Psychology at Adams State University

As a scientific discipline, psychology aims to describe, predict, and improve human behavior and mental life. While studying psychology at Adams State University you will learn the basis of psychological research, theory, and best practices relating to mental health settings as well as corporations, social work, public health, schools, sports, and the judicial system.

One of the many benefits of studying psychology at Adams State is working closely with faculty as well as ample opportunities for you to conduct your own research. The psychology department includes a research laboratory and boasts an active psychology club and Psi Chi chapter, which is an International Honor Society in Psychology. Learning opportunities offered outside the classroom involve attending conferences and projects that require community engagement.

Adams State campus north

Psychology Program Highlights

Psychology Lab

The Department of Psychology houses a laboratory that was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The lab is equipped with cognitive science software and instruments that measure human physiological processes such as heart rate, breathing, and electrical brain activity. Occasionally the lab is used for coursework or demonstrations. If you have a research idea and would like to discuss the use of the psychology lab, then please contact one of our Psychology faculty members.

Outstanding Research

In 2018 one of our students (Chelsea Walljasper) earned a Psi Chi regional research award.

Psychology Program Outcomes


Students have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and conduct original research.


Students are able to present research at regional and national conferences.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared for graduate studies or careers in mental health, personnel work, education, human resources, counseling, social work, business, and other occupations requiring human interaction.

Graduate Schools

We can help you get into top graduate schools across the county. Below is a list of some of the graduate school our recent graduates have attended.

Colorado State University
Kansas State University
Regis University
Southern Illinois University
University of Colorado
University of Denver
University of New Mexico
University of Northern Colorado


Mental Health
Social Work
Human Resources
Public Affairs
Data Analysis
Career Counseling

Adams State north campus

Psychology Program Faculty

Colleen Schaffner, Ph.D
Department Chair | Professor

I am new to the Psychology Department. I have worked most recently in Mexico and before that in England. I am delighted to be back on my native soil and even more thrilled to be a part of Adams State University.

Jeffrey Elison, Ph.D
Professor of Psychology

In 2009, he received the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association’s Early Career Award. In 2014, he co-authored the book Vertical Mind, in which he applied principles of sports psychology to rock climbing.

Michael Liebhaber, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Psychology

I have conducted research on a variety of topics, including computational models of language complexity in children, individual and team decision-making, and interface design.

Psychology Program Curriculum

Explore Some of Our Courses

PSYC 205: Adolescent and Adult Development (3 hours)
This course continues the study of life-span development from adolescence through old age and death. Issues in physical, cognitive, and social development from the individual and normative perspectives are explored. Topics include identity formation, sexual orientation, marriage, models of aging, changes in cognition, social developments, and coping with old age.

PSYC 245: Brain and Behavior (3 hours)
This course provides students with a basic overview of the biological processes underlying human behavior. This course begins by presenting fundamental nervous system structure and processes and concludes by examining the role of biology in complex behaviors. Clinical case studies are used to illustrate psychological and neurological disorders. Sample topics include evolution and genetics, neural communication, major brain structures and their functions, human brain damage, sleep and dreaming, drug addiction, memory and amnesia, and stress and illness.

Academic Catalog

Attending ASU, as an undergraduate, was an invaluable and enriching experience. I was passionate about clinical psychology, and I greatly appreciated the advising and endless support by faculty and the administration

Kellylynn Zuni
Doctoral Student , Clinical Psychology Palo Alto University

I am thankful to have attended Adams State rather than some large university where I would have become lost in the crowd of students. Faculty took a true interest in me and provided personalized educational and research experiences. Because of this, I excelled in graduate school and became a psychology professor. 

Douglas E. Colman, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse