Department of Psychology
The Psychology Department seeks to advance the science and practice of psychology through research and its dissemination, and to provide outstanding education and training to undergraduate and doctoral students. The faculty encourages a scientist/applied approach to psychology, achieved through research and coursework that emphasize psychological knowledge, theories and methods, and apply psychological science to important issues individuals, communities and society face.
About the Department
Psychology is one of the largest undergraduate programs in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences with respect to the number of declared majors. In addition, the department awards approximately 10 PhD degrees each year through its doctoral programs. At all levels of instruction, the educational programs make extensive use of and focus upon the Washington, D.C. area's many and varied resources.
Led by Department Chair Paul Poppen, the department consists of more than 50 professionals, 20 of which are tenured/tenure track faculty. In addition, there are visiting, part-time, adjunct, and research faculty, as well as graduate teaching and research assistants.
The first PhD awarded by the department was in 1923 to Fred Moss. His dissertation research was "A Study of Animal Drives". Moss went on to receive an MD from the George Washington University. He is best known as the creator of the MCAT, the medical school admissions test that served as a forerunner of numerous aptitude tests such as the SAT. The second PhD was awarded to Thelma Hunt, 1927, on "The Measurement of Social Intelligence". Dr. Hunt also received a medical degree from the George Washington University, and served as department chair from 1938-1963. Over 100 PhDs have been awarded by the department over the years, and our graduates have found success in competitive job searches around the country. Today, the department continues to flourish.