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The History of Psychology at West Virginia University


Morgantown 1891
The downtown campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown in 1891. 


Morgantown 2016

Although the bend of the Monongahela River and Dorsey's Knob on the skyline remain unchanged, the downtown campus of West Virginia has experienced an amazing transformation from a small state college to a Carnegie R1 research university. One can barely detect the towers of Martin and Woodburn Halls in the far left of today's photo. Morgantown has grown far beyond the 700 inhabitants who lived here when the University was formed.

In recognition of West Virginia University's 150th anniversary of becoming the state's only land grant university, the Department of Psychology traces its history from the years following the end of the Civil War to its current day in the pages that follow.

The Creation of West Virginia University
Foundations of Psychology at West Virginia University
West Virginia University's First Psychologists

Expansion of Psychology Faculty at WVU in the 1950s
Oglebay Hall: A New Home for Psychology
The Department of Psychology Launches its Doctoral Program
Graduate Program Re-Organization of 1976
Recognized Program Areas Continue to Evolve
The Life Sciences Building: Leaving Oglebay Hall Behind
WVU achieves Carnegie R1 (Highest Activity) Research Status
Celebrating 50 Years of Granting PhDs in Psychology

Resources and Citations
  • Doherty, W. T., Jr., & Summers, F. P. (2013). West Virginia University: Symbol of unity in a sectionalized state. West Virginia University Press.
  • Lewis, R. L. (2013). Aspiring to greatness: West Virginia University since World War II. West Virginia University Press.
  • Images from the West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
  • Images from the archives of West Virginia University Academic Catalog
  • Chronology of faculty lines in psychology prepared by Hayne Reese (2000)
  • Photography of Oglebay Hall and the Life Sciences Building by Michael Perone (2002) 
  • Other photos from documents and archives of the Department of Psychology