Liberally educated students should achieve an understanding of self and of others that enables them to function effectively in diverse intellectual, occupational, and interpersonal pursuits. Psychology, which focuses on the nature and causes of action, experience, and mental activity, can play a central role in achieving this educational aim. The psychology curriculum provides intensive instruction in psychological theory and methodology and exposes students to important applications of psychological knowledge. With its emphasis on critical reading and thinking, communication, and active learning, the required course work prepares students for graduate study in the social sciences, and is also well suited to students who do not plan to do graduate work.
The theoretical courses in the curriculum provide detailed coverage of fundamental processes in cognition, psychobiology, development, social interaction, and clinical applications. The courses in these areas share the same goal: they are designed to teach basic and advanced principles and methods and to promote analytical skills so that students may deal with complex phenomena, theoretical or applied, with an appropriate level of theoretical sophistication and critical evaluation.
The curriculum also includes extensive instruction and experience in research design and the scientific method; in addition to the required Research Methods course, all students are required to take two Research Applications and Theoretical Systems courses (RATS). These courses will follow specific pre-requisite content courses and give students an opportunity to evaluate the empirical and theoretical literature in an area and design and implement an original research project. Students considering graduate study in psychology are strongly encouraged to do further collaborative or independent research under faculty supervision. To support the research activities of students, the psychology department has well-equipped, modern laboratories.
For students with an existing interest in a specific area of psychology, we offer the following emphases within the psychology major: Cognitive Science; Psychobiology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; and Clinical Applications. To obtain such an emphasis, a student must take three courses from a certain category. For example, students interested in a Developmental emphasis would need to take Developmental Psychology (PSYC 330), Infant Development (PSYC 331), and Early Experiences (PSYC 332). It is recommended that the student take his/her RATS course in this area as well. Although the emphasis is not an official designation on the diploma, it is recognized within the department and can be mentioned in letters of application or recommendation for graduate education or employment opportunities following graduation.
The department offers many other opportunities for interested students to become involved in research and practice outside of the classroom. Each external site is chosen for its relevance to the student’s interests, abilities, and goals. Sites often selected include hospitals, centers for emotionally disturbed children, personnel offices, corrections departments, nursing homes, and community mental health centers. The field study and internship programs encourage students to relate theory to observation and provide experiences that help students to choose occupational and educational goals wisely. Both are highly recommended for students planning to do graduate work in applied areas such as clinical, counseling, or industrial/organizational psychology. Students may complete up to six hours in internships, field studies, or a combination of the two; however, only three hours will count toward the fulfillment of the major. In addition to internships and field studies, experiential experience may be gained in travel courses and in various course and department-related service projects.Any PSYC 100-level course partially fulfills the Area of Knowledge requirement in the Social Sciences, as does PSYC 200.
PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for all psychology courses above the 100 level. Students considering a major in psychology are encouraged to take this course as soon as possible. Students planning to major in psychology must obtain departmental approval and must earn a grade of C- or better in PSYC 200 before they can take the remaining PSYC courses. Successful completion of PSYC 201 (Research Methods) with a C- or better is the prerequisite for 300-level courses in psychology. All majors are required to take PSYC 202, and it is strongly recommended that students take this course concurrently with PSYC 201. PSYC 433 is open to all seniors who have successfully completed PSYC 200, 201, and PSYC 202 and two 300-level courses.
The major program consists of a minimum of 37 semester hours with grades of C- or better in all courses that count toward the major. The courses required of all majors are PSYC 200; PSYC 201; PSYC 202; PSYC 433; PSYC 320 OR 321; one course from four of the following five categories: Cognitive Science (310 series); Psychobiology (320 series); Developmental (330 series); Social (340 series) and Clinical Applications (350 series); two Research and Applied Theoretical Systems (RATS) courses in two of the aforementioned series (each with a specific pre-requisite); and two upper level (300/400) elective courses. The minor in psychology consists of 17 semester hours in psychology including these courses: PSYC 200; 201; a 300-level course and accompanying RATS course; and one upper-level (300/400) elective.
Students in the Honors Program are required to complete a senior project in psychology (PSYC 497/498). Majors are encouraged to fulfill collegiate requirements in the natural sciences by taking at least one course in biology. Students with weaker preparation in mathematics are advised to take Introduction to Finite Mathematics (MATH 105) prior to taking PSYC 201. Students who are considering graduate school should enroll in MATH 113 (or 111) and are encouraged to include among their electives a senior project in which the student spends his/her senior year working on an original research project with a faculty member.
The teacher preparation program in psychology includes course work and other experiences designed to enable prospective teachers to gain an understanding of self and others, cognition, learning, human development and behavior, techniques for evaluating behavioral data, and ethics and values in psychology.Requirements for Elementary Education Endorsement:PSYC 200, 201, 310, 330, 433;One of PSYC 320, 340, 350, 351;For their departmental electives, students are encouraged to include PSYC 334, 313, and/or EDUC 321.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR (37 hours)
--General Psych (PSYC 200); Research Methods (PSYC 201); Success Strategies (PSYC 202); Systems and Contemporary Theories in Psychology (PSYC 433)
--One course from four of the following Category Series:
PSYC 310 Series: Cognitive Psychology ( PSYC 310); Neurocognition (PSYC 311);(Cognitive Science) Sensation and Perception (PSYC 312); Human Learning (PSYC 313); The Animal Mind (PSYC 314)
PSYC 320 Series: Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 320); Clinical Neuroscience (Psychobiology*) (PSYC 321); Comparative Animal Behavior (PSYC 322); Human Psychophysiology (PSYC 323)
PSYC 330 Series: Developmental Psychology (PSYC 330); Infant Development (Developmental) (PSYC 331); Early Experiences (PSYC 332)
PSYC 340 Series: Social Psychology (PSYC 340); Social Judgment (PSYC 341); (Social) Psych and Law (PSYC 342); Organizational Behavior (PSYC 343)
PSYC 350 Series: Psychopathology (PSYC 350); Personality/Treatment (PSYC 351); (Clinical Applications)Tests/Measurement (PSYC 352)
-- * All majors must take either PSYC 320 or 321.--Two RATS courses from two of the following: Cognitive Science* (RATS 318/319); Psychobiology (RATS 329); Developmental (RATS 339); Social (RATS 349); Clinical Applications (RATS 359).
*Only one of the Cognitive Science RATS will count toward the major.
--Any two upper level elective courses (300/400 courses); only one internship or field study will count toward the major.
Emphases in Cognitive Science, Psychobiology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Clinical Applications can be obtained by taking three courses in a single categorical series.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PSYCHOLOGY MINOR (17 hours)
--General Psych (PSYC 200) and Research Methods (PSYC 201)
--One 300 level course from any Category Series and its accompanying RATS course
-One 300/400 elective in psychology