We pride ourselves in conducting community-engaged science that makes our region and the world a better place.

The VCU Department of Psychology has one of the largest undergraduate programs in the university, with more than 1,700 student majors. The department has four Ph.D.-granting graduate programs: Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Health Psychology and a General Psychology program with two sub-specialty concentrations: Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology. The clinical and counseling psychology programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association.

We are a research-active department, with more than $10M in federal grant dollars awarded to our unit annually. We are also an engaged team in the classroom, teaching thousands of students each semester about the amazing discoveries and ideas found in the discipline of psychology.

Research specialties typically span across programs, and faculty from different programs often collaborate on projects. Our faculty and students study a wide range of topics, with specific strengths in health psychology, behavioral medicine, prevention science, and work with youth and families.

students paying attention to a lecture in a classroom

Core Values

  • We are committed to producing and sharing knowledge undergirded by myriad approaches to the scientific study of the human mind and behavior.
  • We seek to immerse and ground our work in the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
  • We pursue our commitment to equally value the contributions of teaching and scholarship. Our department is committed to rewarding and working to ensure the equitable distribution of service, teaching and research responsibilities, ensuring appropriate recognition of all these contributions for the members of our department.

Our Mission

The Department of Psychology at VCU aims to leverage our expertise and passion for understanding and improving the human condition. Drawing upon our special strengths, we thoughtfully and intentionally engage in and encourage the production and dissemination of knowledge related to psychology as a science and practice.

For our undergraduate students, we support students in systematically developing understanding and skills in scientific methods of inquiry, focusing on cognition, emotion and behavior. We teach courses that broadly fit within major domain areas of the field that introduce students to the basic research questions psychological scientists study and their applications to the field as a whole. We provide opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning and contribute to our research teams and community-based partnerships.

As a unit, the department strives to provide excellent evidence-based teaching to our
graduate student grounded in the science and scholarship of teaching and learning and committed to discovery, to the development of science-based professional practice, and to training, preparing the next generation of scientists and practitioners through processes and content that are inclusive, equitable and just.

The research mission of the department is to produce original scholarship, through a social justice lens, that advances psychological science and promotes human health and wellbeing, locally and globally. As scholarly role models, departmental faculty engage diverse students in both collaborative and independent investigations and conduct and disseminate transdisciplinary basic and applied research with children, adolescents, adults and communities across multiple settings.

The Department of Psychology values and supports activities that leverage our profession and discipline in service to our department, the College of Humanities and Sciences, VCU, the Richmond community, the field of psychology, and the broader world. Across these areas, we work to leverage our profession to uplift the development of our colleagues, institutions and communities. We offer a plethora of service-learning opportunities to our students. Our research teams and centers work in partnership to target many of the challenges that are faced in our local and global communities. We encourage and support service activities that reflect our deep commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and justice.