Guide to Academic Planning 2017-2018

Psychology

The curriculum in the Department of Psychology is designed to provide an introduction to the subfields within the discipline. Emphasis throughout is on the scientific study of behavior and its underlying cognitive and biological processes.

Students with little or no background in psychology should take PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology

Students who have had a year-long course in psychology while in high school may wish to skip Introduction to Psychology and take either

  • PSYC 230 Social Psychology,
  • PSYC 240 Childhoodand Adolescence or PSYC 245 Adult Development and Aging.

Ordinarily, first-year students should not enroll in PSYC 290 Statistics, PSYC 295 Research Methods, or PSYC 260 Human Sexuality.

Major

A psychology major requires ten courses in psychology, including PSYC 290 Statistics and PSYC 295 Research Methods.

Other courses counted toward the major must be distributed in the following manner:

  • Two courses from Cluster A (at least one of which must include a laboratory):
    • PSYC 165 Comparative Animal Behavior in the Tropics w/lab
    • PSYC 220 Brain and Behavior
    • PSYC 260 Human Sexuality
    • PSYC 280 Introduction to Psychopharmacology
    • PSYC 300 Comparative Animal Behavior w/lab
    • PSYC 320 Cognitive Psychology w/lab
    • PSYC 323 Human Memory
    • PSYC 330 Learning
    • PSYC 335 Sensation and Perception
    • PSYC 355 Evolutionary Psychology
    • PSYC 360 Behavioral Neuroscience w/lab
    • PSYC 366 Behavioral Endocrinology

  • Two courses from Cluster B:
    • PSYC 230 Social Psychology
    • PSYC 240 Childhood and Adolescence
    • PSYC 245 Adult Development and Aging
    • PSYC 255 Stereotyping and Prejudice
    • PSYC 352 Social Cognition
    • PSYC 370 Personality
  • One course from Cluster C:
    • PSYC 380 Psychology Practicum
    • PSYC 390 History and Systems
    • PSYC 400 Psychology of Gender
    • PSYC 480 Advanced Research
    • PSYC 497 Senior Seminar

  • Electives: Three courses from psychology listings at any level.
  • A minimum of four of the ten courses must be at the 300-level or above.

Minor

  • Six courses in psychology, at least three of which must be at the 300-level or above.

Course Planning

If students do not have a good background in psychology, the first psychology course to take is PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology. A second course should be chosen from PSYC 230 Social Psychology, PSYC 240 Childhood and Adolescence, or PSYC 245 Adult Development and Aging. Students who major in psychology often take one of these 200-level courses the first year. It should be emphasized, however, that students who have had a year-long course in psychology while in high school may wish to skip Introduction to Psychology and take either PSYC 230 Social Psychology, PSYC 240 Childhood and Adolescence, or PSYC 245 Adult Development and Aging. First-year students may also wish to take PSYC 220 Brain and Behavior.

For Psychology majors, the next two courses should be PSYC 290 Statistics and PSYC 295 Research Methods (a laboratory course). Both Statistics and Research Methods are required for the major and if possible should be taken during the sophomore year. Ordinarily, first-year students are discouraged from enrolling in either of these courses.

After taking the introductory and foundational courses listed above, students are ready to take courses that explore psychological topics in depth. These courses are:

  • PSYC 260 Human Sexuality
  • PSYC 280 Introduction to Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC 300 Comparative Animal Behavior (Lab)
  • PSYC 320 Cognitive Psychology (Lab)
  • PSYC 323 Human Memory
  • PSYC 330 Learning
  • PSYC 335 Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 340 Psychological Assessment
  • PSYC 351 Health Psychology
  • PSYC 352 Social Cognition
  • PSYC 355 Evolutionary Psychology
  • PSYC 360 Behavioral Neuroscience (Lab)
  • PSYC 365 Emotions
  • PSYC 366 Behavioral Endocrinology
  • PSYC 367 Psychology and Law
  • PSYC 370 Personality
  • PSYC 385 Abnormal Psychology

Finally, courses that are designed for students with a good background in psychology are:

  • PSYC 380 Psychology Practicum
  • PSYC 390 History and Systems
  • PSYC 400 Psychology of Gender
  • PSYC 480 Advanced Research
  • PSYC 497 Senior Seminar

These courses are typically taken in the junior or senior year.

Sequencing of Courses

  1. Statistics is a prerequisite for Research Methods.
  2. Research Methods is a prerequisite for most other psychology laboratory courses.

Notes

  1. Students planning to go to graduate schools that require the Psychology  portion or the General portion of the GRE are advised to take these tests at the end of the junior year or early in the senior year.
  2. Students who have already taken two or more psychology courses at the 200-level or above will not be allowed to take Introduction to Psychology.
  3. Students who take PSYC 295 Research Methods must take the corresponding lab section. For example, PSYC 295 L1 is the correct lab to accompany PSYC 295 01.
  4. PSYC 380 Psychology Practicum will not count toward the minor.
  5. PSYC 165 Comparative Animal Behavior in the Tropics is a summer course appropriate for students at any level.

Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience for the psychology major consists of successful completion of a Cluster C course and a comprehensive examination. The examination is the Major Field Test (MFT) in psychology and is intended as an assessment device for senior psychology majors. It consists of 140 multiple-choice items covering the major areas of psychology. The examination is normally taken during the spring semester of the senior year. The grade for the Senior Capstone Experience is based on the MFT standardized score.