Meet the Department Chair

Carol Sigelman

Carol Sigelman has been the chair of the department since 2014. Dr. Sigelman is a developmental psychologist with diverse interests affiliated with the Applied Social Psychology program. She has been at GW since 1992.

Featured Stories

Congratulations to Psychology's Doctoral Graduates!

Psychology proudly congratulates the department's 2017 doctoral graduates: Danielle Busby, Devin English, Jessica Nysenbaum, Laura Mlynarkski, Lyzaida Rivera, Natalie AlizagaJanine Beekman, Pyoun Hyoun Kyoung and Rachel Wynn.

Rising Star

Kudos to Nadine Nakamura (nee Jernewall), who is the recipient of the  2017 National Multicultural Conference and Summit Rising Star Award for her contributions to multicultural psychology.

Psychology Alum Gail Mellow Brings Commitment, Innovation to Community College Post

Gail Mellow, a graduate of the Department of Psychology's doctoral program, has led LaGuardia Community College for 16 years.

Psychology Alum Wins Jeopardy Teachers Tournament

A 2006 graduate of the Department of Psychology won the 2016 Jeopardy Teachers Tournament.

Meltzer Center Clinic Participates in National Depression Screening Day

Aubrey Harrison, Catherine Coogan, and Nick Talisman, graduate students in the Clinical/Community Psychology Ph.D. program, and Georgia Kulok and Kara Meadows, Meltzer interns, stand at the Meltzer Center's screening table for National Depression Screening Day (NDSD).

Interview with Dr. Rolf Peterson

We took a few minutes to talk with Dr. Peterson to learn about his time at GW.

Post-Election Message From the Chair to the Psychology Community

Post-Election Message from the Chair to the Psychology Community

Department of Psychology Blog Graphic

Check out our blog for department news from faculty, alums, and students.

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 Carol Sigelman, 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.


NEW  Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Neuroscience (62-64 credit hours). This new major will be headquartered in the Department of Psychology (Director, Dr. Dwight Kravitz). It is an interdisciplinary major integrating the fundamental theories, methods, and findings of neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, and the study of complex behavior. Courses are primarily offerings in psychology and biology supplemented with courses from speech and hearing, anthropology, philosophy, and other fields. The major emphasizes convergences between subfields of cognitive neuroscience. Students with sufficient interest and skill will be assisted in participating in undergraduate research experiences and external internships.  Analytic skills and skills in written and oral scientific communication are emphasized. See


NEW Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience (74-76 credit hours). This new major will be headquartered in Biological Sciences (Director, Dr. Damien O’Halloran). It focuses on theories, methods, and concepts in neurobiology and includes all of the math and science courses that are part of the premed curriculum. It has more emphasis on biochemistry and neuroscience at the molecular and cellular levels than the BA in Cognitive Neuroscience. The goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of neural circuitry, processing, and behavioral outputs. Analytic skills and skills in written and oral scientific communication are emphasized. See




Psychology Major with a Concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience (39 credit hours). This concentration is for those who want to be psychology majors and obtain the breadth of training that psychology offers but are most interested in cognitive neuroscience. Students must complete four cognitive neuroscience courses (from a menu of undergraduate and graduate courses), attain a 3.3 GPA in Psychology at graduation, complete an independent study (PSYC 4591) with a member of the faculty of the cognitive neuroscience area, attend meetings of the Cognitive Neuroscience Journal Club and Colloquium series, and complete two career counseling sessions with members of the faculty of the cognitive neuroscience area. (You can of course be a major and take our cognitive neuroscience courses without concentrating in it.)  See


Minor in Mind-Brain Studies (18 credit hours). This interdisciplinary minor provides a broader mix of neuroscience-related courses from multiple disciplines. It consists of two required courses (Phil 3153, Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence; Psyc 3122 Cognitive Neuroscience) and four elective courses from a menu.  See