Department of Psychology

Peoples Building
Loretta Rieser-Danner, Chairperson
Susan Gans, Assistant Chairperson

PROFESSORS: Gans, Johnson, Kerr, Kumar, Mahlstedt, Rieser-Danner, Tahmaseb-McConatha, Treadwell, Yorges, Zotter

ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: Azorlosa, Brown, Bunk, Clarke, Hyers, Shivde

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Chancellor, Hill, Rundus

The B.A. in PSYCHOLOGY prepares students to understand variables such as heredity, learning, and the environment, which shape and change behavior. Careers are possible in clinics, guidance centers, industry, hospitals, schools, and government. The department prepares those students who wish to work immediately after they graduate from its undergraduate program by training them in the use of computers for statistical analysis, supervising their work in clinical and research settings that can later be translated to many business pursuits, and working with them as they learn to express themselves clearly in writing and in speech. The department also prepares students for specific careers within psychology, many of which require graduate study beyond the baccalaureate. These careers include teaching, research, and the delivery of clinical services.


120 semester hours

  1. General ed. requirements, see pages 38-44 (48 semester hours)
    MAT 103 or higher MAT course is required. BIO 100 or 110 or 259 is recommended. SPK 208 or 230; any WRT 200-level course
  2. Language/culture requirement, see pages 43-44 (0-15 semester hours)
  3. Department requirements (48 semester hours)
    1. Required psychology courses (36 semester hours)
      PSY 100, 245, 246, 362, and 400. Students must choose three courses from Group I, three courses from Group II, and one course from Group III. Students are strongly encouraged to take PSY 245 as early as possible, but MUST enroll in it before taking more than 21 hours in psychology courses.

      Group I (choose three courses)
      PSY 254, 257, 365, 375, 382 or 384 (but not both)

      Group II (choose three courses)
      PSY 255, 335, 350, 363, 464, or 475

      Group III (choose one course)
      PSY 266, 336, 366, 376, 410, 441, 448, 470, or 476

    2. Psychology electives (12 semester hours)
      Four additional courses, selected from among any of the departmental offerings.

    3. Student electives (to complete 120 semester hours)
      These electives are in addition to the nine semester hours of electives listed under the general education requirements and may be selected from among any of the University's course offerings.

Minor in Psychology (18 semester hours)

The minor in psychology is designed for students of any major and is tailored to the specific educational goals of each student. After taking PSY 100, the student will choose 15 additional hours of PSY courses.

Minimum Grade Requirement

All psychology majors and minors must earn a grade of C- or better in PSY 100 and all other PSY courses that fulfill departmental requirements. PSY courses used as general education free electives are exempt from this policy.



Symbol: PSY

100 Introduction to Psychology (3) Introduction to the scientific study of behavior, the multiple bases of human behavior (with emphasis on the learning process), basic concepts, principles, and methodology. Students may be required to become familiar with an ongoing research study in psychology as an out-of-class assignment.

120 Multicultural Psychology (3)  This survey course will examine how psychological theory and research can contribute to the understanding of ethnicity, race, income, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and religion. Diverse communities course.

200 Positive Psychology:  The Science of Happiness and Well-Being (3)
Introduction to psychological perspectives that place an emphasis on positive emotional states including happiness, joy, resilience, compassion, and forgiveness. The course will examine a variety of topics and their relationship to subjective well-being, including positive coping, optimism, interpersonal relationships, spirituality, creativity, and achievement.

210 Developmental Psychology: Lifespan (3) A survey of research findings and theoretical issues related to developmental processes from the prenatal phase to senescence. PREREQ: PSY 100. Majors are advised to take PSY 382 or PSY 384 rather than PSY 210.

245 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (3) Descriptive and inferential statistical concepts and techniques and their application to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of behavioral data. Computer-assisted computation procedures will be employed. PREREQ: MAT 103 or higher.

