Psychology (Undergraduate) Course Descriptions
BIOL 1010 Human Biology
The "biology" of humans is a study of the organization of the human body, how it works, and what the human needs to stay alive and reproduce. Throughout the course, the focus is on various topics of interest to the college student: e.g., fitness, stress, current discoveries, AIDS.
BIOL 1040 Human Genetics
Introduces DNA, along with the structure and function of human chromosomes and how hereditary traits are passed on. Emphasis on new findings and technologies. Intended for non-majors. Includes lab. Offered in spring semester.
PSYC 1000 Learning Strategies
Provides students with a structure for discovering and developing the learning strategies and the time management techniques necessary for becoming self-directed learners. The course content is focused on developing new ways of analyzing, integrating, and applying learning strategies to various learning situations, and developing modes of communication and critical thinking that encourage lifelong learning. This course is not applicable to a major or minor in psychology.
PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology
Introduces the breadth and diversity of contemporary psychology. Provides a foundation from which the student might progress to more advanced, specialized courses. Topics include learning, perception, biopsychological processes, childhood and development, adjustment and mental health, and social behavior.
PSYC 1500 Psychology of Adjustment
Designed to facilitate the application of psychological principles to personal experience. Adjustment is viewed as an active two-way process between the individual and his or her environment. Class members study the physiological and psychological determinants of behavior, with emphasis on relevant research. Organized around the themes of behavior, interpersonal relationships, and processes of psychological growth.
PSYC 1800 Careers in Psychology
Provides students with career information for the field of psychology. Students are given guidance on how to search for and apply to graduate programs and internships, create personal statements, develop a resume, and find jobs within the field of psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of instructor.
PSYC 2000 Issues in Contemporary Psychology
Introductory level course designed to provide a brief, intensive overview of specific areas of contemporary psychology. Uses a number of approaches to provide students with a chance to explore how psychological principles are applied to a specific topic or area of interest. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated for credit if content differs.
PSYC 2150 Psychology of Sleep
Sleep inhabits one third of our life. Sleep is not a passive behavior. On the contrary, it is quite active. This course focuses on sleep as a part of the daily sleep/wake cycle. This course examines the history of sleep and sleep research, developmental aspects of sleep, physiological bases of sleep, the functions of sleep, the effects of various drugs on sleep, sleep disorders, and dreaming.
PSYC 2200 Child Psychology
Examines physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development of the child from conception to adolescence. The complex interaction between heredity and environment is considered. Emphasizes language development, achievement, personality, and gender behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2250 Adolescent Psychology
Examines the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social changes of adolescence. Lectures and class discussions consider the characteristics and problems of contemporary adolescents and implications for emerging adulthood. Special issues such as addiction, adolescent-parent relationships, and achievement are considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2300 Lifespan Development
Studies the development of the individual from conception through adulthood. Examines intellectual, emotional, and social aspects of behavior in terms of the complex interaction of heredity and environment. Content includes the application of prominent theories of human development to the individual’s development over the life span. Reviews current research in critical areas of human behavior (e.g., attachment, aggression) and uses it to enhance the student’s understanding of the human developmental process. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2400 Educational Psychology
Focuses on the psychological nature of the child within an educational framework. Considers learning, cognition, motivation, personality, and emotions in an effort to see the child as a whole person functioning in the school environment. Uses a cross-cultural approach to examine the goals and values of American education. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2450 Psychology of Interpersonal Communications
Examines the behavioral and social sciences theories of communication with an emphasis on interpersonal relationships. The course focuses on developing awareness of communication techniques and more accurate perception of self and others. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2475 Topics in Sex and Gender
Special topics in the study of sex and gender will be offered in this course. Topics include women, femininities, men, masculinities, sexualities (heterosexualities, gay, lesbian or bisexualities), etc. May be repeated for credit if content differs.
PSYC 2525 Introduction to Social Work
This course provides a broad survey of the social work professions, its history, and the values and ethics that are fundamental to the profession. An overview of social work theory, practice, policy, research and the diversity of populations are integrated in exploring the knowledge, values, and skills base of the social work profession.
PSYC 2600 Social Influence and Persuasion
Examines the factors that facilitate conformity, techniques to ensure compliance, and will investigate the conditions that produce obedience to authority. Strategies utilized by salesmen, politicians, lawyers, special interest groups, and the media will also be examined. Also examines the nature of propaganda, use of subliminal messages in advertising, and role of social influence and persuasion in cults. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of instructor.
