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Psychology BS degree

Joseph Baschnagel, Department Chairperson
(585) 475-4187, jsbgsh@rit.edu

Caroline Delong, Undergraduate Program Director
(585) 475-4191, cmdgsh@rit.edu

Program overview

The psychology major provides students with a strong grounding in the discipline of psychology, integrated with a technological focus. Upon entry, students are assigned a faculty adviser to mentor their progress through the program. Curriculum planning and career discussions occur with each student’s faculty mentor.

Plan of study

The major is unique and encompasses four key elements: a choice of five upper-level interdisciplinary tracks, a solid grounding in experimental methodology and statistics, the capstone sequence of courses, and a cooperative education requirement.

Interdisciplinary tracks

Students choose two of the following interdisciplinary tracks: biopsychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, or social psychology. Current research and technology are integrated into these tracks to produce a focused and career-oriented psychology program. The tracks represent active fields of research in psychology, and students receive an education that provides a strong foundation for graduate school and employment in related fields.

The biopsychology track studies brain function as the basis of behavior. It focuses on topics such as lateralization, cortical specialization, brain injury, and psychopharmacology. Psychophysiological measures (including EEG, EMG, and skin conductance) are covered in depth along with the relationship between brain chemistry and behavior. Students perform related laboratory work relating nervous system activity to attention, memory, language, perception, and psychological disorders.

The clinical psychology track emphasizes the empirical foundations of clinical and applied mental health care. Empirically based methods are introduced to understand, assess and treat human behavioral and psychological problems. This track prepares students for graduate programs in mental health.

The cognitive psychology track uses an interdisciplinary approach to study processes such as judgment, decision making, memory, learning, language, problem solving, and attention. The track explores the interaction of human factors, psychology, and technology.

The developmental psychology track focuses on human development over the lifespan. Areas of focus include cognitive and perceptual development, social and emotional development, and developmental psychopathology.

The social psychology track introduces students to the complexity of human behavior in groups. Behavior in pairs, small groups and larger aggregates is covered in different classes. Like the other tracks, students learn by doing studies and reading relevant literature.

Cooperative education

The major requires students to complete one semester of cooperative education. This is normally completed during the summer after the junior year, but can be done in any semester after the second year. The co-op experience is in a psychology-related field and does not carry academic credit.

Curriculum

Psychology, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PSYC-101 Introduction to Psychology 3
STAT-145 LAS Perspective 7A: Introduction to Statistics I 3
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
  Free Elective 3
  Breadth Course† 3
  Pre-track Course§ 3
  First Year Writing Seminar 3
STAT-146 LAS Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics II 4
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PSYC-250 Research Methods I (WI) 3
  Pre-track Courses§ 6
  Breadth Course† 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
MEDG-101, 103 LAS Perspective 5: Human Biology I and Lab 4
PSYC-251 Research Methods II (WI) 3
MEDG-102, 104 LAS Perspective 6: Human Biology II and Lab 4
  LAS Elective 3
Third Year
  Breadth Course† 3
  Track Courses 9
  LAS Immersion 1, 2, 3 9
  LAS Electives 9
Fourth Year
  Psychology Capstone‡ 6
  Track Course 3
  LAS Electives 9
  Free Electives 12
Total Semester Credit Hours 123

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† Please see an adviser for a list of approved breadth courses.

‡ Students may choose one of the following courses to fulfill the psychology capstone: Philosophy of Science (PSYC-402) (WI), PSYC-501, or PYSC-510 (WI).

§ Students may choose three of the following courses to fulfill the pre-track course requirement: Abnormal Psychology (PSYC-221), Biopsychology (PSYC-222), Cognitive Psychology (PYSC-223, Perception (PYSC-224), or Social Psychology (PSYC-225).

