Psychology Bachelor of Science Degree

Our psychology bs provides a scientific study of the brain paired with a focus on observing, experimenting, and analyzing the mind to understand what drives human behavior.


92%

Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates


Overview

Psychology is the scientific study of the brain and focuses on observing, experimenting, and analyzing the behavior in multiple situations. To answer questions about what drives behavior, psychologists observe evolutionary factors, social and cultural inputs, and biological aspects of behavior.

RIT’s psychology bs provides you with a strong grounding in the discipline of psychology, integrated with a technological focus. You will study behavior to understand the mind, but also look at the brain itself, with the use of new technologies allowing for a deeper study of psychological processes. Curriculum planning and career discussions occur with each student’s faculty mentor.

Psychology Degree Plan of Study

The psychology bs is unique and encompasses four key elements: a choice of upper-level interdisciplinary tracks, a solid grounding in experimental methodology and statistics, the capstone sequence of courses, and a required cooperative education, internship, or research experience.

Interdisciplinary Tracks

Current research and technology are integrated into these tracks to produce a focused and career-oriented major in psychology. The tracks represent active fields of research in psychology, and you will receive an education that provides a strong foundation for graduate school and employment in related fields.

Choose two of the following interdisciplinary tracks:

  • biopsychology
  • clinical psychology
  • cognitive psychology
  • social psychology
  • visual perception.

 

Career Opportunities

The unique requirements of the psychology BS ensure that you are well-prepared for advanced study in psychology or a related field, employment in industry or in human service agencies, or other career opportunities.

Pre-Law Advising Program

Law schools welcome applications from students majoring in a wide range of academic programs. If you are interested in pursuing law school, RIT’s Pre-Law Advising Program is designed to maximize your chances of admission to law school. The program includes personalized advising, LSAT preparation, academic counseling, and a time table for law school admission.

RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option

RIT has partnered with Syracuse University’s College of Law to offer an accelerated 3+3 BS/JD option for highly capable students. This option provides a fast-track pathway to law school in which students earn a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctorate degree in six years. In the 3+3 option, students may apply to the option directly. Successful applicants are offered admission to RIT and given conditional acceptance into Syracuse University’s College of Law.

RIT's psychology degree is one of the approved majors for the 3+3 option. Learn more about the RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option, including admission requirements and frequently asked questions.

Accelerated 4+1 MBA

An accelerated 4+1 MBA option is available to students enrolled in any of RIT’s undergraduate programs. RIT’s accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degrees can help you prepare for your future faster by enabling you to earn both a bachelor’s and an MBA in as little as five years of study.

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Careers and Cooperative Education

Typical Job Titles

Crisis Counselor Client Services
Disability Services Assistant Teacher
Research Assistant Marketing Production Coordinator
Outpatient Access Specialist Teaching Assistant
Special Education Teacher

Salary and Career Information for Psychology BS

Cooperative Education

What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. 

Students in the psychology degree are required to complete a cooperative education, internship, or research experience (see Research). 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 completed in a psychology-related field and does not carry academic credit.

Curriculum for Psychology BS

Psychology, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
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. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
STAT-145
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
STAT-146
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Introduction to Statistics II
This course is an elementary introduction to the topics of regression and analysis of variance. The statistical software package Minitab will be used to reinforce these techniques. The focus of this course is on business applications. This is a general introductory statistics course and is intended for a broad range of programs. (Prerequisites: STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
Psychology Breadth Course
3
 
Psychology Pre-track Course
3
Second Year
BIOG-101
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: Explorations in Cellular Biology and Evolution
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth. (Prerequisites: Students may not take BIOG-101 if they have already taken BIOL-101. See the Biology department with any questions.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
3
BIOG-103
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: Explorations in Cell Biology & Evolution Lab
Virtual laboratory work to complement the online course Explorations in Cell Biology & Evolution (BIOG101). The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, microscopy, microevolution, and to develop basic scientific techniques, all in a virtual setting. Co-requisite: BIOG101: Explorations in Cell Biology & Evolution Lecture. (Co-requisites: BIOG-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Summer).
1
BIOG-102
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: Explorations in Animal and Plant Anatomy and Physiology
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology. (Prerequisites: Students may not take BIOG-102 if they have already taken BIOL-102. See the Biology department with any questions.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
3
BIOG-104
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: Explorations in Animal & Plant Anatomy & Physiology Lab
Laboratory work to complement the online Explorations in Animal & Plant Anatomy & Physiology (BIOG102). The virtual experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, increase understanding of ecosystem interactive components, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Co-requisite: BIOG102: Explorations in Animal & Plant Anatomy & Physiology. (Co-requisites: BIOG-102 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring, Summer).
1
PSYC-250
Research Methods I (WI-PR)
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 is a required course for all psychology majors, and is restricted to students in the psychology program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H and STAT-145 or STAT-145H equivalent course and student standing in PSYC-BS or HCC-BS programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
PSYC-251
Research Methods II (WI-PR)
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 is a required course for all psychology majors, and is restricted to students in the psychology program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-250 and STAT-146 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Psychology Breadth Course
3
 
