Course Descriptions

Psychology Course Descriptions

PSY-designated courses qualify as Social Science or Liberal Arts Electives.


Fundamentals of Psychology I - 3 Credits

This course examines the nature of psychology as a social and behavioral science. It surveys fundamental areas in behavior including research in psychology, the brain and behavior, learning, human development and socialization, intelligence, personality, health psychology, and social psychology.


Fundamentals of Psychology II - 3 Credits

This course is a continuation of the concepts introduced in PSY101. It surveys such areas as sensation and perception, states of consciousness, memory, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, psychological disorders, and treatment of psychological disorders.

Prerequisite: PSY101.


Child Development - 3 Credits

This course emphasizes the psychological development of the child from birth to adolescence. Consideration is given to data, theories, and methods of studying child behavior. Emphasis is placed upon the general characteristics of various stages of development and upon general determinants of the developmental process.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Adolescent Psychology - 3 Credits

This course is an intensive study of the development of adolescents in terms of theory and research with special attention to the contemporary problems that confront them.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Multicultural Psychology - 3 Credits

This course will explore how cultural differences in world view, communication, racial identity, gender identity, sexuality, immigration, and other cultural issues influence psychological research and other related phenomena.


Forensic Psychology - 3 Credits

This course surveys the production and application of psychological knowledge to the legal process and the relationship between Psychology and the Law. Various roles of Psychology, psychologists, and various aspects of human behavior that are related to legal processes and issues will be explored.  Some topics to be explored are: eyewitness memory and testimony, the roles and responsibilities of forensic psychologists (e.g., as researcher, as trial consultant, as consultant to law enforcement, as expert witness, and activities of a psychologist in a police dept.), insanity & competency, sexual offending, domestic violence, battered woman syndrome, the role of the psychologist in child custody cases, sexual harassment, and psychological research on the death penalty.


Educational Psychology - 3 Credits

This survey course introduces students to the ways in which psychological aspects of the learning process are investigated and applied. Among the topics addressed are: research in educational psychology; student characteristics; applications of psychological theories to the development of instructional techniques; evaluating student performance; and special education.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Social Psychology - 3 Credits

This course seeks to explore the behavior of the individual as it is determined by social situations. Among the topics covered are socialization, attitude formation and change, social perception and attribution, affiliation, achievement, and aggression.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Theories of Personality - 3 Credits

This course surveys the major theories of personality in terms of their origins, underlying assumptions, and implications for psychology in general. Theorists considered include, but may not be limited to, Freud, Horney, Erikson, Kelly, Skinner, Rogers, Bandura. Factor analytic theory and biological typology are also covered.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Abnormal Psychology - 3 Credits

This course examines the major theories of psychopathology. For each theory treated, consideration is given to the definition of abnormality, supportive research data, classification systems, and suggested intervention strategies.

Prerequisite: PSY101 and Junior class standing


Drugs and Behavior - 3 Credits

This course surveys drugs and their effects on human behavior, physiology, and society in general. The “non-drugs” (alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine); the psychotherapeutic drugs (antipsychotic, anti-anxiety agents, stimulants, and depressants); and the narcotics and hallucinogens, including marijuana and LSD, are thoroughly examined.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Learning Theory - 3 Credits

This course surveys the historical antecedents of modern learning theory. Emphasis is placed on the influence of major theorists such as Pavlov, Watson, Skinner, Thorndike, and Hull. The course concludes with a survey of recent trends and developments in the field, including the applications of respondent and operant conditioning principles in therapy and behavior management programs.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Psychological Tests and Measurements - 3 Credits

This course examines the various tests used in the assessment of individuals. Considerable emphasis is given to such topics as the assumptions underlying the construction of tests, determination of validity, and the estimation of reliability.

Prerequisites: PSY101 and permission of the instructor


Language Development in Young Children - 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the field of developmental psycholinguistics. It focuses on the processes and mechanisms by which young children (from birth to age eight) acquire competence in language. The major milestones of language development, including maturational readiness, speech perception and production, precursors to language, one- and two-word utterances, overextension of meaning, modulation of meaning, and complex construction are surveyed. Attention is also given to the major theories of language acquisition: biological, behaviorist, and social-cognitive.

Prerequisite: PSY101


Neuropsychology - 3 Credits

This course examines the neuropsychological bases of behavior.  Attention is given to such topics as neuronal transmission, anatomy of the nervous system, evolution of the brain, emotion, learning and memory, lateralization and language, brain damage, psychopathology, and clinical neuropsychological evaluation.

Prerequisites: PSY102; BIO120


Research Methodology for the Social Sciences - 3 Credits

This course emphasizes the methods and techniques for research in psychology and sociology, including both laboratory and survey techniques. Emphasis is placed on the development of empirical questions from theory, research design and control, construction of survey instruments, statistical analysis and interpretation of results. Exercises include development of an original research project appropriate to the students' major field.

Prerequisites: MAT220, and either PSY102 or SOC340


Special Topics in Forensics Psychology - 3 Credits

This course addresses the practical application of special topics in forensic psychology. It provides a survey into the interface between psychology and the law. Students will gain an understanding of how mental health disorders may cause, aggravate or mitigate criminal or civil cases. Students will identify a special topic in forensic psychology and apply theoretical knowledge for research and connect their research to the impact on society.

Prerequisites: PSY101 and PSY240


Sensation and Perception - 3 Credits

This course studies the processes by which sensory information is extracted from the environment, organized, and integrated with past experience as well as the states of the organism to yield a person's perceptual experience of the world. Specific processes to be considered include visual acuity, color vision, perceptual organization and constancies, perception of depth, movement, and form. Attention is also given to distortions and illusions of perception and to the role of perceptual principles in drawings, painting, and photography.

Prerequisites: PSY102; BIO120

PSY421 Proseminar - 3 Credits

This course provides the opportunity for students to design and conduct individual research projects under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are expected to present the design and results of their studies in the framework of a seminar.

Prerequisite: Senior Psychology major


Internship in Psychology 3-6 Credits

This course is an opportunity for students to experience the world of professional psychology through direct participation. Internships are arranged on an individual basis and may, therefore, be served in a variety of off-campus settings, including hospitals, research laboratories, private industrial organizations, community mental health facilities, etc.

Prerequisites: Psychology major with at least 12 credits in Psychology.

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