Woman plays with Malamute on cement stairs

Understand brain science and behavior. Use your insights to improve lives.

In the Department of Psychology, you’ll explore the fundamental principles of human behavior and learn how to apply that knowledge to positively impact individuals and their communities. The department offers both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees to meet a wide range of student interests. In addition to traditional doctoral education, our graduate program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to effectively address society’s pressing challenges. Our faculty research, which receives more than $12 million annually in grants and contracts, applies our understanding of brain science to enhance social equality, optimize human potential, and strengthen society.

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The UW's famous cherry trees are a signature feature of campus.

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Psychology researchers work in the brain sciences lab.
6 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Awarded Through 2018


Psychology studies the broad spectrum of behavior, and the career paths it opens up are equally broad. Students who pursue a bachelor of science or graduate study are equipped to succeed in scientific and research-based roles. Students who receive a Bachelor of Arts use their knowledge of human and animal behavior in more general roles. Regardless of which track you follow, the analytical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills developed through the study of psychology will position you for success in many fields, including education, business, government, healthcare and the nonprofit sector.   

Career Paths

Psychology majors pursue a wide range of careers, including: 

  • Psychologist
  • Counselor 
  • Philanthropy officer
  • Animal behaviorist
  • Therapist
  • Researcher
  • Educator
  • Social worker 
  • Physician 
  • Human resources manager
  • Attorney
  • Marketing specialist
Students collaborate during a classroom discussion.

Impacting our community, with national recognition

The Department of Psychology is committed to translating its research discoveries into actions that positively impact our communities. Examples include:

  • Partnering on PTSD therapies with the Veterans Administration and local refugee communities
  • Collaborating with local service organizations
  • Providing mindfulness and parenting workshops at our Center for Child and Family Well-Being.

Through the department’s Clinical Psychology Graduate Training Program, consistently ranked among the top 10 programs nationally by U.S. News & World Report, graduate student therapists provide services to Seattle area residents under the supervision of licensed psychologists.

More About Our Community Outreach


Find Yourself in Psychology

Use your knowledge of behavior to address mental health disparities, promote social equality and optimize human potential.   

Department of Psychology Stories

Teens sitting in a row, focused on their cellphones.

A Closer Look at Teens & Digital Technology

The impact of digital technology on teens' mental health is the focus of a new course developed by Lucia Magis-Weinberg in the UW Department of Psychology.

Lisa Dabek holding a young tree kangaroo in her arms.

Protecting Ghosts of the Forest

Lisa Dabek (PhD, Psychology, 1994), senior conservation scientist at the Woodland Park Zoo, studies and protects tree kangaroos in the cloud forests of Papua New Guinea. 

Jeff Lin portrait

With Psychology, a Gaming Career

Jeff Lin (2012), obsessed with video games as a child, now leads teams of game developers at Horizon Metaverse — with the help of his UW PhD in psychology.