Introduction

Over the course of 2 years (2003-2005), undergraduate departments of psychology were invited to participate in a survey* designed to derive information that is specific to programs of undergraduate psychology. Invitations were mailed to all programs registered with the APA Office of Research. Although the number of programs did change during the mailing cycle, 1,098 two-year programs, 1,149 four-year programs, and 435 undergraduate programs with graduate programs were surveyed. Responses to specific items were further delineated by undergraduate programs situated within doctoral and masters level programs.

Response rate of participants

Overall response rate was 17 percent with a total of 463 schools submitting usable responses. Departments with graduate programs in psychology replied at a much higher rate (48 percent). Departments without graduate programs (15 percent) and two-year programs (7 percent) resulted in a much lower rate of return. Overall response rate for 4-year programs reached an acceptable level of 24 percent. Response rate for community colleges was low and these results may not be generalizable.

*Items were derived bycompiling requests from teachers and departments of undergraduate psychology. Items were also reviewed by members of the Society for Teaching of Psychology (Division 2).

 

Type

Number Sent

Number Received

Response Rate

Doctoral

 

114

 

Masters

 

97

 

(Comprehensive: Doctoral + Masters)

435

211

48%

Bachelors Programs

1149

171

15%

Community Colleges

1098

77

7%

Other

 

4

 

Total

2682

463

17%

Educational characteristics of undergraduate faculty

Prior research identifying the type of terminal degree for faculty teaching psychology has predominantly addressed faculty at graduate institutions. Hence, the following table provides, for the first time, a more complete set of data about the type of degree typically held by full-time faculty teaching in undergraduate programs.

Departments were asked to report the number of faculty holding each type of degree. Information presented is reported as percentages. For example, respondents from comprehensive universities reported that 99 percent of their full-time faculty held the PhD as the terminal degree.

Percentage of full-time faculty by degree

 

PhD

PsyD

EdD

MS/MA/EdS

Doctoral Granting

98

1

0

1

Masters Granting

93

2

2

4

Bachelors

94

1

2

3

Community College

40

0

6

53

All Programs

94

1

1

5

NOTE : Institutions are classified based on degree offerings. For example, doctoral granting universities include research intensive and comprehensive doctoral granting institutions. 
Percentage of part-time faculty by degree

Departments reported the type of degree held by part time faculty at respective institutions. As an example, respondents from doctoral granting universities reported that 59 percent of the part-time psychology faculty held the PhD as the terminal degree.

 

PhD

PsyD

EdD

MS/MA/EdS

Doctoral Granting

62

4

1

29

Masters Granting

54

3

2

40

Bachelors

46

7

6

41

Community College

15

2

8

76

All Programs

43

4

4

48

 

Faculty degrees in subareas of psychology

Departments were asked to report the number of faculty holding degrees in traditional subareas of psychology. Respondents were asked to indicate the degree and subarea of each of the faculty. The information below reported percentages of sub-areas.

Percentage faculty subareas across type of institution

Subarea

All

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Clinical

22

27

19

15

12

Developmental

11

9

11

14

7

Social

11

12

10

13

7

Experimental

10

9

12

13

6

Neuroscience/
Physiological/
Comparative/
Biopsychology

10

11

6

11

2

Cognitive

9

11

7

9

2

Counseling

6

2

9

8

23

I/O

5

4

6

3

4

General

4

3

3

3

19

School

2

2

5

1

2

Educational

2

1

4

2

10

Other

4

4

4

3

3

Personality

2

2

1

3

1

Psychometrics/
Quantitative

2

2

2

1

1


Course offerings

Respondents were asked to indicate courses that were offered by their department. The following data indicate course offerings in order of overall frequency. It should be noted that inconsistencies in course titles might reflect underreporting of actual course offerings. For example, courses in Research Methods and Experimental Psychology may have overlapping content. Similarly Child Psychology and Developmental Psychology or Cross Cultural Psychology and Multi-Cultural Psychology may be different titles for essentially the same course.