PSYC 2625 Methods of Conflict Resolution
This course introduces communication and negotiation techniques to resolve conflicts in a mutually acceptable manner. Emphasis will be placed on mediation and facilitation as models of third-party intervention in community, commercial, organizational, legal and political conflicts. Course will examine different areas of professional practice and determine what guidance and insight can be found in the growing body of research and theory on assisted negotiation and dispute research. Students will learn and reflect effective communicating, problem solving and listening skills. There will be on-going opportunities for students to test their understanding and develop skills through simulations. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2650 Nonverbal Behavior
Examines the role of “unspoken dialogue” in human interaction and the influence nonverbal behavior has on interpersonal communication. The course focuses on how nonverbal concepts like physical appearance, gestures, movement, and facial expressions underscore the “spoken dialogue.”
PSYC 2700 Psychology and Women
Focuses on the psychological impact of being female and problems surrounding expectations through infancy, young adulthood, middle age, old age, and death. Explores scientific findings and sexist myths about male and female differences, special dilemmas such as fear of achievement, aggression, and leadership, as well as traditional and nonsexist child rearing and other topics. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2750 Introduction to Measurement and Statistics
Designed to aid the student in learning how to “make sense” of a body of numbers; how to summarize and extract information from numbers; how to detect, measure, and use relationships between variables; and how to use statistical aids to the decision-making process. Course covers descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, and inferential statistics such as the t-test and analysis of variance.
PSYC 2825 Introduction to Research Methods
Research is at the heart of the behavioral and social sciences. This course will cover the basics of quantitative and qualitative research design. In addition, students will be provided with the means to critically analyze and assess the ethics of research findings. Lastly, students will be given the opportunity to create a research proposal. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 2900 Community Practicum
Students engage in service learning work at a community agency and have an opportunity to experience agency operations firsthand. A variety of field placements are available, depending on the student’s background and interests. Classroom component will include discussion of placement experiences or issues and the ethics of service work. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, sophomore standing, permission of the instructor, and approval of placement proposal.
PSYC 2950 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
Approaches adulthood from an interdisciplinary perspective, stressing the interaction of psychological, sociocultural, and biological aspects of human development. Examines theoretical models of development, such as stage and process theories of change. Compares research methods of observing adult behavior and reviews recent studies of adult development. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3000 Topics in Psychology
Analyzes in-depth issues and topics in the field of psychology. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3075 Stress Management
Introduces students to the major sources of stress in contemporary society and presents approaches to gain control over their personal responses to stress. Specific strategies for reducing stressors and managing stressful life events are covered. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3125 Abnormal Psychology
Introduces the student to psychopathology. Includes a consideration of factors (physiological, psychological, and sociocultural) that influence the development of mental disorders. Surveys the major diagnostic categories, including symptomatology, demographics, etiology, and treatment approaches. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3150 Positive Psychology
Focuses on human strengths and well-being. Positive psychology is complementary to traditional psychology approaches that attempt to explain and treat dysfunction and illness. Research has shown that the absence of illness does not equal wellness. Positive psychology is the field of psychology that examines factors that create a sense of well-being and optimal functioning. Also included in this field is the study of happiness, resiliency, human virtues, and transcendent meaning in life. Positive psychology courses typically include a strong experiential component. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3175 Community Psychology
Community psychology views knowledge and understanding of the social context in which individuals and families live as necessary to understanding those individuals. From this framework, it is not possible to effectively intervene with an individual who is experiencing problems without also understanding and intervening in aspects of the community that are involved in the identified problem. Community psychology has four main components: prevention and competence promotion, community building with citizen participation and empowerment, human diversity, and strong research to evaluate programs. Among key values in the field of community psychology are individual wellness, the importance of a sense of community, and social justice. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3225 Holocaust
Examines the Holocaust and the groups of individuals involved in this genocide (e.g., perpetrators, victims, bystanders, resistance fighters) from a psychological/sociological perspective. Issues explored include: the question of what enabled individuals collectively and individually to perpetrate the Holocaust, the nature of extreme prejudice, the psychology of propaganda, the impact of extreme victimization on the victim (during the Holocaust, upon liberation, and in later years), and the question of what enabled some individuals/groups/countries to actively become involved in resistance while others remained passive bystanders and others sympathizers/collaborators. The roles that psychology, psychologists, and psychiatrists played during the Holocaust are also examined. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3275 Genocide
Examines the psychological, cultural, and societal roots of human cruelty, mass violence, and genocide. We examine the questions of what enables individuals collectively and individually to perpetrate mass violence and genocide as well as examine the impact of apathetic bystanders on human violence. Genocides studied include the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the auto-genocide in Cambodia, the Rwandan genocide, the genocides in the former Yugoslavia, and others. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3300 Psychology of Religion
Introduction to the major issues, theories and empirical approaches to the psychology of religion. Illuminates the role of religion as a powerful meaning system that can affect the lives of individuals in terms of their beliefs, motivations, emotions and behaviors, and can influence their interactions on both interpersonal and intergroup levels. Utilizes psychological theory to understand the role that religion, faith, and spirituality play in different areas of human activity such as health and the recovery from physical illness, psychotherapy, sexuality, interpersonal relationships, violence, racial prejudice, personality development, adolescent behavior, ageing and mental health. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology.
