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Psychology Department

Psychology

As a Butler Psychology major, you’ll be part of a department big enough to pursue research that matters, but also small enough to provide our students individual attention and mentoring from full-time faculty. Applying what you learn in statistics and research methods courses, you’ll have opportunities to plan, execute, present, and publish research, rather than just read about it.

And you’ll graduate with a great foundation in psychology. By department average, our seniors routinely scores at the 97th percentile on the Major Field Test in Psychology, a national assessment of professional knowledge.

About two-thirds of Butler Psychology students apply to graduate or professional school, and more than more than 95 percent of them are accepted by at least one doctoral- or masters-level program. Our alumni hold successful careers in psychology, health care, law, and service-related professions such as pharmaceutical research and development, computer services, non-profit organizations, human resources, education, and advertising).

Statement of Values

We live in a time that should never have been. By now, more than a century after the end of the Civil War, the United States should have become a largely egalitarian nation, with equality and justice the expectation of all. But as we have repeatedly witnessed with our own eyes, and as demonstrated by a vast body of scientific evidence, racism lives on in our culture and in our communities. Black and Brown people continue to be undermined by racist policies and actions that perpetuate disparities in health, economic, educational and social outcomes. The consequences are intolerable: the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others lays bare the horrific toll exacted by our failure to end racism. We cannot afford to live in this time any longer.

The members of the Department of Psychology at Butler University condemn racism and the social and institutional structures that sustain it. As part of a university founded by the abolitionist, Ovid Butler, in the 1800s, and more importantly, as human beings living in the present era of social injustice, our responsibility is to unequivocally reject racism, as well as all forms of discrimination and prejudice. We are committed to actively combating systemic and interpersonal racism, to continuing racial justice, and to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our department and community. For more in-depth information about the department’s anti-racist efforts, please read the letter recently sent out to our majors. Read about the APA’s action plan regarding these matters here.

The pain and loss inflicted on people of color by decades of injustice cannot ever be excised or erased. But by explicitly acknowledging racism when we see it in ourselves and our institutions, and by working together with humility, compassion, and openness to eradicate it, we move toward the era envisioned by our founder, a time in which all people expect and enjoy the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. That time has yet to be, but we are obligated, both by our science and our personal values, to be active agents for the change required. The time to do so is now.

Internships

The Indianapolis Zoo, Children’s Museum, and area hospitals are just a few of the local service organizations where our students complete internships, gaining practical knowledge and experience in working directly with community populations. 
 

Create Knowledge

Over the past decade, Butler Psychology majors have presented hundreds of papers and posters at national professional conferences. The department regularly funds student travel to conferences, where our majors network with representatives of leading graduate schools, and hear presentations by world experts.

Butler Distinctions

Majors and Minors

In addition to our Psychology major and minor, Butler offers combined majors through which you can complete 30 hours each in Psychology and another discipline, such as Anthropology, Criminology, Philosophy, Political Science, or Sociology (specializing in social work and social policy).

Psychology Research

Research with Faculty

Nearly 80 percent of our Psychology majors have participated in at least one collaborative research project with a faculty member over the past five years. Research topics have included elephant behavior, the relationship of emotions and memory, positive aging, moods and conflict reduction. 

Pre-law and Pre-med

Not all Psychology majors are interested in a career in mental health services. Some recent graduates have pursued post-graduate study in law school, medical school, or other health-related specialties (e.g., physical therapy, physician assistant programs, or veterinary school).