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The courses listed below are for the Academic Catalog and are subject to change. Please reference the Academic Catalog for further information and course descriptions. If you are a current student, please reference the catalog in which you come under.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Liberal Education Curriculum 49 credit hours
Psychology Core Courses 24 credit hours
Psychology Electives OR Concentration in Psychology Research 15 credit hours
General Electives 32 credit hours
Total credit hours for the B.A. in Psychology 120 credit hours
Psychology Core Courses 24 credit hours
General Psychology (Honors Option)PSY 101
Does what you eat impact your brain function? Is it damaging to spank your children? Are you really independently minded, or do others influence you more than you think? These are just a few of the many real-life questions addressed in General Psychology. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and in-class activities, you will learn the ways psychologists study human behavior and the mind. A major emphasis will be placed on understanding basic methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. No matter what major you decide to pursue, General Psychology will help you better understand yourself and be able to work effectively with others.
Research Methods IPSY 300
This course will help you understand the methods psychologists use in studying human behavior and the mind. The course will help you learn how to understand the statistical findings reported in a professional journal articles, and how to evaluate common claims reported in the news. Students will conduct an in-depth review of existing research in a specific area of psychology and design a research project. Emphasis will be placed on writing a formal research proposal that incorporates standards of scientific writing in the context of the behavioral sciences as well as the use of American Psychological Association (APA) writing style.
Research Methods IIPSY 303
Course under development
Senior Seminar in PsychologyPSY 470
Senior Seminar is an opportunity for you to take what you have learned in your other psychology courses and integrate those concepts before graduating. The content in this course focuses on current topics in the field of psychology such as Positive Psychology, Peace Psychology, and Cultural Psychology. Within our discussion of such topics there is an emphasis on ethical behavior and how you can use your Psychology degree to have a positive impact on the world.
Cognitive PsychologyPSY 311
Can you rely on your memory to be accurate? Is it possible to have too much information to learn to be able to remember it? What information do you use when trying to solve a problem? Why are children ableto learn language quickly, while adults struggle with the same task? Understanding how our mental processes work is the basic goal of cognitive psychology. Understanding how we think can be of special interest to those pursuing fields of education, business, and law.
People in education, mental health, and business need to understand how others learn new information and how to motivate them to work harder. You will learn various concepts and techniques that will help you understand how we learn everything from fears to new concepts in a class. YouÕll also understand the many different types of motivation, what helps to keep us motivated once weÕve already accomplished something, and how to motivate someone who appears not to care. You will examine theories and research findings related to learning and motivation and then apply that information by creating programs for yourself (e.g., how to exercise more) and for others (e.g., how to get kids to do their homework).
Biological PsychologyPSY 411
What makes you you? Is it your physical form? Is it your genetic make-up? Is it your thoughts and behavior? In Biological Psychology we get to the root of these questions by examining the physiological, evolutionary, and developmental mechanisms of behavior. In short, we look at the interactions among brain, body, and behavior. Through in-class and out-of-class assignments and activities, you will discover how we know everyone perceives the color red the same way, how smoking even one cigarette will make you want more, and how individuals act when the two hemispheres of the brain cannot ÒtalkÓ to each another. Biological Psychology will lead you through the exciting world of typical and atypical behavior by helping you better understand the physiological underpinnings of human functioning.
Life-Span DevelopmentPSY 221
Whether your goal is to be a professional, a parent, a partner, or maybe all three, knowledge of what people experience at different ages will help you to be more effective in your professional and personal interactions. This course will explore a variety of topics throughout the lifespan, such as prenatal brain growth, infant attachment, adolescent sexuality, whether or not people really have a Òmid-life crisisÓ, and myths of aging. You will apply and demonstrate your learning in group work, projects, and papers. You will also be asked to make connections across the lifespan. For example, you might be asked to investigate how your childhood attachment patterns are related to your ability to form effective relationships as an adult.
Child and Adolescent DevelopmentPSY 310
Have you ever wondered how certain foods and drugs influence childrenÕs development during the prenatal period? Or how infant personality and parenting style interact to create a certain kind of parent-child relationship? Or what makes certain teens popular, while others are rejected? This course will introduce you to biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development of childhood and adolescence. Through this course, you will focus on a range of topics that will help you parent your own future children or work with children and adolescents in a professional setting.
The Psychology of Adulthood and AgingPSY 321
Who is old? Which psychological processes change after an individual reaches their biological maturation, and which do not? This course focuses on changes and continuities in psychological development after adolescence. We will consider both theory and research concerning adult development and aging in the physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional domains. We will also evaluate what it means to age successfully versus unsuccessfully. Thus, we will consider outcomes ranging from optimal aging to average or usual aging, to diseased aging. The class will combine lectures and discussions with projects that students will present during course meetings.