246 Research Methods in Psychology (3) Critical examination of research methods in psychology, including experimental and quasi-experimental designs, correlational methods, and survey methods. Students will receive practical experience in the design, implementation, analysis, and interpretation of data, and in preparation of written reports for research projects. PREREQ: PSY 245. Writing emphasis course.

254 Social Psychology (3) The study of the ways in which the individual is affected by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. PREREQ: PSY 100.

255 Introduction to Biological Psychology (3) Basic concepts concerning the reciprocal relationship between behavior and biology will be introduced. PREREQ: PSY 100.

257 Theories of Personality (3) A course in personality that examines the theories and writings of Freud, Jung, Adler, Fromm, Erikson, Rogers, and other major personality theorists. PREREQ: PSY 100.

265 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3) A basic course for business majors and others interested in the psychology of the workplace. Emphasis on the theoretical developments in psychology as these relate to the study of people in organizations and industry. PREREQ: PSY 100.

266 Biological Psychology Laboratory (3) Laboratory exercises and experiments in basic biological psychology. PREREQ: PSY 100, 245, 246, and concurrent or previous enrollment in PSY 255.

268   Drugs, Behavior, and the Brain (3) A survey of how drugs affect the brain and behavior. Drugs that are used to treat psychological disorders and those used recreationally will be studied. PREREQ: PSY 100.

327 Applied Behavior Analysis (3) A survey of the principles and practices employed in inducing behavioral changes in clinic, institution, agency, and school settings. PREREQ: PSY 100.

335 Animal Behavior (3) The evolution and adaptiveness of behavior. Emphasis on physiological, genetic, and learning processes underlying animal behavior. PREREQ: PSY 100, or BIO 100 or 110, or permission of instructor.

336 Animal Behavior Laboratory (3) Laboratory exercises and experiments in the principles of animal behavior and comparative psychology. PREREQ: PSY 100, 245, 246 and concurrent enrollment in (or previous completion of) PSY 335.

350 Biopsychology of Motivation and Emotion (3) A study of drives, motives, and emotions as determinants of behavior. Physiological and social aspects of motivation will be explored with some attention given to pathological factors. PREREQ: PSY 100, and PSY 255 or BIO 100 or BIO 110.

362 History and Systems of Psychology (3) An integrated overview of the history of psychology as well as the systems, theories, and fundamental issues with which psychologists have concerned themselves in the past, recent, and current stages of the science. PREREQ: PSY 100.

363 Psychology of Learning (3) Basic laws and theories of learning. PREREQ: PSY 100.

365 Psychology of Women (3) A study of the behavior and experience of women. Biological, cultural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal determinants of women's actions, thoughts, and feelings will be explored. PREREQ: PSY 100. Writing emphasis course.

366 Learning Laboratory (3) Laboratory exercises and experiments in the principles of Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning. PREREQ: PSY 100, 245, 246, and concurrent enrollment in (or previous completion of) PSY 363.

375 Abnormal Psychology (3) An in-depth study of psychological/psychiatric disorders, including diagnosis, epidemiology, etiology, and treatment. PREREQ: PSY 100; PSY 257 recommended.

376 Social Psychology Laboratory (3) Electronic and/or other laboratory exercises in social psychology. PREREQ: PSY 100 and 254. Writing emphasis course.

380 Body Image (3) This interactive workshop explores the development of body image, the effects of negative body image on mental health and well-being, the assessment of body image, and the treatment and prevention of body-image disturbance. Special attention is given to gender, cultural, and racial differences in body image, the role of obesity, and body image disorders such as eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder.

382 Infant, Child, and Adolescent Development (3) Study of the normal child from conception to puberty. Emphasis on current theoretical issues involved in the effects of early experience and environment. PREREQ: PSY 100.

384 Adult Development (3) Study of psychological development during the mature years up to and including death and dying. PREREQ: PSY 100. Writing emphasis course.

