The Online Psychology degree program allows students to develop a strong foundation in the theory and scientific methodology behind psychology, as well as its many practical applications. Students will strengthen their critical thinking and communication skills, and learn how to conduct and analyze basic research. The insights and knowledge acquired will prepare students for a financially and personally rewarding career in fields ranging from business to education, health care to social service. In addition to strong basic and psychology core courses, the Online B.A. in Psychology gives students the flexibility to explore their academic and career interests in the field. Students will select from a variety of classes designed to build their understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Theory: Students will demonstrate knowledge of major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings within psychology. Students will learn to apply the knowledge for solving real-world problems through participation in internships, community-based research, and/or leadership opportunities.
- Research: Students will learn how to plan, conduct, and critically evaluate psychological research that promotes understanding of human behavior, diversity, and individual differences. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate scientific concepts and results in written and oral form.
- Practice: Students will develop interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge that fosters self-awareness and personal growth, the development of leadership skills, and a respect and understanding of human diversity. Students will apply psychological content and skills to promote attainment of post-graduation goals.
- B.A. in Psychology
Elaine Scorpio, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chairperson
Department of Psychology
School of Humanities and Social Studies
Hennessy Science and Technology Center 319D
Program Website: Psychology B.A. Online
Associated Department: Department of Psychology
Psychology Online Program Requirements
|See Continuing Education Programs Core Requirements||45-47|
|Complete all of the following courses:|
|Introduction to Psychology|
|Introduction to Research in Psychology|
|Statistics and Research Design|
|Research Methods Course|
|Research Methods in Organizational Psychology|
and Research Methods in Organizational Psychology
|Psychology Lower Level||12|
|Select four of the following:|
|Youth and Adolescent Development|
|Psychology Upper Level||12|
|Select four of the following:|
|Play and Imagination|
|Psychology of Peace & Conflict|
|Drugs and Human Behavior|
|Creativity and Innovation|
|Psychology of the Family|
|Psychology and Film|
|Psychology and Law|
|Psychology of Gender|
|Aging, Brain, and Cognition|
|Psychology and Culture|
|Death, Dying and Suicide|
|Select one of the following:|
|History of Psychology|
|Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression|
Courses and Descriptions
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology 3 Credits
This course covers major facts, principles and concepts about human and animal behavior and experience, research findings, major problems, basic vocabulary, methodologies, and contributions in the field. Topics include psychology as a science; human development; individual differences;
intelligence and its measurement; special aptitudes and interests; personality and social behavior; motivation and emotion; frustration and personality deviations; and learning, thinking, remembering and forgetting.
PSY 102 Explorations in Psychology Honors 3 Credits
The course introduces the history of psychology, and demonstrates how the discipline is a science. It provides students with experience exploring the mind, behavior, and the relationship between the two, from multiple perspectives, including biological, behavioral, cognitive, developmental, humanistic, social, and abnormal. It tackles questions including (but not limited to) how different areas of the brain are involved in behavior and are affected by injury, how humans sense and perceive the world, how states of consciousness differ from one another, how humans learn, remember, communicate, and develop, what motivates humans to behave in particular ways, how social groups affect behavior and decision-making, and what happens when behavior and emotions deviate from what is typical.
PSY 105 Introduction to Research in Psychology 3 Credits
Students will be introduced to the basic research methods used in psychology including, surveys, experiments and observation. Students will collect data and learn to describe this data using basic tools of analysis including graphic display and statistical analysis. Students will read original psychological research and learn to write using the conventions of the American Psychological Association.
PSY 110 Psychology:The Science of Well-being 3 Credits
This course is an overview of the science of psychology applied to the question of how to build well-being. The framework for PSY 110 mirrors Introduction to Psychology in its presentation of the major perspectives in psychology – Research Methods, Behaviorism, Cognition, Development, Social Behavior, Motivation and Mental Health. Topics in PSY 110 include: Perspectives in Psychology, Research Methods, Relationships, Social
Behavior, Developmental Psychology, Behavior and Cognition, Motivation, Self & Identity, Positive Psychology, Optimism.
