Department Fact Sheet

Department of Psychology

Department Chair: Daniel L. Arkkelin , Ph.D.
Dickmeyer 219 | 219-464-5441

Majors offered:
Psychology, B.A., B.S., M.A. in Clinical Health, JD/MA

Links to Web sites:
Department ofPsychology - Undergraduate Program (department maintained)
Department of Psychology - Graduate Program

PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS at Valpo explore the inner workings of behavior and mental processes. Whether interested in the genesis of deviant behavior, stumbling blocks to cross-cultural understanding, or the best way to help a traumatized child, you will find a vibrant outlet for your inquiries in the Department of Psychology. In addition, you will find a dedicated teaching faculty doing research that invites your involvement, and you will do internships with disadvantaged populations in the community.

What Is Distinctive About Valpo's Program?

Psychology majors enjoy an in-house computer lab that may be used for courses and general student access. A smaller lab is used for upper level Psychology labs and research. Computers are also available for classroom use.

The Psychology Department maintains a state-of-the-art animal facility which houses laboratory classrooms, observational facilities, and a rodent colony.

Psychology students may choose to do independent, faculty-guided research. Recent research topics in which majors have gathered and formulated data, coded, and/or presented at conferences include such topics as attitudes toward domestic violence in both heterosexual and homosexual couples; taste aversion in animals; religious values in rural communities; group decision making, stereotyping in employment decisions, factors in adolescent development related to adjustment to college; and cross-cultural personality testing.

Early Entry Program:
Qualified students may participate in the department's Early Entry Program, which allows them to begin work toward a master's degree in counseling while completing their undergraduate work. For more information, see the Department of Psychology - Graduate Program.

What Can You Do with a Psychology Major?

Degree, Skills or Experience Needed for Beginning a Job in This Field:
Advanced degrees (M.A., Ph.D., Psy.D.) are preferable for obtaining positions in or related to psychology and mental health. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for obtaining some types of employment in mental health fields (e.g., mental health technician in a community clinic) as well as for positions which involve work with the public or in the social service sector. Combined with a background in business, computer science, or professional fields, psychology majors are competitive in private industry and public service.

Kinds of Work Available to Graduates in this Major:
B.A./B.S. in Psychology will qualify an individual for positions in recreational therapy, mental health technology, employment counseling, rehabilitation therapy, advertising and marketing analysis, clinical assistantships, and social service work in federal, state, and municipal government.

Potential Hiring Institutions:
Typical for Psychology (B.A. or B.S. level) majors are correctional institutions, mental health clinics, social service agencies, educational institutions, welfare agencies, drug abuse clinics, hotline/crisis centers, employment agencies; behavioral and clinical institutes; the military.

What Beyond-the-Classroom Opportunities Does Valpo Offer You in Psychology?

Extracurricular Groups: Students can participate in Phi Gamma Mu – Social Sciences Honorary Society, Psi Chi- Psychology National Honor Society, and Psychology Club. The organizations hold pizza and movie nights and a faculty dinner among other activities.

Field Work:
Students in the structured 200-level practicum are trained by a nearby special education cooperative to work one-on-one with autistic children two days per week. At the junior and senior level, Psychology students may opt to do a supervised work experience. Students may receive credit for working eight hours per week for local agencies, such as the domestic violence shelter, mental health facility, or juvenile detention center.

Study Abroad:
Students are encouraged to take part in Valpo’s study abroad programs in countries such as Mexico, England, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, China, Japan, and Namibia. Students can also study in semester-long programs in New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Departmental Awards:
Rudolph C. Waldschmidt Outstanding Student of the Year Award

Jody Esper S.A.A.F.E. Outstanding Essay Award

J. Melvin and Lucille G. Nelson Award in Psychology and Religion