Faculty: M. Wiediger, K. Mast+, J. Pikert+, A. Trowbridge.
The psychology major introduces students to the fundamentals of scientific psychology, providing a firm basis of psychological knowledge and research experience. Course offerings are varied, and cover all the major schools of thought in psychology. Many careers in psychology require at least a master's degree and many graduate programs recommend a broad background in different areas of psychology. Therefore, requirements for the major correspond to the basic course requirements for entrance into graduate school. In addition, students can also gain practical experience and academic credit through internships with a wide range of social service agencies.
The psychology department makes use of multimedia equipment for classroom instruction, and students benefit from extensive interaction with faculty members both in and out of class. The department also provides opportunities for students to engage in original research and to attend regional and national professional conferences. Academic achievements of psychology students are recognized through membership in the department's chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honors society.
Students majoring in psychology for either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree will complete a minimum of 34 hours in the department. Required courses include Psychology 201, 221, 222, and 495 and seven courses from the following: Psychology 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 305, 311, 321, 322, 325, 326, 327, 331, 335, 357, 389, and 395. At least three of these seven elective courses must be at the 300 level.
The department strongly recommends that Psychology 221 and 222 be taken in sequence.
Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the advisor. Students are encouraged to explore relationships between psychology and other disciplines by taking courses in different fields (e.g., biology, criminal justice, philosophy, sociology) and to consider developing a second major or minor in one of these areas.
Students majoring in psychology must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall and attain a C or better in all Psychology courses.
Students minoring in Psychology will complete a minimum of six courses in the department. Required courses include Psychology 201, 221, and at least four courses from the following: Psychology 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 305, 311, 321, 322, 325, 326, 327, 331, 335, 357, and 389. At least two of these four elective courses must be at the 300 level. Psychology 495, Senior Seminar, may be substituted for one of the electives.
PSYC 201. General Psychology. (3) This course is an introduction to the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. Topics may include learning, thinking, memory, sensation, perception, abnormal behavior, treatments, etc. Offered every semester.
PSYC 221. Elementary Statistics. (3) The use and interpretation of basic descriptive and inferential statistics. Emphasis upon application of statistical methods to problems of the behavioral and social sciences. Prerequisite: Math 121 or permission of instructor. Offered every semester.
PSYC 222. Research Methods. (4) Use of experimental methodology for the study of bases of behavior. Scientific method, methods of data collection and analysis, experimental design, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisites: Psychology 201 and 221. Offered every spring.
PSYC 242. Developmental Psychology. (3) This course adopts a bio-psycho-social approach to the study of human growth and development from infancy through old age and provides a general introduction to theories, methods, and content of the field. The emphasis is on normal patterns of development. Social and cultural influences on development are also considered. Prerequisite: Psychology 201. Offered every semester.
PSYC 243. Behavior Modification. (3) An introduction to the principles of behavior modification and their application. Emphasis is given to the development of basic skills, an understanding of ethical issues, and an appreciation of the social implications of behavior modification. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 244. Adolescent Psychology. (3) This course will focus on adolescent development, needs, and problems. Topics to be covered include biological, cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development; the contexts for development including families, peers, schools, and culture; adolescent problems involving drugs, juvenile delinquency, stress, health, depression, and suicide. Prerequisite: Psychology 201. Offered every spring.
PSYC 245. Educational Psychology. (3) An examination of the teaching process from a psychological perspective. Topics to be covered include basic learning and motivational processes, human development, measurement and evaluation procedures, and classroom management. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 246. Human Sexuality. (3) This course surveys the major areas of human sexuality. Social and cultural influences on human sexual behaviors are also considered. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 305. Abnormal Psychology. (3) This course surveys psychological disorders from a scientific and empirical perspective. The primary focus is the description of the major categories of psychological disorders and the current system for identifying these disorders. Theories concerning the causes and treatment of psychological disorders are also described. Prerequisite: Psychology 201. Offered every fall.
PSYC 311. Substance Use and Abuse: Theory, Practice, and Prevention. (3) Understanding alcohol and drug abuse from biological, sociological, psychological, and cultural perspectives. Students will examine the causes and consequences of alcohol/drug abuse, diagnostic issues, intervention, treatment, aftercare, and prevention, as well as their own personal values and attitudes toward alcohol/drug use. The impact of alcohol/drug abuse on families, special groups (e.g., women, elderly, minority populations), and the larger societal context will be addressed. Students will also be introduced to psychotropic medications, their therapeutic uses, side effects, and potential risk. No prerequisite. (Cross-listed with SCWK 311.)
PSYC 321. Social Psychology. (3) Analysis of the psychological processes in relation to social situations and interpersonal behavior. How language, perception, learning, thinking, motivation, traits, and attitudes determine and result from social interaction and group processes. Same as Sociology 321. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 322. Learning. (3) An examination of theories and research in both animal and human learning. Topics include classical and instrumental conditioning, verbal learning, remembering, forgetting, problem solving. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 325. Physiological Psychology. (3) This course is a study of the biological basis of human behavior including structure and function of the nervous system. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 326. Sensation and Perception. (3) The biological foundations of sensory system functioning with special consideration of the integrating properties of the CNS. Such topics as visual illusions, auditory information processing (including language), and spatial orientation are included. Laboratory demonstrations periodically. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 327. Memory and Cognition. (3) A survey of the theory and research in the study of human memory and cognitive processes including attention, language, and problem solving. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 331. Psychological Measurement. (3) Survey of psychological tests that are in use, especially in the clinical-counseling field. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 335. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (3) An examination of the theory and research of personnel processes in industry including selection, motivation, evaluation, supervision, work conditions, and job satisfaction. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 357. Theories of Personality. (3) An in-depth study of personality structure and dynamics proposed by various schools of thought. Prerequisite: Psychology 201.
PSYC 389. Applied Psychology (3) This course is an introduction to applied psychology. Students develop an understanding of how psychological theories are applied to real world situations, including uses of psychology in interpersonal relationships, sports, education, work, etc. Students will learn how practical applications emerge out of theory and research. This course provides exposure to major theoretical perspectives in applied psychology and scientifically-based methods and findings. Prerequisites: Psychology 201 and junior or senior standing.
PSYC 395. Research Participation. (3) Students taking this course extend and synthesize their understanding of the empirical science of psychology. This course requires participation in a research project, which may be done independently by the student or as a co-investigator of a faculty member's research. It covers advanced topics including the practical application of research designs and statistical analysis and is designed as preparation for graduate-level work. Students will demonstrate competence through designing experiments, reading and critiquing scientific journal articles, managing subject pools, writing programs, analyzing data, and/or presenting research at a conference. Skill development includes acquiring competency in the use of psychological and statistical software (SPSS, STATISTICA, E-Prime, etc.). Prerequisites: Psychology 201, 221 or an equivalent statistics course, 222 or an equivalent research methods course, junior or senior standing, permission of instructor.
PSYC 495. Senior Seminar. (3) Current issues in the field of psychology are researched and presented in a seminar setting using class discussion and debate. Students practice the writing, oral communication, and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in graduate school and in their future careers. Prerequisite: Psychology 201, senior standing, and Psychology major or minor, or permission of the instructor.