Aug 20, 2019  
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2019-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Psychology Major, BA


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Program Description

The undergraduate program in Psychological Sciences is made up of a structured curriculum in which students develop a thorough understanding of concepts and principles that attempt to explain human behavior and mental processes. This program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), which prepares students to (1) begin work as a non-professional in a variety of settings where a liberal arts background plus interpersonal skills are needed and (2) obtain entrance into graduate programs in any field of Psychology. All students must fulfill the General Education requirements and regularly meet with their advisors. After completing General Education courses, student will begin to more rigorously pursue the major requirements for Psychology.

Program Mission

The Department of Psychological Sciences provides a culture of learning within a liberal educational context.  We challenge undergraduates to apply a scientific approach to understanding the dynamic processes of human behavior and thinking in a global context. This is achieved through a variety of courses that emphasize (a) the interplay between biological, cognitive and social-level factors, (b) active engagement in experiential learning, oral and written communication, research and field-related experiences, and (c) the important role of diversity and cultural understanding. We develop solution-oriented graduates who can transition into professional studies or the workforce.

Discipline Goals

Goal 1: To instruct students in a general knowledge base in psychology

Goal 2: To engage students in scientific inquiry and critical thinking across the departmental curriculum

Goal 3: To inform students about their ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world

Goal 4: To advance students’ skills in communication

Goal 5: To contribute to students’ overall professional development

Student Learning Outcomes

The core curriculum outlined below includes  courses in which university-wide student learning outcomes are integrated within the goals and content of the program. Elements of several skills are included in these courses, but the University-wide student learning outcomes are specifically examined as follows:

Information Literacy: Identity, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and responsibility to increase understanding (PSY 2430  , PSY 2316  ).

Written Communication:  Use of appropriate language, conventions, organization, supporting evidence, and content to effectively communicate in writing, for the purpose and audience (PSY 2430  and upper level psychology courses).

Critical Reading: Interacting with written language to construct and reflect on meaning while evaluating and questioning in relation to contextual information (ALL Foundation and Elective Psychology Courses).

Scientific Literacy: Exhibit knowledge of scientific concepts and processes and ability to engage the scientific method towards informing decision making and participation in civic, social, cultural, and economic affairs (ALL Psychology courses).

Quantitative Literacy: Understand and create arguments that are supported by empirical evidence and clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats such as using words, tables, graphs, and mathematical equations, as appropriate (PSY 2440  , PSY 3402  ).

Critical Thinking: Analyze, synthesize or deconstruct, interpret and evaluate information and concepts to solve problems (ALL Psychology Courses).

Oral Communication: Use appropriate language, conventions, elocution, poise, organization, supporting evidence, and content to effectively communicate through the spoken word for the purpose and audience (PSY 4440 ) .

 

Major Requirements

Approved by Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee - March 19, 2019

Foundation Courses

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours

GER 2326  

or

MAT 2326  

or

SOC 2326  

Statistics  3 hrs
PSY 1301   Introduction to Psychological Sciences 3 hrs
PSY 2430   Writing for Psychological Sciences 4 hrs
PSY 2336   Lifespan Development 3 hrs
PSY 2440   Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology 4 hrs
  Foundation Courses Total 17 hrs

Breadth Courses

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 3312   Introduction to Black Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 3306   Abnormal Psychology 3 hrs

PSY 3301  

or 

PSY 3308  

Biological Psychology

or

Cognitive Psychology

3 hrs
PSY 3307   Social Psychology 3 hrs
PSY Elective One 3 credit PSY course, that is not otherwise required or in the student’s depth area 3 hrs
  Breadth Courses Total 15 hrs

 

Depth Courses - (18 credit hours)

Choose one of the following Depth Tracks for developing deeper knowledge and skill areas that are designed for understanding complex relationships between one or more of the major areas in psychology.  The Honors Depth Track has special requirements.

Prerequisite:  PSY 2440   Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology I is a prerequisite with a letter grade of C or better.

Depth Track:  Honors Track (18 credit hours)

This track focuses on students with a research and scholarly orientation towards psychology.  Students receive advanced research training with faculty mentors on original empirical research and to sharpen their analytical and communication skills.  Students successfully completing the curriculum will graduate with Honors in Psychology.

Requirements for acceptance into the Honors Track:

Application for admission to the honors curriculum should occur in the first semester of the junior year (see website for dates each term).  Admission to the honors curriculum is restricted to students who meet the following criteria.

Successful completion of PSY 2430 and PSY 2440 course

A GPA of 3.3 within the major

A cumulative GPA of 3.3

No grade lower than a B in any PSY courses (possible one exception with a strong recommendation by a faculty member)

Identification of a faculty mentor and a potential area of research

Recommendation by the Psychological Sciences Honors committee, who will evaluate each applicant on academic performance and professional goals

The honors curriculum is entered in the second semester of the junior year after the student has completed the breadth requirements of the program.  The research-intensive honors curriculum consists of a series of three semesters of research with a faculty mentor that results in a written thesis and an oral presentation before graduation.  They begin the sequence with the 4-hour seminar (PSY 3493  in that spring semester of the junior year which substitutes for the Topics Seminar requirement (see above tracks).  They also take two courses in guided research with their faculty mentor that substitute for depth electives, and complete the senior seminar required of all majors.

 

Culture/Health Social/Cognitive Honors Track
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours Course Number Course Title Credit Hours Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 3309   Cross-Cultural Psychology 3 hrs PSY 3346   Priniciples of Learning 3 hrs PSY 3402   Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology II   4 hrs
PSY 4310   Health Psychology 3 hrs PSY 3329   Personality 3 hrs PSY 3493   Psychological Investigations and Research I (for Honors) 4 hrs
PSY 4425   Contemporary Issues in Psychology 3 hrs PSY 4425   Contemporary Issues in Psychology 3 hrs PSY 4330   Psychological Investigations and Research II (for Honors 3 hrs
PSY 3402   Research Methods & Statistics II 3 hrs PSY 3402   Research Methods & Statistics II 3 hrs PSY 4393   Psychological Investigations and Research III (for Honors)  3 hrs
PSY 4440   Senior Seminar 3 hrs PSY 4440   Senior Seminar 3 hrs PSY 4440   Senior Seminar in Psychology 4 hrs
  Depth Courses Total  18 hrs   Depth Courses Total 18 hrs   Depth Courses Total 18 hrs

 

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