390 Principles of Counseling and Psychotherapy (3) A review of theoretical assumptions underpinning various approaches to counseling and psychotherapy with particular reference to comparative outcome data. PREREQ: PSY 257 or 375.

400 Senior Seminar in Psychology (3) In-depth study of advanced topics in psychology. Students will prepare and present written and oral presentations describing and analyzing current issues in psychology. Required of all psychology majors. PREREQ: PSY 245, 246, and 21 total hours of psychology courses.

410 Research in Psychology (1-3) Special research projects, reports, and readings in psychology. PREREQ: PSY 100 and permission of department chairperson.
This course may be taken again with the approval of the Department of Psychology chairperson.

413 Group Interventions (3) This class is designed as an introductory course, integrating theory and practice of psychodrama as a psychotherapeutic modality. Emphasis is placed on understanding the basic psychodramatic and sociometric techniques from a theoretical perspective with emphasis placed on how to use these basic techniques in applied situations. PREREQ: PSY 100 and permission of instructor.

421 Issues in Autism: Diagnosis and Behavioral Treatments (3) Study of the assessment and treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, related disorders, and associated problems.  Detailed coverage of current validated assessment and treatment practices, with emphasis on behavior analytic procedures.  Instruction will occur via current books, periodicals, testing materials, videos, and play activities.  PREREQ: PSY 100; PSY 327 strongly recommended.

430 Human Sexual Behavior (3) An intensive study of those variables under which human sexual behavior functions. Research from sociological and medical studies is integrated with psychological knowledge. PREREQ: PSY 100.

441 Field Experience in Psychology I (3) A work-study program in an educational, business, or mental health facility under joint supervision of the instructor and the staff psychologist of the field institution. PREREQ: PSY 100 and 21 total hours of psychology courses or permission of instructor.

442 Field Experience in Psychology II (3) Continuation of PSY 441.

443 Psychology of Group Processes (3) An exploration of the dynamics of interpersonal behavior in small groups. Theory applied to practice in class. PREREQ: PSY 100; permission of instructor recommended.

445 Organizational Development (3) The study of human behavior in task group and organizational contexts. PREREQ: PSY 265 recommended.

447 Interpersonal Relationships within Groups (3) A study of processes and factors in establishing, maintaining, and terminating relationships via the use of group methods. PREREQ: PSY 100 and permission of instructor.

448 Field Experience in Psychology III (3) A work-study program in a Head Start preschool, serving a population of children and family that is mostly low-income and of ethnic and racial minority backgrounds, under joint supervision of the instructor and the staff of the field institution.  PREREQ:  PSY 100 and 21 total hours of psychology courses or permission of instructor.
Diverse communities courses

449 Field Experience in Psychology IV (3) A continuation of PSY 448. PREREQ: PSY 448 or permission of instructor.
Diverse communities courses

464  Biopsychology Seminar (3) Anatomical, endocrinological, and physiological processes underlying behavior, including motivation, emotion, learning, and memory. Special attention is given to the biological bases and treatments of mental illness. PREREQ: PSY 100, and PSY 255 or BIO 100 or BIO 110.

470  Sensory and Perceptual Processes (3) A study of how we process sensory information and perceive our environments. PREREQ: PSY 100.

475  Cognitive Psychology (3) The study of human information processing, includes topics such as attention, memory, language, and decision making. PREREQ: PSY 100.

476  Cognitive Lab (3) Laboratory exercises and experiments in cognition, including human attention, perception, and memory. PREREQ: PSY 100, 245, and 246. PREREQ or COREQ: PSY 475.

481 Eating Disorders (3) An in-depth study of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other variants of disordered eating. PREREQ: PSY 257 or 375.

490 Topical Seminar in Psychology (1-3) Special topics in psychology not offered under existing, regularly offered courses. PREREQ: Consent of instructor or chairperson recommended.
This course may be taken again with the approval of the Department of Psychology chairperson.