June 15, 2023

‘Develop invaluable professional and interpersonal skills’

The department of psychology at NDSU is a dynamic, research-focused program that gives students the skills to succeed in and out of the classroom.

NDSU senior Gabriella Montero said her curiosity in learning more about the psychology field led her to NDSU.

"I initially chose to study psychology at NDSU because I was interested in human behavior and wanted to learn more about why people do the things that they do," Montero said. "Once I got into my major, I realized that there was so much more to psychology than just thinking. NDSU showed me that psychology is a broad arrangement of subjects such as development, personality, cognitive, health and social psychology. It made me realize the different paths I could take in my learning and career interests."

According to Montero, NDSU's psychology program challenges you to think critically, which is essential to a successful career. The program also boasts numerous research opportunities to help develop hands-on skills necessary to become a well-rounded professional.

"This program is preparing me for success by helping me utilize scientific reasoning and critical thinking, as well as giving me the tools to examine information and draw logical conclusions," said Montero. "By being a research assistant in the psychology department, I have gained hands-on experience in the professional field that I can apply to any future career."

Culture and environment also are important factors in fostering a positive and successful experience. This starts with the faculty, who are dedicated to helping students succeed and providing them with the support needed for their academic journey, Montero said.

"The faculty have been a huge part of my success in the program," she said. "I am very thankful for them; they are great mentors and resources for students. Through them I have gained the support and confidence to continue to pursue psychology at the graduate and postdoctoral level. They are more than happy to assist with assignments, resumes, applications and letters of recommendation for any future plans."

“You should consider attending NDSU if you’re interested in psychology because our program provides opportunities for personal growth, as well as prepares you for doctoral programs and careers in psychology research,” Montero said. “You’ll also have opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research. Plus, the faculty at NDSU are great role models as they provide support, guidance and motivation for their students.”

Each semester, the psychology department involves approximately 50 or more undergraduates in research assistantships for student credit across more than 15 laboratories, according to Clayton Hilmert, professor and graduate program coordinator.

"A major strength of our lab and department is the quality of research mentorship offered by the faculty researchers," Hilmert said. "With our department’s balanced focus on research and teaching, we make student researchers a top priority. The culture of education and research in the department of psychology perfectly positions every faculty member to mentor students at all levels, to help them develop the skills and use the tools that will make them successful in the future."

"Hands-on experience doing research in a psychology lab teaches students that there are many factors that need to come together to produce a successful psychology study," Hilmert said. "In addition to the valuable research skills gained by becoming a research assistant in a psychology lab at NDSU, participating in a research lab teaches students the importance of setting clear goals, careful, systematic planning to achieve those goals, reliability and critical thinking. Furthermore, working with faculty, other research assistants and the participants in the psychology studies allows students to develop professional, interpersonal skills that will be valuable in many professions within and outside of research-oriented employment."

NDSU’s psychology program offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Master’s and Doctoral degrees in psychology also are available at NDSU.

For a closer look at NDSU’s psychology program, visit the official university YouTube channel.

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