Psychology Courses

Psychology

PSY 103: Introduction to Psychology (3)

Fulfills core competency: Contextual Integration. A single-semester introduction to psychological science, including research methods, brain and behavior, individual differences and intelligence, memory, learning, development, motivation, perception, personality, mental disorders, and social psychology. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 209: Sexuality and Psychology of Love (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course examines the biological, psychological, emotional, and social components of human sexual behavior. Sample topics include historical aspects of human sexuality, theories of human sexual behavior and attitudes, love and attraction, gender identity, sexuality throughout the lifecycle, sexual dysfunctions and disease, and deviant forms of sexuality. Topics will be discussed within the framework of the scientific method, and may also address ethical and legal considerations. Presentation of course material and the discussions that occur will sometimes require exposure to sexually explicit materials and/or content. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PSY 220: Life Span Development (3)

This course will explore human psychological development from birth through aging, including physiological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that occur from birth until death. The role of individual/personality characteristics, relationships with others, and the sociocultural environment in which individuals live will be discussed with regard to their influence on social, cognitive, emotional, and psychophysiological development. Current research and theories used to describe and explain human growth and change will be discussed within the framework of the scientific method. Offered as needed. (UG)

PSY 223: Forensic Psychology (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course surveys multiple ways in which the field of psychology and the legal system interact. Theories of criminal behavior, available treatment for mentally ill offenders, and ethical controversies related to psychologists' involved in law are also discussed. Topics include mental disorders and crime, competency to stand trial and the insanity defense, eyewitness testimony and other questions of evidence, forensic assessment (polygraph testing, hypnosis), psychopathy, serial murder, sexual offending, and juvenile crime. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 229: Health Psychology (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course examines psychosocial influences on how we stay healthy, why we become sick, and why individuals have different responses when they become ill. The biopsychosocial model will be discussed as it relates to individuals' risk for illness, resilience, ability to achieve optimal wellness, and longevity. Topics include placebo and nocebo effects, stress and coping, trauma and resilience, personality and disease, emotional influences on illness, health behavior change, addiction, eating disorders, and medical adherence. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 302: Developmental Psychology: Infancy Through Childhood (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course explores human psychological development from infancy through childhood, including cognitive and language development, socialization, and personality. The course will also include a critical evaluation of current methodologies used to study development, and discussions of practical and social applications of psychological knowledge about children. This course includes observations of children in real life settings. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 304: Counseling and Interviewing (3)

This course is an introduction to theories of counseling and psychotherapy, emphasizing the acquisition of basic skills in listening and interviewing. This is a practical and applied as well as theoretical course including demonstrations of counseling techniques, and practice using these techniques in class. Course format is varied, including lecture, group discussion, team based activities, and hands-on practice of skills being learned in lecture portions of the course. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Alternate Years. (UG)

PSY 309: Assessment in Psychology and Education (3)

This course considers historical, political, and legal aspects of testing and reviews currently available tests of aptitudes, skills, and personality traits. The course will review test construction, test item selection and interpretation, and ethical issues that arise in testing/assessment situations. Students in this course will participate in hands-on activities that help them develop skills in test use and interpretation of test results. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PSY 310: Social Psychology (3)

This course focuses on the ways in which individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the presence of others/social interaction. Experimental findings will be used to understand individuals in a social context. Sample topics include stereotyping and prejudice, conformity and obedience, attitude formation and persuasion, and aggression and conflict. In addition, practical application of theory and research findings will be discussed (e.g., jury decision making, reducing prejudice). Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 311: Psychology of Adolescence (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course introduces students to psychological changes that occur between childhood and adulthood, including psychological correlates of physical maturation, cultural definitions of adolescence, cognitive change, and social challenges facing adolescents. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 312: Psychology of Adult Development and Aging (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course views adulthood and aging as developmental stages. Sample topics include the interaction between behavior and physical change, cognitive and role change, life stage theories, and cultural definitions of adulthood and aging. Although the course focuses on normal development, consideration of psychological aspects of problems associated with aging will also be discussed. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PSY 313: History and Systems of Psychology (3)

This course traces the evolution of psychology from its historical roots in philosophy and nineteenth century physiology through the present. Past and present theories that have shaped and continue to shape the science and practice of psychology will be discussed. Strengths and weaknesses of theory and methodology that has evolved over time within the discipline will also be analyzed. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PSY 315: Cognitive Psychology: Learning, Thinking and Problem Solving (3)

This course introduces students to the scientific study of mental processes and human information processing, with emphasis on theory and research findings, both historical and present. Sample topics include: attentional processes, memory, language learning and processing, reasoning and decision making, learning, and motivation. Animal behavior will also be considered. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring) (UG)

PSY 321: Sensation and Perception (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Information Literacy; Writing Intensive. This course introduces students to theories, empirical data, and research tools and techniques related to sensation and perception. Perceptual organization and the relationship of perception to clinical and social areas will be considered. Prerequisites: CMP 101 and PSY 103. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 333: Statistics for Psychology and Social Sciences (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Quantitative Literacy requirement. This course covers topics such as probability, frequency distributions, and descriptive and inferential statistics, including correlational, non-parametric, and ANOVA. Emphasis will be placed on the application of statistics to the analysis of research data. Prerequisite: PSY 103 and 3 credits MTH 100 or higher or Placement test score in credited math course. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 335: Junior Seminar in Psychology (3)

