Curriculum

Courses in psychology are designed to explore the principles of human and animal behavior. The curriculum is designed to meet three goals:

  • To provide a basic background in principles and exploratory methods of psychology in preparation for graduate studies in areas such as experimental, clinical, and physiological psychology and medicine;
  •  To prepare students to function at the bachelor’s level in careers which involve applications of psychology to such areas as education, business, and human services;
  • To contribute to the general education of all students.

Psychology Course Descriptions

100 General Psychology (LSI)

A survey of topics in psychology, and an introduction to scientific methodology. Offered each semester.

101 Lifespan Human Development (LSI)

An introduction to human development from conception until death. Intended primarily for nursing students. Not for psychology major or minor credit. Offered annually.

201 Animal Behavior

Animal behavior is examined in the context of biological theories ranging from classical ethology to sociobiology. The implications of biological perspectives of animal behavior are examined and critically assessed. Offered during May Term.

202 Psychological Research

Research methods and statistical analysis primarily intended for minors. Does not count toward psychology major and students may not receive credit for both this course and Psychology 300 (Research Methods in Psychology). Prerequisite: 100. Offered each spring.

211 Learning and Conditioning (LSL)

An introduction to the principles of learning and conditioning in both humans and animals. Topics include Pavlovian (classical) conditioning, operant conditioning, and applied behavior analysis. Laboratory work includes conditioning of animal subjects. Prerequisite: Psychology 100 recommended. Offered each semester.

212 Perception and Cognition

Overview of perceptual and cognitive psychology. Topics include visual and auditory illusions, motion and depth perception, face recognition, attention, memory and amnesia, first and second language acquisition, problem solving, judgement and decision making, intelligence, and creativity. Students participate in computer-based experiments that are classics in the field of human perception and cognition. Prerequisite: Psychology 100. Offered each semester.

213 Behavioral Neuroscience

An introduction to the structure and function of the neuron, basic neuro-chemistry, neural substrates involved in learning and memory, behavioral disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and sexual behavior in humans and animals. Prerequisites: Biology 101-102 or 107-108 or consent of instructor. Offered each semester.

227 Statistics

An introduction to statistical procedures in psychology, with the goal of integrating statistical theory with statistical applications. Topics may include basic measurement, probability, measures of central tendency and variability, correlation, regression, hypothesis testing, the t-test, analysis of variance, and non-parametric techniques. Students may not receive credit toward graduation for both this course and Sociology 227 or Business Administration 227. Offered each semester.

251 Abnormal Psychology (LSI)

The etiology, assessment, and treatment of patterns of deviant behavior. Emphasis is placed on recent experimental and clinical findings. Psychology 100 recommended. Offered each semester.

252 Child and Adolescent Development

Psychological development from conception through adolescence. Emphasis upon theoretical and methodological approaches to studying developmental change. Prerequisite: Psychology 100. Offered annually.

253 Lifespan Developmental Psychology

Using current theoretical and empirical work, Lifespan Developmental Psychology offers a comprehensive overview of human development from womb to tomb.  Topics include the biological, psychological (i.e., cognitive and emotional), and social forces that drive and shape development, and the dynamic impact of context and culture on these processes.  Prerequisite: Psychology 100.  Offered Annually.

259 Social Psychology

Understanding the individual in a social context. Topics include attitudes, social cognition, stereotypes, aggression, communication, influence, attraction and intimacy, and the application of psychology to social problems. Prerequisite: Psychology 100. Offered each semester.

270/370 Special Topics in Psychology

Courses addressing topics of special interest in psychology. See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills general education requirements. Offered annually.

300 Research Methods in Psychology (W)

Design, analysis and reporting of psychological research. Prerequisites: Psychology 100, Psychology 227, and one of the following — Psychology 211, 212, 213, 215, 217, or 218. Offered fall and spring.

302 Neuropsychopharmacology

Principles of drug action and their effects on human behavior. Prerequisites: Biology 101-102 or 107-108.  Psychology 213 recommended.  Offered occasionally.

