Ranked as one of 35 "Great Schools for Psychology" by The Princeton Review, Roanoke College's psychology department focuses on the discipline as a science.

The small class size enables the department to offer you top-notch training in research, analysis and other scientific skills that are often absent at large universities. As a psychology major, you'll learn firsthand how to conduct your own study. Many students carry out independent research projects and present their findings at regional and national conferences. Some even publish! Others choose to do internships or study abroad. You can even do all three. Just talk to your academic advisor about how to make the most of your time at RC. The invaluable experiences you have here can help you get into graduate school, land that first job and more.

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

Psychology majors Urecki, Tripp and Gladfelter

Watch Video Student leaning up against a tree
Hear how undergraduate research gives these students an edge in jobs and grad school.

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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Alumna heading to Nepal with Fulbright honor

Claire Kirchoff ‘17 will teach English in a rural community.

Roanoke featured in Princeton Review's Best 385 Colleges

Roanoke College is one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, which features Roanoke College in the just-released 2020 edition of its guide, “The Best 385 Colleges.”

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.