Ranked as one of the top 100 "great schools for psychology" by The Princeton Review, the psychology department at Roanoke College is a friendly community that welcomes diverse people and diverse voices.

We focus on psychology as a science so that students think critically about how and why people think and behave the way they do -- skills and knowledge that apply to whatever jobs students do after graduation. Our small class size enables us to offer top-notch training in research, analysis, and other scientific skills that are often absent at large universities. Every psychology major learns firsthand how to conduct an empirical study. Many students go on to carry out independent research projects and present their findings at regional and national conferences. Each of our students engages in career exploration and preparation through one-on-one advising as well as inside of the classroom. Our goal is to help prepare our students for meaningful lives and careers of purpose.

Psychology offers both a major and a minor. Many psychology majors also get a concentration in neuroscience or human development

We help our students publish research papers, something that greatly improves their chances of getting into well-regarded master's and doctoral programs.

Psych students head to graduate school, studying everything from clinical psychology to speech-language pathology to human development.

Logos of: NYU, Virginia Tech, Xavier University, Columbia University, Stony Brook University, Harvard, University of Tennessee, Loyola, Colorado State University, James Madison University, University of Virginia

“I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. It was a great experience. Professors were there for you 24/7 if you had questions. They were definitely there for the students when they needed to be.”

Aaron Rogers '21

Sample Course Offerings:

  • PSYC 231: Child DevelopmentStudents paying attention in class
  • PSYC 330: Principles of Neuroscience
  • PSYC 383: Counseling and Psychotherapy 
  • PSYC 251: Social Psychology 

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“The science of broken hearts”

A Roanoke professor is carving out a niche as a leading researcher on “ghosting.”

Washington Semester offering students unique, real-world experience

Ten students are living and working in D.C. this semester as part of the Lutheran College Washington Semester program that Roanoke College helped create.

Student Research: Publications and Presentations

"The relationship between personality and film preferences," presented at the 25th annual meeting of the Association of Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.

"Understanding the impact of technology use on academic performance in emerging adults," presented at the Symposium of the Association for Psychological Science, New York

"Examining the effects of agency, empathy, and mindfulness on prosocial behaviors," presented at the 17th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.

"Understanding emerging adults' perceptions of children with clinical and developmental diagnoses," presented at the biennial meeting for the Society for Research on Child Development, Austin, TX.

"Mothers' Work Status Affects Expectations and Experiences Regarding the Division of Infant Caregiving Tasks," presented at the 27th annual meeting of the Association of Psychological Science, New York, NY.

"The Effects of Alcohol on the cTMT for Ascending and Descending Limbs," presented at the Central Virginia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Roanoke, VA.

"Are electrode caps worth the investment? An evaluation of EEG methods in undergraduate neuroscience lab courses and research." Published in The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 15(1), 29-37.  

Shields heads back to Germany with Fulbright

Stephanie Shields has been selected for a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Germany. She will be doing research at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Munich, Germany. Shields will contribute to work on vocal learning - the capacity to learn to produce new sounds through imitation - in the bat Phyllostomus discolor. Shields is a psychology major with a neuroscience concentration and a German minor. After her Fulbright work, Shields plans to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Shields has been conducting research at Roanoke with Dr. David Nichols for several years, and her work resulted in one first-author publication and another first-author manuscript submitted for publication. One of her projects relates to facial attractiveness and emotionality in which she used EEG to investigate the timing of neural responses to faces.

Interesting jobs for Psych grads

Logos of organizations where alumni work: IBM, Wells Fargo, United Way, Amazon. Atlanta Braves, the Salvation Army, Perkins, and Wyeth

Teaching passion drives student’s Fulbright work in Spain

Kristen Wicander '17 was awarded a Fulbright Student Award as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in La Rioja, Spain. There, she taught children ages 6-12 about social studies, science, and American culture. "I absolutely love working with children, so I really can't wait to be working with spanish children," Wicander said. She was also very active in the Spanish community and took classes in order to fully immerse herself in the culture. "My professors have always encouraged me to push myself and jump in head-first to every possible opportunity," Wicander said.