Course Descriptions

Required Courses for Psychology Major:

Psychology 111: Introductory Psychology

Prerequisite to all upper-division psychology courses. Survey of the major content area of psychology, introducing the basic vocabulary, concepts, principles, and theories of the discipline. Specific topics include history and methods of psychology; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; learning and memory; cognition, language, and intelligence; motivation and emotion; lifespan development; personality; psychological disorders; psychological treatment/psychotherapy; and social psychology. Understanding and analyzing data in psychology research; descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, appropriate use of statistics, use of computer to do necessary computations and data analysis. Prerequisite: 111. Multiple sections offered every semester.

Psychology 221: Applied Behavioral Statistics

Understanding and analyzing data in psychology research; descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, appropriate use of statistics, use of computer to do necessary computations and data analysis. Prerequisite: 111. Multiple sections offered every semester.

Psychology 235: Research Methods

Basic design and interpretation of empirical approaches to psychology. Emphasis on theory and practice of psychological experimentation and writing scientific reports. Prerequisite: 221. Multiple sections offered every semester.


Group 1 (12 Credits for a Major):

Note: Not all courses are taught every semester

Psychology 320: Principles of Learning and Behavior

An exploration of the basic principles of conditioning and learning. The course covers the phenomena of Pavlovian and Operant conditioning as well as their place in the larger theoretical framework of psychology. The course also covers application of these principles to understanding social and individual behavior. Prerequisite: 235. Typically offered every semester.

Psychology 330: Perception

An exploration of the ways in which we construct a world of things and events from the flow of stimulus energy. Covers such topics as color vision, form perception, perception of space and movement, perceptual constancies, and music and speech perception. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every year.

Psychology 331: Cognitive Processes

The study of the higher mental processes. Special emphasis is given to perception, memory, attention, imagery, problem solving, decision making, and language. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every semester.

Psychology 340: Physiological Psychology

A survey of psychological topics of psychology from the biological perspective. Topics may include behavior genetics, neuroanatomy, sensation and perception, learning and memory, drives, emotion, language and abnormal behavior. Physiological psychology typically includes a hands-on laboratory component involving either empirical research with rats or sheep brain anatomy. Prerequisite: 235. Typically offered every semester.

Psychology 350: Social Psychology

This course reviews the major theories and methodologies in social psychology, the scientific study of how people think about, are influenced by, and behave in relation to others. The course will examine how people view themselves and others and the accuracy of those thoughts, the social forces that impact people's behavior and attitudes, and how people relate to each other (prejudice, aggression, attraction, and helping). Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every semester.


Group 2 - Capstone Courses (4 Credits for a Major):

Psychology 392: History of Psychology

Historical analysis of psychology from the field's beginnings in philosophy and the natural sciences through the 1980s. Students will give presentations and engage in other activities (e.g., class discussion) based on their own research on the history of psychology. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 20 credits in psychology. Offered every year.

Psychology 393: Psychology Seminar

Detailed consideration of special topic; library research and possible laboratory work included; participants will prepare and present a major paper to seminar participants. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 20 credits in psychology. Typically offered every semester.

Psychology 396: Senior Thesis

Limited study examining a student's own researchable hypothesis in consultation with one or more department members. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 20 credits in psychology. Students typically enroll for 3 credits in Fall and for 1 credit in Spring of their senior year.

Psychology 398: Honors Thesis

Limited study examining a student's own researchable hypothesis in consultation with one or more department members. Required for graduation with "All-College Honors" and "Departmental Distinction in Psychology." Prerequisite: GPA of 3.4 or above, HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the honors program. Students are encouraged to enroll for 3 credits in the Fall and for 1 credit in the Spring of their senior year. For further information see HONR 398.

Psychology 399: Psychology Teaching Practicum

Meet twice a week for a teaching seminar plus direct experience developing and teaching introductory psychology laboratories. Based on a broad review of psychology, the practicum emphasizes acquisition of skills in teaching, facilitating discussion, developing organizational skills and interacting with students in a leadership role. Prerequisites: 20 credits in psychology, upper-division standing and permission of instructor.


Electives (16 Credits for a Major):

Note: Not all courses are taught every semester

Psychology 200: Empirical Research Project

Supervised study including an empirical data-based research project. Requires permission of instructor and department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of less than 12 credits within the department. Students with 12 or more credits in psychology should enroll in PSYC 300 Empirical Research Project.

Psychology 300: Empirical Research Project

Supervised study including an empirical data-based research project. Requires permission of instructor and department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 or more credits within the department. Students with less than 12 credits in psychology should enroll in PSYC 200 Empirical Research Project.

Psychology 302: Reading in Psychology

Reading and discussion of classic or contemporary works in psychology, moderated by a member of the Psychology Department. Each section of this course is typically devoted to a single work, but occasionally a group of smaller works by a single author may be selected. S/U grading only, offered for 0-1 credit. May be repeated for credit.