Course offerings reported in percentages

Course

All

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Introduction to Psychology

98

98

99

99

97

98

Abnormal Psychology

93

96

94

97

97

78

Social Psychology

90

93

92

92

94

72

Psychology of Personality

78

86

86

86

85

33

Statistical Methods

75

85

88

92

79

19

Cognitive Psychology

71

83

90

79

80

6

Physiological Psychology

71

82

82

85

81

11

History and Systems of Psychology

68

80

78

87

78

0

Research Methods

67

76

79

71

77

20

Practicum or Field Experience

60

70

68

72

70

5

Developmental Psychology

57

58

72

59

49

55

Psychology of Learning

59

70

70

76

66

3

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

57

65

62

79

58

19

Child Psychology

59

59

56

72

54

58

Principles of Psychological Testing

55

65

59

67

68

2

Adolescent Psychology

51

55

52

64

52

28

Sensation/Perception

52

62

82

64

47

0

Honors Theses or Equivalent

51

60

80

57

49

3

Lifespan Development Psychology

46

44

32

53

46

59

Human Sexuality

43

44

44

53

38

38

Health Psychology

43

49

62

45

43

9

Adult Psychology

39

43

34

58

39

19

Psychology of Women

32

36

44

38

29

14

Specific Integrative Capstone Course in Psychology

35

41

26

47

47

3

Educational Psychology

31

28

23

34

29

45

Experimental Psychology

32

37

36

46

33

3

Motivation and Emotion

25

29

44

32

19

0

Psychology of Gender

28

31

34

34

28

8

Psychology of Adjustment

25

24

21

30

22

33

Comparative Psychology

25

29

40

32

21

2

Cross Cultural Psychology

24

26

35

21

22

13

Forensic Psychology

21

25

28

34

18

3

Careers in Psychology

16

18

15

26

14

8

Death and Dying

18

17

18

25

11

23

Memory

18

21

36

17

13

0

Human Factors in Psychology

10

11

26

7

4

3

Multi-Cultural Psychology

13

15

23

15

10

2

Orientation to Psychology

10

11

12

14

9

3

Sleep and Dreaming

4

5

11

2

3

0

Psychology of Men

2

2

2

5

0

2


Facilities

Institutions were asked to list the type of laboratory facilities provided by their programs. The following table indicates the percentage of programs reporting types of laboratory facilities.

Percentages reporting laboratories

Type of Lab

All

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Computer

52

59

70

61

51

18

Animal

38

45

59

36

40

1

Cognition

37

44

73

30

32

0

Social/Group

34

41

62

31

32

0

Biopsychology

33

40

55

29

36

1

General Experimental

33

39

42

36

37

4

Counseling/Clinical

27

33

50

40

17

0

Developmental

25

30

52

21

20

0

Other

14

16

18

11

17

3

None

24

15

7

15

19

75


Number of hours required for the psychology major/minor

Institutions were asked how many credit hours are required for their Major Program. The following table indicates the median, mean, standard deviation for the number of hours required. Only institutions offering bachelors-level psychology programs were included in this analysis.

Credit hours required for the major 

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Median

37

36

37.5

38

Mean (S. D.)

38 (6.20)

37 (5.98)

39 (5.82)

39 (6.44)


 

Number of hours required for the psychology minor

Institutions were asked how many credit hours are required for their Minor Program. The following table indicates the percentage of schools offering a Minor Program, and their median, mean, standard deviation for the number of hours required. Only institutions offering bachelors-level psychology programs were included in this analysis.

Credit hours required for the minor

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Percent Offering a Minor

86%

76%

98%

86%

Median

18

18

18

18

Mean (S. D.)

19 (2.92)

18 (2.67)

19 (3.00)

20 (2.92)


Research opportunities

Respondents were asked to indicate whether individual or group research opportunities were offered, and the percentage of students who participated in these activities. The following data indicate, for individual and group research experiences, the percentage of schools offering these opportunities, and the median, mean and standard deviation of the percentage of students who participate.

Research opportunities

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
EXPERIENCES

Percent of Schools That Offer

87%

85%

92%

86%

4%

Percent of Students Who Participate

 

 

 

 

 

Median

10

20

10

10

2

Mean (S. D.)

20 (22.00)

23 (19.46)

14 (18.23)

22 (24.71)

2 (1.00)

GROUP RESEARCH EXPERIENCES

Percent of Schools That Offer

30%

32%

32%

27%

0%

Percent of Students Who Participate

 

 

 

 

 

Median

10

10

10

16

0

Mean (S. D.)

24 (28.45)

21 (22.67)

23 (30.26)

27 (31.07)

0 (0.00)


Methods of assessment

Respondents were asked to indicate which methods are being used to assess outcomes in the major. Five choices were included Internal Instrument, (ETS Major Field Test, Psychology Area Concentration Achievement Test (PACAT), Other and None. Many “other” responses were indicated and we recoded these into the categories shown in the table below, however our percentage estimates may undercount these other methods, since our data relied on free-entry responses rather than specific prompts. Many institutions use a combination of several assessment methods.