311 EXP Advanced Behavioral Processes

Examination of learning, conditioning, and behavior theory, emphasizing discussion and evaluation of primary sources. Topics include modern theories of classical conditioning, operant-Pavlovian interactions, theories of reinforcement, quantitative models of choice, behavioral economics, superstition, and biological constraints on learning. Laboratory. Prerequisites: Psychology 211 and either 202 or 300 or consent of instructor. Offered annually.

312 EXP Experimental Research in Cognitive Psychology

An exploration of topics from experimental cognitive psychology. There is an emphasis on reading primary sources, critiquing the research and proposing future studies. Students participate in classic computer-based experiments in higher cognition. Prerequisites: Psychology 212 and 300 or consent of instructor. Offered annually.

313 EXP Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience (1.25) (W)

Neural mechanisms of behavior in animals, investigated through laboratory demonstrations and student-conducted experiments. Prerequisites: Psychology 213 or consent of instructor. Offered each spring.

329 Special Topics in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience

Courses addressing topics of special interest in the more traditional experimental areas of Psychology (e.g. behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, behavioral neuroscience).  See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills General Education Requirements.

330 History and Systems of Psychology (IT)

A study of the historical, philosophical, and conceptual foundations of contemporary psychology. The course will trace "history of ideas" from early Greek philosophy to modern psychology, with particular emphasis on the Darwinian revolution. Prerequisite: two courses in psychology. Offered annually.

331 Psychological Disorders of Childhood

Psychological assessment of children, examination of childhood disorders (e.g. autism, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, and depression), and psychological treatment of children and families. Prerequisites: Psychology 215 or 217, and either Psychology 300 or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.

333 Psych of Gender (U)

An exploration of psychological perspectives on gender with a particular emphasis on culture, race, social class, and psychological development.  Topics include sex and gender, biological bases of gender, sexuality, gender identity, and implications for researchers and practitioners. Prerequisites: Psychology 100. Offered annually.

334 Psychology of Racism

Students will learn how to define and analyze dynamics of racism. They will work to develop a sense of agency through advanced readings, dialogues, writing and experiential exercises. Student will learn ways that systems of privilege are perpetuated and explore ways to interrupt the cycle. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.

335 Counseling and Psychotherapy (IT,W)

An overview of counseling methods, and models of psychological treatment. Approaches covered include behavioral and cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, person-centered, and Gestalt. The course also covers therapeutic response modes, family and group therapy, and community interventions. Prerequisites: Psychology 100, 215. Offered occasionally.

359 Advanced Social Psychology (W)

Theoretical and empirical perspectives on social psychology. Three or four topics on a rotating basis will be selected for intense study from both classic and contemporary approaches. Possible topics include influence, prejudice, obedience, love, group dynamics, social cognition, stress and coping, disclosure, the self, aggression, and loneliness. Prerequisites: Psychology 300 or consent of instructor. Offered annually.

369 Special Topics in Clinical, Developmental and Social Psychology

Courses addressing topics of special interest in the more applied areas of Psychology (e.g. clinical, social and developmental psychology). See current Program of Classes to determine if this course fulfills General Education requirements.

395 Directed Study

Individualized directed readings on a topic of interest to the student which is not normally a part of the curriculum, resulting in the preparation of a significant paper. Prerequisite: consent of the department chair. Offered each semester.

397 Internship

Supervised experiential learning for students in psychology. Placements include, but are not limited to, mental health clinics, educational agencies, and correctional systems. A substantial written project is required. Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Prerequisites: Three courses in psychology, declared major or minor in psychology, and consent of the department internship coordinator. Offered each semester.

399 Research Internship

Experimental or theoretical examination of a topic of interest to the student and cooperating faculty member. A significant paper detailing the findings of the investigation is expected at the conclusion of the work. Prerequisite: consent of the department chair. (1/2 or 1 unit) Offered each semester.

400 Directed Research

Independent research in collaboration with a faculty member. This course will provide students with research experience. Students will prepare a thesis proposal; the proposed research will be completed in 401. Prerequisites: Psychology 300, at least five courses at the 200 level or higher, and approval of a thesis supervisor and the department chair. Offered each fall.

401 Thesis in Psychology (W)

Independent research conducted in collaboration with a faculty member. This course will provide students with research experience that will provide a foundation for graduate study. Students will complete and defend a thesis. Prerequisite: Psychology 400. Offered each spring.