Curriculum

A unique feature of our curriculum includes the five tracks of in-depth interdisciplinary study: (1) Biopsychology; (2) Clinical Psychology; (3) Cognitive Psychology; (4) Social Psychology; and (5) Visual Perception. Each track consists of three interdisciplinary courses that integrate students' technical immersion and Psychology.

Students must take the corresponding 'pre-track' course prior to enrolling in a track course. Most track courses require completion of the Research Methods I & II sequence, but some are open to those who have completed PSYC-250 only.

The three courses in each track are offered in successive semesters, so careful planning is required if you want to take a particular track course. Students should consult their advisor regarding taking their track courses.

Required Courses

PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology

Pre-track Core Courses – Choose 3

Skills Courses – Take Both

PSYC 221 Abnormal Psychology

PSYC 250 Research Methods 1

PSYC 222 Biopsychology

PSYC 251 Research Methods 2

PSYC 223 Cognitive Psychology

 

PSYC 224 Perception

Capstone – Choose 2

PSYC 225 Social Psychology

PSYC 401 Research Methods 3

 

PSYC 502 Seminar in Psychology

Breadth Core Courses – Choose 3

PSYC 510 Senior Project in Psychology

PSYC 231 Death & Dying

 

PSYC 232 Developmental Psychology

Co-ops

PSYC 233 History & Systems

PSYC 499 Co-op in Psychology

PSYC 234 Industrial & Organizational Psychology

 

PSYC 235 Learning & Behavior

 

PSYC 236 Personality

 

PSYC 237 Psychology of Gender

 

PSYC 238 Psychology of Religion

 

PSYC 239 Positive Psychology

 

Track Courses – Choose 2 tracks and take 2 courses from each track.

Biopsychology

Social Psychology

PSYC 310-Psychophysiology

PSYC 340–Interpersonal Relationships

PSYC 311-Psychopharmacology

PSYC 341–Group Processes

PSYC 312–Biological Bases of Mental Disorders

PSYC 342 –Attitudes & Social Cognition

 

 

Clinical Psychology

Visual Perception

PSYC 320–Clinical Psychology

PSYC 350–Visual Systems & Psychophysics

PSYC 321–Psychological Testing

PSYC 351–Color, Form & Object Perception

PSYC 322–Psychotherapy

PSYC 352–Depth, Motion & Space Perception

 

 

Cognitive

 

PSYC 330–Memory & Attention

 

PSYC 331–Language & Thought

 

PSYC 332–Decision Making, Judgment, &   Problem Solving

 

**CLICK ON THE UNDERGRADUATE ADVISING PLAN SHEET FOR MORE INFORMATION**

Course Descriptions 

PSYC-101 Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to the field of psychology. Provides a survey of basic concepts, theories, and research methods. Topics include: thinking critically with psychological science; neuroscience and behavior; sensation and perception; learning; memory; thinking, language, and intelligence; motivation and emotion; personality; psychological disorders and therapy; and social psychology. Required course for psychology majors.

Pre-Requisites: None

Credits: 3

PSYC-221 Abnormal Psychology

This course will serve as an introduction to the study of psychopathology and mental illness.  The course examines the major categories of mental disorder not only from the descriptive point of view, but also in terms of the major theoretical explanations of the causes of disorder. The major treatment modalities also are covered. Required course for psychology majors. Part of the psychology concentration and minor. May also be taken as an elective.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-222 Biopsychology

Introduction to the field of behavioral neuroscience, the study of neurobiological basis of cognition and behavior. Topics include neuroanatomy and physiology, localization of function, brain injury, research methods in behavioral neuroscience, and biological basis of language, memory, emotion, conscious states, sexual behavior, etc., with an evolutionary perspective. Prerequisite for the biopsychology track in the psychology degree program.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-223 Cognitive Psychology

This course examines how people perceive, learn, represent, remember and use information. Contemporary theory and research are surveyed in such areas as attention, pattern and object recognition, memory, knowledge representation, language acquisition and use, reasoning, decision-making, problem solving, creativity, and intelligence. Applications in artificial intelligence and human/technology interaction may also be considered.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-224 Perception

This course covers perception in all of the sensory modalities (vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch).  We will trace what happens to the physical stimulus as our sensory systems analyze it to produce complicated perceptions of the world around us.  We will explore the fact that many complex perceptual phenomena draw upon explanations at the physiological, psychological, and cognitive levels. Topics on sensory perception in non-human animals may also be covered. This is a required course for psychology majors in the visual perception track. 