Psychology Pre-track Courses
6
Third Year
PSYC-301
Junior Seminar in Psychology
This professional development course is intended for students in the psychology major to prepare for their careers. Topics include identifying career interests and values, learning how to effectively search for co-ops and jobs, preparing a resume and CV, identifying appropriate graduate programs, preparing graduate school applications, interview skills, and professional communication. Students will use career-planning resources such as the Psychology Career Center on campus and the Psychology Career Center community site on myCourses. This course is required for students majoring in Psychology. (This class is restricted to students with at least 3rd year standing in the PSYC-BS program.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
1
Choose one of the following:
0
   PSYC-498
   Internship (summer)
Internship in Psychology. This is for 350 hours of supervised unpaid work off campus with non-profits, public service groups, the zoo, or similar organizations. Each Internship experience must be approved by the department of psychology prior to starting. (This course is restricted to PSYC-BS Major students.) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   PSYC-499
   Psychology Co-op (summer)
Psychology Co-op (This course is restricted to PSYC-BS Major students.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   PSYC-550
   Undergraduate Research Experience (summer)
Practicum open to psychology students. Gives the student first-hand experience in the field of psychology working on research that matches the student's career objectives. Students are closely supervised by a faculty member, developing relevant skills and learning how to do research first-hand. May count for the equivalent of the psychology co-op experience with prior approval and sufficient time commitment. (3rd or 4th year status). Prerequisites PSYC-101, -250, -251. Credit 0 (F, S, Su) (Prerequisites: PSYC-101, PSYC-250 and PSYC-251 or equivalent courses and minimum of 3rd year standing in PSYC-BS.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
General Education – Immersions 1, 2, 3
9
 
Psychology Breadth Course
3
 
Psychology Track Courses
9
Fourth Year
Choose two of the following:
6
   PSYC-501
   Senior Capstone Proposal
This course is intended for students in the psychology major to develop experimental research expertise and 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. 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 and must find their faculty adviser for senior project before they finish this 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-251 and STAT-146 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
 
   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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-251 or (0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) or equivalent course. Co-requisites: One (1) 300-level psychology (PSYC) class or one (1) 500-level psychology (0514) class.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
 
   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. 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-501 or equivalent course.) Research (Fall, Spring).
 
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
Open Electives
12
 
Psychology Track Course
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
124

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) 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 different Wellness courses.

Pre-track courses

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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PSYC-221H
Honors Abnormal Psychology
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, and sexual behavior, with an evolutionary perspective. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PSYC-224H
Honors Perception
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PSYC-226
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).