PSY 117 Psychology of Creativity 3 Credits
Is creativity reserved only for geniuses, or can ordinary individuals also be creative? Is it domain-specific or domain-general? How do we measure it? What is the connection between creativity and innovation? Can you and I become more creative, and if so, what factors influence creative thinking? This course surveys the modern theories of creativity and problem solving from a psychological perspective, and their applications to real-world challenges. Specific topics will focus on convergent and divergent thinking, the role of constraints, change, and motivation in creativity, social and personality factors, techniques such as brainstorming, design thinking, and creative problem solving, and innovation in organizations. You will apply what you have learned in hands-on activities that challenge you to propose creative solutions to real-world problems.
PSY 118 Psychology of Women 3 Credits
Examines the psychological development of women in our culture from birth to maturity, with an emphasis on the interaction of biological and social influences on personality, social behavior, and achievement of women. Investigates psychological sex differences in terms of current measurement approaches. Readings and text are drawn from psychological theory and research.
PSY 131 The Science of Mental Illness 3 Credits
This courses introduces students to the separate and interactive effects of the person and the nervous system in the etiology and treatment of mental illness. Effectively, students receive in-depth exposure to research methods, the process of making and evaluating evidence based claims,
classic and clinical applications of learning theory, the development of personality and the role of personality theories in the major systems of psychotherapy, the role of the central and peripheral nervous systems in behavior and mental illness, selected major DSM-5 categories of mental illness (stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and neurocognitive disorders), the major systems of psychotherapy,and the classifications and neural bases of pharmacological treatments for mental illness.
PSY 201 Statistics and Research Design 3 Credits
Introduces students to statistics and research methods in the behavioral sciences. Covers the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics, a variety of issues in research design, selected research designs including the case study, correlational and experimental designs. In addition, students will explore the literature in psychology in order to examine the use of statistics and research design in real research problems.
Prerequisite(s): grade of “C” in PSY 105.
PSY 210 Organizational Psychology 3 Credits
Focuses on issues related to human behavior in work settings. Topics include personnel issues such as hiring and promotion decisions, performance appraisals, and methods of on-the-job training. Issues of job satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and effective leadership styles are also examined. Finally, organizational structure as it relates to communication within organizations will be examined.
PSY 212 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis 3 Credits
Presents a review of classical and operant conditioning, data collection and research design, data analysis and interpretation. In addition, assessment and treatment strategies in a variety of settings, contingency management in institution, classroom and home, systematic self-desensitization, and ethical consideration are discussed.
PSY 215 Personality 3 Credits
A synthesis of the most recent research in the field of personality development. Topics include interplay of biological, cultural, and subjective personal processes; analysis of the broad trends in personality theories; and introduction to personality measurement.
PSY 220 Abnormal Psychology 3 Credits
The development of abnormal personalities is discussed, with a survey of the various types of mental abnormalities, including their symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments. Neuroses and psychoses are emphasized.
PSY 225 Learning Theory 3 Credits
A broad coverage of the expanding fields of learning, memory, and cognition is provided, while addressing their relevance and impact on human behavior. Continuity between early associationistic and contemporary cognitive theories is established. Topics range from basic conditioning to the more complex processes of memory, concept learning, thinking, and problem solving.
PSY 226 Cognitive Psychology 3 Credits
The study of the mind has been the focus of psychology since its inception in the 19th century. Today, the majority of psychological research focuses on the cognitive system and its biological basis. This course will provide an overview of knowledge regarding the components of the human cognitive system (e.g., attention, memory, executive processes) and how they form the basis for higher-order cognitive skills (e.g., language and decision making). The course will provide a history of the field and the methodologies that have been and are currently being used to study the human mind. Each section of the course will include an overview of basic and applied research to demonstrate how knowledge of the cognitive system can be used to enhance human functioning in applied settings and better understand human limitations and tendencies to commit certain types of errors.
PSY 230 Child Development 3 Credits
Presents theory and research on the social, emotional and cognitive development of children birth to age 12.
PSY 231 Youth and Adolescent Development 3 Credits
Presents theories, research and problems concerning development in youth and adolescence.
PSY 237 Cognitive Disabilities 3 Credits
Investigates various types of intellectual differences, focusing on etiology, methods of diagnosis, programs and services available to individuals and families. Considers problems relating to adjustment in academic, social, and vocational areas.
