Psychology

B.S. Psychology / Major Field Test / Minor in Psychology / Minor in Human Diversity / Courses in Psychology / Download PDF of Psychology Catalog

Faculty: Dr. Ahmad, Chair; Dr. Bejarano, Dr. Beltzer, Dr. Langley, Ms. Langley, Dr. Williamson

The Department of Psychology offers an experimentally based curriculum designed to prepare students for graduate study and careers in all areas of psychological science.  The department subscribes to the five goals (APA, 2013)[1] set by the American Psychological Association for quality undergraduate study in psychology, which include Knowledge Base in Psychology, Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking, Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World, Communication, and Professional Development. Apart from the regular course work (see below), opportunities exist for advanced practicum work and independent study for students. Faculty areas of specialization include animal behavior, human learning and memory, psychotherapy, social behavior, forensic investigation, psychology and law, behavioral neuroscience, and psychology of religion. We are dedicated to scholarly excellence and the success of our students. We encourage students to seek, think, analyze, create, understand, and discover the science of behavior, to develop a respect for all knowledge and all living things.

Major Requirements Bachelor of Arts Degree

                    PSY     1013       General Psychology (3 hours)

                    PSY     2023       Abnormal Psychology (3 hours)

                    PSY     2263       Developmental Psychology or

                    PSY     3063       Social Psychology (3 hours)

                    PSY     2143       Research Statistics (3 hours)

                    PSY     3533       Learning (3 hours)

                    PSY     3541       Learning Laboratory (1 hour)

                    PSY     3733       Research Methods (3 hours)

                    PSY     4433       Tests and Measurements (3 hours)

                                                Psychology Electives (9 hours)

                                                Total Psychology Requirements (31 hours)

Additional Requirements

Six hours of intermediate Foreign Language courses in French, German, or Spanish.

Major Requirements Bachelor of Science Degree                  

                    PSY     1013       General Psychology (3 hours)

                    PSY     2023       Abnormal Psychology (3 hours)

                    PSY     2263       Developmental Psychology or

                    PSY     3063       Social Psychology  (3 hours)

                    PSY     2143       Research Statistics (3 hours)

                    PSY     3533       Learning (3 hours)

                    PSY     3541       Learning Laboratory (1 hour)

                    PSY     3733       Research Methods (3 hours)

                    PSY     4433       Tests and Measurements (3 hours)

                                                Psychology Electives (9 hours)

                                                Total Psychology Requirements (31 hours)

Additional Requirements

Twelve hours of math intensive courses, which includes Advanced Experimental Statistics (PSY4343), and nine hours of approved courses in Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, or Sociology.

Major Field Test in Psychology Requirement

All graduating seniors must complete the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test in Psychology.

Minor in Psychology

The undergraduate minor in psychology provides a broad canvas of behavior and mental processes to the students with other majors. Core courses provide a foundational appreciation of the field and the electives provide a sample of how psychology may be viewed in its different domains. Students from different majors may select these electives based on their interests and careers.

                    PSY     1013       General Psychology (3 hours)

                    PSY     2023       Abnormal Psychology (3 hours)

                                                Psychology Electives (9 hours; Includes one junior/senior course)

                                                Total Minor Requirements (15 hours)

Minor in Human Diversity

The undergraduate minor in Human Diversity provides students with a broad intellectual framework for understanding common human experience and differences.  Courses fulfilling this requirement foster respect for the diversity in people and cultures within the bond of humankind.  This minor examines differences and similarities in individual human behavior as related to issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender roles, creed, religion, culture, age, body type, physical conditions, sexual orientation, learning differences, social skills differences, intelligence level, regional differences, language, dialect,  socioeconomic status, and other areas of individual and group differences. The minor is jointly administered by the departments of Psychology and Sociology.

                    PSY     2373               Human Diversity (3 hours)

                    SOC     2193               Racial and Cultural Minorities (3 hours)

                    PSY     3063               Social Psychology or

                    SOC     3143               Social Psychology (3 hours)

                                                        Human Diversity Electives (9 hours)

                                                        Total Minor Requirements (18 hours)

Human Diversity electives require at least one course from Group A.

