The Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin has established strong traditions of excellence in research, teaching, and in the training the next generation of psychological scientists. Our faculty and students conduct cutting-edge, award-wining research that is at the forefront of discoveries in the field – research that both defines and shapes the future of psychological science. The research conducted in our Department spans the breadth and diversity of contemporary psychology including emotion, affective, cognitive, and social neuroscience, aging, language, cognitive, social, perceptual, and emotional development, perception, memory, psychopathology, addiction, motivation, prejudice, culture, personality and biological bases of behavior in human and nonhuman animals. In addition, we strive to translate the most rigorous psychological science into applications that promote physical and mental health, optimal aging, language and social development, reading and math skills, educational achievement, pharmacological interventions, improved social interactions between minority and majority groups, and accommodation of cultural differences. Our leadership role in these areas is reflected in the fact that members of our faculty edit (or have edited) several leading scholarly journals and that we currently lead all US psychology departments in federal research and development funding by an astounding factor of 2! This is true despite the fact that our department is smaller than our peer institutions, also by roughly a factor of 2. Our faculty take advantage of a remarkable array of resources both within the department and across the university and we have strong ties to a number of departments throughout the university. This blend of rich tradition and contemporary leadership make the Department of Psychology a uniquely vibrant and productive environment in which to pursue psychological science.
The Department of Psychology is also renowned for our commitment to teaching. We are dedicated to providing students with high-quality and rigorous education in the classroom and beyond. We have a superb undergraduate program that, in 2002, was recognized with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, eight of our current faculty have received Distinguished Teaching Awards from the University. We have a vibrant honors program and we create opportunities for all students to get involved in our research programs. We typically have more then 400 undergraduate students involved in research each year, with many of these students applying for and receiving highly prestigious and competitive Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Fellowships to support independent research activities. Our student organizations, Psi Chi (the Psychology Honor Society) and the Psychology Club are active and dynamic groups coordinating a broad range of activities to enrich and enhance students’ experience in the Department.
We take great pride in providing our students with excellent training for a variety of professional careers in academic, clinical, research, or applied settings. Our Department currently hosts three training grants, in the areas of emotion, language, and typical and atypical development and in 2004, our department was the co-recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Award for Innovation in Graduate Training. As a result of our ability to attract the best graduate students and provide them with top notch training opportunities, we are achieving our goal of training the next generation of leading psychological scientists with remarkable regularity. Based on the quality of their research contributions, our former students have been recipients of early career awards from the American Psychological Association and similar awards from the nation’s other top scientific societies.
Entering students may select from six areas of concentration: Biology of Brain and Behavior, Clinical, Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences, Developmental, Perception, and Social and Personality. Although interests of most graduate students fall within these six areas, interests of other students cut across boundaries of area groups or interface with other departments. The Individualized Graduate Major is designed for graduate students who wish to cross area group lines and/or incorporate substantial training from other departments in their graduate work. We emphasize both extensive academic training in general psychology and intensive research training. We expect students to become creative scientists and to exhibit an early and continuing commitment to research and scholarship. All students initiate a First Year Research Project and present the results to the entire department in the fall of their second year. Many students have several significant publications and conference presentations before receiving their Ph.D.s. We provide small grants to support student research as well as travel grants. We offer workshops on writing proposals for grants and fellowships and many of our students receive NSF or NIH predoctoral fellowships and other awards.
We are privileged to be located in Madison, Wisconsin, a city renowned for its culture, recreational opportunities, and highly rated quality of life.