Welcome to the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech. To me, there is no science more interesting than one that has human beings as its topic. When I started college, I was an undergraduate physics major. I was told then that I was in the “hard sciences.” Since then, the challenges of determining why people do what they do, and how I can get them to do the right thing, and how I can make them more comfortable and safer at work, strike me as the truly hard problems. These are exciting and difficult challenges. Indeed, almost every major societal challenge that we face, and will face, involves people and psychology.
As you roam our webpage, you’ll notice that psychology at GaTech is rather unique in a number of ways. You already know that we are embedded in one of the leading science and engineering institution of higher education in the world. Unlike many of our peers, our home college is the College of Science, which also houses the likes of Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Math. You’ll see we have a structure of 5 programs that help us manage the research efforts and provide focused training to our graduate students, but I can tell you that all of the faculty move easily between areas. Finally, you may notice that we are small, intentionally. It allows us to focus our research and our training in a way that has made us exceptional.
We train our graduate students not only to contribute to psychological science, but to lead it. We offer specializations at the graduate level headed by world famous faculty in the nation’s number 2 ranked Industrial-Organizational Psychology (Work Psychology) and the internationally known program in Engineering Psychology (Human Factors). Faculty in both I/O and Engineering Psychology collaborate through the Work Science Center founded in Psychology. Our Cognitive Aging program has led the field for decades, and hosts the foremost conference on Cognitive Aging. The cognitive and neurological fundamentals of being a human being is the province of our Cognitive and Brain Systems program, our largest group of faculty. Psychologists manage the on-campus Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI), which houses state of the art fMRI facilities. Many of these faculty also contribute to our Cognitive Aging initiatives. Faculty in these two areas are active in the School’s Optimal Aging initiative. Finally, the formal backbone of all our work is mathematical modeling and statistics, and this is well represented in our Quantitative Psychology program. In addition to strong central faculty, many faculty from other areas lend their expertise to help train quantitative doctoral students.
As you’ll see, we have no Clinical or Counseling graduate program. In fact, we are one of only 14 Carnegie-1 (high research activity), public, Ph.D. granting departments that have chosen not to offer a clinical or counseling specialty. However, we certainly prepare our undergraduates broadly, and many gain admission to graduate programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology graduate programs. The decision to focus on our 5 programs has allowed us to leverage our unique position in a College of Science in a world class technological institution.
We are especially proud of our undergraduates. They are bright, dedicated, and creative. Our undergraduate student: faculty ratio is a remarkable 5 to 1. This allows us to offer each and every major as personal an experience with psychological science and research as she or he desires. We have relationships with the campus clinic and are working on developing relationships with campus well-being groups, including the Campus Rec Center. Undergraduates conduct research in local hospitals, with local industries like ESPN and Coke, and on and on. Almost every undergraduate conducts research in a laboratory before graduating, and many complete a senior thesis as a capstone experience. Whether the student’s ultimate goal is medicine, law, clinical psychology, or science, training at the Georgia Tech School of Psychology puts the student at the center.