 Group A:  Broader Diversity Issues

                    ANT     4053               World Cultures or

                    SOC     4063               World Cultures

                    COM    3413               Female/Male Communication

                    EDU     4493               Global Studies

                    GEO     2163               World Geography

                    PHI       3023               Religions of the World

                    PSY      2023               Abnormal Psychology

                    PSY      3043               Cross-Cultural Psychology

                    SOC     4263               Stratification and Poverty

                    SOC     4293               Sociology of Gender Roles

                    SOC     4383               Social Gerontology

Group B:  Specialized Diversity Issues

                    ENG    4483               Acquisition of English as a Second Language

                    FRE    3223               French Culture and Civilization

                    GEO    3153               Geography of Latin America

                    GER    3223               German Culture and Civilization

                    HIS      4333               American Women's History

                    PSY     2263               Developmental Psychology

                    PSY     3113               Personality

                    SOC     4443               Human Services for the Aged (or HS4443)

                    SPA     3623               Civilization and Culture of Latin America

                    SPE     3013               Psychology of the Exceptional Child or

                                                        any non-Western Culture course not in Group A

Classes used to meet the requirements of this minor may not also count toward major requirements.  To promote exposure to a variety of perspectives on diversity issues, no more than 9 of the 18 hours may come from a single discipline without prior chair approval.  Because studies in human diversity should include interaction with one’s fellow human beings, no coursework other than Multicultural Mental Health may be completed by distance learning (correspondence or Internet) for this minor.  No course can count toward both the major and the minor for the same degree; for example, a Psychology student must take Abnormal Psychology as a core course and therefore cannot use it for this minor.  When a course is required for both your major and your minor (e.g., SOC 2193 for a student majoring in Human Services and minoring in Human Diversity), you can only count the hours toward one of them and must take an additional elective for the other, subject to chair approval.

Courses in Psychology

 * Course not offered every academic year. Check with chair for next offering.

PSY1013 General Psychology. Introduction to the science of behavior and mental processes, discusses social, developmental, and biological influences on these processes. Topics may include personality, motivation, emotions, learning, memory, sensation, perception, mental illness, psychotherapy, and social behavior. Note: General Psychology is a prerequisite that must be taken before taking any other psychology course, except diversity courses (Human Diversity, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and Multicultural Mental Health), or in special cases other courses approved by the department chair.

PSY1073 General Psychology-Honors (WI). This course is an experimentally oriented and writing-intensive introduction to the science of behavior, examining overt actions and covert mental processes, addressing all aspects of life including biological, cognitive, developmental, ethical, social, and spiritual dimensions. Weekly seminar readings and discussions explore these dimensions; students may choose to lead these seminar sessions initiating and discussing topics inherent to the discipline of psychology.

PSY2023 Abnormal Psychology. The, identification, treatment, and social implications of abnormal behavior, emphasizing etiology (causes), symptoms, and diagnosis of specific mental illnesses according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM-5) criteria (APA, 2015). Topics include obsessions, compulsions, addictions, stress, phobias, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, senility, amnesia, multiple personality, sexual difficulties, eating disorders, learning disabilities, childhood behavioral problems, and more. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY2033 Applied Psychology. Application of research methods and psychological theories to modern day settings and everyday life, with particular emphasis on behavior modification, personal adjustment, and social relationships. Examines opportunities for occupations, internships, and practicum experiences in psychology and related areas. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY2143 Research Statistics. Experimental design and analysis. An introduction to basic statistical principles and analyses including measures of central tendency, variability, the normal curve, hypothesis testing, bivariate regression, and an introduction to inferential statistics. Incorporates statistical and graphics computer software programs like Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and others. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY2263 Developmental Psychology. This course concentrates on human development from conception to death. Topics include prenatal environment, genetics, physical development, cognitive development, adulthood and aging. The approach of this course is life-span change and issues include the nature versus nurture, continuity versus stages, and stability versus change debates. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY2373 Human Diversity. The variety of human experience is examined, focusing on differences and similarities in individual human behavior as related to issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender roles, creed, religion, culture, age, body type, physical conditions, sexual orientation, learning differences, social skills differences, intelligence level, regional differences, language, dialect, socioeconomic status, cliques, and other areas of individual and group differences. We focus on individuals rather than the groups themselves. Not limited to cultural issues, diversity concerns both majorities and minorities, including many areas (such as body type, intellectual skills, etc.) which do not involve simple group membership. Prerequisites: None.

