Brief History

The Department of Psychology was formed in 1969 when the Purdue University and Indiana University schools based in Indianapolis were administratively joined through the creation of the IUPUI campus. Psychology faculty, labs, and classrooms were initially based in facilities several miles away from the downtown campus – first in the Burger Chef building, and then in the Krannert Building, across from the Indiana State Fairgrounds. In 1992, the School of Science moved to its current location on the main campus, on North Blackford St. Psychology has typically enrolled the highest numbers of undergraduates in the School of Science, averaging 500 active majors and 100 baccalaureate recipients per year. Students earn either BA or BS degrees through Purdue University, except for a brief period of time in the 1970s when students received IU degrees.

The I/O Masters program was the first graduate program to be offered through Psychology in 1969 and its first student graduated in 1972. In 1978 it became an autonomous program, operationally separate from the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University, West Lafayette. Currently the I/O program includes 4 core faculty, who mentor approximately 12 graduate students.

The Clinical Psychology program began as a Masters Program in Rehabilitation Psychology in 1975. It began offering the PhD in Clinical Rehabilitation Psychology in 1982 and obtained functional autonomy from the W. Lafayette Psychology Department in 1991, becoming the first nonhealth PhD program approved by the ICHE for the IUPUI campus. In 1996 the PhD program was accredited by the American Psychological Association and it has received continuous accreditation since that time. In 2009 the program initiated a change in its name to “Clinical Psychology.” Currently the program includes 7 core faculty and 21 active graduate students enrolled across the MS and PhD programs.

In 1994 the newest graduate program – offering both the MS and the PhD in the Psychobiology of Addictions – was created. The program emerged through negotiations between IUPUI and Purdue University, and currently both faculty participation and administrative oversight by the West Lafayette psychobiology program remain integral to this agreement (one faculty member from the West Lafayette department must serve on key committees). The program takes advantage of unique existing strengths on the IUPU I campus, in cluding the Alcohol Research Center and the Medical Neurobiology Program in the School of Medicine. The program fills a need for research and training in the behavioral neuroscience and psychopharmacology of alcohol and drug abuse. Currently, the PBA program includes 4 core faculty, who mentor 11 active graduate students.

The Present: In 2008-2009 our faculty includes 20 tenure-line professors, who engage in both research and teaching (typically at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels) and 5 lecturers, who provide support to the undergraduate teaching mission. Four additional research scientists contribute to the research mission of the department and assist in training graduate students, and 2 visiting professors are helping to maintain the teaching loads of faculty who are on leave or who have recently resigned. The majority of tenure-line faculty fall into three graduate areas, which are vertically integrated with three undergraduate “concentrations” or “tracks” aligned with those areas.