Mission, Vision, Values


The Department of Psychology and Philosophy with the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS) at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is dedicated to the discovery of knowledge about human behaviors, beliefs, and emotions. Collectively, the Department promotes an environment of mutual respect, transparency, inclusion, and an appreciation for culture and diversity. Through the discovery of knowledge, the Department provides opportunities for individuals to develop intellectually, personally, professionally, and collectively as members of a larger community. The Department works in the classroom, research laboratory, and community to provide undergraduate and graduate-level training that emphasizes both psychological and philosophical theories, the scientific method, and the application of philosophical and/or psychological knowledge to important research and real-world issues.


As a leader within CHSS and SHSU, the community and profession, the Department of Psychology and Philosophy seeks to advance the science and practice of psychology and philosophy and their benefits by disseminating the knowledge we create, promoting our discipline and training our students as partners in advancing scientific knowledge and developing innovative solutions to important life problems, regionally and globally. The Department aims to cultivate ethical individuals who have well-developed capacity for synthesizing information, are strong critical thinkers and communicators, and respect and enhance diverse people, cultures, and perspectives. The Department affirms the skills are necessary for students to pursue a life of intellectual curiosity, to create flourishing in oneself and others, to contribute to the betterment of society, and compete in a rapidly shifting and complex workplace.


  • Equity – The Department is committed to exposing students to diverse belief systems, educational opportunities, and experiential learning. Moreover, the department educates students whose future practice will exemplify a commitment to understand and respect individual and cultural differences. Ensuring equal access to education and opportunity is one of the greatest challenges and promises. Courses address the impact of culture and context on human functioning, fostering an appreciation of differences and diversity in the College’s students. Also, diversity is appreciated through being sensitive to unique aspect seen through the eyes of first-generation scholars.
  • Excellence – The Department is committed to intellectual excellence by maintaining high academic standards for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The departmental faculty are dedicated to exceptional teaching, mentoring and research that showcases a balance between the theoretical and practical aspects of philosophy and psychological.
  • Courage to Learn – The Department’s courses are designed to strengthen skills in oral and written communication and to foster the courage to express ideas. The Department provides the students with opportunities to lead or assist in research that requires taking risks and using evidence to question long-held assumptions. Further, the Department provides a collaborative environment for faculty and students that cultivates intellectual curiosity and in which research and teaching are closely integrated and highly valued.
  • Community Engagement – The Department encourages shared decision-making and collaboration among students, colleagues, staff, and he community. Students and faculty benefit from using their talents to serving others, especially those who have been under-served or marginalized.
  • Integrity – The Department maintains public trust in our department and respective disciplines. The Department acts with honesty and accuracy in academic and professional behaviors, while promoting transparency and accountability. Through departmental initiatives, we not only aim to benefit but also to protect those with whom we serve and avoid doing harm. The Department is committed to the science of psychology and philosophy and its applications to real-world situations.

Diversity Mission Statement

The Department of Psychology and Philosophy is committed to preparing highly skilled, compassionate scientific-scholars at all levels of learning with sensitivity to cultural, ethnic, gender, religion, abled-body, SES diversity and the underserved. Thus, the department respects and affirms the equal human worth of every individual and of all distinctive groups of people. The moral and intellectual justification for this mission is rooted in the department’s commitment to students and faculty of different backgrounds, experiences, and origins which enhances the learning experience of all. Diversity is broadly defined to include, but not be limited to, respect of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, abilities, religion, native tongue or culture. The programs of the Department of Psychology and Philosophy aim to embrace the integration diversity through:

  1. Acknowledging the salience of diversity in our society by addressing the interests and concerns of students in the Department;
  2. The recruitment and retention of diverse students, staff, and faculty;
  3. Integration of diversity education and sensitivity in curriculum, research, and clinical training opportunities;
  4. Promoting empathy and respect for all groups; and
  5. Encouraging and educating students in promoting advocacy and social justice

The Department of Psychology and Philosophy maintains the commitment in these areas to all students throughout the organizational culture.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Department of Psychology and Philosophy does not and shall not discriminate based on race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation (attraction), or military status, in any of its activities or operations. The program is committed to providing a non-exclusive and welcoming environment for all members.

Student-Focused Learning

To ensure an effective and high-quality educational experience, the department systematically monitor student learning to inform future planning and to generate creative, responsive initiatives to improve the programs. Based on data gathered on a consistent basis, the department prioritizes revisions to the students’ learning assessments, curriculums, and approach to learning in the classroom. To optimize the learning environment offered by the programs, students are strongly encouraged to be active learners. Active student learners reflect on conditions and activities that engage their cognitive style while working with peers and faculty to enhance classroom learning.