Psychology Department

We are committed to facilitating an education environment that promotes scientific inquiry, critical thinking, ethical responsibility, personal and professional development, multicultural awareness, and inclusiveness. Our students graduate with an informed and respectful understanding of the experiences of diverse groups and perspectives.

Areas of Emphasis

Clinical and counseling psychology focus on the differences between normal and abnormal behavior and how people can function more effectively in their lives. This area of study is devoted to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with difficulties in cognition, emotion, and behavior. Throughout your studies, you’ll consider the diverse cultural contexts, self-awareness, and internal and external factors that impact mental health services and delivery systems. Classes in this area include Abnormal Psychology, Childhood Psychopathology, Methods of Counseling, and Exploring Addictions.

These courses help you understand the complex nature of psychopathology and provide the theoretical, practical, and research foundation you need to pursue an advanced degree in clinical or counseling psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy.

Developmental psychology is the study of how people change across multiple psychological domains from infancy throughout their lifespan. In this area of emphasis, you’ll study human development from social, cognitive, clinical/counseling, community, and neuroscientific perspectives.

Psychologists with a developmental focus are concerned with both basic research, which examines fundamental questions to add to our body of scientific knowledge, and applied research, which focuses directly on solving specific problems.

The cognitive sciences emphasis explores the role that elementary thought processes play in complex thought and behavior. This area of study lies at the intersection of psychology, neurosciences, biology, and computer science. You’ll learn to use tools and knowledge from each of these areas to better understand human and non-human minds and behavior.

Cognitive science is driven by rapidly evolving experimental techniques and research contributions from a variety of fields. Through your coursework, you’ll explore cognitive and neural processes, including sensation, perception, attention, neurophysiology, memory, language, emotion, and problem solving. This emphasis is ideal if you are interested in pursuing a career in a biologically based area of psychology.

Social psychology involves the scientific study of how individuals perceive, influence, and relate to others. In this area of emphasis, you’ll be challenged to answer questions like how do we influence each other? What affects the way we perceive ourselves and others? And what causes us to like, love, help, and hurt others? To answer these questions, you’ll engage in lab and field-based research methods.

Social psychologists take an interactive approach to human behavior that examines how both internal characteristics and external environment shape behavior. Social psychology has broad applications in everything from education, business, government, health, sports, politics, law, and community development.

Psychology Club

All Westminster students interested in psychology can join the Psychology Club. We host events centered on different psychology topics, work on service projects together throughout the year, and collaborate with the Associated Students of Westminster.

If you’d like to join, email Psychology Club advisor, Dr. Jonathan Amburgey, at

Psi Chi Psychology Society

Psi Chi is the student honor society in psychology. Activities include monthly meetings, community service, and events like the Annual Chili Cook-Off and the Spring Psychology Banquet. Students must be in the upper 35 percent of their class to be eligible for membership.

For more information, contact the Psi Chi Advisor, Dr. Jonathan Amburgey, at

National Psi Chi website

Association of Heads of Department of Psychology

AHDP Membership & Conference Registration

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