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History

Our History

Texas A&M University was founded in 1876 as a land-grant college emphasizing agriculture and engineering.  Because of this, the social sciences and humanities received very little attention throughout much of the University’s early history. However, an academic precursor of scientific psychology known as Mental Philosophy was taught in the first year the college opened.The first course with the word psychology in the title – Educational Psychology – was offered in 1913, and the first course on General Psychology, a survey of the science of psychology of the time, was taught in 1920. Faculty who taught these early psychology courses had little, and in some cases no, training in psychology. The first professor with a doctorate in psychology was not hired until the 1940s, and it was not until 1965 that students could major in Psychology. Graduate degrees were first offered in 1971 (Master of Science) and doctoral degrees in clinical, experimental, and industrial-organizational psychology were approved in 1984.In 1963 the name of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas A&M was changed to Texas A&M University, indicating a significant change in the scope and mission of the University. Its enrollment increased from 7,000 students in the 1960s to greater than 50,000 today. Of that number, approximately 1,400 students are psychology majors, making it one of the largest majors at the University. There are more than 100 students currently enrolled in one of six PhD programs: Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Industrial-Organizational, and Social Psychology. Read more of the history of the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M…