Professor in laboratory

Psychology

With its historical roots in philosophy and physiology, psychology is an inherently interdisciplinary field.

Programs Offered: Major, Minor

Although usually considered part of the social or biological sciences, psychologists also have strong ties with the humanities and explore fundamental questions about human motivation and values. Our investigations include the laboratory study of humans and other animals and the systematic study of human behavior in the community, workplace and clinical settings.

Through our senior internship program, we balance rigorous and exciting coursework with practical experiences. One advantage of being in Salem, the state capitol, is that our students have an astounding number of internship opportunities at government offices and nonprofit organizations.

Our field internships offer practical experience at the Center for Hope and Safety, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division and many other agencies.

Working alongside our experienced faculty, our students gain valuable hands-on research experience. From study conception and design to data collection and analysis, they immerse themselves in all aspects of research — often presenting their findings at local and national conferences. Some even co-write and publish scientific papers. In addition to basic research in such areas as memory, personality, persuasion and adolescent development, we also offer rich opportunities to do research and service in a wide range of applied areas.

After they graduate, our students are accepted into competitive graduate programs across the country and pursue careers in everything from psychology, law and medicine to social work and education.

Olivia Scott ’20

Student athlete works to prevent gang violence

Olivia Scott ’20 reflects upon interning with a program founded by a reformed gang member in South Africa.

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Associate professor of politics Melissa Michaux

Questions of justice

An unusual class takes Willamette students inside prison walls to discover a new perspective on crime and punishment.

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