Psychology Celebrates 100 Years

Psychology 100 Years banner

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Psychology Department

Serena Chen

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

Celebrate the History of Berkeley Psychology

Farewell to Tolman Hall

Farewell to Tolman Hall

This building was named after Edward Chace Tolman, a well-known psychologist who made several important contributions to the field, primarily in the areas of animal cognition and learning.

Stephen Glickman

Stephen Glickman

Irving Zucker, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of Integrative Biology, interviews Stephen Glickman, professor emeritus of psychology and integrative biology, in August 2018. Produced by the UC Berkeley Emeriti Association, in collaboration with the UC Berkeley Retirement Center and StoryCenter (https://www.storycenter.org/), a Berkeley-based non-profit.

​The Man and the Maze: Honoring the Legacy of Edward Tolman​

Introduction and "Edward Chace Tolman: A Psychologist with Purpose and a Map"

Edward Chace Tolman: A Psychologist with Purpose and a Map. 
Lucia Jacobs, Professor (UC Berkeley), Introduction Donald Dewsbury, Professor Emeritus (Psychology, University of Florida), a comparative psychologist and historian

Women in Psychology


October 3, 2020, marked the 150th anniversary of the UC Regents’ unanimous approval in 1870 of a resolution by Regent Samuel F. Butterworth: “That young ladies be admitted into the University on equal terms in all respects with young men.” The first women were admitted as students to the university in 1872, four years after its opening in 1868. The projects undertaken and the events planned for this year demonstrate the breadth and depth of women’s contributions to Berkeley, their fields, and to the larger world.

Women in Psychology

KAREN DE VALOIS

Karen De Valois

The First Female Chair of Psychology (1998-2003)

Diane Howell

Diane Howell

The first African American woman to receive a doctorate in psychology in 1978.

Olga Louise Bridgman (1886-1974)

Olga Louise Bridgman

The first PhD in psychology awarded by the philosophy department in 1915.

Jean walker Macfarlane(1894-1989)

Jean Walker Macfarlane

The first doctorate from the newly-formed psychology department in 1922.

Nancy Bayley

Nancy Bayley (1899-1994)

The first woman to win the distinguished scientific contribution award of the American Psychological Association in 1966.

Susan Ervin Tripp (1927-2018)

Susan Ervin Tripp (1927-2018)

Co-author, the 1970 report of the sub-committee on the status of women on the Berkeley campus.