PSY 238 Sensation and Perception 3 Credits
The facts and theories of sensation and perception, their role in the total psychology of the individual, and current application are examined.
PSY 240 Social Psychology 3 Credits
Deals with the scientific study of human beings in social situations, focusing on reciprocal influence of the individual and the group, especially aspects of behavior that are socially determined. The nature of attitudes: their development and change; the nature of social influence; interpersonal perception and attraction; dynamics of social behavior; and social phenomena, such as prejudice and social movements, are covered.
PSY 245 Stress, Health and Coping 3 Credits
This course will examine physical and psychological effects of stress including a discussion of the nervous system, and the various models of the stress/illness relationship such as General Adaptation, Cognitive Appraisal and Diathesis-Stress. Various ways of coping with/responding to stress will be considered along with the influence of personality and sociodemographic factors on differences in both the experience of stress and on coping mechanisms will be considered. Finally, this course will consider issues in the measurement of stress and coping as well as some of the noteworthy findings and methodological aspects of stress research.
PSY 250 Psychology of Aging 3 Credits
This survey course focuses on basic psychological issues in the aging process and in the elderly. It examines myths and stereotypes about aging and the elderly by way of research evidence pertaining to physical, psychological, and social changes accompanying aging.
PSY 255 Biopsychology 3 Credits
Basic biological structures and processes underlying behavior, including general neuroanatomy and neurophysiology; sensory physiology; structure and function of the motor systems; physiology of emotions, motivation, learning, memory; brain dysfunction; psychoactive drugs.
PSY 283 Sport Psychology 3 Credits
This survey course will focus on the social and psychological factors related to performance and participation in sport and exercise, health, and injury rehabilitation settings. Two general questions will be explored: (a) how do social and psychological variables influence performance and participation in physical activity pursuits? And (b) how does physical activity participation affect the psychological well-being of the individual? To better understand these questions, this course will overview theoretical and methodological approaches to a variety of sport and exercise psychology topics, including: socialization, motivation, group processes, competition, and performance enhancement. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.
PSY 292 Professional Development in Psychology 3 Credits
This course is designed to help students understand the connections between the required curriculum in psychology and their professional and post-graduation goals. Through this required course all psychology majors will have the opportunity to recognize and use the many applications of psychology to their plans for career development and employment. Students will articulate individual goals beyond graduation, understand the individual characteristics that predict success in the work environment, recognize and apply selected research in psychology to their goals and the world of employment. The course will better prepare students to articulate post-graduation goals early in their education, and apply those goals to the following years of their education. PSY major/minor students only.
PSY 295 Directed Study in Psychology 1-4 Credits
Provides an opportunity for students to obtain research experiences in psychology. Consists of a combination of project meetings, assigned readings and supervised research. Each student will work with a selected faculty member on a topic of mutual interest. Projects may include learning some components of research methods and applying these techniques to the collection and analysis of data. Provides focused reading and discussion as it relates to each student’s research topic.
PSY 299 Field Placement in Applied Behavior Analysis 1 Credits
The practicum provides hands-on experience using the tools of applied behavior analysis in a field setting. Provides supervised field placement experience in an approved institution or agency in order for students to gain knowledge in applications of applied behavior analysis. Placement is made in various community institutions and agencies that offer services to diverse populations.
PSY 302 Research Methods: Cognition 4 Credits
Provides students with an in-depth coverage of the expanding field of cognition and memory. Addresses issues and research within the field. Emphasis is on current views of human memory. Students learn how to design and conduct their own experiments from the topic areas of information processing, psycholinguistics, problem solving, learning and memory, social cognition, and cognitive neuroscience. Laboratory skills include programming computers, developing multimedia stimuli, recording psycho- physiological data, and composing an APA-format research report in a network-based writing lab. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY102 or PSY110 or PSY131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of “C” in PSY 201
Corequisite(s): PSY 302L.
PSY 302L Research Methods: Cognition Lab 0 Credits
This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course. Prerequisite(s): (Psy100 or Psy102 or Psy110 or Psy131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in Psy201.