Breadth courses

PSYC-226
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
PSYC-231
Death and 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PSYC-234
Industrial and 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
PSYC-235
Learning and 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
PSYC-237
Psychology of Women
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
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. (Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
PSYC-240
Human Sexuality
This course provides an overview of human sexuality through the lenses of biology and psychology. What causes sexual behavior and why do some individuals display different sexual behaviors than others? Human sexual physiology, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are highly diverse. Coursework will examine the ways in which human sexuality varies among individuals, across groups, and throughout the lifespan. Multiple explanations for sexual behavior will be considered, drawing from evolutionary psychology, learning theory, social psychology, and biology. Atypical and harmful sexual behaviors will be addressed as well. Throughout the course, students will learn how social science research techniques have been used to expand the field of human sexuality and how empirical inquiry can differentiate myths from facts. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
PSYC-241
Health Psychology
A majority of serious diseases today are caused by or exacerbated by behavior and many are preventable. This course provides an introduction to the role of behavior in health. Students will learn about the role of psychology in studying and promoting good health behaviors. Topics include the impact of stress and coping on health, psychological variables related to chronic disease, drug addiction, promoting healthy behavior (e.g. exercise, diet, sleep, sexual health), positive psychology, pain management, critical thinking about health product and alternative medicine claims, and research approaches in health psychology. Students who might elect to take this course include students majoring in related fields who wish to learn more about health behavior (e.g. healthcare technology), students majoring, minoring, or immersing in Psychology, and students looking for a Liberal Arts Elective. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
PSYC-242
Cultural Psychology
This course provides an introduction to cultural psychology. Cultural psychology focuses on the ways in which culture influences our mental processes and behavior. According to Wang (2016), “cultural psychology is necessary for the building of a true psychological science” (2016, p. 3). As part of this course, students will learn about the types of research methods and theoretical models required for investigating the impact of culture on our psychology.Cultural psychologists study a number of key research questions including but not limited to how and why cultural groups differ, how cultural groups are similar, the dynamic interaction between culture and individual differences or personality, and the multiple ways in which culture influences cognition and behavior. Critically, cultural psychology emphasizes the value and importance of appreciating diversity and multiculturalism. As one example, cultural psychology incorporates intersectionality by focusing on the combined effect of multiple identities, such as gender and cultural heritage in shaping our psychology. This course will provide an in-depth focus on diversity, multiculturalism, and the value of appreciating the global landscape in which we live. (Prerequisite: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-300
Topics in Psychology
This course focuses on current issues and subfields in the field of psychology that are not distinctly incorporated in the established Psychology course offerings. This course concentrates on student discussion and interaction related to required readings. Examples of possible topics are forensic psychology, school psychology, neuropsychology, pseudoscience, etc. Part of the Psychology Minor and Immersion. Students may repeat the course but may not repeat the topic. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least one PSYC course - 200 level or higher.) Lecture 3 (Annual).
PSYC-313
Forensic Psychology

Tracks

Biopsychology
PSYC-410
Psychophysiology
This course is intended for students in the biopsychology track. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to psycho-physiology. Students will learn about various psychophysiological measures and their use in the study of areas such as attention, emotion, and language. 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. Students will be expected to be able to write at an upper level using APA format. Part of the biopsychology track for the psychology degree program. (Prerequisites: (PSYC-222 or 0514-548 or 0514-553) and (PSYC-251 or (0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-411
Psychopharmacology
This course is intended for students in the biopsychology track. 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. Students will be expected to be able to write at an upper level using APA format. (Prerequisites: PSYC-222 and PSYC-250 and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-412
Biological Bases of Mental Disorders
This course is intended for students in the biopsychology track. This course covers the biological underpinnings of psychiatric mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and developmental disorders. 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-222 and PSYC-250 and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
Clinical Psychology
PSYC-420
Clinical Psychology
This course is intended for students in the clinical track. 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). 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). (Prerequisites: PSYC-221 and (PSYC-250 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) and STAT-145 or equivalent courses and student standing in the PSYC-BS program.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-421
Psychological Testing
This course is intended for students in the clinical track. 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-221 and (PSYC-250 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-422
Psychotherapy
This course is intended for students 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. Part of the clinical track for the psychology degree program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-221 and (PSYC-250 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
Cognitive Psychology
PSYC-430
Memory and Attention
This course is intended for students in the cognitive track. This course reviews current research in the areas of memory and attention. This course will consider such memory topics as: classic theories of memory, Baddeley’s model of working memory, in-formation 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-223 and (PSYC-251 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-431
Language and Thought
This course is intended for students in the cognitive 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. Part of the cognitive track for the psychology degree program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-223 and (PSYC-251 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-432
Decision Making, Judgment, and Problem Solving
This course is intended for students in the cognitive track. This course explores judgment, 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, social influences, group processes and human error. 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 and applications in design of systems and decision aids will receive special attention. (Prerequisites: PSYC-223 and (PSYC-251 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
Developmental Psychology
PSYC-460
Developmental Psychopathology
This course examines the ways in which people deviate from typical development throughout the lifespan. The specific course content will vary depending on the expertise of the instructor, but might include topics like developmental disabilities, disorders of aging, disruptive behavior disorders, or the effects of maltreatment on development. This course is part of the developmental track for psychology majors. (Prerequisites: PSYC-232/226 and PSYC-251 and STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
PSYC-461
Social and Emotional Development
This course takes an in-depth look at some of the normative processes of human social and emotional development. The specific course content will vary depending on the expertise of the instructor, but might include topics like parenting and family relationships, social development and peer relationships, or adolescent social and emotional development. This course is part of the Developmental Track for psychology majors. (Prerequisites: PSYC-232/226 and PSYC-251 and STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
PSYC-462
Cognitive and Perceptual Development
This course takes an in-depth look at the processes of perception and cognition as they develop over the lifespan. Drawing on basic research and theory, we will use a developmental perspective to study changes in perception and cognition. The specific course content will vary depending on the expertise of the instructor, but might include topics like sensory awareness, perceptual learning, object representation, causality, language, theory of mind, memory, or problem solving. This course is part of the Developmental Track for psychology majors. (Prerequisites: PSYC-232/226 and PSYC-251 and STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Social Psychology
PSYC-440
Interpersonal Relationships
This course is intended for students in the social track. This course explores topics related to interpersonal relationships including: 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-225 and PSYC-250 and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-441
Group Processes
This course is intended for students in the social track. 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-225 and PSYC-250 and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-442
Attitudes and Social Cognition
This course is intended for students in the social track. 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 on significant social phenomena such as persuasion, communication, prejudice, social development, and cultural trends. Part of the social track for the psychology degree program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-225 and PSYC-250 and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
Visual Perception
PSYC-450
Visual System & 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. Part of the visual perception track for the psychology degree program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-224 and (PSYC-250 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-451
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, including color, form and other attributes. The course will examine how information is encoded by the visual system, with an emphasis 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 PSYC-350 Visual System and Psychophysics before this course, but it is not required. (Prerequisites: PSYC-224 and (PSYC-250 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
PSYC-452
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 PSYC-350-Visual System and Psychophysics before this course, but it is not required. (Prerequisites: PSYC-224 and (PSYC-250 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) and STAT-145 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees

