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Mission and Values

The mission of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is to engage in psychological research and scholarship of the highest quality and to provide excellent teaching and service, informed and enhanced by our efforts to discover, synthesize, and transmit knowledge.

This mission has five important components:

  • To teach psychology and neuroscience to undergraduates in a manner that will introduce them vigorously to its broad scope;
  • To offer scientific and professional training to graduate students in our six core areas of psychology and neuroscience;
  • To conduct cutting-edge research within and across our six core areas of psychology and neuroscience;
  • To provide consulting and administrative support services to the science and profession of psychology and neuroscience;
  • To contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in psychology and neuroscience.

At the core of our mission is a strong commitment to be the driving force in emerging areas for psychology and neuroscience and innovative connections with other disciplines, as represented in our involvement with the Biomedical Research Imaging Center, Neuroscience Center, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, Lineberger Cancer Center, Center for Developmental Science, School of Dentistry, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, among others.

Coker ArboretumOur Ph.D. program in Psychology is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and judgement needed to become active contributors at the highest-level to research, teach, and provide public and professional service in the community. The doctoral degree qualifies our graduates to become faculty members, researchers, licensed clinical psychologists, or policymakers and administrators in fields related to psychology. We offer the doctoral degree with training in six sub-fields: Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Quantitative Psychology, and Social Psychology.

Our undergraduate majors in Psychology and Neuroscience are designed to provide students with a broad exposure to the behavioral sciences with a focus on the statistical and research tools used in contemporary psychological research. The subject matter is preparatory to a career in psychology either in basic research and teaching, or in any number of professional applications to various human problems. A psychology major may prove useful to those planning other professional careers such as medicine, law, education, business, social work, or counseling, as well as those who seek a broad cultural background in the behavioral sciences. Our neuroscience major embodies the liberal arts experience as it draws on techniques and findings from several academic disciplines, including biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics and psychology. This program of study provides students with the fundamental knowledge and exposure needed to pursue careers and post-graduate studies in fields related to psychology, human development and aging, health and disease, rehabilitation, biomedical research, human-machine interactions, and other emerging disciplines.

We envision a world in which diversity is celebrated and integrated into the fabric of every academic institution. We believe this ideal will materialize when diversity is seen in thought, experience, and identity across students, faculty, and staff; and when academic settings express, respect, and honor diverse viewpoints in classroom curricula and research endeavors. Our department’s initiatives to advance this ideal will maximize growth and lead to a more vibrant community that is better equipped to understand, support, and improve psychology and neuroscience.