The Catholic University of America

Welcome to the CUA Department of Psychology

Contact Information

Department of Psychology
O'Boyle Hall Room 314
The Catholic University of America
Washington DC 20064

phone: 202-319-5750
fax: 202-319-6263


Department Calendar



The Catholic University Department of Psychology, one of the first established in the United States, was founded by Edward Pace upon his return in 1891 from study with Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig. Today our faculty and students carry out leading research in many areas of psychological science.  We offer programs ranging from an undergraduate minor to the Ph.D. in clinical, developmental and cognitive psychology.  We hope you enjoy your visit to our site.

Graduate Program Spotlight:

MA in Psychological Science. Your Pathway to a Career in Psychology


Celebrating 125 Years!


Department Spotlight: Dr. Brendan Rich was featured on NPR's All Things Considered for research associated with the Resilience Builder Program. The full story can be found here.


Congratulations to Sheina Godovich, a 2nd year student in our clinical psychology PhD program, who was awarded a position on the Student Advisory Board for the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP), Division 53 of the American Psychological Association.


Congratulations to Franssy Zablah and Vanessa Fuentes for winning Poster Awards at the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, DC!

CUA students won two out of the three Student Poster Award from the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (Division 37) at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.  

Both students are mentored by Dr. Sandra Barrueco. Franssy Zablah, a 4th year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, presented a poster entitled Income inequality and African-American young children served in private schools.  Vanessa Fuentes is a 2nd year in the same program and her poster was called Examining the Influence of an Early Childhood STEAM Intervention with Bilingual Children: A Pilot Study.  





Congratulations to Dr. Jobes, whose research and Suicide Intervention Assessment has been Verified Effective for Inpatient Treatment!!   

More information can be found here:





Congratulations to Arghavan Hamedi and Katt Rahill for winning the Most Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation Awards at University Research Day!  

Arghavan Hamedi is a 1st year student in the Psychological Science MA program. She won for her poster entitled, "Suicidal Ideation: Diffuse vs. Perseverative Rumination." 

Katt Rahill is an Applied Experimental Doctoral student. She won for her poster entitled, “Lunar Psychophysics: Effects of Atmospheric Light Scattering on Perceptual Distortions in a Lunar Virtual Environment.”  

Annie Davis, a clinical doctoral student, was selected to receive a Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being—seeking innovations to prevent child abuse and neglect. The fellowships are designed to develop a new generation of leaders capable of creating practice and policy initiatives that will enhance child development and improve the nation's ability to prevent all forms of child maltreatment. Congratulations to Annie and her mentor, Dr. Sandra Barrueco!


Marcie Goeke-Morey, Associate Professor of Psychology, was awarded a Global Religion Research Initiative Curriculum Development grant (, which will support the revision of three of her courses to incorporate the study of religion as a vital component of and context for human development.


The Department introduced a new major: Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences
The Masters Degree is now an MA in Psychological Science
The interdisciplinary minor in Neuroscience, introduced in 2016, is already popular among undergraduates


Department Spotlight


100% of our clinical doctoral students matched for internships in Phase I (compared to the national average of 87%). Moreover, they all matched to their first choice. The internship sites are Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, Children's National Medical Center, and Atlanta VA Medical Center.



The Department mourns the passing of Dr. Milton Shore, who served as a lecturer for the Department from 1980 to 1995, making an important contribution to the education of  so many of our graduate students. 


Congratulations to former graduate student, Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D., who as selected by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for the 2017 Alies Muskin Career Development Leadership Program (CDLP) .


On November 3rd, Dr. David Jobes, international expert on suicide prevention, was interviewed by NPR ( on 6 Myths About Suicide.  The text of his comments can be found at:


Dr. Sandra Barrueco’s research on development and bilingualism has been used in establishing new Head Start Performance Standards issued by the DHHS Administration for Children and Families.   In order to ensure a more complete knowledge of children’s skills, abilities, and knowledge, Head Start programs are now required to collect screening and assessment data in both languages for dual language learners.  (Barrueco, S., Lopez, M., Ong, C., & Lozano, P. (2012). Assessing Spanish-English bilingual preschoolers: A guide to best approaches and measures. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.)


