Department of Psychology & Family Science

The Department of Psychology and Family Science at The W offers an array of educational opportunities for students interested in studying the intricacies of human behavior, relationships and development. We offer majors and minors in Psychology and Family Science, as well as an additional minor in Gerontology and a certificate program in Child Advocacy. Our faculty members are actively involved in research on topics such as family dynamics, child development, aging, mental health and more. Our courses provide students with the skills to understand complex psychological theories and their applications to everyday life.

Academic Programs,%20BA%20or%20BS
Psychology is the scientific study of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Contrary to popular opinion, psychology is a science.,%20BS
Family Science is a discipline that focuses on families, the challenges they face, and how to help them meet those challenges, and improve their quality of life.

What's the Difference?

Family Science and Psychology are two distinct majors offered within our department. While both majors are considered social sciences, and all students in the department complete coursework in research methods and statistics, there are differences between the two fields.

Family science is an applied social science discipline that is geared to helping individuals and families establish well-being. This major covers various topics, including family resource management, human growth and development, family policy, and parent education. Students acquire skills to address issues such as poverty, violence, and substance abuse that families face in contemporary society, as well as skills in communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. Our graduates are prepared for work in the field with a bachelor’s degree through coursework, practical experiences including simulation training, and a required 280-hour internship; recent graduates have attended graduate school in social work, marriage and family therapy, school counseling, and substance abuse rehabilitation counseling. Our coursework also meets the requirements for Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE-P) certification, for which our students can apply during their last term at The W.

Family Science Major

On the other hand, the undergraduate major in psychology prepares students for graduate study in mental health areas (e.g., counseling) and in experimental cognitive, developmental, and social psychology—the specializations of our current psychology faculty. Students who seek employment at the undergraduate level are prepared for work as a psychiatric technician or in applied behavioral analysis; other graduates work in business, marketing, and sales. Recent graduates of our program have been admitted to graduate programs in experimental cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, neuroscience, and applied behavioral analysis. Psychology coursework focuses on individuals’ minds and behaviors and includes courses such as cognitive psychology, persuasion and social influence, and child psychology.

Psychology Major