PSY3003 Special Topics in Psychology. This elective is designed for faculty to teach special courses in their areas of expertise, to offer courses of particular interest to students, and to address contemporary issues in the study of psychology. The topics will vary each time the course is taught, and will be announced when the course is offered. Junior-level special topics covered have included Media Psychology, Psychology in Film, and Batman. Course may be repeated when a different topic is taught, and can range from 1-3 credit hours. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3043 Cross-Cultural Psychology. Emphasizing non-Western cultures, this course focuses on the influences of culture upon individual human behavior, examining factors leading to socio-cultural similarities and differences in action, thought, emotion, personality, and behavioral norms. Also examines how theorists from various cultures differ in their approach to the science of psychology. Meets the university requirement for a Non-Western Cultures course. Prerequisites: None.

PSY3053 Multicultural Mental Health. This course examines Non-Western perspectives on mental health, including issues that pertains to definition of mental health contrasted in the context of culturally-bound psychological aberrations, their etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. This course therefore examines unique culture-bound syndromes rarely found in Western societies. Coverage includes social and cultural determinants of psychopathology and the range of problems in individuals, families, and communities; mental health of indigenous peoples, ethnocultural minorities, immigrants, and refugees; cultural views on related issues such as suicide; mental health issues among native Americans and other citizens of non-Western/non-European descent; and the influence of Eastern philosophies on areas of contemporary psychology, views toward mental health, and how the mentally ill are treated. Meets the university requirement for a Non-Western Cultures course. Prerequisites: None.

PSY3063 Social Psychology. Scientific study of human interaction. Topics of discussion include intimate relationships, aggression, prejudice, deception, attitudes, propaganda, conformity, obedience, group dynamics, social influence, decision making, and cognitive biases etc. Major theories to understand these social phenomena include cognitive dissonance, social learning, and attribution theories, among others. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3113 Personality. The major theories of personality and their integration of biological, developmental, environmental, and learning determinants. Theoretical approaches discussed include psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, developmental, cognitive, social learning, and other perspectives. The course examines the theorists and their theories, looking at how their lives shaped their different theoretical perspectives as well as how they influenced their fellow theorists. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3153 Cognitive Psychology (WI). This is a writing-intensive course that puts heavy emphasis on areas like perception, memory, knowledge, language, thinking, and reasoning, and includes examination of a number of experimental studies that served as crucial milestones in developing the area of cognitive psychology. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3213 Infancy and Childhood.* Theories and empirical findings on social, perceptual, physical, cognitive, moral, personality, and emotional development in the period of child growth from conception to the beginning of adolescence, with discussion of issues including child-rearing, nature versus nurture, continuity versus stages, and stability versus change. Both normal and abnormal development are considered, including examination of learning differences and early psychopathology. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3233 Critical and Analytical Thinking.* Examines specific techniques for solving problems through evaluative thinking. Students learn the steps in thinking critically and analytically, how to evaluate the accuracy and value of information in everyday life, and how to apply these skills to specific topics. Topics discussed include advertising, persuasion, doubletalk, debunking pseudoscience, and more. A section of the course focuses on preparation for portions of standardized tests such as the GRE or LSAT. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3273 History and Systems. Explores historical antecedents of the science of psychology as well as the evolvement of contemporary experimental, physiological, and clinical psychology. The course discusses pioneers and contemporary thinkers in the history of psychology within the contexts of their personal lives, respective Zeitgeists, and areas of specialization. Methods of exploration and philosophical perspectives on recurring questions in the history of psychology are examined. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3303 Motivation. Analysis of the physiological, emotional, social, and psychological determinants of behavior. Examines the basic question of what motivates animal and human behavior as well as factors that can modify behavior. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY3333 Forensic Psychology. The course covers the psychology of crime, crime solving, and court processes; examines causes, classification, prevention, intervention, and treatment of criminal behavior from a social psychological perspective, as well as applications of psychology in criminal investigation and in the courtroom. Topics may include con artists, street crime, domestic violence, financial crimes, sex crimes, stalkers, serial killers, lie detection, eyewitness memory, insanity defense, and more. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013) or Introduction to Sociology (SOC1013).

