A History of Psychology at Rutgers University

Seymour Rosenberg

Professor Emeritus

Guide for Readers

This history of psychology at Rutgers starts in the middle of the 19th century when psychology was taught in America under the rubric of mental philosophy.  The emergence of psychology from mental philosophy and later developments of psychology as an academic discipline at Rutgers over the past 150 years are typical of many colleges and universities in America.  As such, the book’s coverage of the Rutgers curriculum during this period may be of interest for an overview of academic psychology as it evolved in America.

However, Rutgers is also unique among American institutions in maintaining, until relatively recently, an organization of autonomous colleges from which a graduate program was to be gleaned — this in combination with limited financial support from the state of New Jersey until the 1960’s and 1970’s, made Rutgers psychology one of the late bloomers among major American universities.

The reader can access the book in two ways:  The first is by the links provided below.  Alternatively, there are links for each chapter and each appendix throughout Chapter 1.  A new reader is likely to find Chapter 1 of value as an orientation to the book as a whole and its links informative.

  • Chapter 2 , Mental Philosophy and Psychology: The Curriculum at Rutgers College in the 19th Century.
  • Chapter 3 , The New Psychology in Early 20th Century America.
  • Chapter 4 , The Psychology Department at Rutgers:  Founding and Development of a Psychology Curriculum
  • Chapter 5 1945-1959 at Rutgers:  A Postwar Interlude of Aspirations and Frustrations.
  • Chapter 6   The Transformation of Rutgers into a Major State University
  • Chapter 7 , The Explosive Growth of Psychology, 1960-1981:  An Overview
  • Chapter 8 The Explosive Growth of Psychology, 1960-1981:  The Douglass College Psychology Department
  • Chapter 9 The Explosive Growth of Psychology, 1960-1981:  The College of Arts and Sciences (renamed Rutgers College in 1967) Psychology Department.
  • Chapter 10 The Explosive Growth of Psychology, 1960-1981:  The Livingston College Psychology Department
  • Chapter 11 , The Explosive Growth of Psychology, 1960-1981:  The University College Psychology Department
  • Chapter 12 , The Explosive Growth of Psychology, 1960-1981:  The Graduate Program and the Bumpy Road to the Unification of the Psychology Department.
  • Apendix A Titles of All PhD Dissertations through Spring 2008 and MA Theses from the Early Years
  • Apendix B New Brunswick:  Tenured Faculty from 1860s to Present and All Current Faculty
  • Appendix C Historical Highlights of the Department of Psychology.  (Appendix C is a synopsis of the book.)