Contact Us

South Dakota Union
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Psychology

By understanding the human mind and behavior, we are better able to support one another and create healthy, resilient communities. The rapidly-growing field of psychology enables us to do that.

Offering the most comprehensive psychology department in South Dakota, USD offers a robust and specialized educational experience with particular attention to disaster mental health and rural communities. Our Department of Psychology is the ideal mix of the big and small; we have a large faculty, deliver degrees up to the Ph.D. (with two different Ph.D. programs) and offer two dozen different psychology courses every year. We are also small enough so students get to work closely with expert faculty members. Home to a dozen research labs, a fully functioning mental health clinic and the Disaster Mental Health Institute, our department is equipped with exceptional resources that enable the highest quality education and research experiences for our students and faculty. Our students graduate prepared for a wide array of careers or further education in psychology, medicine, neuroscience, law and related areas.

Join our community of scholars, advocates and community leaders in the USD Department of Psychology.



Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Psychology. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in human computer interaction, anxiety- and trauma-related disorders, crisis response team development, youth suicide prevention, mental health issues for members of disenfranchised groups, community-wide trauma and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Douglas Peterson

Douglas Peterson

Chair, Psychology/Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Beth Boyd

Beth Boyd

Director-Clinical Psychology Program
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jan Berkhout

Jan Berkhout

Bio Image for Faculty Member BreAnne Danzi

BreAnne Danzi

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Michael Granaas

Michael Granaas

Director-Human Factors
Bio Image for Faculty Member Logan Hale

Logan Hale

Visiting Instructor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Ricker

Timothy Ricker

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Raluca Simons

Raluca Simons

Director-DMHI, Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Gemma Skillman

Gemma Skillman

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jong Sung Yoon

Jong Sung Yoon

Assistant Professor


With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.


Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to psychology students.


Explore the departments, facilities and centers housed in the Department of Psychology.
students looking at a laptop having a discussion with their professor


Expand your understanding of the human mind and behavior as you develop strengths in research, critical thinking, advocacy and service.

A student connecting a psychology device to another's head.

World-Renowned Facilities and Programs

Our department is home to a dozen research labs, a fully functioning mental health clinic and the Disaster Mental Health Institute — a world-class service and research center offering an undergraduate minor, a track within the psychology major, a graduate certificate and a doctoral specialization in disaster mental health. This institute is one of only two of its kind in the country.
A counselor talking to a person on a couch.

The Best Place to Study Psychology

USD is home to one of the largest and most flexible psychology programs in the region, with coursework, research and student organizations suited for everyone. We also offer the only neuroscience major in the South Dakota public university system. Our clinical psychology faculty are all licensed psychologists and provide clinical supervision in our local clinic, ensuring that what students learn in the classroom is aligned current practice in the field. Our research faculty are actively studying everything from memory in older adults to virtual reality applications in education.

Alum success story

Success story Hannah McClelland smiling.
The psychology department at the University of South Dakota is equipped with fantastic faculty who take an interest in each student and their own career goals. My professors and mentors have encouraged me to apply for various opportunities to present my research, taught me how to think critically and guided me onto a career path that I am more than excited to pursue.

Hannah McClelland 

B.S. Psychology '20