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-225 Social Psychology

This course explores topics related to behaviors and mental processes of individuals in social situations. Topics include: methodology, social perception, social cognition, the self, attitudes, prejudice, attraction, social influence, pro-social behavior, aggression, and behavior in groups. Course activities include lecture, class demonstrations, and assignments. The flavor of the course is experiential and applications-oriented.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-231 Death & Dying

This course examines the role of loss including death in our lives and the way we give and receive support during difficult times.  It also looks at how society enfranchises some grievers and disenfranchises others.  Included in this course is an examination of our options as consumers of funeral and burial services, grief counseling and other products and services which can either minimize or abate our grief. Central to the course is an examination of the ethical principles which apply to abortion, euthanasia and suicide and an examination of the ways in which the choices we make may be structured to express our core values. Finally, the course explores how “The American way of Death” differs from that of other societies and how we might incorporate the wisdom of other cultures into our own practices.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-232 Developmental Psychology

This course explores the process of human development, from conception through adolescence and continuing through later adulthood.  The developmental approach integrates across many areas of psychology, including perception, cognition, social and emotional development, personality, morality, human factors, and neuroscience.  Topics will include such things as infant brain plasticity, the development of identity in adolescence, and memory changes in adulthood. In addition, experimental methods of developmental research will be introduced and practiced, including issues specific to studying children and adults.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-233 History & Systems in Psychology

This course explores the history of psychology from ancient to modern times and examines topical and philosophical questions that have persisted. Psychological schools of thought to be covered include pre-modern philosophical influences, Structuralism, Functionalism, Behaviorism, Psychoanalysis, Humanistic Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Psychological Testing, and Positive Psychology.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-234 Industrial & Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology is a branch of applied psychology that is concerned with efficient management of an industrial labor force and especially with problems encountered by workers in a mechanized environment. Specific areas include job analysis, defining and measuring job performance, performance appraisal, tests, employment interviews, employee selection and training, and human factors. This course covers the basic principles of the above areas as well as applications of current research in I/O psychology.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-235 Learning & Behavior

This course covers topics in learning such as non-associative learning, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, stimulus control of behavior, reinforcement, generalization and discrimination, and observational learning. Topics on learning and behavior in non-human animals may also be covered.

Pre-requisite: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-236 Personality

This course is intended for students who are interested in learning the history and current status of personality theories. Students will learn the strengths and weaknesses of the major personality theories, as well as how to assess, research and apply these theories. As much as possible, application to real life situations will be discussed.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-237 Psychology of Gender

The purpose of this course is to examine the psychology and lives of girls and women. In addition to the influence of culture, biological and genetic differences will be highlighted for each of the different topics. The topics covered include gender stereotypes, the development of gender roles, gender comparisons, love relationships, sexuality, motherhood and violence against women.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Class: 3, Lab: N/A, Credits: 3

PSYC-238 Psychology of Religion

This course examines (primarily social) psychological approaches to religious and spiritual belief, behavior, and experience. Topics include psychological approaches to religion, religious development in children and adolescents, religious development in adults and old age, religious conversion, religious orientation, religious attitudes and behaviors, religion and well-being, group dynamics in religious communities, religion as a “total institution”, cults and deprogramming, need theories and religion, and religion and politics.

Pre-requisites: None

Credits: 3

PSYC-239 Positive Psychology

This course will provide a survey of the emerging field of Positive Psychology. Topics covered will include defining and assessing “the good life”; the relationships between life satisfaction and personal factors such as wealth, education, and longevity; cross-cultural perspectives; virtues and strengths; and biological factors (i.e., genetics and neurological correlates).  The focus will be on contemporary empirical psychology literature, though the course will also draw on literature from historical, philosophical, and economic disciplines.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-250 Research Methods I

This course will serve as an introduction to research methods in Psychology, with the goal of understanding research design, analysis and writing.  Topics include examining the variety of methods used in psychology research, understanding research ethics, developing empirical hypotheses, designing experiments, understanding statistical concepts, interpreting results, and writing research and review papers in APA style.  This course is offered in sequence with PSYC-251.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-101

Credits: 3

PSYC-251 Research Methods II

This course will serve as an advanced research methods course in Psychology, and will build on the foundational knowledge presented in Research Methods I.  Topics and tasks for this  course include designing single and multi-factor experiments, interpreting correlational research, completing statistical analyses appropriate to design, completing and analyzing an IRB application, understanding observational and survey research, and presenting results in APA style.  This course is offered in sequence with PSYC-250 (Research Methods I).

