About this icon's image: A 1900 photo of College Hall, located near the site of the present-day Westcott Building. Around 1902, H. Elmer Bierly established the first Psychology Lab in Florida on the 2nd floor of this building.

IN THE BEGINNING ..... 1902 - 1930


In April, 2003, the Department celebrated 100 years of psychology on campus. One presentation at that event described how psychology began and evolved on this campus between 1902 and 1947, before Florida State University came into being by legislative decree. Michael Rashotte, a faculty member who retired in 2003 after 35 years, made that presentation and later turned it into a written document that appeared for several years on our history web site as "Psychology At Florida State College & Florida State College for Women: 1902 - 1947".

Rashotte's original document has now been reconfigured into two main sections, each accessed from an icon on the main history page. You have already accessed the first section, which covers the years 1902 to 1930 (below). The second section, covering the years 1930 to 1947 is found under another icon on the main history page: "Psychology at FSCW 1930 - 1947".

We hope you will enjoy exploring parts of our earliest history by clicking some of the headings below. You will find the story of an evolving presence for psychology on this campus, and you might be surprised by the high quality of the psychology faculty and curriculum that preceded the establishment of FSU. It is an underappreciated story. Even humorous in places.


1857 - 1898: The Institution Before Psychology

1898 - 1905: Psychology Arrives

1905 - 1915: The Women's College Begins

1915 - 1921: Psychology Becomes A (One Man) Department

The 1920s: A Substantive Department is Established (Part 1)


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