The College of Psychology, in various names and forms, has a long history at Nova Southeastern University. The college is descended from elements of two prior units: the Center for Psychological Studies (CPS) and the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences (FCAS). One of the college's predecessors was founded in 1972 as the Behavioral Science Center and later reorganized in 1986 as graduate-focused CPS under Founding Dean Frank DePiano, Ph.D. The college, like many other early units at Nova University, shared the same limited space in the Mailman-Hollywood Building, one of the original three buildings on the Fort Lauderdale-Davie Campus. On the undergraduate side, the B.S. in Psychology was introduced in 1987.
DePiano established a connection with Anna Maltz, the widow of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a noted plastic surgeon and author of the bestselling 1960 book Psycho-Cybernetics. Focusing on positive thinking and working to improve self-image, the book is now considered a classic in the self-help area. Dr. Maltz was also a lecturer at Nova University prior to his death in 1975. Seeking funding for a new home for the college, DePiano suggested that Anna Maltz donate the funds to construct a building that would bear her late husband’s name. At the same time, DePiano connected Anna Maltz with Anne Hutt, the widow of psychologist and businessman Max L. Hutt. The two widows struck up a friendship due to the shared connection of similar names, and both pledged to donate to the university.
Opened in 1996 as the Maltz Psychology Building, the 68,000-square-foot facility houses classrooms, faculty and administration offices, and the Psychology Services Center (PSC). The 15 clinics that fall under the umbrella of the PSC offer a variety of mental health services to the South Florida community. The building's first floor also features a wing named in honor of Anna Maltz and Anne Hutt.
Over time, the college's precessors introduced new graduate and undergraduate programs. In 2011, FCAS rolled out the M.S. in Experimental Psychology, while CPS introduced the M.S. in General Psychology. In 2012, CPS established the M.S. in Forensic Psychology, and FCAS began offering courses with the neuroscience (NEUR) prefix. Two years later, the neuroscience offerings grew into a full major as the B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. Until 2015, all of FCAS' psychology programs were housed within the Division of Social and Behaviorial Sciences (SBS).
In 2015, NSU underwent a university-wide reorganization that combined some schools, centers, and colleges into new units. The reorganization transformed elements of FCAS and CPS into the new College of Psychology. The reorganization brought faculty from both units together during the transition year of 2015-16.
FCAS' psychology programs, plus General Psychology and Forensic Psychology, formed the new Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. The new college's other divisions include the Department of Counseling, housing the M.S. in Counseling, and the Department of Clinical and School Psychology, housing graduate and specialist programs.
In addition to the Maxwell Maltz Building, the college has neuroscience labs and faculty offices in the Parker Building, plus a lab at the state-of-the-art Center for Collaborative Research.