Percentages using assessment methods

Assessment Method

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Internal Instrument

46%

47%

42%

47%

26%

ETS Major Fields Test

25%

11%

29%

33%

1%

ACAT

7%

4%

8%

9%

0%

Other

22%

18%

21%

25%

13%

Senior Survey

3%

4%

3%

2%

0%

Course-Embedded Assessment

3%

3%

2%

4%

4%

Portfolio Review

3%

1%

7%

2%

1%

Thesis/Research Project

3%

0%

2%

5%

0%

Alumni Survey

2%

2%

0%

2%

0%

Exit Interview or Focus Group

2%

0%

2%

4%

0%

Employment/Grad School Admission

1%

0%

1%

1%

0%

None

20%

32%

14%

15%

34%


Formal program evaluation cycle

Respondents were asked to indicate how often formal program evaluations are conducted.

Percentages conducting formal program evaluations at various intervals

Program Evaluation Cycle

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Annually

33%

18%

39%

40%

29%

State or Institutionally Mandated Cycle

34%

32%

41%

31%

32%

Median Cycle Period (years)

5 years

5 years

5 years

5 years

4 years

Regional Accreditation Basis

28%

27%

30%

27%

26%

Median Cycle Period (years)

10 years

7 years

10 years

10 years

8 years

Ad hoc or As Needed

22%

29%

20%

18%

22%

Other

9%

11%

5%

9%

5%


Size of department and faculty salaries

Departments were asked to report the number of full-time faculty and average faculty salary by rank. For number of faculty, the values are average number of faculty (mean number per department). In addition to the average size of department, we also report median and average faculty salaries by type of institution.

Number of faculty and average salary by rank

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

NUMBER OF FACULTY

 

 

 

 

 

Full Professor

5

11

4

2

2

Associate Professor

4

6

3

2

0

Assistant Professor

3

5

3

2

0

Lecturer

1

1

1

0

0

Non-Tenure Track

1

1

1

0

1

Mean Overall

13

24

12

7

4

MEDIAN FACULTY SALARY

 

 

 

 

 

Full Professor

$66,900

$87,315

$61,671

$60,250

$50,000

Associate Professor

$53,000

$62,496

$50,000

$49,750

$50,000

Assistant Professor

$47,000

$54,042

$44,000

$44,963

$48,000

Lecturer

$36,000

$42,000

$34,000

$32,000

$33,000

Non-Tenure Track

$40,000

$45,213

$40,000

$37,000

$33,000

Median Overall

$52,000

$60,774

$48,525

$49,000

$50,000

MEAN
(S. D.) FACULTY SALARY

 

 

 

 

 

Full Professor

$71,173 (20,396)

$88,545 (23,416)

$63,755 (10,799)

$63,544 (14,591)

$55,176 (15,037)

Associate Professor

$55,397 (11,273)

$64,440 (9347)

$51,314 (7658)

$51,182 (10,780)

$50,440 (9409)

Assistant Professor

$47,944 (8732)

$55,163 (8475)

$44,469 (5902)

$44,372 (6784)

$50,133 (10,404)

Lecturer

$34,278 (17,283)

$42,618 (19,985)

$33,156 (12,354)

$26,819 (16,622)

$29,308 (14,240)

Non-Tenure Track

$40,636 (14,367)

$46,424 (20,615)

$38,540 (7801)

$37,026 (10,045)

$31,700 (18,199)

Mean
(S. D.) Overall

$54,945 (18,685)

$65,672 (22,599)

$50,306 (13,233)

$50,977 (15,644)

$50,175 (16,125)


Part-time faculty

Respondents were asked to indicate the percentage of their courses are taught by part-time faculty each semester, and the average compensation per-credit hour paid to part-time faculty. Means (S. D.) are shown.

Part-time faculty

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Percentage Taught

19%

20%

21%

17%

48%

COMPENSATION PER CREDIT HOUR

 

 

 

 

 

Median

$800

$1000

$700

$774

$550

Mean (S.D.)

$924 (465)

$1096 (484)

$799 (317)

$901 (505)

$542 (359)


Teaching load

Respondents were asked to indicate the teaching load per semester in credit hours for both faculty and the Department Chair. Means are shown.

Teaching load

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Faculty

10

8

11

11

15

Department Chair

7

4

7

9

11

 

Respondents were asked to indicate whether teaching load credit was awarded for supervising undergraduate student research or undergraduate practica or field experiences. The percentage of schools awarding load credit is shown.

Load credit for student supervision 

 

All 4-Year Programs

Doctoral

Masters

Bachelors

Community College

Research

21%

19%

31%

25%

1%

Practica or Field Experience

33%

29%

52%

41%

5%