rich-headshot-2020.pngPsychology is one of the most fascinating areas of study.  It engages our sense of self, of our place in the world, and of our relationships with others.  It spans examination of our basic physiological composition at the level of neuroscience to the broad concerns of why we make good or bad decisions.  We are committed to making Catholic University the place that fully engages both the personal and intellectual passions of our students.

Did you know that Catholic University was one of the first universities in the country to have a psychology laboratory? We recently celebrated our 125th anniversary, and in that time many eminent psychologists have been part of our program.  You can read about a few of the accomplishments and some of the ongoing research at

Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, you will find that our program brings world class faculty expertise to the classroom and the laboratory in a way that attends to the individual student.  Examples of ongoing research include helping those with ADHD or autism to develop resilience, understanding the development challenges for children in migrant farmworker families, and developing new approaches to help prevent suicide. Faculty and students have studied brain responses related to mood states using EEG and fMRI or developmental impacts of conflicts in Ireland!

Our Department is built around strong representation and doctoral programs in Clinical, Human Development, and Applied Experimental.  We have a unique focus in Children, Families, and Cultures that combines expertise across areas.

We are especially proud of our research teams, in which undergraduates, graduates, and faculty work together focused on addressed important challenges.  The graduate students have an opportunity to develop as junior colleagues, and the undergraduates can become part of the research process; a number even present at national professional conferences (

Graduate students have gone on as clinicians or researchers in government, research labs, and industry.  Undergraduates have pursued careers in law, medicine, business, education, or social work. They each have acquired a wide range of skills in critical thinking and problem-solving in addition to specific expertise in psychology.

The Department has a lot to offer.  Please explore some of the options on our website and feel free to contact individuals or program directors in the areas that most interest you. If you cannot find the information you need here, you can contact our Department Office at (202) 319-5750 or (202) 319-5757.

And of course, you may want to supplement your virtual tour with a visit to the actual Catholic University campus. We would be happy to show you our facilities. We are proud of our program and our students, and I sincerely hope that we will have an opportunity to tell you more about Psychology at Catholic University.

I look forward to meeting you in person!

Brendan A. Rich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair