The Psychology Program at MacMurray College introduces students to the fundamentals of scientific psychology, providing a firm basis of psychological knowledge and research experience.

Course offerings 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, so the requirements for the major correspond to the basic course requirements for entrance into graduate school. In recent years, MacMurray graduates have been admitted to such top graduate programs as the University of Illinois.

As a psychology major at MacMurray, you will benefit from extensive interaction with faculty members both in and out of class.

As a psychology major, you can specialize in MacMurray's pre-professional program for occupational therapy, which prepares you for the graduate school of your choice to train as an occupational therapist.

The undergraduate psychology degree at MacMurray College will prepare students for a wide range of future opportunities. It is a great choice for those who love to help others while solving practical and/or theoretical problems.

As a psychology major, a combination of classroom learning and practical, hands-on experience matters for a successful career. You will be offered the education, knowledge, and experience you need to help people resolve complex emotional issues, develop solutions for real-world problems, and develop a deeper understanding of the human mind and behavior by conducting research. It will prepare you to make real differences in other people's lives and help people overcome adversity, increase their well-being, and realize their full potential.

The Program will also provide you with opportunities to engage in original research and to attend regional and national professional conferences. Academic achievements of psychology students are recognized through membership in the MacMurray chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honors society.

You will have the opportunity to gain practical experience and academic credit through internships with a wide range of social service agencies, including the many agencies in Jacksonville. MacMurray students have had either paid or unpaid internships at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville; the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, also in Jacksonville; and with the State of Illinois; and you will have opportunities to observe at many other institutions and agencies.

You'll learn how to record, organize, analyze, and interpret data with statistics and various research methods. These skills matter to professionals in a wide variety of careers, such as education, administration, science-related research, marketing, and advertising.

Graduate School Opportunities

The undergraduate psychology degree at MacMurray College can serve as the basis and the background for your continued graduate studies in such fields as psychology, counseling, social work, law, medicine, nursing, criminal justice, and others.

The undergraduate psychology degree at MacMurray College offers you a wide range of psychology courses and covers all the major schools of thought in psychology. Requirements for the major correspond to the basic course requirements for entrance into graduate school.

Career Opportunities

If you do not want to pursue an advanced degree or want to join the workforce before pursuing further studies, you can catch the attention of a variety of employers in human resources, personnel departments, and social service agencies. In recent years, MacMurray graduates were employed by the State of Illinois, Goodwill Industries, and Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL, amongst others.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that opportunities in psychology will continue to grow over the next decade. In addition to learning about yourself, psychology will help you understand why people do what they do. This marketable skill matters in a wide variety of job settings.

Students who earn a degree in psychology have access to many career opportunities in art and music therapy; child, developmental, clinical, and community psychology; industrial and organizational psychology; life coaching; marriage and family therapy; mental health or military counseling; rehabilitation counseling; school psychology; sports psychology; and substance abuse counseling, plus others.

Learn more about Psychology courses and how to pursue a degree in Psychology through our academic catalog.

PSYC 101. 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 and treatments, etc.

PSYC 202. Crisis Interventions. (3) This course explores methods and models for dealing with people experiencing a life crisis. This course will examine various types of crisis experiences and apply crisis intervention methods to their resolution. Students will be expected to complete 10 hours of volunteer service in an agency that provides crisis services. Prerequisite: SCWK 101. (Cross-listed with SCWK 202)

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: PSYC 101 and Math 121 or permission of instructor.

PSYC 222. Psychological 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: PSYC 101 and PSYC 221. (Cross-listed with SCWK 345)

PSYC 229. Introduction to Gerentology. (3) An overview of all aspects of the aging process, provision of services for the elderly, family relations, and the dynamics of death and dying. No prerequisite. (Cross-listed with SCWK 229.)

