Since its founding, the Department of Psychology has been renowned for scientific research and scholarship that cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Today, this broad and integrative vision of psychological science is reflected in the diversity of laboratories and collaborations within the Department, as well as research initiatives that connect psychology to other areas of the University and beyond. This vision also is reflected in the Department's training of the next generation of researchers. The PhD program encourages students to take advantage of the many research opportunities at the University, emphasizing intellectual breadth as well as training in specific areas. Similarly, the undergraduate curriculum emphasizes faculty-taught courses and research opportunities, making Psychology one of the most popular majors at the University.
- John Dewey established the Laboratory of Psychology in 1893, one year after the first classes were held at the University of Chicago.
- James Rowland Angell was the first head of the Psychology Department when it was established in 1905.
- In 1964, faculty moved into Beecher, Green and Kelly Halls to create a unified place to work.
- In the early 1970s, the department was reorganized in a committee structure as the Department of Behavioral Sciences. The name was changed again in the late 1980s to the Department of Psychology.
- In 1998, the University dedicated a $15 million, 5-story Biopsychological Sciences Building.