Today’s careers require advanced degrees grounded in real-world experience. RIT’s Combined Accelerated Pathways enable you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years of study. You’ll earn two degrees while gaining the valuable, hands-on experience that comes from co-ops, internships, research, study abroad, and more. Learn how a Combined Accelerated Pathway can prepare you for your future, faster.

Psychology, BS degree/Experimental Psychology, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
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. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
STAT-145
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement exam score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
STAT-146
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Introduction to Statistics II
This course is an elementary introduction to the topics of regression and analysis of variance. The statistical software package Minitab will be used to reinforce these techniques. The focus of this course is on business applications. This is a general introductory statistics course and is intended for a broad range of programs. (Prerequisites: STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Elective
3
 
Psychology Breadth Course
3
 
Psychology Pre-track Course
3
Second Year
BIOG-101
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: Explorations in Cellular Biology and Evolution
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth. (Prerequisites: Students may not take BIOG-101 if they have already taken BIOL-101. See the Biology department with any questions.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Summer).
3
BIOG-103
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: Explorations in Cell Biology & Evolution Lab
Virtual laboratory work to complement the online course Explorations in Cell Biology & Evolution (BIOG101). The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, microscopy, microevolution, and to develop basic scientific techniques, all in a virtual setting. Co-requisite: BIOG101: Explorations in Cell Biology & Evolution Lecture. (Co-requisites: BIOG-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall, Summer).
1
BIOG-102
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: Explorations in Animal and Plant Anatomy and Physiology
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology. (Prerequisites: Students may not take BIOG-102 if they have already taken BIOL-102. See the Biology department with any questions.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
3
BIOG-104
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: Explorations in Animal & Plant Anatomy & Physiology Lab
Laboratory work to complement the online Explorations in Animal & Plant Anatomy & Physiology (BIOG102). The virtual experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, increase understanding of ecosystem interactive components, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Co-requisite: BIOG102: Explorations in Animal & Plant Anatomy & Physiology. (Co-requisites: BIOG-102 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring, Summer).
1
PSYC-250
Research Methods I (WI-PR)
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 is a required course for all psychology majors, and is restricted to students in the psychology program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H and STAT-145 or STAT-145H equivalent course and student standing in PSYC-BS or HCC-BS programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
PSYC-251
Research Methods II (WI-PR)
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 is a required course for all psychology majors, and is restricted to students in the psychology program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-250 and STAT-146 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Psychology Breadth Course
3
 