Pre-requisites: PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-310 Psychophysiology

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to psychophysiology. Students will learn about various psychophysiological measures and their use in the study of areas such as attention, emotion, language, etc. Topics may include mind-body interaction, somatic and autonomic nervous system function, central and peripheral physiological measures (e.g., EEG, EMG, Cardiac Reactivity, Skin Conductance Responses), psychophysiological research methods, and applied psychophysiology.  Part of the biopsychology track for the psychology degree program. Students will be expected to be able to write at an upper level using APA format.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-222, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-311 Psychopharmacology

A comprehensive introduction to psychoactive drugs. Topics include pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, synaptic transmission, drugs of abuse and drugs used in the treatment of mental disorders, and the behavioral and cognitive effects of these drugs. Part of the biopsychology track for the psychology degree program. Students will be expected to be able to write at an upper level using APA format.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-222, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-312 Biological Bases of Mental Disorders

Biopsychology track course which covers the biological underpinnings of psychiatric mental disorders such as Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Developmental Disorders, etc. Topics will include neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, genetics and biologically based treatments of mental disorders. Students will learn about biologically based research methods used to study mental disorders and to think critically about research findings in the field. Students will be expected to be able to write at an upper level using APA format.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-222, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-320 Clinical Psychology

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the field of clinical psychology, including the way in which it is similar to and different from other mental health disciplines (psychiatry, social work, school psychology, etc.). The course will cover the basic foundations of clinical psychology, training models and graduate programs, clinical assessment, clinical interventions, and subspecialties in clinical psychology (e.g., neuropsychology, child clinical, etc.).

Pre-requisites: PSYC-221, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-321 Psychological Testing

This course is intended for students in the psychology major to develop knowledge of psychological testing theory, methods, and applications. Students will first learn about the history of psychological testing, types of tests, and uses of tests. Students will learn about test development and standardization procedures including item construction, sampling, norms, reliability, validity, administration procedures, and scoring. A brief review of relevant statistical concepts will be provided. Students will learn how to locate and evaluate available psychological tests. Examples of psychological tests from various areas of application will be reviewed and critiqued.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-221, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-322 Psychotherapy

This course is intended for students who are in the Clinical Track. Students will learn the strengths and weaknesses of the major therapeutic approaches. They will learn the efficacy of these approaches. They will learn the theoretical and research bases for the approaches. As much as possible, application to real life situations will be discussed.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-221, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-330 Memory & Attention

This course reviews current research in the areas of memory and attention. This course will consider such memory topics as: the classic three stores theory of memory and Baddeley’s model of working memory, information processing, implicit and explicit memory, principles of forgetting, developmental changes in memory, skill memory, autobiographical memory, eyewitness memory, and the neural bases of memory. Attention topics covered in this course will include: Selective and divided attention, search and vigilance, signal detection theory, and neural correlates of attention.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-223, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-331 Language & Thought

This course is intended for students in the Cognitive Processing track.  This course examines the structure of human language and its relationship to thought, and surveys contemporary theory and research on the comprehension and production of spoken and written language.  In addition, we will discuss categorization, representation of knowledge, expertise, consciousness, intelligence, and artificial intelligence.  Topics on language and thought in non-human animals may also be covered.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-223, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-332 Decision, Judgments, & Problem Solving

This course explores judgment and decision-making and problem-solving processes and focuses on the social and cognitive aspects of complex information processing. Major topics include normative, descriptive (heuristics and biases), and naturalistic approaches to decision-making, as well as selective perception, memory and hindsight biases, framing effects, heuristics, social influences, group processes and human error. Formal, normative models of decision-making considered include the prospect theory, expected utility theory, and Bayes’ Theorem. Problem solving will be examined from perspectives of formal, computational methods as well as intuition and creativity. Experimental methods in the research of judgment and decision-making and problem solving and applications in design of systems and decision aids will receive special attention.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-223, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-340 Interpersonal Relationships

This course explores topics related to interpersonal relationships. Topics include: methodology, communication in relationships, romantic relationships, friendships, work relationships, as well as individual differences that can influence the development, maintenance, and cessation of relationships. Course activities include lecture, class discussions, and assignments.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-225, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-341 Group Processes

This course explores social psychological phenomena at the level of the group. It explores intragroup processes such as cohesion, norms, network structure, social influence, task productivity, group decision-making and polarization. It also explores intergroup processes, especially those related to intergroup conflict and cooperation, such as social categorization, social identity, and stereotyping.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-225, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSYC-342 Attitudes & Social Cognition

