doctorate/Master of Arts in Psychology program at the Florida International University College of Law.
- Jordan Christeson '13 is pursuing a doctorate of psychology (Psy.D.) in clinical psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Ill.
- Devon Dunn '13 is attending Stetson University master of science program in marriage, couples, and family counseling.
- Susan Moore '13 is earning a master's degree in music therapy at Florida State University.