Corequisite(s): PSY 302.
PSY 303 Research Methods: Social Psychology 4 Credits
Covers research methodology within the context of social psychology (i.e., topics include altruism, aggression, attraction and social perception). Both experimental and descriptive methodologies will be covered. Students learn about various aspects of the research process (e.g., design and execution of a social psychological study, analyzing and interpreting the results). Students also learn to integrate their research findings to produce an APA-style paper. Students use computer-based word processing and statistical analysis packages to achieve these goals. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in PSY 201
Corequisite(s): PSY 303L.
PSY 303L Research Methods: Social Psychology Lab 0 Credits
This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course. Prerequisites(s): (Psy100 or Psy102 or Psy110 or Psy131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in Psy201.
Corequisites: PSY 303.
PSY 305 Theories of Psychotherapy 3 Credits
An exploration of the history and theory of the psychoanalytic, behavioral, and humanistic approaches to psychotherapy. Comparisons and contrasts between these therapeutic modalities are discussed, as well as the theory underlying specific therapeutic techniques such as dynamic interpretations, dream analysis, the analysis of resistance and transference, counter-conditioning, modeling, and cognitive restructuring. Class exercises in addition to transcripts and tape recordings from therapy sessions are used to illustrate the various therapeutic approaches.
PSY 306 Research Methods: Sensation & Perception 4 Credits
Provides instruction in research design, research methods, and integration of data analysis and methodology within the content framework of sensation and perception. All the general psychology research methods are taught. Special emphasis is given to the study of human vision and audition. Students design, conduct, and report laboratory research in the areas of sensation and perception. The computer-based components of the laboratory include lessons on interactive software instrumentation for research, and network-based technical writing using APA format. Projects are conducted during the term. Each student uses a dedicated networked Macintosh computer to: a) develop and generate research stimuli and procedures, b) analyze and report research data, and c) write formal research reports. Prerequisite(s):(PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of “C” in PSY 201
Corequisite(s): PSY 306L.
PSY 306L Sensation & Perception Lab 0 Credits
Corequisite(s): PSY 306.
PSY 310 Introductory Counseling Skills 3 Credits
This course examines theory and research related to the therapy process and outcome. Students will practice foundational counseling skills with one another within a culturally-sensitive framework, including active listing, reflections of feelings, open questions, interpretations, self-disclosures, and challenges. Through experiential learning activities, students will develop a working knowledge of when and how to implement counseling skills. Students should be willing to talk about personal issues in this class.
PSY 315 Psychological Tests 3 Credits
Examines the history of psychological testing. Issues concerning the construction of psychological tests are discussed, including concepts concerning reliability, validity, and item analysis. The rationale and structure of the major tests of intelligence, aptitude, and personality are reviewed, including the Rorschach, WAIS, TAT, MMPI, and Bender- Gestalt. In the last section of the course, students are given hands-on experience in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of a standard test battery.
PSY 324 Play and Imagination 3 Credits
This course surveys two of the most important manifestations of children’s imagination: pretend play and imaginary companions. It will discuss the evolution of play, the purpose of play, the role of play in the development of creativity, and individual differences in play (e.g., among children of different gender, cultures, and ability levels). Finally, it will discuss the application of play to therapeutic methods for children.
PSY 325 Cognitive Development 3 Credits
Compares and analyzes the major theories of cognitive development: Piaget, Information Processing, Vygotsky, Gardner, and Sternberg. The course describes cognitive growth from infancy to adulthood. Particular topics will include: concept formation, language acquisition, memory reading and writing, mathematical skills and sociocultural skills. Also of interest will be the use of cognitive theory in education, and understanding variations from the typical pattern of cognitive development as in mental retardation and prodigies.
PSY 329 Research Methods in Organizational Psychology 4 Credits
This course covers general area of research methods such as experimental and non-experimental methods, measurement, statistics, and preparation of reports for presentation and publication. In addition, research topics common in the area of organizational psychology such as worker motivation, job satisfaction, stress and burnout, communications in the workplace, productivity, decision-making, leadership style, and organizational structure will also be discussed. Students gain hands-on experience conducting empirical research.
