Psychology Department Mission

The Psychology Department at San Francisco State University is dedicated to the discovery of knowledge about human behaviors, beliefs, and emotions. We seek to share knowledge with our students and with the greater community. Through the discovery of knowledge, we provide opportunities for individuals to develop intellectually, personally, professionally, and collectively as members of their larger community. We work in the classroom, research laboratory, and community to provide undergraduate and graduate-level training that emphasizes psychological theory, the scientific method, and the application of psychological knowledge to important research and real world issues. Collectively, we promote an environment of mutual respect, transparency, and an appreciation for culture and diversity while being driven by the SF State Core Values.

Below are examples of how the Psychology Department pursues our Mission and promotes the SF State Core Values:

Local & Global Engagement: With over 18,000 SF State psychology alumni since 1970, our community footprint is extensive. Our students work in the Bay Area in places such as mental health service providers, public schools, and businesses. Many of our alumni continue to live in the Bay Area while pursuing careers in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Our research, teaching, and service have impact at the local, national, and international levels.

Inclusion & Belonging: Our faculty, staff, and students are devoted to providing an inclusive environment for all. Our Statement of Inclusion describes our commitment to fostering a respect amongst all members of the psychology major community.

Equity & Justice: Our faculty are committed to providing courses to all students at the university, thus exposing the department to diverse opinions and beliefs. Our classes address the impact of culture and context on human functioning, fostering an appreciation of difference and diversity in our students.  We address the varied educational experiences of our students in coursework and applied experiences.

Learning, Creativity, & Exploration: As active scholars, our faculty bridge experiences gained in the classroom, research laboratory, and applied settings. Our courses are committed to experiential learning opportunities that place our students in the community and provide them with exposure to the world beyond the classroom. In addition, we host speaker series to add intellectual novelty into our department.

Empowerment & Transformation: Our research and teaching seek to provide our students the resources necessary to foster growth within themselves and others. For example, our courses are designed to strengthen skills in oral and written communication and to foster the courage to express ideas. We provide our students with opportunities to lead or assist in psychological research that requires taking risks and using evidence to question long-held assumptions. In addition, our faculty provide academic/career advising to our predominantly first-generation college students and encourage them to reach their fullest potential.