PSY3533 Learning. A historical and an applied approach to traditional and contemporary theories of learning. The course explores fundamental concepts, principles and phenomena of classical and instrumental conditioning. Discusses biochemical bases of learning and biological constraints on learning. Includes a computer laboratory that incorporates data collection and analyses of basic conditioning phenomena with a virtual rat. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013), Co-requisite: Learning Laboratory (PSY 3541).

PSY3541 Learning Laboratory. Students conduct basic conditioning exercises through computer simulations. Computer laboratory incorporates data collection and analyses of basic conditioning phenomena with a virtual rat. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013), Co-requisite: Learning (PSY 3533).

PSY3733 Research Methods (WI).  Students in this course will learn methods of experimental design, statistical procedures, ethical principles, scientific integrity, collegiality, and the spirit and philosophy inherent to our discipline psychology. Prerequisite: General Psychology (PSY1013), Experimental Statistics (PSY 2143).   

PSY4003 Special Topics in Psychology. This senior college course is an elective designed for faculty to teach special courses in their areas of expertise, to offer courses of particular interest to students, and to address contemporary issues in the study of psychology. The topics will vary each time the course is taught, and will be announced when the course is offered. Senior-level special topics covered have included Batman, and Drugs and Behavior. Course may be repeated when a different topic is taught, and can range from 1-3 credit hours. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4073 Comic Studies Project. In this course students will apply the journalistic, documentarian, analytical, and cartoonist skills developed in the Comics Studies Minor to create nonfiction comics worth of publication (in print and digital form) or scholarly presentation. 

PSY4283 Sensation and Perception (WI). This writing-intensive course is designed to introduce important philosophical questions regarding perceptual phenomena to students. These questions address and analyze physiological, psychophysical, and computational aspects of sensation and perception, in animal and human context. The objective of the course is to lead students to critically appreciate a rich heritage of philosophical and empirical underpinnings of the field. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4293 Physiological Psychology (WI). A writing-intensive course exploring the inextricable link between physiology and behavior. Topics include anatomy and function of the nervous system (especially human and non-human primate), psychopharmacology, sensory and perceptual processes, needs and motivations, emotions, motor functions, memory, and psychological disorders. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4323 Behavior Modification. Explores the application of classical and operant conditioning paradigms to problems of behavior. Topics likely to be covered includes skills and language training in individuals with developmental disabilities; the treatment of drug addictions, childhood behavior disorders, and phobias; and improvement of safety and productivity in the workplace. Prerequisite: General Psychology (PSY1013), Learning (PSY3533).

PSY4343 Advanced Experimental Statistics. Advanced experimental design and analysis. Highlights the selection, computation, and interpretation of randomized, repeated measures, and multifactor analyses of variance. Explores other parametric analyses including post-hoc tests, student t-tests, and multiple regression. Non-parametric analyses include chi-square designs, Mann-Whitney U tests, and Kruskal-Wallis analyses etc. Incorporates statistical and graphics computer software programs, like SPSS. Prerequisite: General Psychology (PSY1013), Research Statistics (PSY2143).

PSY4353 Psychology in Literature (WI).* Psychological study of literature, explores structure, function, and psychological value in literature. Topics of discussion include symbolism, archetypes, genres, the purpose of storytelling, applications of psychological theories and concepts, accuracy in the depiction of psychological variables and mental health professionals, how writing and reading reflect cognitive processes, and the therapeutic value of literature. Character analyses involve examination of personality, mental illness, developmental issues, conflicts, and motivation. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4363 Verbal Behavior.* A functional approach to speech development and language analysis. Topics of discussion include speech disorders, functions of speech in the modern world, physiology of speech, forensic linguistics, rule-governed behavior, social interaction, and communication in cyberspace. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4383 Problems of Adolescence.  This course focuses on the problems that adolescents face in the process of development in American society. It examines the major problems, the resources available for dealing with these problems, and the difficulties that these problems of adolescence cause for the larger society.  Prerequisites:  General Psychology (PSY1013) or permission from the instructor.