This course involves students in an in-depth exploration of a specific topic or a series of related topics in contemporary psychology through primary source readings in the research literature, and secondary source material relevant to discussion and analysis (topics may vary each semester). Course format is generally discussion rather than lecture oriented. Brief lectures may be used to provide a framework for discussion and debate. Students develop critical thinking, critical reading, analytic, research, and writing skills by preparing discussion topics in both oral and written format. Prerequisite: Upper division status in Psychology and completion of PSY 353/353L with C or better, or permission of instructor. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 353: Research Methods in Psychology (4)

This course is the first in a required sequence of research courses for upper division psychology majors. The main purpose of this course is to help students understand psychology as a behavioral science by introducing them to the methods by which psychologists gather, analyze, and evaluate data. Sample topics include: Experimental methods, correlational methods, survey methods, observational designs, single subject methods, and research ethics. Students will engage in hands-on laboratory exercises involving literature review, planning research studies, collecting and statistically analyzing data, and reporting research in APA format, the scientific writing style of the discipline. This course culimnates in a required literature review that forms the basis of a research proposal in Psy 354/354L. Prerequisite: PSY 333 with C or better and upper division status. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 353L: Research Methods in Psychology Laboratory (0)

Laboratory techniques for Research Methods in Psychology. Corequisite: PSY 353. (UG)

PSY 354: Topics in Psychological Research Psychology (4)

Writing Intensive. This course is the second in a required sequence of research courses for upper dvision psychology majors. Building on skills learned in PSY 353/353L, students plan, conduct, analyze, and report several research projects focused on one topic area of psychology (topic varies by instuctor). Topics include personality and health, development, cognition, biopsychology, and social psychology. As in Psy 353/353L, students will engage in hands-on laboratory exercises. This course culimnates in a required research proposal that forms the basis of the senior thesis requirement for graduation in the major. Prerequisite: PSY 353/353L with C or better and upper division status. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 354L: Topics in Psychological Research Lab Psychology Lab (0)

Laboratory techniques for Topics in Psychological Research. Corequisite: PSY 354. (UG)

PSY 380: Behavioral Pharmacology (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course surveys behavioral effects of drugs as a result of drug distribution, drug elimination, and drug-receptor interactions in the body. It covers fundamentals of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology as they relate to these, and emphasizes current, historical and moral vs. legal contexts for use and distribution in the US and other countries. Other drug classes are considered and discussed for comparative purposes. It includes drug classification and development and the role of learning and addiction as they relate to drug use/abuse. Because mental disorders are among the most debilitating conditions worldwide and are commonly comorbid with other psychiatric, and medical illnesses, the course is useful to students of behavioral, legal, and healthcare-related fields. Prerequisites: PSY103; Junior status (minimum 55 credits completed). Offered each year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 404: Biological Bases of Behavior (3)

A neurophysiological approach to understanding the relationship between the brain and the various aspects of behavior, including emotional, developmental, cognitive, and social behavior. Films, laboratory experiences and guest speakers are included. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of instructor. Offered As Needed. (UG)

PSY 408: The Psychology of Mental Illness (3)

Fulfills core competency: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. This course surveys the origins, symptoms, and treatment of various forms of mental illness described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV-TR and V). Current theories of the causes of mental disorders are also discussed, along with recent research evidence to support or question these explanations. Controversies associated wtih the cause, course, and treatment of mental illness as well as ethical considerations will be covered. Legal implications for mentally disordered offenders will be considered, along with other legal issues associated with mental disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 103 or permission of the instructor. Offered Each Year (Fall or Spring). (UG)

PSY 444: Senior Thesis (3)

Fulfills core competency: Information Literacy, Research and Presentation requirement. Writing Intensive. This capstone course for psychology majors is the last course in the required research sequence for psychology majors. Using the research proposal they designed in Psy 354/354L, students develop an independent research project derived from the existing research literature in an area or several related topic areas and expand on that literature with new data. With the guidance of their faculty thesis instructor, students determine an appropriate research methodology for their project, acquire and/or construct necessary materials for data collection, collect data, statistically analyze data, and report on their findings both in oral format at a required poster session, and written format in a final paper that follows the current specifications of the American Psychological Association (APA style, 6th edition). Prerequisites: successful completion of PSY 353/353L and PSY 354/354L (C or better in both), and senior status in psychology. Junior year students who meet the prerequisite requirements may be eligible by permission of instructor and department chairperson. Required of all seniors. Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 457: Independent Study Or Research (1 - 6)

This course is an opportunity for students to become involved in research outside the classroom under the mentorship of a faculty member (s) in the department. Students may assist faculty with ongoing research, design their own project, or design an extension of prior faculty research or their own prior research. Prior coursework and skills required to participate may vary by project/faculty mentor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 2.5 GPA, no current Incomplete grades, and permission of the instructor. Sophomore students with exceptional preparation may also be considered. Students must complete an independent study contract in order to registerfor this course (see department chair and/or your faculty mentor for details). Offered Each Semester. (UG)

PSY 458: Field Experience in Psychology (1 - 6)

This course is an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a community agency, business organization, or other psychology-related setting. Prerequisite: Permission of psychology department chair. Individual agencies/organizations may also require students to complete specific requirements prior to placement (e.g., specific coursework, background checks, upper division status, etc.) Offered Each Semester. (UG)