Iowa State Department of Psychology

What makes you tick?

We are often unaware why we think, feel, and do the things we do. For example, people often feel they need to multi-task to be effective. Unfortunately, it turns out that the more you multitask, the worse you get at it, and the better you think you are at multitasking, the worse you actually are! (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009)

Psychology is the science of behavior, allowing us to understand why people think, feel, and do all the seemingly odd things they do.

Group of students in class listening to instructor

Why Psychology at ISU?

Many aspects of our program are unique and internationally recognized.  Our counseling program is regularly ranked in the top five.  We have several top faculty who focus on the intersection of psychology and law, and also several world-renowned researchers who study the effects of media on children and adults.  Here are just some of the questions our department works to answer: Psychology majors can serve as research assistants to help answer useful scientific questions like these.

Careers in Psychology

“What can I do with a psych degree?” is a common question. Check out the Post-ISU Planning page to learn more about careers and preparation for Graduate School. A psychology background is useful in almost any career that involves the needs of and interactions with people. Psychologists also create new knowledge through research, apply that knowledge to solve problems, and/or teach this knowledge. Health coach certification can enhance your marketability by providing you with a more rigorous and comprehensive foundation in nutrition, exercise, and motivational coaching to compete for employment opportunities requiring health coach certification.
ISU Psychology Learning Community group photo


As a psychology student you will have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research under the supervision of world-class research leaders, have fun in psych club, and boost your resume by competing in our spring poster competition. Students tell us that they love the many ways they can be involved beyond coursework. We encourage and support volunteer/internship practica, research assistantships, an annual poster competition, and involvement with Psych Club and Psi Chi. Check out the Get Involved and Resources pages.

Graduate study

We currently have three doctoral training areas: cognitive psychology, counseling psychology, and social psychology. The department is dynamic and continually growing with world-renowned researchers. In addition, we offer facilities that enhance learning and research within an environment that supports both work and play. Our faculty share a commitment to excellence in graduate education. We are dedicated to helping you to become your best in your graduate studies in psychology at Iowa State University.