Wilkes University

Psychology

Gain the skills you need to better understand human behavior. With a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wilkes, you'll prepare for a wide variety of exciting and meaningful careers both inside and outside the field of psychology.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Major, Minor On-campus 120 (18 for minor)

Why Study Psychology at Wilkes?

You'll learn from expert professors while experiencing the facilities and equipment used by today's psychological professionals. Our faculty are committed to developing mentoring relationships with you and will help you build on your strengths and reach personal and career goals. Choose from either the applied or research track. The applied track prepares you for entry-level positions in many fields that depend on an understanding of human behavior, while the research track gives you the methodological background to proceed to graduate school. You can even minor in sport psychology.

Curriculum   Admission Requirements

What Will You Learn as a Psychology Major?

  • Gain a broad understanding of human behavior through your development of critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills. Practice research methods, project design and statistical analysis while learning to evaluate claims using scientific evidence.
  • Develop an awareness and appreciation for the diversity of human experiences while learning about social and ethical responsibility both within the classroom and in professional settings.
  • Learn to communicate effectively with others and work as part of a team, making you a valuable asset to a variety of potential employers.
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Program Highlights

Flexibility

Gain a broad understanding of the field of psychology. Choose a specialized educational track that best aligns with your unique interests and goals. You might also consider adding a minor or even a second major to expand your knowledge.

Independent Research

If you choose the research capstone experience, you'll design and implement your own research project. You'll also build professional skills by presenting your findings. You may also find opportunities to work with side by side with faculty on their research.

Internships

Internship experiences allow you to develop skills and apply coursework to real-world settings. Internships often result in job offers at placement sites after graduation. Recent internship sites include Mercy Hospital Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation, Essex County Juvenile Detention Center and Step by Step Inc.

I am so thankful for the never-ending support from faculty and administrators and all the amazing opportunities that they have provided for me.Francesca Varela-Seri '20 - Neuroscience and Psychology
The psychology department has not only offered me an excellent education but has also given me opportunities to gain research experiences in the NeuroTraining Research Center as well as in a Stress and Social Justice Lab.Monica Morrison '21 - Psychology
1 in 4

psychology majors have a second major, expanding potential career options

4 out of 10

psychology majors have one or more minors, allowing them to explore a variety of academic interests

100%

of psychology majors who want to pursue an internship opportunity get placed at an internship site

Meet our Faculty

Our Psychology faculty are experts in their specialties and provide hands-on mentoring and opportunities to gain valuable experience in research, critical thinking and other valuable skills vital to future academic and career success.

Dr. Micayla F. Lacey

Assistant Professor

Dr. Micayla F. Lacey is a psychophysiologist specializing in motivational processes and emotion. Dr. Lacey earned her Ph.D in Experimental Psychology from the University of Alabama, with a concentration in Social Psychology.

In her research, Dr. Lacey uses behavioral and physiological measures, such as electroencephalography (EEG), to investigate processes linked to emotion and motivation. Her recent research has focused on using these measures to better understand the neural, cognitive, and behavioral processes that occur during instances of motivational conflict.

Dr. Ellen E. Newell

Associate Professor

Dr. Ellen E. Newell is a social psychologist who focuses on understanding how diverse people cope with stressful situations. She is especially interested in the intertwining of people's psychological and cardiovascular responses when faced with the threat of discrimination. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maine. Dr. Newell teaches a variety of courses for psychology and neuroscience students including statistics, the psychology of prejudice, and social psychology.

Dr. Newell is a strong advocate for diversity initiatives on the Wilkes University campus and she has been awarded the President's Award for Excellence in Diversity.

Dr. Newell runs the interdisciplinary Behavioral, Activism, Developmental and Social Stress Lab with Dr. Jennifer Thomas. Their most recent project examined feminist identity and whether identifying as a feminist can help buffer the wellbeing of people faced with sexism. You can read more about their lab in this article.

Dr. Ed Schicatano

Professor

Dr. Ed Schicatano, Professor of Psychology, is the Coordinator for the Neuroscience program, and the Director of the Wilkes University NeuroTraining and Research Center. He received his BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, MA in Psychology, and PhD in Neuroscience from Wake Forest University. He teaches courses in Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, Neuropsychology, General Psychology, Peak Performance Coaching, and the Senior Capstone. Dr. Schicatano was a recipient of the Carpenter Outstanding Teaching Award.

