Contact or visit us

Psychology Department
Marilyn Petro, Ph.D., Department Chair
Acklie Hall of Science, 226-I
Lincoln, NE 68504
(402) 465-2429
mpetro [at]

Psychology Degrees

As a Psychology major at NWU, you’ll study the most fascinating thing on the planet: the human mind. It’s about understanding how we behave. How we learn. How we make decisions and cope with their consequences.

NWU Psychology is also about how we serve. How we care for ourselves. Our families. Our neighbors. Our patients.

If the idea of understanding ideas makes you excited, then a NWU Psychology degree is for you. This is the campus for your curiosity. Your research. Your service. And your ideas.

Get amazing results.

Four out of five NWU psychology majors go immediately into graduate school or psychology-related careers after graduation. They study in top programs like the Chicago School of Psychology, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Our majors regularly present their research to groups like the Midwestern Psychological Association. And they publish work in media like the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research and the Journal of Psychological Inquiry.

You can study how people learn through the X-treme Rat Challenge, a psychology project where students train rats to compete in athletic events. (ESPN, Modern Marvels and NPR have all covered this fun and unique NWU Psychology tradition.)

Psychology faculty

NWU Psychology has professors with a wide variety of specialties, giving you an excellent range of teachers and researchers to work with. That includes a social psychologist who has studied romantic attraction and a behavioral neuroscientist who plays drums in a rock band and researches how wilderness experiences impact creativity.


Xtreme Rat Challenge

NWU psychology students in the Basic Learning Principles class train a rat for their final demonstration project for the hugely popular Xtreme Rat Challenge.

  • Student with rat

    Xtreme Rat Challenge enters 47th year

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  • Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea

    Gilman Scholarship sends NWU senior to South Korea

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  • Corinne Peterson headshot

    Fulbright Scholarship takes NWU grad back to Germany

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  • Anna Johnson headshot

    Recent graduate receives grant for sleep psychology research

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  • Melissa Hatch headshot

    Psychology major awarded international research grant

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  • Tanya Roberts-Connick headshot

    Alumna named Eleventh Judicial District County Court Judge

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  • Xtreme Rat Challenge

    Xtreme Rat Challenge: psychology department rats go for the gold

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  • Anthony Baker, University of Minnesota Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program

    Senior Discovers Importance of Creativity at Biomedical Engineering Research Internship

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  • Clifford Fawl Psychology Lecturer: Joyce Chu

    Psychology lecture to address suicide and underserved populations

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  • Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science

    Doors Open to Acklie Hall of Science

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  • Senior psychology major Nicole Vana turned to social media to help her cope with depression and suicidal thoughts. Now her Twitter account, website and non-profit — Spreading the Love — is a coping mechanism for thousands of others across the country.

    Vana creates digital tools to prevent suicide

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  • U2 Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Research takes student, professor to Northern Ireland for U2 Conference

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  • Steven Pinker, one of the world's foremost writers on language, mind and human nature will deliver the 2018 Fawl Lecture. Pinker's lecture is titled, "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress."

    Harvard psychology professor, Pulitzer Prize finalist Steven Pinker delivers NWU Lecture

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