Psychology (BS)

Psychology (BS) Curriculum

The psychology major requires the completion of 42 credits. The required courses include PSY 281, 283, 320, 325, 335, 314, 436, and 390, and one of the following: PSY 393, 495 or 497. ENG 111, MAT 152 AND MAT 252 are co-requisites for psychology majors. You will be permitted flexibility in choosing the remaining five or more elective courses from the various sub-specialties of psychology. 

The minimum grade of C is required in all major and minor courses. PSY 281 is a prerequisite to all other psychology courses.

Course Descriptions: Psychology Prefix PSY

  • Survey of general principles underlying human behavior, including the study of the nervous system, perception, learning, emotion, personality and mental disorders. Corequisite: ENG 111 or higher (Fall, Spring, Summer).

  • Analysis of human development from conception through old age, with emphasis on theory and research as they relate to changes in physiological, cognitive, and affective processes throughout the lifespan. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

  • This course is the first step in the development of a literature review. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, the student learns how to conduct a focused search for literature on a topic in psychology and learns how to read scholarly sources. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: PSY 335 and permission of the instructor. (Fall, Spring)

  • Content to be determined by the Department as requested by faculty and/or students to fulfill specified needs or interests. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional Offering). 

  • Study of the various issues affecting the changing role of women in today’s society; consideration given to psychological and social factors as they relate to contemporary feminine behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional Offering)

  • This course examines the application of psychological principles, theory and research within the American legal system. It focuses on the intersection between psychology as a study of human behavior and law as the means to control human behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 281, plus one other psychology course. (Fall)

  • This course is a survey of the psycholegal issues of children, juveniles and family. It will focus on the historical evolution of children, juveniles and family rights in American jurisprudence. The course explores the legal issues and psychological impact that children and families face when confronting the legal system, such as marriage, divorce, domestic violence, abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency, educational needs of children. Students will critically analyze the role of psycholegal research, policy and case law in advocating for social justice for children and families. Prerequisite: PSY 281(Spring).

  • This course explores the clinical evaluation, psychopathology, and treatment modalities of criminal and severely mentally ill offenders in a variety of settings, including psychiatric and correctional facilities. A variety of readings, discussions, and real life case studies of various types of offenders will serve to give students a better understanding of the topic and related mental health and political issues. Also included will be several in-depth discussions of various legal issues, such as not guilty by reason of insanity, competency to stand trial, risk and dangerousness, and sexually violent predator civil commitment laws. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Spring)

  • Theories of abnormal behavior, pathological syndromes, methods of treatment, and prevention. Includes legal, ethical, and professional issues in clinical psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall, Spring).

  • This course is a comprehensive survey of the psychology of the family with historical and current perspectives of Western Culture. Theoretical perspective focus on how families organize themselves, how they function and how they develop along the life span. Analysis also examines the five primary aspects of family psychology; the family as a system; developmental family behavior; family of origin concepts and how they affect the family; relationships, dating, courtships, and marriage; and family dysfunctions. Prerequisite: PSY 281 (Fall).

  • Current research and theory which addresses the issue of how people think. Includes information processing, memory, attention, language comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • Analysis of the factors characterizing normal aging: biological and perceptual changes, social processes, work and retirement, family, sexuality, cognition, personality. Disorders associated with aging are also covered. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • Study of the basic principles related to human and animal learning with special emphasis on the theoretical approaches utilized to explain various learning phenomena. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • Introduction to testing, including discussion of validity, reliability and overview of testing instruments in clinical, educational, and industrial settings. Prerequisite: MAT 152 and PSY 281. ($50 fee required). (Fall, Spring).

  • This course examines the psychology of the African American experience. The course begins with an overview of African American psychology as an evolving field of study and considers the African American psychology paradigm as one of the key conceptual frameworks for understanding the psychological experiences of African Americans. The course will explore a range of topics that pertain to the psychological experiences of African Americans such as discrimination and racism, education and achievement, family and interpersonal relationships, racial identity, religion and spirituality, and African American mental health. The range of theoretical and methodological approaches that scholars have developed to conceptualize the thoughts, styles, and behaviors of African Americans will be emphasized. Finally, the course will discuss current topics and advances in African American psychology. An overarching theme of the course will involve considering how our knowledge of African American psychological experiences can be used to promote African American psychological health and wellness. Pre-requisite: PSY-281. (Spring).

  • Consideration of the major historical schools of psychological thought and their relationship to the present-day discipline of psychology. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • Application of psychological principles and procedures in business and industry settings; consideration given to topics such as selection, placement, employee motivation, morale and leadership. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Spring)

  • Survey of theoretical approaches to the study of personality, from Freudian theory to contemporary theories. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall, Spring)

  • Study of the application of principles of psychology to health enhancement, illness prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and psychosocial rehabilitation. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • Application of research skills to a full research proposal. Especially recommended for students who are planning to do graduate work. Prerequisite: PSY 436. (Occasional offering)

  • The first course in a two-course sequence. This course provides an introduction to research methodology, data analysis and interpretation, and preparation of research reports according to APA format in the context of meaningful experimental and non-experimental situations in the field of psychology including hypothesis testing, survey research, independent group designs and t-tests. Prerequisites: MAT 152 & PSY 281. Co-requisite: MAT 252. (Fall, Spring)

  • A survey of issues and scientific findings with regard to physiological, developmental, psychological and emotional aspects of sexuality, as well as to theory and practice related to the diagnosis and treatment of sexual dysfunction. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • This course will provide the student with an understanding of the various types of trauma that have impacted the lives of Blacks from the Diaspora, with emphasis on the African American community. A biological, cultural, historical, sociological, and psychological lens will be taken to discuss trauma, and African-centered healing strategies for treating trauma will be introduced. Prerequisite: PSY 281.

