Psychology is the study of behavior and its relationship to brain/mind systems and the social environment. Because behavior, brain/mind systems, and the social environment are multifaceted, psychology has many subdivisions and areas of specialization.
The Department is particularly noted for its research in the following areas:
- Molecular, cellular, cognitive, and brain systems underlying learning & memory; drug addiction; nervous system disorders;
- Structure and function of the human visual system;
- Cognitive development in typical and atypical children;
- Social determinants of self-identity, prejudice, and intergroup relations;
- Psychological factors in health and illness;
- Mechanisms of change and efficacy of psychological interventions, including (a) a major focus on psychological treatments (e.g., addictions, anxiety, autism, eating disorders); and (b) community-based prevention research with youth and adolescents.
In addition to its research, the Psychology Department has a strong undergraduate teaching program, with both the most majors (approximately 1,200) and the most minors (approximately 1,600) of departments in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Enrollment in undergraduate psychology courses exceeds 20,000 per year. The Department typically teaches about 130 lecture courses (including several advanced topics and honors courses), 50 laboratory sections, and 10 internship/fieldwork courses each year. Approximately 300 undergraduates per year conduct independent and honors research with the faculty. The Psychology Department attracts more applications to the graduate program than any other SAS department in the University (well over 400 each year).
We have over 40 full-time faculty members in the Psychology Department, and a larger group of graduate faculty from outside of our Department who contribute to our graduate programs. We provide graduate training in four major areas — behavioral neuroscience; clinical psychology; cognitive psychology; and social psychology. We also have an intradisciplinary program in health psychology. Our Department has close ties to the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science; the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research; the Center of Alcohol Studies; and the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. The Department participates in the Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Perceptual Science funded by an IGERT grant from NSF. Research grants held by Psychology faculty average nearly $6.0 million per year.
We take pride in our research and scholarly work, and have a deep commitment to providing excellent training to our graduate and undergraduate students.