Course Descriptions

PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course is an introduction to the scientific discipline of psychology. Several areas of the field will be covered, including physiological psychology, cognition, development, social psychology, abnormal psychology and therapy.  Offered every semester.

PSY 201: Human Development
3 Semester Credit Hours 

A study of the physical, cognitive and psychological changes that take place throughout the life cycle – from  conception to death. Developmental theory will be applied to parenting, education, marriage, career planning and other practical matters.  Offered every semester.

PSY 202: Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences
3 Semester Credit Hours 

A course to familiarize students in the behavioral sciences with descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistics will be studied within the context of research in criminal justice, education, psychology and sociology. Cross-listed with CJC 202 and SOC 202. Offered every semester.

PSY 203: Research Methods in Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

Research methods takes an in-depth look at different research methods in Psychology, such as questionnaires, case studies, and correlational research, with emphasis on the experimental method.  Prerequisite:  PSY 101.  Offered every Spring.

PSY 301: Personality Theories
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course examines several major personality theories as well as how certain theories have led to the development of specific personality assessments.  Prerequisite: PSY 101.  Offered every semester.

PSY 303: Social Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

Social psychology is the scientific study of the way people think about, feel about and act toward others. This course emphasizes the role of situations (as opposed to personalities) in producing aggression, helpfulness, attraction, conformity and other social phenomena. Prerequisites: PSY 101.  Offered every Fall.

PSY 304: Psychological Testing
3 Semester Credit Hours 

An overview of the major tests: intelligence, achievement, personality, etc. Students will learn psychometric theory (criteria used to judge tests) and will discuss relevant issues in assessment. Prerequisites: PSY 101 and PSY 202.  Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Fall.

PSY 305: Physiological Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course provides an overview of the cells of the nervous system, how these cells are organized in the nervous system, and how they process and transmit information.  Specific topics include brain development, brain damage, and the physiological bases of reproductive behavior, movement, learning, memory, psychological disorders, and degenerative diseases.  Prerequisite: PSY 101.  Offered Fall of even-numbered years.

PSY 306: Abnormal Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

An analysis of the causes, symptoms and treatment of psychopathology-including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and personality disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 301 or consent of the instructor.  Offered every Fall.

PSY 307: Learning Theories
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course investigates the mechanisms of major types of learning: classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory.  Material will emphasize the role of animal research in this area and include applications to human learning and problems.  Prerequisite:  PSY 101.  Offered Fall of odd –numbered years.

PSY 309: Counseling Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

An introduction to counseling with a study of the major theoretical approaches to psychotherapy. Students will also develop basic counseling skills and will analyze counseling research. Prerequisite: PSY 306 or consent of the instructor.  Offered every Spring.

PSY 310: Sensation and Perception
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles underlying sensory and perceptual processes, with special emphasis on vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell.  Prerequisite: PSY 101.  Offered Spring of even-numbered years.

PSY 311: Animal Behavior
3 Semester Credit Hours

An in-depth look at the biological and psychological mechanisms that explain why and how animals behave as they do.  Course will focus on many important topics in the field, including foraging, predator avoidance/defense, mating, habitat selection, learning, social behavior, cultural transmission, and communication.  Cross-listed with ZOO 311.  Prerequisites: PSY 101 or BIO 225.  Offered Fall of even-numbered years.

PSY 312: Industrial-Organizational Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course will apply psychological theory and research to the workplace.  Among other topics, course content includes the attitudes and behaviors of employees and employers, motivation, leadership, organizational structure and culture, and employee selection.  Prerequisite:  PSY 101.  Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Spring.

PSY 313: Cognitive Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes.  Specific topics that are included in this course are memory, attention processes, problem solving, language and creativity.  Prerequisite:  PSY 101.  Offered Spring of odd-numbered years.

PSY 314: An Aging Society
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This interdisciplinary course explores the physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging.  Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Fall.

PSY 318: History and Systems in Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course explores the historical development of psychology, including the influences of ancient philosophical viewpoints.  The course emphasizes the events beginning in the 18th century to the present and how they have impacted modern psychology.  Prerequisite: PSY 101. Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Fall.

PSY 319: Motivation and Emotion
3 Semester Credit Hours 

An introduction to the basic principles underlying motivation and emotion, with special emphasis on the behaviors that enable us to meet our bodies’ needs (eating, drinking, sleeping, reproductive behavior) or to avoid potentially harmful situations (fear, anxiety, stress, aggression).  Prerequisite:  PSY 101.  Offered Fall of odd-numbered years.

PSY 320: Drug Use and Abuse
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course surveys the pharmacological, behavioral and psychological effects of some of the most commonly used and abused drugs in modern society.  Societal, clinical, and health effects of drug use and abuse are also addressed.  Cross-listed with PEH 320.  Prerequisite:  PSY 101.  Offered Fall of even-numbered years.

PSY 321: Forensic Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

This course will examine one of psychology’s newer specialty areas:  forensic psychology.  The course will provide an overview of the many interactions between psychology and the law.  Students will learn about forensic psychology as a career path and about psychological assessment as it is applied in the legal system.  The course will also focus on forensic evaluations re:  civil commitments, competency to stand trial, and criminal responsibility (insanity defense) as well as psychological and psychiatric testimony and the limitations of psychological expertise in the legal system.  Cross-listed with CJC 325.  Prerequisite:  PSY 306.  Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Spring.

PSY 322: Health Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours

This course focuses on psychological influences on human health.  Cognitive, behavioral, social and cultural influences are explored, along with the role of the nervous system and endocrine system in health.  The course will also address how psychologists trained in health psychology work to improve patient health by changing unhealthy thoughts and habits.  The topics covered will include stress, pain, drug use, exercise, nutrition and doctor-patient interactions. Prerequisite: PSY 101.  Offered Spring of even-numbered years.

PSY 325: Adolescent Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours

A study of the biological, cognitive, social, emotional and psychological changes that accompany development during the adolescent period.  Adolescence will be viewed in the contexts of families, schools, peers and culture.  There will also be a focus on contemporary adolescent issues, including health and psychopathology.  Prerequisite: PSY 101.  Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Fall.

PSY 330: Practicum in Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

Field work in a community agency or other organization under the supervision of professionals. Regular meetings, projects and reports may be required as specified by instructor. Prerequisite: Junior status and consent of the instructor, 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in the major.

PSY 350: Topics in Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours

Various topics in psychology will be taught on a rotating basis, in response to student/faculty needs and interests. Prerequisites will vary by subject matter.

PSY 403: Senior Seminar
3 Semester Credit Hours

A capstone course that incorporates in-depth analyses of selected topics and current issues in psychology and encourages students to synthesize information learned in previous psychology courses.  Students will prepare and present a report as a requirement for this course.  Prerequisite:  Senior psychology majors or consent of the instructor.  Offered every Fall. 

PSY 430: Independent Study in Psychology
1-3 Semester Credit Hours 

An individual exploration of a specific topic in psychology that will culminate in a major paper. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification and consent of the instructor, 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in the major.

PSY 450: Advanced Research in Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

Students will devise, conduct and report advanced psychological research.  Prerequisites:  PSY 202, PSY 203, majors only.  Offered every Spring.

PSY 460: Advanced Child Psychology
3 Semester Credit Hours 

An in-depth topical examination of how children develop, physically, cognitively, and psychosocially.  Attention is focused on factors in personality, emotional, and intellectual development.  Current research in child psychology will be reviewed with an emphasis on applications of child psychological research to parenting and education.  This class will address many controversial issues in infancy and childhood.  Prerequisite:  PSY 201 or consent of instructor.  Offered on an irregular basis, usually in Spring.