Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Psychology Department
Welcome to the official homepage for all information, events, and activities related to the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley. We are very excited to mark this momentous anniversary with events and activities throughout Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. This page will be regularly updated with information about our history and as new events and activities are scheduled throughout Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.
Although psychology courses and research were happening on campus as early as the late 1800s, it was not until 1922, as part of a growing trend that was happening across the nation, that our department was officially established as a separate unit from the Philosophy Department. The department began with just four faculty, a number that has grown and fluctuated over the decades and is now 36. Many people associate the Psychology Department with Tolman Hall, named after Edward Chace Tolman, a Harvard-trained experimentalist who came to campus in 1918. The department was housed in Tolman from the early 1960s until 2018. In June 2018, the Psychology Department moved to its new home, Berkeley Way West, a newly constructed building at the corner of Berkeley Way and Shattuck.
For just about a century now, the department has been a national and international leader in psychological research and ground-breaking discoveries, as well as in the superior education that we have provided to undergraduates and doctoral students. The department was ranked #1, tied with Stanford, in a recent U.S. survey. Our award-winning faculty conduct research in many areas of psychology, including clinical science, cognition, cognitive and behavioral systems neuroscience, development, social, and personality. Our undergraduate majors are growing in number and pursue graduate school as well as a wide range of careers, many focused on using their psychology degrees to help others and improve society more broadly. Our Ph.D. students go on to exciting careers in academia (e.g., Yale, Stanford, UCLA), industry (e.g., Google, Facebook), healthcare (e.g., Oakland Children’s Hospital, Seattle VA) and policy (e.g., National Institute of Justice).
As a community, we care deeply about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and about using our knowledge to help solve the weighty problems we face in society today—including systemic and individual-level racism, the climate crisis, disparities in income and wealth, healthcare access, and education, and polarization in our political system.
On behalf of our faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and our staff, we hope many of you are able join us in our celebratory activities throughout the year.
-- Serena Chen, Professor and Chair of Psychology