Psychology 304: Industrial/Organizational

The study and application of the principles of psychology to work place behavior in a wide variety of organizations (e.g., industrial/profit making, governmental, human service, non-profit, etc.). Industrial/organizational psychology attempts to answer two major questions: Why do people behave the way they do within organizations? How can we use this information to improve the effectiveness of the organization and lives of its members? Topics include selecting and evaluating employees, training and development, organizational culture, job satisfaction and motivation, leadership, communication, decision making, quality of work life, work stress and health. Prerequisite: 111. Note: This course may also be fulfilled in the management department as MGMT 301. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 308: Psychology of Gender

The course will cover the contemporary scholarship on the psychology of gender. The class will explore gender as a psychological and social construct that influences our experiences in a number of contexts. The course will address how gender, as a social identity, relates to privilege, oppression, and emotional well-being. Sample topics include: Gender roles, stereotypes, gender socialization, and gender inequality. Prerequisite: 111 and junior/senior standing. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 309: Selected Topics in Psychology

Topics in psychology of particular relevance to the interests and needs of psychology majors and/or students in psychology. The topics for the course will be announced each semester. Prerequisite: announced with course listing. One or more sections typically offered each semester.

Psychology 310: Community Psychology

Community Psychology is an applied field within psychology that attempts to develop community interventions for the purpose of preventing psychological disorder and promoting mental health. As a result, community psychologists are actively involved in the community and within community organizations. Sample topics include: Collaborative community research, the psychological sense of community, psychological stress and social support, organizing community change, and citizen participation in mental health initiatives. Prerequisites: 111 and junior/senior standing. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 311: Sport and Exercise Psychology

The scientific study of the behavioral, affective, and cognitive reactions of participants and spectators to various sport settings, with emphasis on the potential of sport to contribute to psychological health and wellbeing, as well as the potential for sport to increase anxiety, aggression, violence, and injury. The role of the sports psychologist is examined, including increasing the level of athletic performance, dealing with the emotional problems of athletes, educating athletes, coaches, and spectators, and studying human behavior and mental processes in sports settings. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 342: Psychpharmacology

This course is designed to familiarize students with current drugs including antipsychotics, antidepressants, antianxiety agents, and drugs of abuse. An emphasis will be placed on the action of these drugs at the synaptic level, indications and contraindications for their use, and potential side effects. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 343: Health Psychology

This course will survey various models of the mind-body interaction as related to physical health. Topics may include: psychoneuroimmunology, the role of stress on mental and physical health, psychosomatic disorders, behavioral medicine, and the psychology of illness and wellness. Recommended for pre-med, pre-physical therapy, and pre-occupational therapy majors. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 345: Human Sexuality

This course surveys human sexual behavior from a variety of perspectives, including biological, cross-cultural, developmental, clinical, legal, historical and inter-personal. In addition, students will address the more controversial issues in greater detail through class discussions. For juniors and seniors only. Offered infrequently.

Psychology 347: Tests and Measurements

Develops the most basic concepts of evaluating psychological measures: reliability, validity, and normative data and then proceeds to show how these principles can be used to evaluate new and existing measures. Topics covered include basic review of descriptive statistics, ability and achievement assessment, personality assessment, and factor analysis. Prerequisite: 221. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 349: Motivation and Emotion

The words "motivation" and "emotion" come from the same root: both refer to the psychological "forces" underlying action (behavior). This course will examine the biological, psychological, and social bases that consciously or unconsciously direct our behavior. Topics may include: the physiology of emotion, moral development, attachment and "free will." Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 360: Developmental Psychology

The study of age-related changes that occur as the individual moves through life. Major theoretical perspectives, concepts, and research methods for examining physical, cognitive, moral and social-emotional development. Prerequisite: 111. Multiple sections offered every semester.

Psychology 370: Clinical and Counseling Psychology

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the fields of clinical and counseling psychology. Major topics covered include: the historical backgrounds of these fields, the educational requirements for professionals, the use of assessment techniques and professional issues and issues related to clientele. Basic helping skills, which are useful in any form of communication, are developed. In addition, the theories most representative of the various schools of psychotherapy are explained. Prerequisite: 111. Offered every year.

Psychology 371: Individual Learning Project

Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Approval of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Offered for 1-4 credits. Not available to first year students.

Psychology 380: Personality Psychology

Foundational issues in personality psychology, including the personality construct, levels of analysis in personality psychology, the nature and purpose of personality theories, and criteria for evaluating the adequacy of psychological theories. Major domains of knowledge and theoretical perspectives on the psychology of personality, including biological, psychodynamic, dispositional (trait), cognitive, affective, and social/cultural approaches. Consideration of psychological adjustment and psychopathology in relation to personality psychology. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every year.

Psychology 381: Abnormal Psychology

This course is designed to be an overview of the various forms of abnormal behavior. Etiology, assessment, and treatment for each disorder will be included. Diagnostic classification will be emphasized. Prerequisite: 111. Offered every year, typically each semester.

Psychology 382: Neuropsychology

This course explores one of the fastest growing areas of psychology. Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships in health and disease. This course will cover assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of various difficulties from infancy through old age. Central to this will be a working understanding of the central nervous system. Prerequisite: 111. Typically offered every other year.

Psychology 397: Psychology Internship

Internship in an approved setting. Work experience in an area of applied psychology supervised by agency personnel and department coordinator. Prerequisites: Senior standing, 20 credits in psychology and approval of department chair.