The Department of Psychology at the University of Denver is a collaborative community of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty who together push the boundaries of knowledge and application of psychological science while supporting each other's growth. Whether you are just beginning your exploration of psychology or are a seasoned researcher, we offer a supportive and collaborative culture where you can help create new knowledge, pursue the application of knowledge to difficult social and clinical problems, and engage with ideas in a safe and challenging environment.
Our more than 20 faculty teach courses in their areas of expertise, working closely with undergraduate and graduate students to conduct impactful research. We value interdisciplinary perspectives, methodological innovation and connections across traditional areas of psychology. As part of the University of Denver, we share the vision to be a great private university dedicated to the public good and strive for inclusive excellence, which recognizes that our success is dependent on how deeply we value, engage and include the rich diversity of our constituents. Students and faculty in the Psychology Department actively contribute to our public good and inclusive excellence goals through scholarship, teaching and service.
Perhaps most unique about us, we strive to grow together, in our environment that values a teacher-scholar model, while aggressively pursuing, supporting and integrating externally funded research. Achieving the quality we value in research, teaching and service while growing our knowledge, skills and self-awareness around inclusive excellence works because we invest in our faculty and students as people – hiring top scholars we intend to mentor to tenure and supporting senior faculty in successful and meaningful careers.
The power of our undergraduate programs
Our undergraduate curriculum and programs focus on challenging students to think critically about psychological knowledge, how it has been built, and what voices and perspectives may be underrepresented. By mastering this content and engaging in critical evaluation, we prepare students to achieve their goals after graduation. Students receive training across traditional areas of psychology (social, cognitive, developmental, clinical) in close proximity to faculty, graduate students and postdocs. Many of our students go on to pursue advanced degrees in psychology, medicine, education or law.
We offer opportunities to learn both in and out of the classroom supported by our teacher-scholar model that values engagement between faculty and students in traditional and experiential contexts. For example, students may work in one of our faculty research groups, take our year-long field experiences course to gain hands-on experience in clinical settings, or take our 5-quarter research sequence and work with one of our faculty to complete a senior honors thesis, thus earning distinction in the major.
A PhD that advances your psychology career
Our three doctoral programs prepare students to advance psychological science and its application through rigorous and innovative research, teaching, clinical science, public service and policy work. With low boundaries across traditional areas of psychology, we approach research questions from multiple perspectives using cutting-edge methods. In this environment, students apply the theories and methods of research across training programs to answer their own innovative research questions, under a junior colleague model. From our research offices in Frontier and Nagel Halls to the communities in and around Denver and beyond, faculty and graduate students work together to do rigorous basic and applied research that contributes to the public good.
We welcome your questions and hope you will consider joining our collaborative community of engaged scholars.
Sarah Enos Watamura, PhD
Professor and Chair of Psychology
Inclusive Excellence and Public Good
We intentionally incorporate a diversity of perspectives in our teaching, research and public initiatives, working hard to build and sustain an inclusive community. From core issues in undergraduate courses and training in our graduate programs to faculty projects centered on inclusive research and methods, we value diversity along many dimensions, such as culture, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, socioeconomic status, age, nationality and language. We reach diverse populations through our many connections with campus, community and government organizations, applying our inclusive values to serve the public good.
The Department of Psychology is home to multiple groups that focus on various aspects of diversity, equity, identities and inclusion. The majority of our graduate students and faculty participate in programming offered by these groups each year, and this active participation helps advance our department's vision of being an inclusive intellectual community. Read below for more information about the distinct purposes and goals of each group.
Center for Child and Family Psychology Inclusive Excellence Committee
The Center for Child and Family Psychology (CCFP) Inclusive Excellence Committee is a clinical student group invested in helping the CCFP clinic improve its inclusive excellence efforts in terms of training, supervision, community outreach and accessibility of services. In partnership with the clinical faculty, this group has made actionable recommendations for incorporating more diversity and inclusion content into clinical supervision meetings and has drafted a clinic diversity statement to be displayed on the clinic's website. Moving forward, the CCFP Inclusive Excellence Committee is excited to continue its efforts in several ways: supporting more professional development opportunities related to delivering equitable and culturally responsive services to individuals from historically underserved communities; strengthening communication about inclusive excellence efforts between clinical faculty and students; and partnering with faculty to implement accountability structures to bolster ongoing growth in inclusive excellence at the student and faculty level. Long term, this group hopes to increase the compositional diversity of the clientele served at the CCFP through enhanced clinical training, community outreach and increased accessibility of services.
Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement
Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement (DICE) is a graduate student group dedicated to expanding diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the Department and University. DICE prioritizes creating a safe space for graduate students and promoting activism, advocacy and organization around social justice issues. DICE is an actively anti-racist group that is taking a critical lens to psychological science, our own departmental practices and injustice in our local communities. A main goal for the next academic year is working toward more inclusive graduate student recruitment practices that prioritize equity. Additionally, DICE collaborates with faculty and other student groups to elevate expertise related to diversity, equity and inclusion by facilitating research talks. Lastly, DICE strives to provide a space for graduate students to come together to discuss concerns of diversity, equity and inclusivity in their own mentorship, research, coursework and community activism.
embRACE is an affinity group for individuals of color in the psychology department. The group strives to promote the well-being and success of BIPOC by offering a supportive and affirming environment for us to come together to voice and confront issues that people of color experience in academia. The overall goals of embRACE are to foster belonging for intersectional experiences, share and celebrate the successes of BIPOC within and outside of academia, amplify individual differences to empower our members, and promote further diversity within the field of psychology. embRACE's specific goals for the next six months are to start building our community within the Department and form a committee within embRACE to represent the interest of the group to the whole Department.
Gender Issues in Science
Gender Issues in Science (GIS) is open to all department members, and is a group dedicated to supporting and advancing gender diversity and inclusion in our department as well as in the broader scientific community. The group takes an intersectional lens to discussions, acknowledging how gender can interact with race, ethnicity and other factors to shape people's different experiences in science and beyond. Programming has included research talks featuring scholarship focusing on gender and IE-related issues, roundtable discussions of relevant readings and best practices for promoting inclusive research, discussion panels and Q&As with speakers on gender-related issues and life as a scientist, and professional development workshops aimed to explore sources of disparities in the career pipeline and help trainees to build their professional skills. Programming this year will continue with a particular focus on advancing inclusion and supporting our community in the context of the ongoing racial injustice and COVID-19 pandemics.
We offer two undergraduate degrees—a BA, for students seeking a foundational knowledge in psychology, and a BS, for students already invested in science and math. Both majors can add our concentration in cognitive neuroscience, which is an interdisciplinary program bridging the psychology and biology departments.Learn more about our undergraduate programs
Our three doctoral programs let you specialize in a discipline that matches your passion. Additionally, in any of the PhD programs, you have the option to engage research in the psychological and biological sciences through the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience concentration. Our graduates are dedicated researchers, teachers and members of our community, dedicated to furthering discovery that makes a difference.Learn more about our graduate programs