PSY 329L Research Methods in Organizational Psychology 0 Credits
This course covers the general areas of research methods such as experimental and non-experimental methods, measurement, statistics, and preparation of reports for presentation and publication. In addition, research topics common in the area of organizational psychology such as worker motivation, job satisfaction, stress and burnout, communications in the workplace, productivity, decision-making, leadership style, and organizational structure will also be discussed. Students gain hands-on experience conducting empirical research.
PSY 330 Developmental Disabilities 3 Credits
Introduces students to the genetic, biological, sensory-motor, cognitive, and social-emotional foundations of developmental disabilities. Selected syndromes will be reviewed in-depth, as will treatments and intervention at the individual and family levels.
PSY 333 Autism Spectrum Disorder 3 Credits
Provides students with a general understanding of the etiology, neurocognitive underpinnings, and general characteristics of the autism spectrum disorders. The course will examine the history of the study of these disorders, the main problems associated with these conditions, and will explore psycho-educational treatment alternatives.
PSY 334 Disabilities Across Cultures 3 Credits
The course is designed around the question of how a culture defines the concept of “Disabilities”, how societies perceive individuals with disabilities, and how historical, social and political circumstances might shape an individual’s understanding of diversity. The course encourages critical thinking and a comparative analysis of cultural differences and psychological practices. Key challenges associated with diagnosis, intervention and integration of individuals with disabilities across the globe will be discussed. This course fulfills the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Essential Competencies Requirement: Global Perspectives.
PSY 335 Research Methods: Human Cognitive Neuroscience 4 Credits
Covers the interdisciplinary study of the nervous system integrating neurobiology, physiology, pharmacology, and psychology as explanations for both normal and pathological human behavior. Topics integrate molecular levels of analysis, such as neuron structure and function, neurotransmitters, action potentials, and receptors, with molar levels, such as sensory and hormonal processes, learning and memory, emotions, drug use, and biological rhythms. Introduces research techniques used to study the function of the nervous system and the neural bases of behavior in humans. Neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and neuropsychological assessment techniques may be explored as part of laboratory or field research projects designed in collaboration with the instructor. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of “C” in PSY 201
Corequisite(s): PSY 335L.
PSY 335L Research Methods: Human Cognitive Neuroscience Lab 0 Credits
This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course. Prerequisite(s): (Psy100 or Psy102 or Psy110 or Psy131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in Psy201
Corequisite(s): PSY 335.
PSY 336 Research Methods: Animal Learning & Behavior 4 Credits
Provides a comprehensive overview of the acquisition and modification of the behavior of animals, especially on laboratory strains of rodents and pigeons. Core topics include respondent and operant conditioning, animal cognition, observational learning, animal safety and welfare, single-subject and between-groups approaches to methodology, and the statistical analysis of the results of studies of behavior. The laboratory component of the course provides a comprehensive overview of animal handling and maintenance, animal welfare, and the recording of experimental results. Two substantial projects are undertaken; demonstration of a conditioned taste aversion and its effect upon the acquisition and extinction of an operant (bar press) response and subsequent discrimination and reversal learning. Results of both projects are written into APA-formatted reports. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in PSY 201.
Corequisite(s): PSY 336L.
PSY 336L Animal Learning and Behavior Lab 0 Credits
This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course. Prerequisite(s): (Psy100 or Psy102 or Psy110 or Psy131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in Psy201
Corequisite(s): PSY 336.
PSY 339 Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis 4 Credits
This upper-level laboratory course will provide students with an in-depth study of the principles and applications of Applied Behavior Analysis. Students will examine behavioral principles, ethical considerations, and real-life applications of ABA. Each student will design and implement a self-management plan to alter the behavior of their choosing. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and PSY 212 and a minimum grade of "C" in PSY 201 .
Corequisite(s): PSY 339L.
PSY 339L Research Methods in ABA Lab 0 Credits
Corequisite(s): PSY 339.
PSY 340 Research Methods: Group Dynamics 4 Credits
Focuses on selected issues pertaining to group dynamics. Emphasizes an understanding of the personality and social factors that influence the functioning of unstructured and task-oriented groups. Students participate in a task group for the purpose of conducting a comprehensive research project on selected issues in group dynamics and the psychology of groups. The task group prepares an APA-style paper describing their research as well as an in-class presentation. Each student also submits a midterm and final written analysis of the interactional processes and development of the task group. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in PSY 201.
