Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit Preparing Psychology Majors with Real World Experience

A rigorous curriculum and numerous research opportunities guarantee a smooth transition to graduate school and careers for Wheeling Jesuit University’s psychology majors.

Thanks to a strong curriculum that teaches students the most current and empirically sound principles of behavior and analysis techniques, Wheeling Jesuit's psychology department prepares its students for success following graduation, says Debra Hull, Ph.D. chair of the University’s psychology department.

Each year, about 80 percent of Wheeling Jesuit's psychology majors continue to graduate school. The high graduate school enrollment percentage rate is not surprising, because, as a whole, the students rank in the 94th percentile nationally on a standardized test of psychology. Many seek advanced degrees in one of the many fields of psychology, while others enter graduate schools to study physical therapy, law, medicine, criminal justice, teaching and business.

Professor of psychology C. James Goodwin, Ph.D., says, the curriculum coupled with the department’s undergraduate research opportunities, make it easier for Wheeling Jesuit’s psychology graduates to gain acceptance into graduate school or careers.

Students complete research projects as part of each laboratory-based course. This experience, Hull adds, teaches students to use equipment and software, such as a driving simulator, odor delivery systems and a sensory deprivation chamber. Students have worked on projects that include: body image in men and women; driving alertness; eating behavior and food preferences; perceptions in dating situations; and cognitive mapping and way-finding.

The work that students do is also being nationally recognized. Recently, 26 presentations and five publications originated from the psychology department. Students attended eight different conferences.

“Graduate schools and employers like students who have the experience to take an independent project and run with it from start to finish,” says Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., assistant of psychology. Whether it’s through research projects or internships, Raudenbush says, “We get our students involved in real world experiences.”

“Students who graduate from Wheeling Jesuit’s psychology program have the ability to think scientifically and better analyze information,” Goodwin says. “Students in our psychology program are getting an education that I like to think of as ‘liberal arts plus.’ That is, in addition to the normal benefits of getting a liberal arts education - learning to write eloquently, think critically, argue a position, develop a personal philosophy, etc. - psychology students also develop the ability to conduct empirical research and understand the importance of drawing research-based conclusions about human behavior.”

U.S.News & World Report ranks Wheeling Jesuit University 16th in the "Best Master’s Universities in the South," making it the highest ranked institution in West Virginia for the seventh consecutive year. The 65-acre campus located in Wheeling, W.Va., offers more than 30 undergraduate programs of study and six graduate degrees to about 1,500 students each year. Wheeling Jesuit -- the only Catholic institution of higher education in West Virginia -- has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1 and has 15 intercollegiate NCAA Division II athletic teams. The University's outstanding facilities include 15 modern buildings and residence halls, a 100,000 square-foot recreation center and a new $1.5 million soccer/track and field complex. The campus is home to the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center, the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies, a Challenger Learning Center and the Clifford M. Lewis Appalachian Institute.

To arrange a visit of the Wheeling Jesuit University campus, or to apply, call 1-800-624-6992 or e-mail admiss@wju.edu or visit Wheeling Jesuit online at www.wju.edu

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