PSYC 3325 Applied Learning Theory
Focuses on basic learning theory (e.g. classical conditioning, operant conditioning) within the context of applied clinical, educational, family, and social settings. Compares human abilities with the learning capacities of various animal species. Focuses on techniques to change behavior patterns based on human and non-human investigations in the psychology of learning. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3350 Cognitive Psychology
Focuses on fundamental phenomena and basic literature in cognition; compares human language abilities with the learning capacities of various animal species; integrates important theories and research methods with major topics including pattern recognition, perception and information processing, attention, short- and long-term memory, discrimination, concept learning, creativity, and decision making. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3425 Juvenile Delinquency
Examines the construct of juvenile delinquency focusing on causation, prevention, and intervention. Specific attention will be given to how various explanations/theories of delinquency influence social policy, social agencies, intervention strategies, and the administration of juvenile justice. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3450 Psychology and Law
This interdisciplinary examination of psychology and the law focuses on the psychological underpinnings of legislation, common law, and the administration of justice. Discussion of the relationship between law and human behavior is integrated throughout. Attention is also given to the various ways in which the law informs and regulates the practice of psychology professions. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3475 International Psychology
Assumptions, theories, methods, and interventions of traditional western psychology are critically examined for relevance to people outside the western world. Recommendations for training global psychologists are reviewed. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of instructor.
PSYC 3550 History, Philosophy, and Systems of Psychology
Examines the contributions of philosophy, physics, physiology, and other disciplines and intellectual traditions to the development of the subject matter, problems, and methodology of contemporary psychology. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3575 Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Examines the basic theoretical foundations of individual and organizational behavior, exploring the diversity of organizational structures and how various structures affect the individual. The course focuses on the individual within the organizational setting, group and interpersonal relations, and the psychology of work. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3600 Social Psychology
Examines how people influence and are influenced by their social setting. Examines the social nature of individuals (attitudes, attitude change, prejudice), dyads (human relations), and small groups (conformity, decision making, leadership). Students are encouraged to apply theories and research to issues of personal concern. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, and PSYC 2825, and 6 credit hours of social science; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3650 Prejudice and Discrimination
Examines the essential features, principles, facts, and theories that surround stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Theoretical approaches considered will include those from psychology, sociology, and international human rights. Consequently, the course will include discussion of intergroup relations as they pertain to different racial and ethnic groups throughout the world. In addition, the course examines discrimination based on appearance, gender, age, ability, and sexual orientation. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3700 Altruism and Aggression
Examines antecedents of aggressive behavior--why people aggress and what steps can be taken to prevent or control this destructive behavior. Topics to be covered may include child abuse, racially based violence, terrorism, antisocial personalities (i.e., psychopath), sexual aggression, spousal abuse, drugs and aggression, and the media's impact on violence. Also explores the conditions that lead to helping behavior. The role of empathy, gender, race, and attractiveness in bystander intervention will be examined. The concept of true altruism (i.e., helping without regard to potential rewards) will also be debated. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3725 Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making
Provides survey current theories of human judgment and decision making. Includes an examination of judgment and decision making under a variety of social conditions. Student examines how people make personality judgments about themselves and others; how people attribute causation to human behavior; and how people make estimates about uncertain outcomes. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3775 Personality Theory
Examines the structure, dynamics, and development of personality and explores the assumptions about human nature that underlie the various theories about personality. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3850 Sensation and Perception
Examines how the human brain receives and processes information from our environment by exploring the functioning of human sensory systems and the means by which we interpret these neural signals. Topics covered in the course include vision, audition, taste, smell, touch, and basic psychophysics. The manner by which we perceive the world will be examined through topics such as color vision, depth and space perception, motion perception, visual illusions, and Gestalt principles of organization. Information-processing approaches to perception, including top-down and bottom-up processes, the role of knowledge and attention in perception, imagery, and stage models of information flow will be discussed. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3875 Psychology Lab
Lab is designed to complement a 3000-level core course allowing the instructor and student to work collaboratively towards the development of a course related project. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 3900 Introduction to Counseling