Tracks

Biospychology
PSYC-310 Psychophysiology
PSYC-311 Psychopharmacology
PSYC-312 Biological Bases of Mental Disorders
Clinical Psychology
PSYC-320 Clinical Psychology
PSYC-321 Psychological Testing
PSYC-322 Psychotherapy
Cognitive
PSYC-330 Memory and Attention
PSYC-3331 Language and Thought
PSYC-332 Decision Making, Judgment and Problem Solving
Social Psychology
PSYC-340 Interpersonal Relationships
PSYC-341 Group Processes
PSYC-342 Attitudes and Social Cognition
Visual
PSYC-350 Visual Systems and Psychophysics
PSYC-351 Color, Form, and Object Perception 
PSYC-352 Depth, Motion, and Space Perception

Additional information

Career opportunities

The unique requirements of this major ensure that each student is well-prepared for advanced study in psychology or a related field, employment in industry or in human service agencies, or other career opportunities.




Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters.
View this program's information from the retired quarter calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.
 

Program overview

The bachelor of science degree in psychology provides students with a strong grounding in the discipline of psychology, integrated with a technological focus. Upon entry, students are assigned a faculty adviser to mentor their progress through the program. Students also are provided with curriculum planning strategies and career discussions through the program’s Freshman Seminar.

Curriculum

The program is unique and encompasses three key elements: the choice among four interdisciplinary tracks, a solid grounding in experimental methodology and statistics, and a cooperative education requirement.

Interdisciplinary tracks

Students choose one of the following interdisciplinary tracks: biopsychology, clinical psychology, information processing, or visual perception. Technology is integrated into these tracks to produce a nontraditional and career-oriented psychology major. The tracks are also active fields of research in psychology, and students receive training that provides a strong foundation for graduate school and employment in related fields.

The biopsychology track studies brain function as the basis of behavior. It focuses on topics such as lateralization, cortical specialization, brain injury, and psychopharmacology. Psychophysiological measures (including EEG, EMG, and skin conductance) are covered in depth along with the relationship between brain chemistry and behavior. Students perform laboratory work on the brain and its relationship to attention, memory, language, perception, and psychological disorders.

The clinical psychology track emphasizes the scientific and empirical foundations of clinical and applied work. Empirically based methods are introduced to understand and modify human psychological problems. This track prepares students for graduate programs in mental health.

The information processing track uses an interdisciplinary approach to study cognitive processes such as judgment and decision making, memory, learning, language, problem solving, attention, and perception. The track explores the interaction of human factors, psychology, and technology.

The visual perception track focuses on human perceptual systems. Vision is presented as the integration of anatomy, physiology, and behavior. Students learn psychophysical methods. The track covers cutting-edge topics such as color perception, the retinal mosaic, and neural plasticity. It stresses current research showing that visual perception is a living and growing field.

Technical/professional concentration

The program seeks students with an aptitude for technical and quantitative reasoning as well as an interest in psychology. There is sufficient curricular flexibility to permit completion of a technical concentration.

Cooperative education

The program requires students to complete a cooperative education experience for two quarters between the sophomore and senior years of course work. The co-op experience is in a psychology-related field and does not carry academic credit.

Psychology, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

Course Qtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
0514-201 Freshman Seminar 1
0514-210 Introduction to Psychology 4
0514-440 Childhood and Adolescence 4
0514-443 Cognitive Psychology 4
0514-444 Social Psychology 4
1004-211, 212, 231, 232 Human Biology I, II with Lab 8
1016-225 Algebra for Management Science 4
4002-206 Web Foundations 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
1105-051, 052 First-Year Enrichment I, II 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
0514-315 Scientific Writing 4
0514-350 Psychological Statistics 4
0514-400 Experimental Psychology 4
0514-446 Psychology of Personality 4
0514-447 Abnormal Psychology 4
0514-448 Industrial/Organizational Psychology 4
1016-319, 320 Data Analysis I, II 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Technical/Professional Concentration 4
  Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
  Interdisciplinary Courses 12
  Technical/Professional Concentration 8
  Liberal Arts* 20
  University Electives 8
  Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
  Interdisciplinary Course 4
  University Electives 12
0514-596, 597 Senior Project in Psychology I, II 8
  General Education Electives 16
Total Quarter Credit Hours 183

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirements for more information.

Additional information

Career opportunities

The unique requirements of this program ensure that each student is well-prepared for advanced study in psychology or a related field, employment in industry or in human service agencies, or other career opportunities.