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Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology at Saint Louis University focuses on exploring and understanding the complexities of the mind and human behavior through research, specialized programs and a vibrant learning community.

The SLU Department of Psychology recently received a grant to expand opioid treatment services.

SLU has the oldest psychology department at a Jesuit university and has offered psychology courses for more than 100 years. Students pursuing a psychology degree will find support in approximately 300 fellow undergraduate students and 100 fellow graduate students, making it one of the most popular programs at SLU. More than 25 faculty members provide mentorship and research opportunities for students, as well.

Psychology offers you the chance to explore your own interests and develop your abilities through research and study. Based in a strong liberal arts background, areas of study can venture into social psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience and psychology and the law. Regardless of what courses you choose as part of the program, you will develop evidence-based reasoning and critical-thinking skills and an enhanced understanding of yourself, uniquely preparing you to make a difference.

The department’s two centers, the Center for the Application of Behavioral Sciences and the Psychological Services Center, promote community service. Some students can also gain valuable, hands-on experience by assisting on faculty or graduate research projects, as well as conducting your own research. Get involved in the student honors chapter of Psi Chi to meet classmates, explore the field and to be eligible for certain student awards.

Degree Programs

Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate students in the discipline of psychology and its applications.

We accomplish this by integrating empirical science, theory and practice, focused toward the understanding of the behavior and experience of individuals and groups, including the family, organizations and institutions.

We encourage intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and ethical responsibility in our teaching, research, and practice. Our commitment to value-based, holistic education and our enthusiasm for psychology is realized in the products of our research, in our graduates, and in service to others locally, nationally and globally.

We seek to contribute to the improvement of the human condition and to promote human welfare through understanding past knowledge, discovering new knowledge, and disseminating our knowledge through teaching, publication, and service.

We educate students to be professionals and challenge them to be ethically responsible, to be committed to serving others and to respect human diversity in all its forms.

We seek to sustain ourselves as a community of scholars, in which all are teachers and all are learners, in an environment that fosters scholarly, professional and personal growth.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Psychology’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee was created with the intention of understanding and appreciating individual differences and human diversity in all its forms, encouraging inclusiveness and respect in the work the department performs. The committee hosts activities and speakers each year with this goal in mind.

The committee was established in 1990 and has since provided support and guidance for the department's inclusion and diversity mission. Faculty members from all programs in the department serve on the committee, either on the consultation or curriculum subcommittees.

Janet Kuebli serves as the committee chair.

Curriculum Subcommittee

The goal of this subcommittee is to enhance the integration of diversity and inclusion discourse into course instruction and training to provide students and faculty with relevant knowledge and experience about cultural and individual diversity as they relate to the field of psychology.

Members: Eddie Clark, Kristin Kiddoo, Challis Kinnucan (subcommittee chair), Janet Kuebli

Consultation Subcommittee

The goals of this subcommittee are to provide guidance and resources to faculty, students and staff when diversity and inclusion questions or concerns arise related to the learning environment in the department or the recruitment and retention of faculty and students.

Members: Kira Hudson Banks, Cort Rudolph, Terri Weaver, Lisa Willoughby

Speaker Series

Committee members have initiated a speaker series as well as a number of activities to facilitate awareness of and exposure to diversity and inclusion. Past speakers have included Derek Avery, Ph.D. of Temple University, Kim Case, Ph.D. of the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and Rocio Rivadeneyra, Ph.D., of Illinois State University. Past topics have included “Diversity and Discrimination in the Workplace,” “Teaching Transgender Across the Curriculum,” and “Where are the Women Scientists?”

Fund for Research in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Department of Psychology’s Fund for Research in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offers up to $1,000 annually for graduate student research in DEI-related subjects. Recent winners have included Carrie Burnett, whose project “The Effects of Hair Treatment on Cortisol in Underrepresented Groups in Stress Research” was funded in 2022. In 2023, Bryce Davis received funds for his project “Examining the moderating effect of mentalizing on the psychological impact of experiencing intersectional microaggressions within sexually diverse men of color.”

Giving to the Department

Want to give back to the Saint Louis University Department of Psychology? There are many ways to help undergraduate and graduate students in the department, including through the following funds:

  • The Department Development Fund provides aid throughout the department, including through undergraduate research projects.
  • The Napoli Endowed Teaching Award Fund recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding teachers in training in our graduate programs.
  • The Severin Endowed Fund supports graduate student research.

Any of these funds can be designated when the University contacts you by telephone or mail in annual fund drives. You can also give to the Department of Psychology online. 

Give Online