This course explores social psychological phenomena at the level of the individual. This course addresses those domains of social behavior in which cognition plays a major role, including the interface of cognition with overt behavior, affect, and motivation.
Among topics covered are the formation, change, and utilization of attitudes, attributions, and stereotypes, person memory, self-regulation, and the origins and consequences of moods and emotions insofar as these interact with cognition. This course also explores the influence of cognition and its various interfaces on significant social phenomena such as persuasion, communication, prejudice, social development, and cultural trends.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-225, PSYC-251

Credits: 3

PSCY-350 Visual Systems & Psychophysics

This course is intended for students in the Visual Perception track. The course focuses on visual perception and the methods used for studying sensation and perception. Structures in the human and other visual systems will be examined along with neurophysiology relevant to vision in particular and perception in general. Classical psychophysics, forced choice methods, staircases and other specialized techniques will be examined. Students will collect and analyze psychophysical data to demonstrate their understanding of the methods and their application in vision science.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-224, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-351 Color, Form, & Object Perception

This course is intended for students in the Visual Perception track. The course focuses on the perception of the surface properties of objects, focusing on color, form and other attributes. The course will examine how information is encoded by the visual system, with a focus on recognizing objects in scenes and surfaces. Receptive field properties, parallel processing in vision, the binding problem and other issues in Vision Science will be presented and discussed. The course requires students to read primary sources and to gain some experience with the design of experiments. Empirical research in vision will be conducted including data collection and analysis. Students are recommended to take CLA-PSYC-350-Visual System & Psychophysics before this course, but it is not required.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-224, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-352 Depth, Motion, & Space Perception

This course is intended for students in the Visual Perception track. The course focuses on the perception of the three-dimensional space, including the perception of depth and motion. This course will examine how sensory data are used to produce an accurate representation of the world. This course will include some discussion of multimodal perception given the interactions that occur between audition, touch, and vision to produce a 3D representation. Topics will include receptive field properties in relevant areas of cortex, parallel processing in vision, the uncertainty of extracting accurate 3D properties from 2D input and related material. The course requires students to read primary sources and to gain some experience with the design of experiments. Empirical research in vision will be conducted including data collection and analysis. Students are recommended to take CLA-PSYC-350-Visual System & Psychophysics before this course, but it is not required.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-224, PSYC-250

Credits: 3

PSYC-401 Research Methods III

This course is intended for students in the psychology major to develop experimental research expertise. This course will put into practice some of what is learned in Research Methods I and II. Students will explore topics of interest for further research in Psychology. They will develop one research idea that could either form the basis for a Senior Project in Psychology or is a valid test of a research idea. The exact subject to be studied is up to the student, who must find their faculty advisor for Senior Project before they finish this course. Students will be supervised by the course instructor as they develop a research question, conduct a literature review, write the introduction, and examine questions about control, validity and reliability. This course will culminate in a research proposal. Students going on to Senior Project in Psychology can use this as a proposal course. Students who are not planning for Senior Project will practice writing a proposal and the related skills required to critically examine an advanced topic in Psychology.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-251, & at least 1 Psychology 300 level course

Credits: 3

PSYC-499 Psychology Co-op

The program requires that students complete a cooperative education experience for 1 semester after the sophomore year.  The co-op experience is in a psychology-related field and does not carry academic credit.

PSYC-502 Seminar in Psychology

This course is intended for students in the psychology major to integrate material covered in earlier courses and examine broad topics in Psychology. The specific topics covered will vary from semester to semester. This course is an opportunity for faculty and students to examine issues that transcend sub-disciplines in Psychology. Students will read original research and examine influential theories relevant to the topic. 

Pre-requisites: PSYC-251, & at least 1 Psychology 300 level course

Credits: 3

PSYC-510 Senior Project in Psychology

This course is intended for students in the psychology major to demonstrate experimental research expertise, while being guided by faculty advisors. The topic to be studied is up to the student, who must find a faculty advisor before signing up for the course. Students will be supervised by the advisor as they conduct their literature review, develop the research question or hypothesis, develop the study methodology and materials, construct all necessary IRB materials, run subjects, and analyze the results of their study. This course will culminate in an APA style paper and poster presentation reporting the results of the research. Receiving a passing grade on the paper qualifies the students for the writing requirement in psychology. Because Senior Project is the culmination of a student’s scientific research learning experience in the psychology major, it is expected that the project will be somewhat novel, will extend the theoretical understanding of their previous work (or of the previous work of another researcher), and go well beyond any similar projects that they might have done in any of their previous courses.

Pre-requisites: PSYC-401 & instructor permission

Credits: 3