The department of Psychology in Nasarawa State University was established in 2001 as one of the pioneer departments in the university. At its inception, the department had three Assistant Lecturers with Nze, Chukwuemeka Leonard as the coordinator for one academic session. Currently the department is headed by Harri Sylvester Atama.
The department was established at the inception of the university i.e. in the year 2002.
The major objective and focus of the department is to train students to acquire psychological knowledge and skills to be able to identify psychological and adjustment problems of mankind in general, and to use such knowledge, skills and techniques to manage or help people with adjustment problems as well as enhancing the lives of even the healthy. In short, special, attention is focused on teaching the application of psychological knowledge and skills on identifying and managing human problem.
The founding father of the discipline of psychology, William Wundt, (1879) intended psychology to be a scientific study of human animal (normal and abnormal) behavior, by using scientific methods. From its Germanic (European) origins, psychology in the 20th century has flourished in the USA, where the philosophy is to use discipline to analyze and solve problems that relate to interactions between man and society. Since 1964 when psychology was implanted in Nigeria at the University of Nsukka, it has attempted the systematic study of man and animal, their behavioral patterns (normal and abnormal) their environment, their experience, Attitudes, beliefs, values. As a science, psychology seeks to discover patterns, using fact, principles and generalization, in order to increase our knowledge, understanding and control of behavior in various social and cultural settings, groups, institutions and organizations.
The philosophy behind the psychology curriculum of Nigeria Universities is therefore to equip students with skills, concepts and abilities which can help them to understand, predict condition, control and change human and animal behaviors for the overall social, economic, political and national development of Nigeria.

  1. To instill in psychology students a sense of enthusiasm for and identify with psychology as a profession, appreciation of it application in different contexts, and environment, and to involve students in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying.
  2. To provide students with a broad and balanced foundation of psychological knowledge and practical skills
  3. To develop in psychology students the ability to apply their psychological knowledge and skills (such as analysis of behaviors etiology, patterns, prevalence and epidemiology, using the principles of cognition, learning motivation, emotion, adjustment, conflicts, attitudes, beliefs, values    intelligence,  personality leadership and inter personal skills etc) in proffering  solutions to theoretical and practical problems of psychology and society.
  4. To develop in’ students, through an education in psychology a range of transferable skills of value in psychological social organizational, industrial educational, health and cultural employment environment, by the use of ””    cognitive and creative methods of social engineering.
  5. To provide students with a knowledge and skill base from which they can proceed to further studies in specialized area of psychology (such as health, clinical IT organizational industrial – managerial, artificial intelligence social human resources management, political educational Forensic environment psychology, etc) or multi disciplinary areas involving psychology.
  6. To create in students an appreciation of the important of psychology in a development third world society like Nigeria in relation to industrial, economics, environment and socio-cultural contexts issues, problems and Policies especially as they relate to existential and epistemological values, attitudes and beliefs.


  • Students are admitted into the department through the university matriculation examinations, remedial school and JAMB direct entry.
  • UTME candidates for admission are required to have at least five (5) credits (in not more than tow sittings) at the ordinary level. They must also have scored the cut off points at the UTME examination. Biology must be at the credit level and at least a pass in mathematics REMEDIAL candidates coming through the remedial school must have passed the remedial examination as well as having at least five (5) credits (in not more two sittings) at the ordinary level. Candidates must have a credit in biology and at least a pass in mathematics.
  • DIRECT ENTRY (JAMB) the direct entry admissions are as per the admission requirement provides in the general prospectus of the University or as specified by the JAMB direct Entry requirement. Students for direct must have at least four (4) credits at the ordinary level in addition to their advanced level papers. A good background in biology is to added advantage.


