Dudley Moorhead Hall 157
Ronald Rogers, 408-924-5652
Elva Connell, 408-924-5602
About the Department
The BA in Psychology provides students with useful and marketable skills that go beyond basic knowledge of the content of psychological facts and theories. Successful majors develop good research and technical writing skills, develop high-level skills for analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information, and become good problem solvers with well-developed people skills. A BA - Psychology is an appropriate broad liberal arts major for many students who will directly enter the workforce. A list of fields that frequently hire psychology students is available in the department. The psychology degree is also suitable pre-professional preparation for such careers as business, law, medicine and theology, as well as the graduate training necessary for careers in psychology.
The BS in Psychology provides more rigorous training in experimental psychology than the BA, although it provides the same skill sets and preparation for the same careers. In addition, although the BS offers less flexibility in terms of electives, its more focused scientific and methodological training is particularly appropriate for those planning to pursue a PhD in psychology or advanced training in some other technical field. It is possible to move easily from the BS to the BA or vice versa early in one's educational career, so students should consult with an advisor about their selection once they have decided to major in psychology.
Graduate study in Psychology is also extremely popular. The Psychology Department offers programs for those seeking terminal master's degrees in clinical psychology as well as industrial/organizational psychology. These MS degrees are called terminal master's degrees because they provide training for employment rather than for moving on to the next level of graduate training. The department also offers an MA degree designed to prepare students with the background in experimental psychology that will be required for additional advanced training leading to a doctoral degree in psychology or related fields, as well as for employment in human factors or other research settings. The MS and MA degrees fulfill the degree requirement for teaching psychology at the community college level.
The undergraduate and graduate students in psychology are a diverse group that mirrors the diversity in the SJSU student population, with a somewhat higher proportion of women. They are well represented on the list of Dean's and President's Scholars. Psi Chi, the psychology honors association, is very active in departmental activities, such as the Psychology Convocation at the end of the Spring semester, and in organizing speakers who present information of general psychological interest and relevance to students' professional lives including preparation or graduate school applications. They also organize the Spartan Psychological Association Research Conference (SPARC) meeting each spring. This meeting provides an opportunity for students to present their research findings in a local meeting before venturing to regional or national professional meetings.
Psychology faculty offer students a variety of expertise and experience. Some focus on basic research in areas such as cognition, social psychology, developmental psychology and psychobiology, while others focus on more applied areas such as clinical practice, industrial and organizational psychology and aerospace human factors. Faculty in the department receive several million dollars per year in grant support. Some of these funds support projects that either hire students as research assistants or permit course credit in return for student involvement. Additionally, faculty run a variety of community-oriented and service learning programs such as the hooked-on-books reading program which promotes literacy, and domestic violence prevention programs run in conjunction with a number of community organizations. Our faculty are frequently recognized for their award winning scholarship and teaching. Each year many students are co-authors of papers presented at professional meetings or published in professional journals.