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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 study of psychology at OU is truly historical and remarkable. The University of Oklahoma was founded barely 10 years after Wilhelm Wundt established the first formal psychology laboratory in Leipzig Germany, yet a psychology course appeared in the very first-course catalog 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 educational experience that is useful in 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 and applied 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 department that nurtures and contributes to the intellectual development of all members of the university community especially those in our department. This includes faculty, students, and staff. The department contributes to student and faculty development by providing and supporting impactful teaching, cutting-edge research, and professional service.  We are also focused on providing our students with the skills, background, and experiences that would assist them in obtaining meaningful employment after graduation.  Psychology is in the unique position to contribute to all fields of human endeavors including and most specifically the workplace. 

The field of psychology has a unique ability to capture the passion of those interested in scientific investigations and issues, emotional development, the inclusion of all people, and in general the quality of our 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 about our degree programs, the quality of our faculty, and the exciting research being conducted in the department. For more information, please consult the Contact Information section.

We look forward to hearing from you soon,


Jorge Mendoza, Professor and Department Interim Chair