Department of Sociology

Professor Sam O SmahProfile of Head of Department
Professor Sam O Smah is Professor of Sociology and specialises in Criminology and Criminal Justice Sociology of law, criminal justice research, drug demand reduction, campus/urban social formations and corruption studies.  He attended LEA Doma/RCM Agyaragu for his primary education, Government Secondary School Mangun for the secondary education, University of Jos for his undergraduate and graduate studies as well as United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Geneva for a certified course on Arbitration and Alternative Conflict Resolution.
Professor Smah’s current research interests are youth life and sexuality, criminal justice, policing, human and drug trafficking, community-university engagement and urban and campus social formations. He teaches courses in sociological theory, methods, criminal justice and urbanisation. His two current research projects are 1. Study on A Social Survey Documentation of the 1960 Independence Celebration by Nigerian Middle Belt Minorities funded by Institute for French Research in Africa (IFRA). March 2010-December 31, 2010 and 2. Team Leader, study on Social Migration and the Transformation of Modern Nigerian Society: Assessment of the Role, Extent and Impact of the University in the Ancient Town of Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria funded by Education Tax Fund Abuja and Nasarawa State university, Keffi
He is a recipient of many awards, including the Honorary Membership of the Research Board of Advisors, The American Bibliographical Institute, North Carolina, USA. Professor Smah holds the Editorship of several journals including the Departmental African Journal of Modern Society, among others. He is Consultant to several organisations within and outside Nigeria and belongs to several professional associations, including the Global Research Management Network, UK.
Contact details:
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Nasarawa State University, Keffi
Postal Address: PMB 1022, Keffi-Nasarawa State, Nigeria
E-mail Address:,
Phone numbers: +234 (0) 803 7000 860, +234 (0) 803 864 2226
Brief History of the Sociology Department
Since its establishment in 2001, the Sociology Department and its programme have tried to maintain dynamic and progressive character. In this early year in the life of the Department, when Nigeria herself was barely emerging from decades of military rule both the staff and the programmes of the Department are encouraged to imbibe democratic values. The academic staffs are young and dynamic and this has informed the orientation that reject the production of docile and obedient citizens, by equipping them with relevant knowledge about their physical and socio-economic environment. This orientation towards relevant programmes led to the rejection of some irrelevant anthropological courses in favour of courses in African societies and cultures, politics and economics.
List of units/programmes and their admission requirements

  • Undergraduate (B.Sc) Programme: The Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Sociology programme which began with few courses in 2001 offered a total of 56 undergraduate courses. Course offerings are in the major areas of sociology, namely; Sociological Theory, Research Method, Sociology of Development, Criminology, Demography, Urban Sociology, Women Studies, etc.To be admitted into the undergraduate programme, one has to possess 5 O’Level Credits including English Language.
  • Postgraduate (M.Sc and PhD) Programme: The Master of Science (M.Sc.) Sociology programme began in 2005/2006 with just 11 students. But as at 2008/2009 session, this number has risen to 23. The programme has three core areas of specialisation, namely; Sociology of Development, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Medical Sociology, and Industrial Sociology/Relations.The requirements for admission into the programme are a) a minimum of undergraduate admission requirements and b) a minimum of Second Class Lower Division (22).
  • Proposed Diploma/Postgraduate Diploma Programmes : Plans are on to host Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma programmes in Social Work for Development, Security and National Development and Arbitration and Conflict Resolution. Admission requirements will be spelt out appropriately.

Staff List

  • Professor S O Smah (B.Sc, M.Sc., Ph.D)- Criminology, Criminal Justice  and Sociology of Law
  • Dr. K Aliyu (B.Sc, M.Sc, PhD)-Statistics, Demography, Development  Studies, Methods
  • Dr. O I Ogbe (B.Sc, M.Sc, PhD/Visiting Associate Professor) – Demography, Social Statistics, Development Studies
  • Dr. S B Mohammed (B.Sc, M.Sc, PhD/Visiting Senior Lecturer)- Gender, Sociology of Development, Theory
  • Mall. Mohammed Fagge (B.Sc, M.Sc/Visiting Senior Lecturer)- Mass Communication, Gender, religion, Theory
  • Mr. T D Lagi (B.Sc, MA)- Social Psychology, Labour Studies, Industrial Sociology
  • Mr. F O Onu (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Sociology of Development, Industrial Sociology
  • Dr. U C Osisiogu (B.Sc, M.Sc, PhD)- Criminology, Social Relations
  • Dr. C T Orisaremi (B.Sc, M.Sc, PhD)- Medical Sociology, Demography, Gender Studies
  • Mall. S B Mohammed (B.Sc, MA)- Demography, Populations, Methods
  • Mr. A W Ogidi (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Social Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Religion
  • Mrs. H James (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Gender, Religion, Sociology of the Family
  • Mall U S Umar (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Political Sociology, Sociology of Law, Criminology
  • Mr. A P Mangvwat (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Sociology of Health, Political Sociology
  • Miss U M.Nnabuenyi (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Industrial Sociology, Theories, Social Inequality
  • Mr. L A Nwachi (B.Sc, M.Sc)- Social Stratification, Sociology of Education
  • Mr. J Shekwo (B.Sc)- Graduate Trainee