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Undergraduate Program - Major/Minor in Psychology

Course Offerings

Most psychology departments have requirements that guarantee that their undergraduate majors are prepared for graduate school. Whether you major in psychology or not, courses in statistics and research methods are essential. It is also wise to select undergraduate courses so that you are knowledgeable about several of the fundamental areas of psychology (cognitive, developmental, personality, physiological, and social) and about the specific area in which you want to do graduate work. For example, if you want to attend a graduate program in clinical psychology, you should take an undergraduate course in abnormal psychology and you might also want to take an additional undergraduate course in some area such as interviewing, counseling, or tests and measures.

Students who are aiming for admission to Ph.D. programs in psychology should plan to become involved in research as undergraduates, ideally by the start of their junior year. Many universities award course credit for such research work. Working on a research project with a faculty member while you are an undergraduate student has several advantages. You gain a much better idea of what psychological research is all about, while also demonstrating your interest and motivation in doing research. If this work goes well, you have a faculty member who can advise you about applying to graduate school and can write a strong letter of recommendation for you. Students who wait to begin their involvement in research until their senior year will have begun that work only a few months before they are applying for graduate programs and asking for letters of recommendation. For more information regarding undergraduate research opportunities please visit our undergraduate research page.

Course Descriptions

NOTE: These course groupings apply to the 2014 catalogue. Students of previous years should consult the old catalogue.

Group 1: Learning and Cognition

3317. The Psychology of Learning (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3401. A critical survey of methods, results, and interpretations of human and animal studies of learning processes. The laboratory paradigms will highlight principles discussed in lecture.

4323. Perception: Theories and Applications (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Survey of methods and findings in perception. Emphasis on demonstrations of perceptual phenomena; theories of visual perception (cosgnitive and ecological); applications. Topics include illusions, depth, motion.

4324. Cognition (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3401. This course represents an emergent synthesis of the traditional areas of perception, learning, and human performance. This new area concerns itself with higher level human cognition. Data and theory for the topics of creativity, concept learning, cognitive skills, and attention will be covered.

4327. Cognitive Neuroscience (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Introduction to functional neuroanatomy, cognitive neuroscience methods, and cognitive neuroscience theory in broad cognitive areas such as attention, perception, memory, language, and decision-making.

Group 2: Individual Differences, Personality, and Social Processes

3304. Introduction to Social Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Study of individual experience and behavior in relation to social stimulus situations. Survey of experimental work and reports on current problems. [PSYC 2319]

3306. Personality (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Principles of normal personality structure. [PSYC 2316]

3398. Ethnic Minority Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300 and Junior Standing. Focus is on the psychosocial aspects that impact the four predominant ethnic minority populations in the United States.

Group 3: Biological Bases of Behavior

3327. Introduction to Physiological Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Introduction to neuroanatomy, electrophysiological measuring techniques, and the mechanisms of receptor and effector systems. A study of the relationships between behavior and the physiological substrate.

4325. Drugs, Alcohol, and Behavior (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Survey of psychological factors involved in drug use and an introduction to pharmacotherapy used in treatment of mental illness.

4332. Health Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3401. Introduces students to the contributions of psychology as a discipline to the understanding of health and illness.

Group 4: Development Bases in Behavior

2301. Child Psychology (3). A study of the developmental processes and environmental factors which shape the personality and affect the achievement of the child. [PSYC 2308, 2309, 2310]

2305. Adolescent Psychology (3). A general review of approaches to the understanding of the social behavior and development of the adolescent. Physical, mental, and emotional growth and adjustment are covered. [PSYC 2307, 2313]

3318. Development of Children's Thinking and Emotion (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Considers cognitive development from infancy to adulthood in the areas of spatial cognition, concepts and categories, language, and physics, using symbol-processing and neural models.

4301. Developmental Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. An advanced study of the process of development through consideration of data, theories, and contemporary research issues.

Group 5: Applied Professional Psychology in Community and Practice Setting

3334. Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Introduction to current practices of clinical and counseling psychologists, including clinical, diagnostic, and intervention strategies. Survey of career opportunities, professional issues, and ethical problems.

4302. Service Learning in Psychology (3). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Provides undergraduate Psychology majors with an opportunity to earn credit doing supervised service work in the community. May be repeated one time for credit toward overall degree requirements.

4326. Human Factors Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3401. Introduction to methods and findings in human factors psychology: Applications of psychological research to designs of machines, environments, and tasks.

4334. Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Survey of current practice and theory in counseling and psychotherapy. Consideration of the research support for counseling and psychotherapy as an agent of change of behavior.

4384. Forensic Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3401, 4305. Course introduces students to the interface of psychology and law with a focus on forensic psychology (e.g., forensic psychological assessment, expert testimony).

Group 6: Additional Courses in Psychology

3301. An Introduction to the Psychology of the Arts (3). An introduction to various psychological perspectives on artistic production and appreciation.

3310. Psychology and Religion (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Examines historical perspectives on the psychology of religion, the experience of religion and spirituality from a psychological perspective, and the relations between psychology and religion.

3341. Close Relationships (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Social psychology theory and research on topics in close relationship literature including attitudes toward love and sexuality, friendship, intimacy, power, conflict, and divorce.

3390. Introduction to Positive Psychology (3). Provides an introduction to positive psychology constructs, topics, theories, contexts, and applications.

4000. Individual Problems Course (V1-6). Prerequisite: PSY 1300 and consent of instructor. Independent work under the individual guidance of a faculty member. May be repeated for up to 12 hours credit, only 6 of which may count toward fulfillment of the major in psychology.

4300. Psychology of Human Sexual Behavior (3). Prerequisite: Junior standing. Study of human sexual behavior from a psychosocial viewpoint with emphasis on contemporary research methods and findings. (W S 4302)

4305. Abnormal Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Personality deviations and maladjustments; emphasis on clinical descriptions of abnormal behavior, etiological factors, manifestations, interpretations, and treatments.

4310. Abnormal Child Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300, junior standing, and consent of instructor. Description, classification, assessment, treatment, and research methods pertaining to behavioral and emotional disorder of childhood and adolescence.

4320. Psychoanalytic Theory and Research (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300 and junior standing. From readings in psychoanalytic theory, a hypothesis will be chosen and tested by the group. The results will be discussed with psychoanalysts. Topics will vary.

4336. Research in Personality and Social Psychology (3). Prerequisite: PSY 2400, 3400 or MATH 2300, and junior or senior standing. An in-depth examination of selected substantive research areas in experimental personality and social psychology. Surveys of current research literature and design and execution of empirical studies.

4343. Language and Literacy Research and Applications (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3318 or 4324. Integration of the study of language, reading, and comprehension with research and tutoring experiences.

4344. Cognitive Science. (3). Prerequisite: PSY 1300. Introduction to the topics, research methods, and applications in the cognitive sciences, including human and machine intelligence, the representation of knowledge, memory, and consciousness.

4380. Intermediate Statistics for Psychologists (3). Prerequisite: PSY 3400 or MATH 2300. Second course in psychological statistics recommended for students planning to attend graduate school. Includes probability, correlation and regression, basic parametric and nonparametric inferential statistics.