Psychology Pre-track Courses
6
Third Year
PSYC-301
Junior Seminar in Psychology
This professional development course is intended for students in the psychology major to prepare for their careers. Topics include identifying career interests and values, learning how to effectively search for co-ops and jobs, preparing a resume and CV, identifying appropriate graduate programs, preparing graduate school applications, interview skills, and professional communication. Students will use career-planning resources such as the Psychology Career Center on campus and the Psychology Career Center community site on myCourses. This course is required for students majoring in Psychology. (This class is restricted to students with at least 3rd year standing in the PSYC-BS program.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
1
PSYC-501
Senior Capstone Proposal
This course is intended for students in the psychology major to develop experimental research expertise and 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. 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 and must find their faculty adviser for senior project before they finish this 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. (Prerequisites: PSYC-251 and STAT-146 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
0
   PSYC-498
   Internship (summer)
Internship in Psychology. This is for 350 hours of supervised unpaid work off campus with non-profits, public service groups, the zoo, or similar organizations. Each Internship experience must be approved by the department of psychology prior to starting. (This course is restricted to PSYC-BS Major students.) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   PSYC-499
   Psychology Co-op (summer)
Psychology Co-op (This course is restricted to PSYC-BS Major students.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   PSYC-550
   Undergraduate Research Experience (summer)
Practicum open to psychology students. Gives the student first-hand experience in the field of psychology working on research that matches the student's career objectives. Students are closely supervised by a faculty member, developing relevant skills and learning how to do research first-hand. May count for the equivalent of the psychology co-op experience with prior approval and sufficient time commitment. (3rd or 4th year status). Prerequisites PSYC-101, -250, -251. Credit 0 (F, S, Su) (Prerequisites: PSYC-101, PSYC-250 and PSYC-251 or equivalent courses and minimum of 3rd year standing in PSYC-BS.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
General Education – Immersions 1, 2, 3
9
 
Psychology Breadth Course
3
 
Psychology Track Courses
6
Fourth Year
PSYC-640
Graduate Statistics
This course reviews descriptive and inferential statistics. Basic and advanced conceptual material will be presented to assist students in their understanding of diverse data analytic methods, their appropriate application, and how to interpret statistical analyses. Topics include one- and two-sample inferential procedures, interval estimation, correlation, nonparametric tests, linear regression, and analysis of variance. Students will learn to integrate concepts with computer applications. Course content will be taught through lectures, discussion, and applied data analysis exercises. Student mastery of the material will be evaluated through small group discussion of data set analyses, written results of the analyses following APA style, and two exams. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   PSYC-752
   Thesis Proposal 
The Thesis courses will vary widely but will fulfill the work plan agreed by the student and the adviser. The guiding principles of the Thesis Proposal course are to initiate thesis research including selecting a thesis advisor, choosing and defining a topic, surveying relevant research literature, and planning the research. To complete the course, the student will successfully submit and defend a thesis proposal, which is a detailed and complete plan of the thesis research. The thesis proposal should include exhaustive review of relevant literature, statement of the student's thesis, formulation of hypotheses, operational definitions of independent and dependent variables, and a detailed procedure for carrying out the research. The proposal may also include a section on anticipated results with a detailed plan for analysis of data. (This course is restricted to EXPSYC-MS Major students.) Thesis (Spring).
 
 
   PSYC Graduate Program Elective (non-thesis track)
 
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
Open Electives
12
 
PSYC Graduate Program Elective
3
Fifth Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   PSYC-641
   Applied Psychology Methods
This course explores various types of applied research methods as well as important methodological issues and concepts in areas of applied psychology. Methodologies studied include experimentation, quasi-experimentation, content analysis, surveys, and interviews. Methodological issues cover research ethics, reliability, threats to internal and external validity, demand characteristics, volunteer participant problems, and issues in sampling. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
   PSYC-642
   Graduate Research Methods
This course provides students with sufficient background in the skills and knowledge necessary to be able to conduct psychological research on a wide variety of problems. In addition to introducing students to numerous research methods used in the discipline, the course will also assist students in planning their thesis research proposal. In parallel with covering core topics in research methodology (such as varieties of data, the role of theory and models in science, psychophysiological methods, subjective methods, and experimental design) the course is designed to guide students through the process of creating a feasible research proposal. Students will also use data to test their designs and practice their analyses. (This course is restricted to EXPSYC-MS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   PSYC-753 
   Thesis
The Thesis courses will vary widely but will fulfill the work plan agreed by the student and the thesis adviser. The guiding principle of the Thesis course is to complete the thesis research proposed in Thesis Proposal. The Thesis course consists of carrying out the thesis research, including collection and analysis of data, and completion and public defense of the thesis document for partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree. (This course is restricted to EXPSYC-MS Major students.) Thesis (Fall).
 
 
   PSYC Graduate Program Elective or Graduate Elective relevant to career goals (non-thesis track)
 
 
PSYC Graduate Program Electives
6
 
Graduate Electives
6
 
PSYC Graduate Program Elective or Graduate Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
145

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) 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 different Wellness courses.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • Strong performance in English and social studies is expected

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in liberal arts, sciences, social sciences

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
Liberal arts with science or social science

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Research

Faculty in the department of psychology focus their research on a wide variety of topics across the discipline. They work closely with students to pursue their research and advise on thesis work. Learn more by exploring our psychology research areas.

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