Department of Psychology

About Us

The Department of Psychology at Wright State University prides itself on providing both undergraduate and graduate students with numerous opportunities to explore the many diverse sub-areas of Psychology through coursework in specialized areas of concentration as well as hands-on research experiences and real-life practicum or internship experiences. [Undergraduate concentration areas include: Behavioral Neuroscience; Clinical Psychology; Cognition and Perception; Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Pre-Health Psychology.]

Our goal is to teach students to appreciate the breadth and multi-disciplinary nature of Psychology as a scientific discipline in order for them to become critical consumers of psychology-related information which can be applied to a broad range of careers. Our undergraduate honors research program is the oldest at the University and students take on independent projects within ongoing research programs in faculty labs. Undergraduate students work closely with both faculty and graduate students in research lab settings to learn to conduct research and present findings at professional meetings.

The Department offers a uniquely blended Human Factors and I/O Psychology graduate degree. In addition to a non-thesis master's degree option, students who pursue research for master's theses and doctoral dissertations have opportunities to teach and to provide consulting services to partner organizations for real-life hands-on training in the field.

The Department of Psychology strives to provide a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment for the success of all students. We understand that we serve a population with many different types of challenges to overcome: some students are the first in the family to attend college; others are actively engaged in the military, are part of a military family, or are veterans who have seen battle; still others come from the diaspora of nationalities and backgrounds that live in our community. We welcome this diversity and aim, most importantly, to provide students with a solid foundation of basic skills in critical thinking and communication.

Below you will find:

  1. A set of Learning Outcomes adapted for Wright State students from recommendations of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  2. A set of goals (or action items), which we have named the Wright State 8, to guide our Psychology majors along a successful path to graduation and a future career.

NOTE: These statements of accomplishable goals are designed to be used by you in developing a resume for future job and graduate school applications.

Learning Outcomes for Psychology Majors

Consistent with the learning outcomes identified by the American Psychological Association, as a Psychology Major you have learned each of the below skills.  Each skill below can be a line you add to your resume.

Knowledge of human behavior

  • Understanding of thoughts, motivations, and feelings of individuals and groups
  • Knowledge in how to assess human behavior and respond appropriately in work and non-work situations

Strong research skills

  • Ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • Ability to critically evaluate published and non-published information
  • Ability to problem-solve
  • Experience in using available resources to define goals, identify problems, and develop potential solutions

Strong ethical principles

  • Familiarity with ethical principles relating to work practices
  • Familiarity with ethical principles relating to the protection of information, including how to safeguard privacy and confidentiality

Ability to communicate information effectively both verbally and in written form

  • Can communicate information in a concise and clear way
  • Can communicate technical (including statistical) information clearly to non-specialists
  • Can translate data into easily interpreted graphs and figures

Ability to work effectively in teams, both as a member and as a leader

  • Can work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Experience in taking initiative on group projects
  • Can follow directions or an established protocol
  • Responsive to positive or negative feedback

Strong self-management skills

  • Ability to define and achieve goals in unclear situations
  • Ability to develop and complete projects from idea conception through final presentation of results or work products
  • Ability to manage multiple, simultaneous demands relating to school, work, and family

Wright State 8

Action Items for Every Psychology Major

  • WS8-1: Identify and define your professional and personal goals related to psychology
  • WS8-2: Develop an elevator speech to describe your interest in psychology to others
  • WS8-3: Be a critical consumer of psychological information
  • WS8-4: Apply basic stats and research methods to real-world issues
  • WS8-5: Speak and write both clearly and persuasively
  • WS8-6: Dedicate time and talent to a professional organization (e.g. Psi Chi, Psych Club, MPA)
  • WS8-7: Complete 2-3 learning experiences (e.g. Independent research, internship, volunteer with psychology agency)
  • WS8-8: Develop professional mentors and role models

photo of debra steele-johnson Message from the Department Chair

The Department of Psychology at Wright State University is in the student success business. As excited as our faculty members are about their research in the science of psychology, they are equally excited about teaching—both undergraduate and graduate students—in the classroom and in research labs. We invite you to join us in exploring how and why people think, feel, and act in all aspects of their lives. A psychology degree helps graduates to be more effective employees (in psychology-related occupations but also occupations in many other fields, such as medicine, law, hospitality, management, and sales). A psychology degree helps graduates have better relationships with others at work and at home and have greater insights about themselves so that they can achieve their full potential. Welcome to the Department of Psychology at Wright State University.

Debra Steele-Johnson, Ph.D.