Corequisite(s): PSY 340L.
PSY 340L Group Dynamics Lab 0 Credits
Corequisite(s): PSY 340.
PSY 345 Health Psychology 3 Credits
This course focuses on the biopsychosocial model of health in which biological, psychological and social factors contribute to health and wellbeing, as well as illness and disease. After a brief introduction to systems of the body, i.e. nervous, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, immune, this course will examine health-enhancing behaviors such as exercise and nutrition, as well as health-compromising behaviors such as drug abuse and other reckless behaviors, along with models that explain behavior maintenance and change. Additionally, attention is devoted to a discussion of how health psychology can function in shaping health care policy.
PSY 349 Research Methods - Health Psychology 4 Credits
This course examines the methods used by health psychologists to study the relationships between behavior, health, and illness, including the standard methodologies of description, observation, correlation, quasi-experimental and experimental, as well as some of the methods within the field of epidemiology including cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies. Students will design and conduct an empirical investigation on a health and illness-related research question. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in PSY 201.
Corequisites: PSY 349L.
PSY 349L Research Methods in Health Psychology Lab 0 Credits
Corequisites: PSY 349.
PSY 350 Research Methods: Developmental Psychology 4 Credits
Focuses on one or more research areas in cognitive, personality, or social development. Includes an overview of major theoretical approaches to age-related change. Students review original research on selected aspects of behavioral change. The laboratory component of the course presents an overview of developmental research designs and methods focusing on the measurement of age-related changes in psychological functioning. Students conduct field research projects designed in collaboration with the instructor and prepare an APA-style research report. Prerequisite(s): (PSY 100 or PSY 102 or PSY 110 or PSY 131) and 30 credits and a minimum grade of "C" in PSY 201.
Corequisite(s): PSY 350L.
PSY 350L Developmental Psychology Lab 0 Credits
Corequisite(s): PSY 350.
PSY 360 Psychology of Peace & Conflict 3 Credits
This course examines issues related to peace, conflict, violence, and conflict resolution. Theories and strategies that suggest ways of reducing and eliminating conflict are discussed. Psychological and social causes and consequences of violence and nonviolence are considered.
PSY 365 Drugs and Human Behavior 3 Credits
Presents the student with an in-depth analysis of the effects of alcohol and selected chemical substances on the behavior and body of the user. Commonly abused substances will be discussed in terms of their history, sources of production, routes of administration, distribution, metabolism and excretion, neurophysiology, tolerance, properties of addiction, withdrawal course and symptoms, and potential beneficial and harmful effects.
PSY 367 Creativity and Innovation 3 Credits
What is creativity, and how do we measure, study, and enhance it? This course will survey the modern theories of creativity from a psychological perspective, with an emphasis on the processes that underlie creative thinking and the variables that influence creative idea generation. Specific topics will include: convergent and divergent thinking, the role of the unconscious in creative ideation, flow and mindfulness, individual and group creativity, techniques such as brainstorming and creative problem solving, the neuroscience of creativity, the role of motivation, and creativity and innovation in organizations. Discussions of theoretical findings will be complemented by in-class activities and assignments that highlight applications to day-to-day living and to larger-scale challenges that require creativity and innovation.
PSY 372 States of Consciousness 3 Credits
This course explores the variety of states that comprise normal and altered consciousness. It highlights how these states are determined by complex interactions between conscious and unconscious mental functions. Key psychological concepts are applied in an investigation of various states of consciousness, especially meditative states and dreams. The course examines both the psychopathological aspects of altered states, as well as their potential beneficial effects on creativity and the development of the self.
PSY 373 Cyberpsychology 3 Credits
Cyberpsychology is the study of how emerging computer technologies, especially social media, affect the way people think, feel, and behave both online and in the face-to-face world. This course explores a wide range of topics concerning this rapidly developing field of psychology, including how individuals, interpersonal relationships, and groups function in cyberspace with both positive and negative consequences for mental health. It emphasizes an understanding of the basic concepts of cyberpsychology along with the implications of this knowledge for improving wellbeing in the digital age.