His research focuses on factors that modulate pain in humans, such as the effects of emotions on pain perception. He has also researched the process of habituation as a measure of information processing. This process demonstrates the importance of the brain’s automatic filtering mechanisms for maintaining normal attention. Dr. Schicatano is also studying and characterizing the behavioral differences between individuals who are sensitive versus insensitive to the effects of caffeine.

Dr. Nichole Sell

Assistant Professor

Dr. Nichole Sell, Assistant Professor of Psychology, received her BA in Psychology from Cedar Crest College, her MEd in Counseling and Human Services from Lehigh University, and her MS and PhD degrees in Biobehavioral Health from The Pennsylvania State University. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions at the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Sell teaches courses in Abnormal Behavior, Psychological Research, Applied Capstone, and Personality. She is a health psychologist whose main research focus deals with preventing risky drinking and related harms (e.g., sexual assault) among college students.

Dr. Jennifer Thomas

Associate Professor

Dr. Jennifer Thomas is a developmental psychologist who is an expert in children’s and adolescents’ friendships and peer relationships. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program. Dr. Thomas earned a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Purdue University and an MA in psychology from Wake Forest University. She teaches courses in Developmental Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Research Methods, the Psychology of Gender, and Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Thomas was a recipient of the Carpenter Outstanding Teaching Award.

Dr. Thomas has several areas of research interest. First, she studies how friendships influence children’s and adolescents’ adjustment and prosocial behaviors and connections between adults’ friendships and their wellbeing. Her interdisciplinary research interests include factors associated with emerging adults’ engagement in gender-based and political activism. Dr. Thomas, along with Dr. Newell, also examine women’s physiological reactions to stress to better understand their resilience versus vulnerability to sexism. Dr. Thomas also engages in the scholarship of teaching and learning. For example, she studies mechanisms that foster metacognitive processes and student achievement.

Dr. Thomas is the advisor for Psi Chi, the international psychology honor’s society, and the Wilkes Feminist Alliance.

Dr. Debbie Tindell

Professor

Dr. Debbie Tindell, Professor of Psychology, received her BA degree in psychology from California State University, Chico and her MS and PhD degrees in Cognitive Psychology from Texas A&M University. She teaches courses in Cognition, Research Methods, the Senior Capstone course and Introductory Psychology. Dr. Tindell was a recipient of the Carpenter Outstanding Teaching Award and the President's Award for Excellence in Mentoring at Wilkes.

Dr. Tindell’s main research focus deals with human memory, and she is specifically interested in implicit memory and memory blocks. Dr. Tindell has also conducted research on issues related to research design, and the use of cell phones in the college classroom. She has also worked with Dr. Robert Bohlander (Professor Emeritus) to test the effects of audio-visual entrainment on cognitive processing using equipment in the NeuroTraining and Research Center. Dr. Tindell serves as the advisor to the Psychology Club.

NeuroTraining & Research Center

The NTRC's cutting-edge neuroscience techniques help clients with stress and lead to improved focus and peak performance. The center is run by psychology and neuroscience interns, who gain hands-on training with the latest neurofeedback and biofeedback equipment.

Explore the NeuroTraining & Research Center

Careers & Outcomes

There is growing demand for clinical, counseling and school psychologists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% increase in demand for these professions from 2018-28.  Wilkes psychology graduates are well-prepared for a variety of career paths in psychology. Some graduates continue their education or enter medical school. Below are selected job titles and employers for our graduates, as well as examples of where our alumni attend graduate school.

Job Titles

  • School Counselor
  • Community Mental Health Counselor
  • Drug/Alcohol Counselor
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Researcher
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Human Resources Professional
  • Public Relations Specialist

Graduate Schools

  • The University of Scranton
  • University of Delaware
  • Clemson University
  • Lehigh University
  • University of Hawaii
  • Temple University
  • Ball State University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • George Mason University
  • Stony Brook University

Employers

  • Caring Communities
  • Children's Choice
  • Children's Behavioral Services
  • Monmouth Medical Center
  • OSF HealthCare
  • The Center

Facilities

You'll get plenty of experience in our hands-on facilities:

  • Our psychophysiology laboratory allows you to collaborate in studying acute psychological and physiological responses to stress.
  • The biopsychology laboratory exposes you to brain structure and function, neuroanatomy and perceptual demonstrations.
  • Our NeuroTraining and Research Center allows you to gain hands-on-training with state-of-the-art neurofeedback and biofeedback equipment, as well as audiovisual entrainment devices.
  • Our clinical observation suite is equipped with one-way mirrors.
  • The computer lab gives students access to software and computer demonstrations specific to the field.