Psychological & Social Sciences (PSS) Degree

Psychological & Social Sciences (PSS) Degree

Interested in why people behave the way they do?

Do you wonder how culture and society impacts who we are? You can work alongside faculty and fellow students on innovative research, exploring these and other areas in the interdisciplinary Psychological and Social Science (PSS) major.


Dr. Meghan Gillen was recently featured in the U.S. News & World Report article “6 Myths About the Freshmen 15.”

Dr. Meghan Gillen

Dr. Meghan Gillen

Dr. Meghan Gillen was recently featured in the U.S. News & World Report article “6 Myths About the Freshmen 15.” Her work focuses on body image and health. She completed data collection for a study on early motherhood health involving moms with babies ages 0 - 12 months, and is now working on analyzing the data. She is also collaborating with two former students on a manuscript on behavioral inhibition, reward sensitivity, and body image.

Learn more about Dr. Gillen.

Her work focuses on body image and health. She completed data collection for a study on early motherhood health involving moms with babies ages 0 - 12 months, and is now working on analyzing the data.

Dr. Gillen is also collaborating with two former students on a manuscript on behavioral inhibition, reward sensitivity, and body image.

Learn more about Dr. Gillen.


Darby Courtney Judy at ACURA Poster Fair

Student Faculty Research

Students with Dr. Judy Newman

PSS is a unique approach to human behavior. Rather than learning about people from only one avenue and one set of methods, students explore behavior from multiple perspectives, taking classes across psychology, sociology, human development and family studies, and anthropology, giving them an enormous advantage not only in critical thinking but in their future careers, as evidenced by the multitude of internship opportunities and alumni success stories.

Students work directly with faculty and often in collaborative teams of students on projects that can reach around the country and globe.

Internships and Careers

Here are some positions and companies we have placed internships and graduates:

  • Consumer psychology at Proctor & Gamble
  • Museum and program evaluation at the United States Constitution Center in Philadelphia
  • Senior Research Technician at Monell Chemical Senses in Philadelphia
  • Service Coordinator/Case Manager at JEVS Human Services

Jessica Dashevsky-Murray

Jessica Dashevsky-Murray

Image: Penn State

Student Testimonial

"My experience with the Psych department in general was amazing. I had a great advisor in Dr. Bernstein who was supportive and helped drive me! I also had an awesome professor and mentor in Dr. Benfield who always pushed me to do be a better scientist and a deeper thinker. Dr. Sessa gave me the tools I needed to be a great counselor."

Jessica Dashevsky-Murray

"Thanks to their support I am always willing to come back and mentor other students on their journeys in the psych world, whether they choose research or go clinical!"