PSY 374 Psychology of the Family 3 Credits
This course examines the significance of family in human development. Using prominent themes of developmental psychology, such as: the role of attachment in forming human relationships, the significance of context in understanding human development, and the resilience of development; this course will explore the existing research on the family. Students are asked to consider their own experiences as members of a family, as well as to understand the variety of ways family impacts development across the lifespan.
PSY 375 Psychology and Film 3 Credits
Attitudes, perceptions and memories are shaped by motion pictures. Filmmakers create enduring images by using cinematic techniques to portray social and interpersonal themes. This course will examine various cinematic techniques as well as how film portrays interpersonal relations, gender roles, race relations, mental illness, The Holocaust, and other genocides.
PSY 377 Developmental Psychopathology 3 Credits
This course provides an in-depth view of developmental psychopathology as an applied and prevention science. Developmental psychopathology is concerned with the emergence and continuity or discontinuity of psychopathology, or maladaptive behaviors, across the lifespan. An emphasis is placed on exploring individual, environmental, social, and especially cultural influences in explaining normal and abnormal behavior.
PSY 379 Psychology and Law 3 Credits
Introduces students to a study of selected topics in psychology and law. Topics include eyewitness testimony, jury selection, and decision-making.
PSY 381 Psychology of Gender 3 Credits
This course examines the meaning of sex and gender in modern society. The course readings and discussion will review and analyze the influence of gender on human behavior and emotions. The course will examine the significance of gender in shaping experience. Topics will include: gender differences in behavior, gender role development, gender and sexual identity, gender and social roles, cross-cultural perspectives on gender and transcending gender.
PSY 382 Aging, Brain, and Cognition 3 Credits
This course covers the biological structures and processes underlying cognition in humans and explores modulating factors such as age, sex, disease, stress, and environment. The theoretical and methodological issues of developmental cognitive neuroscience research are addressed. Focus of the course is on brain structure and function in the largest growing segment of our population, persons over the age of 65, and the link between structure and cognitive abilities, both intact and declining. Special attention is paid to those factors related to successful aging and treatments with putative cognitive enhancers.
PSY 383 Psychology and Culture 3 Credits
Students enrolled in this course will critically examine the intersection of culture and psychology. Topics covered include cultural influences on: identity, the perceptions and manifestations of mental illness, and treatment-seeking.
PSY 384 Positive Psychology 3 Credits
Historically, the field of psychology has placed great attention on the question of, “What is wrong with people and how do we fix it?” This course will focus on the question of, “What is right with people and how can we build on that?” We will explore this by examining empirical research centered on the nature of happiness and psychological well-being. Positive psychology is the rigorous study of what is right and positive about people and institutions. Positive psychologists call for as much focus on strength as on weakness, as much attention on positive emotions as negative emotions, as much interest in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst, and as much attention to promoting the fulfillment of lives of healthy people as to healing the wounds of the distressed. This course will first present an introduction to the core assumptions and research findings associated with human strengths and positive emotions, then move on to explore interventions and applications informed by this perspective in counseling and psychotherapy, as well as in domains personally relevant to the lives of students such as school, work, family and other close relationships. PSY 384 is cross-listed with PSY 584.
PSY 385 Death, Dying and Suicide 3 Credits
Everything that is alive eventually dies, thus death is a part of life. Understanding death can help us to understand and experience life more fully, and it can help us to make appropriate, compassionate responses to death and dying. Class members will examine difficult and controversial psychosocial issues related to dying and death, death perceptions from childhood through older adulthood, religious and death attitudes, the dying process, living with dying, dying in the American health care system, euthanasia and biomedical issues, pain management, suicide, cross-cultural perspectives on dying and death, the business of dying, the legal aspects of dying, and the bereavement process.