Introduces a variety of counseling theories, techniques, and skills. Focuses on the problems and issues facing a professional counselor in a variety of settings (including individual and group counseling, family counseling, counseling handicapped individuals, career counseling, and consulting). Provides students with opportunities to explore new dimensions in counseling and to confront and clarify their own reasons for wanting to do this kind of work. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100,
PSYC 3125, and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4000 Advanced Studies in Psychology
Designed for in-depth study of a specific area or issue in psychology. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 and 12 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4150 Political Psychology
Surveys many of the important topics from the field of political psychology. Political psychology is focused mainly on the intersection between psychology, particularly personality and social psychology, and political behavior. The field of political psychology has been strongly influenced by political and psychological theories as well as important political events and social issues. The course examines many of the important theories that have relevance to political behavior and provides the opportunity to apply these theories to important events and issues. PSYC 1100 and 12 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4225 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
This course is a survey of the field of clinical psychology. The course will familiarize you with the history of clinical psychology as a field, including the roles in which clinical psychologists serve and settings in which they work, as well as “hot topics” of current debate in the field. In addition, we will explore the range of theoretical orientations which guide how clinical psychologists approach their work, including assessment, prevention/intervention, and research. Lastly, the course will enable students to clarify their own interests and goals within the mental health field, generally, and clinical psychology, in particular, including client populations and research questions of interest to the student. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100, PSYC 3125, and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4300 Health Psychology
Focuses on the fundamental issues and current literature on health psychology. This course includes material on the social and cultural bases of illness and looks at issues that affect wellness such as stress, pain, and personality. Also discussed are factors related to health care providers such as communication, utilization, and ethics. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 and 12 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4400 Human Sexuality
Examines human sexual behavior within the cultural, social, and political context. Topics discussed include historical/cross-cultural sexual attitudes, reproductive health and rights, the range of sexual experience, gender differences and roles, sexual orientation, sex and disease, sex and the law, and sex and social responsibility/personal ethics. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 and 12 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4550 Drug and Chemical Dependency
Introduces the history, pharmacology, and physiological effects of a variety of commonly abused substances. Emphasis is on the behavioral and social implications of drug use and abuse, treatment, and treatment methods for drug abuse. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 and 12 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4610 Advanced Independent Readings Course
Designed for individual student exploration of a given body of knowledge or a specific area of interest. Selected topics agreed upon between student and a member of the departmental faculty. Topic of the course, detailed learning outcomes, and means of evaluation to be negotiated between student and faculty member. Intended for majors. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: Senior standing in psychology and permission of the department.
PSYC 4650 Physiological Psychology
Examines the physiological concomitants of behavior and acquaints the student with the methods and major findings of the interaction that has recently taken place between biology and psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4700 Psychological Tests and Measurements
Provides a survey of psychological testing and principles of test construction and evaluation, including characteristics, administration, and interpretations of psychological and educational tests. Students will examine the development and use of objective tests, rating scales, attitude-scale construction, etc. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4750 Advanced Statistics
Examines data analysis techniques for complex research designs, emphasizing the application of advanced statistical techniques, such as complex analysis of variance and multivariate statistics. Introduces the student to the use of statistical software as a tool for data analysis. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2750, PSYC 2825; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4825 Senior Thesis
Course provides students the opportunity to investigate a topic of interest within the field of psychology. Students are expected to develop a topic, design the study, collect and analyze data, and report the results of their research in APA format. Following completion of the thesis, students are encouraged to submit their work for possible publication. Course may be repeated once for credit with permission of department chair. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2750, PSYC 2825,and 6 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.
PSYC 4875 Advanced Psychology Lab
Lab is designed to complement a 4000-level core course allowing the instructor and student to work collaboratively towards the development of a course related project. May be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisites: PSYC 1100 and 12 credit hours of psychology.
PSYC 4900 Senior Seminar
Provides a culminating experience for psychology majors, allowing students to synthesize and apply psychological knowledge in preparation for a career. Students will use their psychology skills and knowledge to become familiar with the research, theories, and methods associated with an area of personal interest. Prerequisite: PSYC 1100, PSYC 2825, and 9 credit hours of psychology; or permission of the instructor.