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Letter from the Chair

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Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. The tradition of psychology at OU is truly remarkable. The University of Oklahoma was founded barely 10 years after Wilhem Wundt established the first formal psychology laboratory in Leipzig Germany, yet a psychology course appeared in the very first course catalogue published at OU in 1892. Since then, psychology has been a vibrant part of this institution.

The Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma was founded in 1928. We focus on psychology as an experimental and applied science. We offer doctoral graduate programs in Cognitive, Quantitative, Social, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In addition to these 4 major program areas, researchers in the department also work in one or more of 3 integrative, cross-cutting specialties: Developmental, Personality/Individual Differences, and Neuroscience. Regardless of the area of specialized training in psychology, a distinctive characteristic of our doctoral training is the superb level of methodological and quantitative skills it provides our students.

At the undergraduate level, our Department offers students an exceptional education that is flexible enough to support a wide range of career paths. Our undergraduate degree programs provide students with the opportunity to develop the type of broad and rich introduction to scientific psychology that will support a wide variety of post-graduate interests, whether they are to further graduate training in such areas as clinical or experimental psychology, pursue graduate training in other professional areas, such as medicine, law, or business, or to immediately seek meaningful employment in the contemporary workplace. When I meet with students to discuss their goals or I overhear their conversations, it amazes me how often I hear a genuine desire to pursue a career that involves helping others. Our students are not simply looking for gainful employment. They are looking to make a difference in the world.

As Chair, my overriding goal is to foster a shared commitment to helping all members of the Department be successful. This includes tenure/tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students alike. Success in academia comes in many forms. It comes in the form of impactful teaching, research, and service. It comes in the form of graduating and obtaining meaningful employment. Success concerns individuals, and it can bridge programs, departments, and colleges. It concerns both professional and personal development. Success is also achieving a healthy work-life balance. I believe it is important that we recognize the interdependencies among the many forms of success and consider how we as a whole, as one family, can capitalize on each for mutual betterment.

The field of psychology has a unique ability to capture the passion of those interested in the scientific investigation of the human experience. If you are one of these people, all of us in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma welcome you to join us in that pursuit.

I encourage you to explore our webpage and learn more about our degree programs and the exciting research being conducted in our Department. If you would like more information, please consult the Contact Information section.

We look forward to hearing from you soon,


Eric Day, Professor and Department Chair