Serene Habayeb, a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program, was awarded two funding awards for her dissertation entitled "Stress, Coping, Stigma and Acculturation in Arab American Caregivers of Children with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities". These awards were provided by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Student & Early Career Council and the Dr. Philip M. Kayal Fund for Arab American Research.


New Endowed Research Fund for Psychology from Mary Muldoon


The John F. Muldoon, PhD Endowed Fund in Psychology was established in the Department of Psychology through the generous gift from Mary E. Muldoon, in honor of her husband, Dr. John "Jack" Muldoon, who passed away last January. Married for 60 years, Jack and Mary met when they were both students at CUA. After earning a B.A. in 1949 and an M.A. in 1953 in Psychology, Dr. Muldoon went on to enjoy a long, distinguished career in mental health administration. The fund will be used to support psychological research.    


10 current students and a number of CUA alumni presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Suicidology.

Dr. David Jobes received the Marsha Lihehan Award for Outstanding Research in the Treatment of Suicidal Behavior.
Annie Davis was selected as a Public Interest Policy Scholar in American Psychological Association's (APA) Public Interest Government Relations Office. She will spend one year participating in legislative and advocacy work on a team dedicated to applying findings from Psychological science to federal policy initiatives. Ms. Davis is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program.



Undergraduate Programs

Students enjoy the personal contact of a small liberal arts college with the first-rate opportunities of a research university.

> Explore undergraduate programs

Graduate Programs

Whether your interests are in learning the latest methods for clinical practice or in preparing for a career in teaching or research, we have a graduate program to meet your needs.

> Explore graduate programs





Students at CUA participate actively in the leading-edge research carried out by our faculty.

> Explore research

Research News

> Catalina Pérez, a fourth year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, was awarded the Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship from the American Psychological Foundation. It is awarded to 3-6 students nationally to support graduate student research in the area of child psychology. The award will be used to support Catalina's dissertation. The project's title is The role of home visitor and maternal depression on parenting practices: The case of an early childhood stimulation program in rural Colombia. Catalina will appear in an upcoming issue of the Monitor on Psychology.

> Ben Hinnant, assistant professor, was quoted in an article in the October issue of Smithsonian magazine about research that indicates that conflict between parents may affect how children respond to stress.

> CUA students and faculty had a major presence at the recent American Association of Suicidology meeting in Baltimore. Congratulations to Senior Psychology Major, Ryan Horgan, who won the student poster competition at the conference. More on the conference.

> Dr. Brendan Rich received the CUA Young Faculty Award for Achievement in Research at the Provost's reception on April 25.  Congratulations Brendan!

> More research news


Department News

>Dr. David Jobes work on suicide among young children is highlighted in the APA Monitor  

>Check out the Psychology presentations for CUA Research Day!

>2016 is another great year for our doctoral clinical psychology program, with 100% of students matching for internships (compared to the national average of 87%). The internship sites are: American University Counseling Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Behavioral Health Integrated Track), Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, University of Maryland Counseling Center, UCLA - Semel Institute (Major Mental Illness Track), and Yale University Child Study Center (Autism Track).

>A new interdisciplinary Neuroscience minor has been added! For more information please contact Dr. Nancy Adleman at

>The Department welcomes our new Academic Specialist, Brittany Mistretta ( Brittany will provide administrative support for the Chair and will be the primary contact for graduate student issues. 

> On Friday October 23, CUA psychology alumni, students and faculty gathered for the 5th annual Psychology Alumni Reception. Dr. Alan Berman, Ph.D., was honored with the Department's Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding contributions to the field. 

> Blaire Schembari, M.A. was recently elected to the APAGS' position of Member at Large, Education. Her two year term will focus on representing psychology graduate students' internship and training needs to APA boards and committees, as well as advocate for psychology graduate students' quality of education and training experiences.

> Building on her CUA doctoral dissertation in clinical psychology, Dr. Brieanne Kohrt founded PASEO, a Spanish psychology immersion program.  Her program is featured in a recent article.

> More news