Family PsychologyPSY 360
How has growing-up in your family shaped the person you have become? This course examines family influences on peopleÕs development. Throughout the class, we will continually remind ourselves that contemporary families are highly diverse and develop in highly diverse settings. Some of the specific topics we will explore include characteristics of divorced and step-families, gay and lesbian families, single-parent families, and the influences of poverty and discrimination on family functioning. After you have completed this course, you will have more knowledge of childrenÕs development in general and influences on familial development in particular.
Personality PsychologyPSY 230
Who are you and how are you unique from others? Would you describe yourself as cautious or thrill-seeking? Introverted or extroverted? Flexible or rigid? Understanding your own personality can help you function more productively in work and relationships. Understanding variations in personality allows you to predict other peopleÕs behavior so you know what to expect from them. This course examines the different theories about how personality is thought to develop (e.g., psychodynamic, motivational, biological, or cognitive). Through class discussions, readings, activities, and class projects, we will explore the elements of personality, how these elements are organized, and the influence of personality on human behavior.
Social PsychologyPSY 330
How do your stereotypes of other people change their behavior? What techniques are successful in influencing othersÕ behavior? Why are some relationships successful while others end in conflict? And what determines whether people will be helpful or aggressive? Social psychologists examine how behavior is affected by the presence of other people and by the specific situation. Classic problems throughout history (e.g., obedience in Nazi Germany) and modern issues (e.g., prejudice by teachers) will be studied in this course. You will have the opportunity to apply many of the topics to your life and to the lives of those around you.
Human Sexuality and GenderPSY 375
If you think you already know everything there is to know about the "birds and the bees," fasten your seatbelt for a wild ride through human sexuality! The more knowledge you have about your body, your sexual and reproductive functioning, and the factors that influence sexual development, such as gender roles, beauty expectations, and fertility, the more likely you will be able to sustain good health and functioning. This course will also explore controversial topics such as sex education, abortion, sexual orientation, sex work, and sexual coercion.
Abnormal BehaviorPSY 240
Did you know that almost one in two people will be directly affected by a psychological disorder such as anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence or schizophrenia? ItÕs very likely that you already know a friend or family member who is struggling with one of these disorders, or possibly you have struggled with one of these disorders yourself. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and in-class activities, this course will help you better understand the description, causes, and treatments of the most common psychological disorders. Even those students who have never had experiences with psychological disorders will gain useful strategies for stress management, coping with automatic negative thoughts, and maintaining good mental health over the course of their lifetime.
Child, Family and Youth ServicesPSY 341
What might you be like if you had grown up in another culture? Would you have a cell phone and an iPod? Would you commune with the spirits? Would you be celebrating your 10th wedding anniversary this year? In this course we will examine the wide variation in human development and how that variation affects an individual?s physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional growth. We will investigate such topics as whether infant massage helps children develop motor skills early, whether puberty exists among all cultures, and how body image is both similar and different across cultures. This course is designed to help you develop a sense of the wide range of possible developmental conditions, and to give you a greater understanding of how and why people think and behave differently in different cultures. In addition this course is designed to help you to see how your own culture has helped shape your thoughts and actions.
Counseling Theories and TechniquesPSY 440
If you are interested in relationships, communication, helping techniques, and interpersonal self-evaluation, this course is for you! Counseling Theories is designed to help you improve problem-solving skills, Òpeople skills,Ó and your ability to use feedback for self-reflection and growth. Through readings, in-class discussions, and written reflections, you will develop a working knowledge of the counseling process. Through the use of role-plays and simulated interviews, you will develop the necessary skills to conduct an initial clinical interview, build a therapeutic relationship, and inspire change. Skills such as listening, assessing, empathizing, reflecting, questioning, reframing, challenging, summarizing, and goal-setting will be emphasized.
Psychology Electives 15 credit hours
Concentration in Psychology Research 12 credit hours
Psychology Research IPSY 394
This course allows you to pursue answers to various questions about human behavior by helping psychology faculty members conduct research in our psychology lab. In collaboration with a faculty member, you will form a hypothesis, collect data to test your hypotheses, and then analyze the data. You will work closely with a small group (usually 4-6 students) to conduct your study.
Psychology Research IIPSY 396
In Psychology Research II, you have the opportunity to continue working on the study you started in PSY 394: Psychology Research I In addition, you may serve as a research assistant to the professor by helping to teach the other students about the research project and how to collect, code, and analyze data.
Honors Thesis in PsychologyPSY 480
Have you ever thought about going to graduate school? If so, this is the course for you! You will work one-on-one with a psychology faculty member to design a research study and carry it out, much the same as you will do in graduate school. You will be expected to submit your research to professional conference and make a presentation at the conference if your work is accepted (which it will be; we've never had a Peace student paper rejected!). Seniors who can work independently and who want to be challenged should take this course. The research skills you will gain in this class can make you a very attractive applicant to a graduate program and make you competitive for entry-level research positions in the professional world.