Curriculum

The psychology major is designed to give students a broad background in the discipline of psychology. Required courses in the major expose students to the range of theoretical approaches in psychology (PSY 110: Introduction to Psychology, PSY 351: Theories of Personality, and PSY 496: Senior Seminar) and a solid understanding of the scientific basis of psychology (PSY 230: Introduction to Statistics, PSY 333: Research Methods, and either PSY 337:Learning and Behavior, or PSY 338: Cognition). Electives allow students to explore other topics of interest. The curriculum is designed to be flexible.

The department offers bachelor of science degrees in psychology. 

Psychology Major: 36 credits 

Required Psychology Courses:

PSY 110: Introduction to Psychology (3)
PSY 132: Critical Thinking (3)
PSY 220/PSY 223/PSY 227: Child Development/Adolescent Development/Adult Development and Aging (3)
PSY 230: Introduction to Statistics (3)
PSY 243: Using APA Format (1)
PSY 333: Research Methods in the Behavior Sciences (3)
PSY 337/PSY 338: Learning and Behavior/Cognition (3)
PSY 351: Theories of Personality (3)
PSY 363: Cross-Cultural Psychology (3)
PSY 485/PSY 476: Internship/Empirical Research Project (3)
PSY 495: Senior Seminar (3)

Psychology Electives: 5 credits

The elective credit hours will be determined by students and their advisors in accordance with the students vocational goals. 

Non-Psychology Electives:

Majors are encouraged to elect BIO 111-Biological Science and BIO 112-General Zoology.

Psychology Minor: 21 credits

Required Psychology Courses:

PSY110: Introduction to Psychology 
PSY230: Introduction to Statistics 
PSY333: Research Methods 
PSY351: Theories of Personality 

Minor Electives (choose three): 9 credits
The elective credit hours will be determined by students and their advisors in accordance with the students vocational goals. Electives may include courses offered at Clarke and Loras Colleges. 


Psychology Courses:

PSY 110: Introduction to Psychology (3)
A survey of the major topics covered in the field of psychology. The student is introduced to concepts and theories in such areas as development, learning, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior, therapy, and social behavior.

PSY 119: Life Span Development for Non-Majors (3)
A survey of the life-span development of human beings; stages from prenatal development to late adulthood, concluding with ‘death and grieving’. Biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional developmental theories will be presented and discussed. This course cannot be counted toward the Psychology major.

PSY 132: Critical Thinking (3)
An examination of skills needed to analyze and evaluate arguments and evidence presented in support of claims made by researchers and theorists. Although the major focus of this course will be on the social sciences, the skills developed in this course are applicable to other academic contexts and to everyday life.

PSY 210: Psychology of Adjustment (3)
An examination of the problems faced in normal development and the strategies used in coping with the stresses these problems create.

PSY 220: Child Development (3)
A survey of historical and theoretical perspectives on the growth and development of the child. Topics cover physical, cognitive, social, and personality development.

PSY 223: Adolescent Development (3)
A survey of developmental changes characteristic of adolescence. Topics include identity, independence, gender, cognitive changes, and parent-child relationships.

PSY 227: Adult Development and Aging (3)
A survey of theory and research concerning biological, psychological, and social changes that occur during the adult life cycle.

PSY 230: Introduction to Statistics (3)
A survey of elementary statistical methods. Emphasis on inferential statistics and the comprehension, application and interpretation of statistical concepts. Topics include: sampling distributions, probability, hypothesis testing, and at least eight statistical tests.

PSY 243: Using APA Format (1)
A study of the American Psychological Association format. Students learn and apply the APA format for writing research reports and literature reviews, and will gain experience in writing various sections of a research report.

PSY 310: Social Psychology (3)
A study of theory and research concerning how individual behavior is influenced by the presence of others and by situational factors. Topics include interpersonal attraction, attitude formation, altruism, aggression and violence, and prejudice.

PSY 333: Research Methods in the Behavior Sciences (3)
An introduction to research methodology with major emphasis placed on experimental research. The course develops the ability to use research-related terminology, knowledge of the how and the why of good research, and the modes of research used for various research problems.

PSY 337: Learning and Behavior (3)
A survey of theories and research concerning learning, with a focus on experimental technique and results. Topics include classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and vicarious learning.

PSY 338: Cognition (3)
A survey of theory and research concerning human cognitive processes. Topics include memory, thinking, problem solving, reasoning, concept formation and language.

PSY 340: Behavioral Genetics (3)
An examination of the influences of genetics on personality, intelligence, behavioral disorders, and psychopathology.

PSY 342: Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
An examination of the research literature, procedures, and application of behavioral principles as applied to classroom, clinical, and other settings. Included will be practice writing behavioral programs and other documents.

PSY 347: Psychological Testing (3)
A survey of methods used to measure intelligence, aptitude, achievement, interests, and personality. Discussion of principles of test construction, practical uses of tests, and ethical issues in testing.

PSY 350: Human Sexuality (3)
A study of theory and research on physiological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of sexuality. Emphasis on examination of personal views of sexuality and on increased understanding of views of others.

PSY 351: Theories of Personality (3)
An examination of major personality theories emphasizing their important concepts and their utility in explaining and/or predicting behavior.

PSY 354: Abnormal Psychology (3)
A study of the major forms of psychopathology including anxiety and stress reactions, depression and suicide, schizophrenia and personality disorders. Examination of theory and research on origins, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

PSY 360: Psychology of Gender (3)
A critical examination of theory and research on the psychological characteristics of men and women. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis of primary sources.

PSY 363-Cross-Cultural Psychology (3)
An exploration of cultural components of theory, research, and application in the various sub-fields of psychology.  The interplay of individual, social, and cultural factors in psychological growth and well being, as well as in cross-cultural communication, is stressed through an examination of the three major worldviews (Western, Eastern, and Southern). Prerequisite: PSY110 or SOC111.  

PSY 357, 358, 359-Topics in Psychology (3)
An examination through intensive reading and class discussion of a selected topic in psychology not covered in regular courses.

PSY 385, 386, 387, 485, 486, 487: Internship (1-3)
A supervised field experience in a selected area of applied psychology. Open to psychology majors only, with 15 credit hours in psychology, junior or senior standing, and consent of instructor. Pass/fail option available.

PSY 391, 392, 393, 491, 492, 493: Independent Research (1-3)
An individual examination of a selected topic through intensive reading.

PSY 476-Empirical Research Project (1-3)
A supervised experience in psychological research.  The student will design and conduct an empirical research project, analyze the data, and write a report using the appropriate APA format. Open to psychology majors only, with 15 credit hours in psychology, junior or senior standing, and consent of instructor. Pass/fail option available.

PSY 495: Senior Seminar (3)
An examination of critical issues in psychology. A synthesis of knowledge and skills expected of the undergraduate psychology major is emphasized.  Open to psychology majors only, with 15 credit hours in psychology, junior or senior standing, and consent of instructor.