PSYC 242. Lifespan Development. (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: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

PSYC 250. Special Topics in Psychology. (3) This course offers a concentrated study of a special topic in the field of psychology. The subject matter of the course will vary depending on department approval, faculty members' resources and availability, and students' interest. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

PSYC 251. Psychology of Criminal Mind. (3) The focus of this course will be to provide students with a unique orientation to the study of criminals and criminal behavior, which shares some affinity with the fields of deviance, abnormal psychology, criminology, forensic psychology, and victimology. This class will explore biological, environmental, sociological, and especially psychological factors that impact criminals and their behavior. Students will also be exposed to some of the principles and methods used in the profiling of criminals and violent crimes. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

PSYC 253. Multicultural Psychology. (3) This course is intended to introduce and familiarize students with the concept of multicultural psychology. Students will be exposed to a broad range of psychological topics associated with multicultural issues and explore the meaning and value of such concepts as culture, ethnicity, bias, and cultural competence. Topics covered in the class include differences in worldviews, culturally relevant styles of communication, acculturation issues, racial identity, power and privilege, health disparities, and multicultural competencies. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

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, and minority populations) and the larger societal context will be addressed. Students will also be introduced to psychotropic medications and 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. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

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, and problem solving. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

PSYC 328. Health Psychology. (3) This class will introduce students to one of the important areas of psychology field, i.e. Health Psychology. Students will study health behaviors and explore the difference between health-promoting and health-comprising behaviors. Students will learn about stress, coping, resilience, and social support. Topics covered will include management of pain and discomfort, management of chronic illness, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and Type II Diabetes. Other topics that can be included and discussed in the course are: using Health Services; patients, providers, and treatments; and psychological issues in advancing and terminal illness. The future of health psychology will be reviewed. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

PSYC 331. Psychological Measurement. (3) Survey of psychological tests that are in use, especially in the clinical-counseling field. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

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: PSYC 101.

PSYC 357. Theories of Personality. (3) This course is designed as an in-depth study of the major personality theorists such as Freud, Jung, Adler, Erikson, Rogers, Maslow, Bandura, May, Cattell, Allport, Beck, Ellis, etc. Some of the theories that will be covered are psychoanalytic, life-span, traits theories, humanistic, behavioristic, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, and existential. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and PSYC 305 or permission of the instructor.

PSYC 388. Individual and Group Therapy. (3) This course is designed to introduce students to the various theoretical perspectives in the area of counseling and psychotherapy and intervention strategies and skills. Lectures and readings address various techniques and theories of therapy. Experimental learning activities and therapy exercises promote interpersonal effectiveness in interactions with individuals and groups. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and 357 and senior standing.

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. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 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.). Prerequisite: PSYC 101, 221 or an equivalent statistics course, 222 or an equivalent research methods course, junior or senior standing, permission of instructor.

PSYC 475. Clinical Practicum. (4) The course is designed to provide undergraduate Psychology majors at MacMurray College with an opportunity to integrate theoretical concepts learned in the classroom, especially in the previous three required courses (PSYC 305, 357, and 388), to actual field experiences while acquiring first-hand experience and developing beginning competency skills. While out on the field, students will be directly supervised and guided by experienced mental health professionals who are working in the field. Prerequisite: PSYC 101, PSYC 388 and senior standing.

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: PSYC 101, senior standing, and Psychology major or minor, or permission of the instructor.

Photo of Dr. Shahyad Ghoncheh

Dr. Shahyad Ghoncheh

Associate Professor of Psychology

"A great place to learn."

  • Areas of interest: Dr. Ghoncheh is interested in the therapeutic approaches of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and ADDRESSING model.
  • Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology — Argosy University
  • M.A. in Clinical Psychology — Roosevelt University
  • B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy — Roosevelt University
  • A.A. in Liberal Arts — Oakton Community College
  • Courses taught: General Psychology, Lifespan Development, Adolescent Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Criminal Mind, Educational Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Personality, Individual & Group Therapy, Clinical Practicum, Multicultural Counseling, Counseling Theories, Psychology & the Media, Stress Management, Coping with Stress
Photo of Dr. Matt Wiediger

Dr. Matt Wiediger

Associate Professor of Psychology

"Students are people too."

  • Areas of interest: Dr. Wiediger is interested in cognitive and behavioral research.
  • Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Cognition and Memory) — Washington State University
  • M.S. in Psychology — Washington State University
  • B.S. in Psychology — Washington State University
  • Courses taught: General Psychology, Elementary Statistics, Research Methods, Educational Psychology, Social Psychology, Learning, Physiological Psychology, Sensation & Perception, Memory & Cognition, Theories of Personality, Research Participation, Senior Seminar
Photo of Courtney Pearson  '18

Courtney Pearson '18
Social Work and Psychology

"I was able to take what I learned in the classroom here at Mac and apply it to real life situations."