  • This course will examine the various factors that contribute to wrongful convictions within the U.S. criminal justice system with an emphasis on psychological principles and empirical research to identifying, understanding, and reducing such errors in the future. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of current psychological research on the conviction of the innocent, with the aim of improving students’ understanding of wrongful convictions and the relationship between psychological research and policy reform. The course will examine psychological perspectives on topics such as police interrogations, confessions, victim and witness interviewing, eyewitness identifications, trial procedures, juries, and forensic science. Prerequisite: PSY 281 (Occasional Offering)

  • Survey of contemporary issues in the area of perception and of the theories offered to explain perceptual phenomena. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • Covers the basic theories and concepts that define this field. Community psychology seeks ways to eliminate distress and promote well-being in people and their communities. It emphasizes prevention of psychological problems, empowerment of persons and communities with few resources, the impact of stress and social support on people, and the importance and value of human diversity. Students will be introduced to the methods of research that guide community psychologists including traditional research methods, qualitative research methods, consulting, program evaluation, and participatory action research. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional Offering)

  • This course uses a holistic cultural perspective to describe and explain the interplay of biological and contextual influences on the physical , cognitive, and social-emotional development of children and adolescents of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. To that end, the course presents a review of cultural groups and the way a range of formative contextual experiences, including socio-economic status, minority status, immigration status, intersect to shape individual development. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall)

  • Comprehensive study of the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the behavior disorders common to the child and adolescent. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Spring)

  • Cognitive processes, roles, communication and persuasion, aggression and interaction of individuals within small and large groups are studied from a psychological perspective. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall or Spring)

  • Study of basic neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, including the neurological bases of emotion, psychopathology, sleep, memory and learning. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Fall and Spring)

  • Study of how evolutionary forces may have acted upon human ancestors such that there was a selection for the development of particular behaviors under certain environmental conditions. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional offering)

  • This course is an elective course within the Forensic Psychology Specialization. Psychological principles, theory, and research will be critically analyzed and applied to major laws and cases. Through a focused exploration of the judicial process related to specific cases, the students will gain a greater understanding of the role of psychological knowledge and research within the judicial system. Prerequisite: PSY 307 and PSY 313. (Occasional Offering)

  • Consideration of habituating and addicting drugs, including alcohol and their effects upon individuals and society. Prerequisite: PSY 281. (Occasional Offering)

  • This course is designed to provide the student with experience in the conceptualization and critical evaluation of psychological research. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, the student develops a research proposal in the field of psychology. This includes a full literature review and proposed method of study that answers an empirical question that is an outcome of the literature review. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: PSY 295, MAT 252 & permission of the instructor. (Fall, Spring)

  • This capstone course for the Forensic Psychology Specialization examines the impact of the judicial system on an individual’s emotional life and psychological well-being. It will focus on the therapeutic or disruptive consequences of the legal system on those with a psychological disorder. It will also examine the role of psychologists and psychological science in aiding the development of therapeutic legal policy, legal rules, and legal procedures. Prerequisite: PSY 307, PSY 308, PSY 313. (Spring)

  • The course is designed for upper-level undergraduate students who plan to pursue a career in a helping profession. Students are taught the foundational clinical psychology principles and skills that will enhance their work with clients/patients in a variety of settings. Students will learn to apply information from previous coursework so that they may identify and assess a variety of cognitive, emotional, and psychological symptoms with the goal of making appropriate referrals. The self-awareness, empathic listening and communicating, and skills to facilitate positive action are emphasized. The ethical and multicultural issues in helping professions are also covered. A component of the course is experiential in nature as students practice specific skills with each other. Pre-requisite PSY 314 (Occasional Offering).

  • The second course in a two-course sequence designed to introduce more advanced research methodologies and data analyses techniques including experimental research, repeated measures designs. One-way ANOVA, factorial ANOVA correlation, and regression analysis in the context of conducting and reporting psychological research. Prerequisites: MAT 252 & PSY 335. (Fall, Spring)

  • Opportunity for independent research on a topic of special interest to the student. Dean and Department Chair approval required.

  • Investigation of a research problem of special interest to the student. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, the student conducts the research project previously proposed, analyzes results, and produces a completed  research report in the style of the American Psychological Association. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: PSY 395 and permission of instructor. (Fall, Spring)

  • Integrative experience for senior psychology majors, with focus on critical analysis of a current topic in psychology. Includes paper preparation and individual and group presentations. This course has a service-learning designation. Prerequisite: Graduation status. (Spring)

  • Advanced topics. Discussion on selected topics under direction of instructor.

  • The internship provides a capstone component to help students integrate academic knowledge with experiential activities in applied settings. Prerequisite: Minimum of junior year status and approval by the Chair.

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