About the Department of Psychology

We welcome your interest in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Please explore our website and learn about our faculty, research interests, and both graduate and undergraduate programs. Feel free to email any of us if you don't find what you're looking for here. New Mexico is blessed with a rich and diverse culture, as well as the world's best climate (in our humble opinion), making it a wonderful place to live and work.



We have 25 regular faculty and 66 Ph.D. students. Currently, 1,787 undergraduates have declared Psychology as a major, second only in the College of Arts & Sciences to Biology. The department offers a wide variety of courses, ranging from introductory psychology to advanced courses in learning and memory, cognition, clinical/abnormal psychology, and brain function.

Psychology is widely recognized for teaching excellence, and our professors have won every award offered by the university. Last year, we were voted “Best Department” by undergraduates. Our undergraduate Honors Program is the oldest and best in the University, with a two year rigorous program of studies culminating in an independent research project. Upon graduating our majors pursue diverse opportunities:

  • Psychology graduate school programs
  • Medical school
  • Law school
  • Mental health positions
  • Research
  • and many more

Our internationally recognized research programs span such fields as addictions and drug abuse, animal learning, mate preference and mate choice, spirituality, assessment of knowledge structures, psychotherapy outcomes, cognitive neuroimaging, health psychology, and traumatic brain injury. Last year the Psychology Department’s external research grants exceeded $8 million in funding. Faculty and graduate students conduct research in collaboration with many superb organizations, including (see individual faculty interest pages):

Our research projects and collaborations are constantly evolving, so check back again and find out what’s new. Thanks for your interest in our program, and let us know if you need more information.

Derek Hamilton, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair


The mission of the Department of Psychology is to discover and disseminate knowledge about psychological science. The Department shares with other science departments a commitment to basic and applied empirical research. Key values underlying the Department’s mission include: a commitment to ethical conduct; the importance of a supportive scholarly environment; respect for a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches; the embracing of human diversity; a commitment to active engagement with the wider professional communities of psychologists; and the importance of applying scientific knowledge to decrease human suffering and enhance positive functioning.

The mission of the UNM Department of Psychology embraces goals in teaching, research and scholarship, and service:


  • Encourage and support effective teaching in communicating psychology to undergraduates both as an area of major study and as a critical part of a liberal arts education
  • Enable students to understand psychology in the context of human diversity
  • Engage students at all levels in scholarly activities, thereby infusing scientific study and practice into their education
  • Ensure that graduate students in all areas are well trained in methodology and ethics appropriate for their effective functioning as researchers and professionals
  • Train graduate students in the application of psychological knowledge to clinical and other professional settings

Research and Scholarship

  • Promote a scientific approach to the study of psychology
  • Foster excellence in research and scholarship
  • Foster active research programs within the Department as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in other academic units within UNM and outside the University
  • Participate in the larger scientific community to disseminate knowledge and engage in scholarly dialogue


  • Be actively involved in service to the university, the community, the state, and the profession

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