Department of Psychology

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As early as 1910, two years after the University of the Philippines was founded, psychology was being taught at the Department of Philosophy and Psychology, College of Liberal Arts. The Department was placed under Dr. Henry S. Townsend, an American who taught all of the Psychology courses being offered then, namely General Psychology, Genetic Psychology, Educational Psychology and Tests and Measurements. Soon psychology separated and became part of the College of Education when the college was created in 1918. Townsend became acting head of this new department as he continued to be the head of the Department of Philosophy at the College of Liberal Arts (de la Llana 1972: 4; Santamaria 1961: 13-14). Under the able leadership of Dean Francisco Benitez, the UP modelled for the entire country the curricular utilization of psychology in education. In 1959, the Department of Psychology was transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences, "an event which marked the weaning of the discipline from the apron strings of Education in the UP." (Lagmay 1982:6) The Department is currently housed at the Palma Hall Annex (PHAN) Building.

Academic Program


  • BS Psychology
  • BA Psychology

Graduate Program

  • M.A. in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Personality
  • Ph.D. in Philippine Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Social Psychology

Objectives and Mission Statement

In consideration of the context of the department’s history and the events of the past few years that had changed the profile and character of its membership, the Department has formulated the following mission statement:

The UPDP aims to contribute to the science of human behavior and to apply the science to improve the quality of life. As such, it takes the lead in the development of Psychology as a basic and applied science in the Philippines and in the ASEAN, mindful of its role in the national development efforts.

The following strategies were further outlined to enable the department to achieve these missions:

1. To provide instructional, research, and extension services through:

  • "State-of-the-art" instruction in degree, non-degree, and short-term programs designed for a variety of audiences;
  • Innovative research agenda and methodology in the basic and applied areas; and
  • Quality extension services.

2. To establish linkages with units in the U.P. System and with other universities, government agencies and entities, NGOs, communities, business groups etc. in order to:

  • Create synergies and avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts;
  • Keep the department continually informed of what is happening in the larger environment so that it can keep abreast with the issues involving the discipline.

3. To actively disseminate research findings, developments on theory and experiences in extension work to a broad but differentiated target audience. 4. To pursue non-traditional sources of support. 5. To explore ways of organizing its membership so that it can pursue the department’s mission with flexibility, efficacy, and efficiency.

To clarify the underlying principles that will be guiding future departmental decisions and actions, the following values were also identified as being central to one’s identity as a member of the department.

  • Service orientation-beyond the self to serve and share
  • Commitment to Psychology as a discipline
  • Commitment to professional and personal excellence
  • Awareness of current developments, issues and concerns
  • Openness to new ideas; intellectual curiosity
  • Resourcefulness, creativity, persistence
  • Forward-looking