PSY4433 Psychological Tests and Measurements. Fundamentals of psychological test construction, administration, and application to modern clinical and counseling practice. Includes a survey of the most widely used instruments in psychological testing. Prerequisite: Research Statistics (PSY2143).

PSY4693 Love and Sexual Behavior.* Intimate relationships including friendship, romance, sex, and marriage. The material looks at relational behavior that is normal or abnormal, mature or immature, healthy or unhealthy. Discussions will examine factors that may play roles in determining whether relationships succeed or fail, such as communication, negotiation, gender differences, cultural differences, and predictors of divorce. Topics include attraction, courtship, dating, mating, marriage, parenting, divorce, jealousy, fidelity, sexual response cycle, dysfunctions, paraphilias, obsession, impulsivity, sex crimes, and Internet relationships. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4723 Psychology of Religion. This course examines empirical data and psychological theories involving religious beliefs, practices, and experiences. At completion of this course, students should be knowledgeable of the psychological functions of religion for individuals. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4743 Counseling Theories and Techniques. Examines the therapeutic process and practical elements of counseling interactions. Discussions include consideration of ethical and professional issues. An experiential laboratory promotes essential listening and attending skills. The course promotes the development of self-evaluation, writing, and critical thinking skills; encourages integration of theoretical and experiential learning; facilitates the formation of a personal model of the counseling process; challenges self-reflection on personal qualities that support and hinder attempts at being therapeutic for others; and helps students understand ways to apply the major theories to specific cases. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4833 Advanced Experimental Psychology (WI). A writing-intensive, closely supervised research course designed for those students who wish to take up designing and conducting independent studies. Students may select a topic in the realm of psychology that interests them. The course has to be contracted and approved by the professor.  The course can be repeated. Prerequisites: At least 9 hours of completed psychology coursework and consent of the professor.  Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013), Research Statistics (PSY2143) and Research Methods (PSY3733).

PSY4863 Advanced Social Psychology (WI). A writing-intensive course designed to study human interaction with advanced readings in the classic and current research in social psychology. Students will design, conduct, and present experimental studies of social behavior, subject to instructor approval and internal review of ethical and procedural issues and standards. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013), Research Statistics (PSY2143), Research Methods (PSY3733), and either Social Psychology (PSY3063) or Personality (PSY3113).

Courses Outside the Classroom

Directed Independent Study, and Practicum in Psychology are special courses for advanced students who must submit a formal plan for the proposed project or volunteer work, which must be approved by the mentoring professor and the person who will supervise the work on-site.

PSY4703 Directed Independent Study (WI). Closely supervised study on a topic in the realm of psychology by an advanced student, in accordance with the student's interest and as contracted with the professor. The student will conduct advanced readings within a topic that meets the student's needs or interests, and will design, conduct, and report results of an advanced research project concerning this topic. May be repeated and can range from 1-3 credit hours. Prerequisites: At least 9 hours of completed psychology coursework and consent of the professor. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).

PSY4713 Practicum in Psychology. Closely supervised field experience by an advanced student in an applied setting in which psychological services are provided. Responsibilities include but are not necessarily limited to the following: ten hours a week (depending on nature and difficulty of the work) of volunteer work, keeping a record of practicum activities, and obtaining a written statement from the on-site supervisor describing and evaluating the student's work. Can range from 1-3 credit hours. Prerequisites: At least 9 hours of completed psychology coursework, consent of the department chair, contract with the mentoring professor and the on-site supervisor. Prerequisites: General Psychology (PSY1013).



[1] American Psychological Association. (2013). APA guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major version 2.0. Washington, DC: Author.