Iowa State University


The ISU Department of Psychology is growing in both size and reputation. At present, we have 24 regular faculty: 11 Full Professors, 9 Associate Professors, and 4 Assistant Professors. We have hired 7 of these faculty in the last 3 years, and intend to hire 3 more this year. We are in the midst of several major renovation projects totaling well over $400,000. When completed (December, 2000), we will have an additional 3000 square feet of state-of-the-art office and lab space. In the most recent NRC Report, Psychology had the largest improvement in rankings of any department on campus. The University is committed to maintaining this growth – as the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has targeted the Department of Psychology for further expansion and development. We now offer the Ph.D. in three main areas: Social, Counseling, and Cognitive. We also offer a Master of Science degree in General Psychology, and B.A. and B.S. degrees at the undergraduate level. Our highest priority is to continue producing high quality research that augments the psychological science base and applies such basic science to significant social and legal policy issues.The Social Area, which includes Personality and Individual Differences, is the most complete and mature program. We recently hired Stephanie Madon (a 1999 Rutgers Ph.D.) and Craig Anderson (a 1980 Stanford Ph.D.), for a total of 9 faculty affiliated with the Social Area.

The Counseling Area has seven faculty. Recent additions are Lisa Larson (a 1986 University of Missouri Ph.D.), Susan Day (a 1999 University of Illinois Ph.D.) and David Vogel (a 2000 University of Florida Ph.D.). An 8th Counseling faculty member, Kathleen Bieschke (a 1991 Michigan State Ph.D.), will be joining us in the Fall of 2001. We anticipate hiring 1 or 2 other Counseling faculty within the next 3 years.

The Cognitive Area is the most recent addition to the department, and is the smallest with 3 faculty. We intend to hire 3 additional cognitive psychologists this year, and plan to add 2 more in the following year.

We also have a group of 5 outstanding faculty who contribute greatly to our research and teaching missions. The most recent addition to this group is Doug Bonett (a 1983 UCLA Ph.D.), who has a joint appointment with the Department of Statistics.

Undergraduate Program

We have almost 600 undergraduate majors. Recent changes include the creation of a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.S. degree requires more mathematics, natural science, and methods courses than our traditional B.A. degree, and is the preferred degree for students who intend to pursue graduate work. About 40% of our undergraduates go on to graduate school in psychology. Recent graduates have gone to graduate school at the University of Oregon, Ohio State, University of Iowa, University of Akron, University of Wisconsin, University of Kansas, and the University of Illinois. Our other Bachelor recipients have taken positions in a variety of professions: probation/parole officers; paraprofessionals in hospitals and clinics; counselors in federal, state, and local mental health facilities; correctional, recreation, rehabilitation, and social service agencies; affirmative action officers; industrial selection and training personnel; public and industrial relations liaisons; opinion poll and market surveyors; sales and advertising representatives; urban planners; technical writers/reporters; research assistants; and general managerial positions.

Graduate Program

We offer graduate education leading to three degrees: a thesis-based Master of Science degree (obtained in the pursuit of the Ph.D.), a non thesis General Master of Science degree, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Our primary focus is upon Ph.D. studies in three areas: Social (including personality), counseling, and cognitive. Each area provides students with the skills necessary to pursue careers in both academic and applied settings. Approximately 60 graduate students have been in residence during each of the past several years. The resulting low student to faculty ratio ensures small graduate classes and ample opportunity for individual attention and mentorship.One distinctive feature of our program is the availability of formal coursework and supervised practica in the teaching of psychology. This exemplary program is highly valued by graduate students, particularly those seeking positions in academic settings.

All doctoral students are funded, so that all can fully concentrate on professional growth. We offer Research Assistantships, Teaching assistantships, and more general Graduate Assistantships from a variety of sources, including external grants and contracts (e.g., NIH and NSF) and internal funds (e.g., for teaching and advising).

Our Ph.D. graduates take a wide variety of professional positions including applied research positions, professional practices, basic research, and teaching. In recent years every student who wanted an academic position successfully found such employment. Many of these were at institutions with graduate programs in psychology, including the University of Iowa, Kansas State University (now at University of Minnesota), Oklahoma State University, New Mexico State University, University of South Dakota, University of Victoria, and Drake University.

SOCIAL AREA. The Social Psychology Program is characterized by a continuing commitment to both basic and applied research, much of which has a direct impact on national policy issues. The program prides itself on providing the resources and environment that allow graduate students to immerse themselves in research of common interest to both the student and the faculty member. Reflecting our applied/basic psychology “dual” perspective, the faculty’s interests include the following general topics: Health, stress and coping, social support, aggression and violence, eye-witness testimony, social cognition, the self-concept, gender issues, psychology and law, stereotyping, and interpersonal processes.

COUNSELING AREA. The Counseling Psychology Program offers doctoral specialization that has been fully accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1973. Students may pursue careers in either academic or applied settings. We are committed to the scientist-practitioner model. Among the many strengths of this program are opportunities for active research mentoring, acquisition of teaching competencies, and exposure to diverse practica experiences. Current faculty research programs include coping and social support in close relationships, personality and interest assessment, relationship violence and child abuse, career development of women in science, rural mental health, counseling process and outcome research, predicting recidivism by sexual offenders, distance counseling, and ethicality of counselor behaviors.

COGNITIVE AREA. The Cognitive Psychology Program is also designed for students interested in pursuing careers in either academic or applied settings. We have targeted this program for rapid growth, and plan to hire five or more cognitive faculty in the next two to three years. Currently, students can pursue interests in the areas of perception, attention, memory, and language. Specific research interests include object recognition, visual cognition, implicit memory, semantic priming, visual selective attention, cortical mapping of EEG correlates of cognitive processes, cognitive correlates of intellectual ability, linguistic behavior, consciousness, and hemispheric lateralization of tactual, auditory, and visual information. Students also may choose to participate in the interdisciplinary doctoral program in neuroscience or the interdisciplinary minor in complex adaptive systems.


Craig A. Anderson, Kathleen J. Bieschke, Douglas G. Bonett, Frederick H. Borgen, Brad J. Bushman, Eric E. Cooper, Susan E. Cross, Carolyn E. Cutrona, Veronica J. Dark, Susan X Day, Douglas L. Epperson, Meg Gerrard, Frederick X. Gibbons, Kathy A. Hanisch, Richard A. Hughes, Lisa M. Larson, Stephanie Madon, Michael W. O’Boyle, Ronald H. Peters, Daniel W. Russell, Norman A. Scott, Horabail Venkatagiri, David Vogel, Gary L. Wells

Contact Information

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Department of Psychology
W112 Lagomarcino Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3180
(515) 294-1742
FAX: (515) 294-6424

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