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Department of Psychology

Exploring human nature in new ways.

As a psychology student at Otterbein you will be treated as an individual, given numerous opportunities for personal and professional development, and work side-by-side with your professors. This is an excellent program for the student who wants to be involved and engaged in the classroom and beyond.

What to Expect in the Classroom
We view our students as part of this scholarly community. Psychology classes are generally small, and many upper-level classes have fewer than 10 students. Many of our classes are hands-on – you may be out in the community teaching adults stress-management skills, collecting data in the laboratory, or working with children in the local schools. Recognition of and appreciation for diversity and cultural issues are important dimensions of our teaching and practice.

Research Opportunities
Often students go beyond their course work and engage in research projects or internships that give them practical experience in an area of their interest. Our students go to conferences around the country where they present their work. Research experience is crucial for any type of graduate program, and it also provides invaluable skills that are desired by employers. The Psychology Department has among the highest levels of participation in the university’s Honors and Distinction programs.

Robert Kraft

Otterbein Professor Authors Book on the Psychology of Violent Perpetrators.

A new book by Otterbein University Professor Robert N. Kraft presents a compelling study of how ordinary people commit extraordinary acts of violence and how perpetrators and victims manage in the aftermath. Violent Accounts: Understanding the Psychology of Perpetrators through South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released by New York University Press on March 21.
/ find out more 

Follow Robert Kraft's blog on www.psychologytoday.com.

Major & Minor

The department sponsors both a major and a minor in psychology and offers one of the freshman year social science options in Integrative Studies.


Psychology House
The Psychology House is the heart of the department. Walk right in - there's no need to knock. The secretary's office and faculty mailboxes are on the first and second floors. There is a small reception area on the first floor where students take make-up exams, watch video assignments, or visit while waiting to see a faculty member.

Psychology Research Suites
Each faculty member has a research laboratory in the Psychology Research Suites located east of the Campus Center. Students may work as lab assistants as part of work study or may enter data in the Computer Lab for their research projects. All students 100 and 200 level psychology courses are required to participate in research studies, and these studies often take place in the Research Suites.

Dedicated Classroom
Tower 235 is the classroom dedicated for use by the Psychology Department and is used for many of our classes and labs. Students also use the room when running experiments or for small group meetings.


Students are encouraged to gain practical experience in their intended career fields. There are numerous volunteer, practicum and internship programs open to Otterbein students. A variety of employers and agencies cooperate in the placement of our students into settings that provide experience in psychology. Students can participate by being a volunteer, by receiving academic credit for working in an agency or at a research institution, or by working for pay.

Another experiential learning program is called the Philadelphia Semester where, for one full quarter, a student can combine a fully accredited quarter of academic coursework with career-oriented work experience in an urban setting. See this page for more details.

Our Mission

It is the mission of the Department of Psychology to:

  • support the liberal arts mission of Otterbein University
  • provide students with a solid grounding in the scientific method
  • develop student proficiency in models and applications of psychology
  • develop student critical thinking, empirical skills, and tolerance for complexity
  • promote an appreciation for diversity and individual differences
  • encourage a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the world, culture, and self
  • support life-long learning

The department’s principal curricular goal is to provide a balanced education in the discipline, presenting a thorough grounding in the study of human thought, emotion and behavior and emphasizing applications of psychology to students and to society. Specifically, the department seeks to prepare its graduates for the next stage in their intellectual and professional development, whether this is graduate school, other advanced professional education or employment in psychology or a related field.


/ Department of Psychology

Kelly Miller
Psychology House
p / 614.823.1615
e / kmiller@otterbein.edu


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