Psychology Department
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Psychology Department

What We Do:

The Department of Psychology guides students in learning, researching, and applying the science of behavior and mental processes. We prepare students for fulfilling careers or advanced study in psychology or related fields.


How We Stand Out:

  • Bountiful undergraduate research opportunities
  • Faculty representing a broad range of psychology areas
  • Small seminars and labs in which students work closely with dedicated faculty as well as their peers
  • Field experiences in clinical & other applied settings in which students work with professionals in community organizations
  • Opportunities to serve as teaching assistants for enhanced resume-building
  • Jesuit education which emphasizes the care of the whole person
  • On-campus research facilities in the Psychology Department and the Loyola Science Center
  • Strong track record of psychology majors pursuing advanced graduate study

We offer a rigorous curriculum that covers the breadth of psychology

– Dr. James Buchanan, Associate Professor of Psychology


The Psychology Department's required core curriculum prepares students with a broad foundation in the science of psychology.  

We also provide a variety of elective courses allowing students to tailor their study towards both occupational and graduate or professional goals. Our curriculum provides 30 credits of free electives which allow students to pursue minors, concentrations, and double majors within the 120 credits required for graduation.

Meet Our Faculty:

Our Department represents the impressive breadth of psychology and its applications. Our faculty includes experts on the neuroscience of behavior, cognitive development in children, evolutionary psychology, psychological testing, clinical psychology, and social psychology.

In addition to their emphasis on teaching and mentorship, they are actively researching and publishing in the field. For example:

  • Dr. Christie Karpiak, a child clinical psychologist, investigates the treatment of children with conduct disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Dr. Barry Kuhle, an evolutionary psychologist, has lent his expertise to media outlets on the topic of spousal cheating.
  • Dr. Jessica Nolan, a social psychologist, studies topics in conservation, such as the best ways to persuade individuals to recycle.
  • Dr. John Norcross is an internationally recognized authority on behavior change and psychotherapy who has authored 20 books and who has appeared multiple times on national television, such as the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, and Good Morning America
  • Dr. Jill Warker, a cognitive psychologist, studies speech and language production.

Christie P. Karpiak, Ph.D.


Chairperson (sabbatical 2018 - 2019)

Professor of Psychology

B.S., M.S., Ph.D., University of Utah
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Phone: 570-941-5886
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John C. Norcross, Ph.D.


Chairperson (2018 - 2019)

Distinguished Professor of Psychology

B.A., Rutgers University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Rhode Island
Internship, Brown University School of Medicine
Licensed Psychologist

Phone: 570-941-7638
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Bryan R. Burnham, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Psychology

B.A., Utica College of Syracuse University
M.A., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany

Phone: 570-941-6687
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J. Timothy Cannon, Ph.D.


Professor of Psychology

B.S., The University of Scranton
Ph.D., University of Maine

Phone: 570-941-4266
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Emily Hopkins, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Psychology

B.S., Brown University
M.A. and Ph.D., University of Virginia

Phone: 570-941-7063
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Gail N. Kemp, Ph.D.


Visiting Assistant Professor

A.B., Harvard College
M.P.H., M.A. and Ph.D., Boston University

Phone: 570-941-5644
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Barry X. Kuhle, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Psychology

B.A., Binghamton University
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Phone: 570-941-5459
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Jessica M. Nolan, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Psychology

B.S., Cornell University
M.A., California State University
Ph.D., University of Arkansas

Phone: 570-941-4270
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Patrick T. Orr, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Psychology

B.A., The University of Scranton
Ph.D., Yale University

Phone: 570-941-7896
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Carole S. Slotterback, Ph.D.


Professor of Psychology

B.S., Wilson College
M.S., New Mexico Highlands University
Ph.D., Northern Illinois University

Phone: 570-941-7895
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Jill A. Warker, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Psychology

B.A., Bucknell University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Illinois

Phone: 570-941-7027
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John J. O'Malley, Ph.D.


Professor Emeritus

BA, The University of Scranton
Ph.D., Ohio University

Phone: 570-941-4269
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Inside the Classroom:

In the spirit of cura personalis (care for the whole person), the Psychology Department prides itself on providing students with multiple opportunities for mentoring relationships with faculty.  

We do so through small enrollment seminar and laboratory courses, field experiences in clinical & applied settings, individual advising, and three psychology student organizations, as well as  opportunities to work as teaching assistants, and to collaborate with faculty on research projects.

Highlights of our academic experience include:

  • A rigorous curriculum
  • Project-based learning
  • Opportunities to develop verbal, writing, quantitative, and interpersonal skills
  • Career development education during the Junior year
  • Faculty-mentored teaching assistant opportunities
  • Field experiences in clinical and non-clinical settings
  • Three psychology-related student organizations

Faculty-mentored Student Research:

Some of the most renowned psychology degree programs provide undergraduate students with few or no opportunities to engage with faculty in research at the undergraduate level. Not so at The University of Scranton! Our students present and publish with faculty at a much higher rate than the national norm for undergraduate programs. See examples of recent publications and presentations by our students.

There are four avenues through which undergraduates can gain significant research experience in psychology:

  • Volunteer as research assistant (no academic credit)
  • Faculty/Student Research Program (FSRP), a Scranton program in which research is credited on a student’s official transcript (no academic credit)
  • Undergraduate Research in Psychology, a 400-level class focused on specific research projects
  • Honors thesis as part of the Honors Program.

Learn more about student research opportunities

Martha Triano, Class of 2014, worked with faculty mentor Dr. Jessica Nolan, Associate Professor of Psychology, to design a social experiment on the effect of the longevity heuristic. The research is entitled “Heuristics and Social Norms: A Potential Interaction in Recycling Behavior.”  

Career Outcomes:

Psychologists work in academic settings, independent practice, hospitals, clinics, as well as government, business, and industry. Students with a B.S. Psychology degree from Scranton opt for graduate school or start out in entry-level jobs like:

  • Case management
  • Counselor
  • Intake coordinator
  • Drug and alcohol treatment specialist
  • Patient services coordinator
  • Youth counselor
  • Clinical research assistant
  • Healthcare representative
  • Mental health counselor
  • HR specialist
  • Journalist