PSY 386 Introduction to Child Life: Working with Children and Families in Healthcare Settings 3 Credits
The course provides the student with an introduction to the practice of Child Life in healthcare settings, serving as an educational foundation for those interested in pursuing a Child Life internship or other career working with children and families in a healthcare setting. Child Life programs seek to promote optimum development of children, adolescents, and families within a healthcare setting by helping to maintain normal living patterns and minimizing psychological trauma. Various theoretical positions related to the field (including but not limited to child development, play, stress, illness, trauma, and bereavement) will be described and their implications discussed. Classroom activities and assignments will help to develop relevant clinical skills including therapeutic play techniques, procedural preparation and support, coping strategies, child assessment, promoting advocacy/family-centered care, and health education. Official documents created by the Child Life Council, the certifying body for the field, will be reviewed, in addition to other seminal Child Life publications. The necessity for evidence-based practice will be discussed and relevant empirical studies will be presented (including those conducted in analogous academic fields such as developmental pediatrics and behavioral medicine).
PSY 388 Learning and the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 3 Credits
Students will review principles of behavior covered in PSY 212 Intro to ABA (or PSY 225 Learning Theory) and move into more complex concepts and principles of behavior analysis including respondent behavior, respondent conditioning, motivating operations, schedules of reinforcement, and verbal operants. Students will also learn elements of behavior change and specific behavior-change procedures including verbal behavior training, discrete trial training, interventions based on motivating operations and discriminative stimuli, and stimulus equivalence procedures.
PSY 389 Professional Issues in ABA 3 Credits
This course will provide students interested in working in the field of applied behavior analysis at the bachelor’s level content based on the task list of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) The course covers ethical and professional considerations relevant to the profession of applied behavior analysis as well as ethical and disciplinary standards of the profession. In addition, the course covers behavioral assessment and intervention, competency-based training, and evaluating the effectiveness of behavioral programs. Students will also have the opportunity to read seminal and current research literature on the topics.
PSY 395 Special Topics in Psychology 3 Credits
This course examines contemporary issues in psychology, with the particular topic varying each time it is offered. New directions in the field and/or current controversies will be the focus. Past offerings include Positive Psychology, Creativity, and Brain Games.
PSY 400 Senior Seminar 3 Credits
This capstone course will provide a synthesis and evaluation of important critical issues in psychology, such as the role of modern psychology in solving social problems, the scientific vs. human services perspectives on behavior, emotion, and cognition; and the nature of mental illness and well-being. Students will be expected to draw broadly from their education in psychology; to grapple with conflicting points of view; and produce professional-quality writing, oral or multimedia presentations.
PSY 420 History of Psychology 3 Credits
Provides a coverage of systems and schools of psychology; great psychologists, their contributions, and later influence in psychology. Current psychological problems are also discussed.
PSY 450 Advanced Research Methods in Clinical Psychology 4 Credits
This advanced research methods lecture and lab provides a capstone experience in measurement, assessment, research methods, and data analysis within clinical psychology. The focus of the course will be on using research tools to answer practical questions about psychopathology (e.g., what is an extreme score on a depression scale?) and treatment effectiveness (are there improvements in anxiety scores based on participation in a program?). Content will also emphasize the importance of recruiting diverse samples and assessment of individuals of diverse cultural and social backgrounds. Regarding research methods, students will examine various research designs and how design decisions impact data analysis and interpretation. Students will work in teams to conduct a study in which they apply their learning to develop a series of hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and ultimately present their findings in APA format. This course is designed to build on students’ understanding of research methods in prior courses and can help prepare students for graduate school with a counseling, clinical, or social work focus.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 with a minimum grade of B, PSY 3xx/3xxL with a minimum grade of B, and Earned Credits: 75.
PSY 450L Advanced Research Methods in Clinical Psychology Lab 0 Credits
This course is a co-requisite for the corresponding course.
Prerequisite(s): PSY 201 with a minimum grade of B, PSY 3xx/3xxL with a minimum grade of B, and Earned Credits: 75.
PSY 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits
Provides students with an opportunity to design and carry out original research in an area of their choice. Students designate a faculty supervisor and work closely with him/her during the semester. All students must have approval from the department and the dean to register for PSY 490.
PSY 491 Internship in Psychology 1-4 Credits
Provides supervised work experience in an approved institution or agency in order for students to gain knowledge in applications of psychology. Placement is made in various community institutions and agencies that offer services to both exceptional and normal individuals. Prerequisite(s): senior psychology majors or minors.