Chair's Welcome

Dr. Stephen SaundersWelcome

Welcome to the Department of Psychology and its website. These pages contain a great deal of information about the department, faculty research interests, our graduate programs, and the undergraduate major, including (hopefully) useful information about making the most of your undergraduate experiences.

Dr. Stephen Saunders

Chair and Professor of Psychology

What is psychology?

Psychology is the science that studies—through both controlled experiments and sophisticated observation techniques—all aspects of human emotions, cognitions (including sensations, perception, memories, thinking, and planning) and behavior. Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate majors at Marquette and around the United States. Psychology combines a focus on everything that all people do—their thinking, planning, socializing, remembering, feeling, and behaving—with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of data. An undergraduate degree in psychology provides an excellent foundation for many career paths, as well as for graduate study in the field or in many other fields.

There are many types of psychologists. Developmental psychologists study how people behave and change throughout life. Social psychologists are concerned with the effects of social situations on human behavior. Personality psychologists study individual differences in how people behave. Neuropsychologists study the effects of brain damage, disorder or disease on behavioral and brain function. Biological psychologists and Neuroscientists are concerned with the biological bases of behavior. Cognitive psychologists investigate memory, thought, problem solving, and the psychological aspects of learning. Clinical psychologists study ways to help individuals, couples, families and groups change problematic behavior. Industrial psychologists study the effects of the physical and social aspects of people's work environments on productivity and business. The department takes pride in having nationally recognized scholars in all of these areas.

The Department of Psychology faculty attempt to create an open, welcoming learning environment that emphasizes the science of the discipline, ethical conduct, and an emphasis and delight in the diversity of human flourishing and the human experience (see our “Mission Statement”).

Advantages of an Undergraduate Psychology Major

In addition to the tremendous benefit of learning about themselves, others and the world, there are many practical benefits of an undergraduate major in psychology. Graduates of the psychology program at Marquette are successful in gaining admittance to graduate programs or in securing gainful employment related to their field of study. A major is great preparation for medical, education, business, dental, law, and physical therapy careers. Students who do not pursue advanced degrees may find jobs in psychology-related areas, such as state or local rehabilitation and social service agencies, civil service, human resources departments, and institutions that provide care for people with physical and emotional disabilities.

Need proof? Marquette University’s Office of Institutional Research and Analysis (OIRA) surveyed 2012-2016 graduates within six months of graduation. Of 370 graduates with a B.A. in psychology, 76% were either in a graduate program or employed (with another 14% either serving in the military, engaged in post-graduate service [such as the Peace Corps], engaged in continuing education, or “other”; 11% were seeking employment). Over half of the graduates pursuing higher education were in a master’s degree program, 12% were in a doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology, and 25% were in either medical school or law school).

A lot of information about the undergraduate major and curriculum can be found on the "Undergraduate Program" page.

Several Graduate Programs

In addition to the undergraduate major, the Department of Psychology is home to several graduate programs that train mental health professionals. The doctoral program in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). It espouses the scientist-practitioner model of training, as it educates students both in the conduct of clinically-relevant research and empirically-supported psychological evaluations, interventions and consultations. The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program offers both a master’s and doctoral degree. It trains students to identify and intervene in behavioral problems that can otherwise cause severe educational and social problems. Graduates are qualified to earn a certificate in behavior analysis.

The clinical and ABA programs are described in more detail on our "Graduate Program" page.

Who are we?

The Department of Psychology comprises a diverse group of faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate majors. This reflects the fact that we cherish and value the diversity of all persons in regard to their ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, socio-economic status, nationality, culture, and ability. The department is committed to facilitating intellectual growth and awareness of multicultural issues by engaging in academic discussions of diversity issues, providing clinical training for multicultural knowledge, abilities, attitudes and skills, and conducting research on multicultural issues. Through our educational efforts, we seek to encourage all individuals to consider their own attitudes and beliefs as well as develop skills and competencies to work and live in a multicultural world.

The Department of Psychology is home to 19 full-time faculty members who are dedicated teachers and world-renowned scholars. More information about faculty research interests can be found on faculty pages.

Where are we?

The Department of Psychology is in Cramer Hall (16th Street) on the third floor.