Psychology Institute

Take a trip inside the mind. Discover why people think, act, and feel the way they do.

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Explore the structure of the brain through hands-on dissection and learn about how illusions, emotions, and biases affect how we see and interact with the world. Visit organizations that use psychology to influence behavior and conduct an observational study.

*The above content is representative of the Summer Immersion Program on-campus experience.

At a Glance

Dates:Summer 2021 dates will be announced on November 1, 2020.

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school and incoming college freshmen

Program Length: 4-day sessions (Mon. – Thurs.)

Daily Hours: 1:00- 4:30 PM (EST)

Program Tuition: $700

Location: Online

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Psychology Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered

  • Psychological Science
  • Experimental Design
  • Emotions and Decision Making
  • Social Cognition
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Sensory Exploration
  • Attention and Illusions
  • Disorders of the Brain
  • Psychology of Advertising Media

Virtual Experience:

  • Make scientific observations of real-life behavior
  • Perform hands-on demonstrations of the senses
  • Experience illusions and shifts in perception, and learn how these are processed by the brain

*Virtual experiences are subject to change.

Psychology Institute Costs:

Online | $700

jumping psychology
Wake Forest psychology professor teaches his class on emotions in Greene Hall on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

A Day in the Life

  • 1:00 PM – Sign-on
  • 1:05 PM – Norms surrounding online learning
  • 1:10 PM – Deacon Dive In- Welcome to Wake Forest University!
  • 1:15 PM – Online Icebreaker – Get to Know Our Cohort
  • 1:30 PM – Welcome from Academic Leaders- Dr. Melissa Maffeo Masicampo and Dr. Christian Waugh
  • 1:40 PM – Session 1 Topic- Psychology Not Common Sense
  • 2:10 PM – Session 1- Q and A
  • 2:25 PM – Break
  • 2:30 PM – Session 2 Topic – Think Like a Psychologist
  • 3:00 PM – Session 2 – Q&A
  • 3:15 PM – Academic Leader Daily Challenge, Whole Group Discussion – Polls, Q&A
  • 3:30 PM – Deacon Discussion- Wake Forest Student Mentors, Q&A
  • 4:30 PM – Wrap Up from Academic Leader

*The “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is subject to change. 

Dates for Summer 2021 will be announced on November 1, 2020.

Christian Waugh

Christian Waugh, Ph.D.

Academic Leader, Psychology Institute
Dr. Waugh received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a certificate in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. There he worked on topics related to resilience to stress and positive emotions. From there he did a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University where he worked on topics related to emotion flexibility, depression, and resilience. A professor at Wake Forest University since 2010, Dr. Waugh and his ‘EmoLab’ investigate how people use positive emotions to regulate stressors and the temporal dynamics of emotional experiences using a wide array of methodologies including neuroimaging, psychophysiology, behavioral experiments and surveys in distressed populations.


Melissa Maffeo, Ph.D.

Academic Leader, Psychology Institute
Dr. Maffeo received her PhD in Neuroscience from Florida State University in 2012. During graduate school, Dr. Maffeo studied the neuroscience of development. Specifically, she investigated the effects of adolescent nicotine administration on mood-related behaviors in adulthood, as well as the effects of blocking sound sensation during auditory system development on brainstem auditory nuclei. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Maffeo conducted her postdoctoral training at Wake Forest Medical Center, where she was interested in pharmacological treatments for alcohol-withdrawal seizure. Dr. Maffeo then joined the faculty in the Wake Forest Psychology Department, where she teaches neuroscience to undergraduate students.