About Us

About Us

A Message from the New Department Head

As we transition into a new decade with new leadership, I am excited to welcome you to learn more about us. We are a strong, diverse and vibrant community of scholars, educators, practitioners and staff committed to excellence in psychological science.

I invite you to explore the site and learn more about the Department’s people and programs, as well as about the exciting research, teaching, and outreach being done here.

Psychology is one of the largest departments at Penn State’s University Park campus.  We have over 80 faculty (tenure-track, teaching, clinical and research professors), more than 150 graduate students, approximately 20 postdoctoral scholars, and 47 administrative and research staff. Our more than 1200 undergraduate majors can earn either a BA or a BS degree, the latter with several options. The Department admits Ph.D. students in the areas of Clinical (Adult and Child)CognitiveDevelopmentalIndustrial/Organizational, and Social Psychology. The Department’s APA award-winning Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) is open to graduate students in all areas, as are dual Ph.D. programs with Women’s Studies and Language Science and our brand new Social Behavioral Neuroscience Degree.

Members of the Department conduct a great deal of exciting research, much of which is described elsewhere on this website. We boast having 2 Evan Pugh Scholars, 1 Distinguished, 3 Liberal Arts, and 2 named professors. Our graduate students are productive scholars, with impressive accomplishments and awards.  For example, 21 graduate students have received prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and predoctoral National Research Service Awards from the National Institutes of Health over the last ten years.  Undergraduate involvement in research is common, with more than 380 undergraduate students registering each semester to work on research projects for credit. Centers and Initiatives affiliated with the department and directed by psychology faculty include the Child Study Center the Center for Language Sciences, PACT (Parents And Children Together) and SLEIC (Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center). Several faculty play key roles in University-wide, state supported research endeavors including the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse.

Please feel free to be in touch with questions or comments.  The contact page provides mail and e-mail addresses if you would like to write us.

Thank you for your interest in Penn State’s Department of Psychology.


Kristin A. Buss
Professor and Head

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