College of Social and Behavioral Science
Department Office: 502 Social and Behavioral Science Building
Mailing Address: 380 S. 1530 E., Rm. 502, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0251
Department Chair: Lisa G. Aspinwall, Ph.D.
Advisors: Psychology Advising Center, BEH S Rooms 507 & 508, 801-585-9095
Psychologists study human behavior and the behavior of nonhuman animals, with the goals of (1) understanding how people and nonhuman animals function in their respective natural worlds; (2) building a science of behavior based on that understanding, and (3) understanding, predicting, and alleviating behavioral and psychological maladjustment.
Students and faculty investigate how humans and animals adapt to the everyday problems that confront them, and how maladaptive everyday behavior creates various personal, interpersonal, cultural, and species difficulties, and how these difficulties can be avoided or removed. Psychology is one of the broadest fields of academic study and practical application. Some branches of psychology deal with personal behaviors, such as a single individual’s mental life and personal development, while other branches deal with more abstract and philosophical issues such as the nature of knowledge and how that knowledge depends on individual and cultural experience and on biological variables. Basic research overlaps biology (behavioral neuroscience, neuropsychology, comparative cognition, and behavioral ecology), medicine (e.g., health psychology, and cognitive and clinical neuropsychology), cultural anthropology (ethnographic and contextualist approaches), and in one way or another with virtually every academic department.
Special facilities include laboratory computers, videotaping and television systems for research and instruction, and psycho-physiological laboratories.
Please see the Psychology B.A., B.S., H.B.A., H.B.S., Minor and Human Factors Certificate listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.
A more detailed description of the undergraduate programs available is contained in the Psychology Undergraduate Handbook, which can be obtained from the Psychology Advising Center. Information about the psychology major is also available at the department’s Web site, http://www.psych.utah.edu/advising/ Students considering study in psychology are encouraged to visit the Psychology Advising Center in 507 & 508 BEH S where they can obtain advice in planning a course of study.
There are additional requirements for admission to these degrees. Please see an advisor for more information.
There may be additional requirements for graduation from these degrees. Please see the program pages for more information.
It is the student’s responsibility to visit the Psychology Advising Center two or three semesters before their intended graduation date to ensure that all requirements for graduation have been met. Students must be updated to major or minor status before applying for graduation.
The departmental major is intended for students who wish to concentrate on understanding nonhuman and human behavior as they pursue a liberal education. In addition, the departmental major provides the background necessary for graduate study in psychology and related disciplines and an orientation for post-baccalaureate careers in fields which draw directly on psychological knowledge.
Preparation for Graduate School
Students who plan to pursue graduate studies in psychology are encouraged to take at least one course from each departmental area (clinical, cognitive, developmental, neuroscience, social) in order to ensure adequate breadth of knowledge. While all students are encouraged to gain research experience by taking research hours (PSY 4800 to PSY 4806 ) and complete Independent Research, students who plan to go to graduate school are especially encouraged to do so. Please see the Psychology Advising Center early and regularly to learn about getting involved and options in Independent Research and the Psychology Honors Track.
Transfer students should meet early with the Psychology Advising Center upon entrance to have transfer classes evaluated for the Psychology major or minor requirements.
Please see the Psychology M.A., M.S., Ph.D. and Psychometrics M.Stat. listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.
Areas of Specialization
Clinical, social, cognition and neural science, and developmental psychology. Joint programs are available in crosscultural, child clinical, neuropsychology, and health. Students may also pursue interests in quantitative psychology. The graduate program in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association.
Psychological Training Clinic
The Psychological Training Clinic provides training for qualified graduate students in assessment and therapeutic techniques under close personal faculty supervision. Patient referrals are accepted from campus agencies and the community according to the training needs of the clinic.
Program and Courses Offerings