Psychology Courses

PY 1000. Introduction to Psychology (3) 
Fall and Spring semester
An introduction to the scientific study of behavior and human cognitive processes. Emphasis is on basic concepts and principles, as well as on methods of research. Topics include biological bases of behavior, sensation, perception, learning, memory, motivation, emotions, growth and development, personality, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy and social behavior. (SRI)

PY 1100. Honors Introduction to Psychology (4) 
Fall semester
Psychology is introduced as the science that concerns itself with how and why organisms, especially humans, do what they do. The course integrates science with humanities to embellish students' understandings of human thought and action. Illustrative laboratory exercises pattern the development of reliable information in the field. Topics focus on the general areas of action, cognition, social behavior, development, and individual differences with special emphasis on critical thinking. (SRI)

PY 2100. Introduction to Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (3) 
Fall and Spring semester
Basic concepts of statistical analysis are applied to empirical questions from psychology, social sciences and life science to foster the scientific perspective, to incite critical thinking, and to produce better consumers of information. This course focuses on basic descriptive concepts (e.g., central tendency, variability) and techniques (e.g., correlation, regression) basic issues in hypothesis testing (e.g., probability, decision errors), and basic parametric techniques (e.g., z-test, t-test, one- and two-factor ANOVAs).

PY 2600. Personal Growth and Wellness (3) 
The dynamics of personal adjustment and potential for growth are viewed through the study of healthy personality. Self-control strategies, stress management, relaxation, problem-solving, interpersonal communication and self-awareness are some of the topics to be covered experientially. Emphasis is on small group work. This is designed for both psychology majors and non-majors.

PYED 3010. Educational Psychology (3) 
Fall semester
Students consider psychological theories of learning and relate them to classroom practice. Particular attention is paid to the changing needs of learners from the early childhood through adolescent periods of development. Students are introduced to educational research, standardized testing, classroom management, motivation, and writing learning objectives. Classroom observations are required. Prerequisite: PY 1000. 

PYED 3020. Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child (3) 
Spring semester
This course provides an introduction to special education populations and examines the effect of different handicapping conditions on learning. Methods of diagnosis and adaptation/accommodation of instructional methods are presented through case studies, observations and empirical research. Though the major focus of the course is on disabilities, attention is given to the needs of the gifted student as well. Classroom observations of diverse populations are required. Fulfills state certification requirements for teacher education. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PY 3100. Experimental Methods in Psychology (3) 
The fundamentals of empirical research are explored through experimental methods used in psychology. The student is introduced to a variety of research designs, experimental control techniques, and statistical procedures used primarily in laboratory research settings. Emphasis is given to the process of using theoretical constructs to guide empirical research. Students conduct research projects and write reports in APA style. Prerequisite: PY 2100.

PY 3110. Research Methods in Psychology (3) 
Fall and Spring semester
The fundamentals of empirical research design are explored through non-experimental methods used in psychology. The student is introduced to a variety of research methodologies (e.g., naturalistic observation, survey, quasi-experimental design) that are used primarily outside the laboratory. The student is introduced to various descriptive, correlational techniques that have broad application in psychology and other empirical sciences. Students conduct research projects and write reports in APA style. Prerequisite: PY 2100.

PY 3200. Psychological Assessment (3) 
This course examines psychological assessment in clinical, educational, business, and other settings. Procedures for administering, scoring, and interpreting test performance are studied, as are psychological theories underlying specific tests and methods of constructing and evaluating tests. Students practice the skills underlying effective use of assessment procedures. Lab fee. Prerequisites: PY 1000 and PY 2100.

PY 3250. Psychology of Learning (3) 
Investigates how human beings and other organisms come to behave in new ways. Major topics include classical and instrumental conditioning, punishment, basic memory models and various memory processes. Important features of the course include the research methods used to address empirical questions and the evaluation of data in light of theoretical predictions. There is also an emphasis on applying research findings to practical problems. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PY 3300. Behavioral Neuroscience (3) 
Investigates the biological bases of behavior. Emphasis is placed on understanding the neurophysiological, psychopharmacological, genetic and biochemical events underlying the processes of motivation, emotion, learning and brain dysfunction. Lab fee. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PY 3350. Psychology of Perception (3) 
This course examines how we humans gather information about the world around us and use it to identify the source of stimulating energies. Although primary emphasis is on vision and audition, the structure and function of all ten senses are examined. This course explores how knowledge, motivation, context, expectation, and the sensory organ all interact with stimulating energies to achieve perception. Many in-class demonstrations and laboratory experiences illustrate perceptual phenomena. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PY 3400. Developmental Psychology (3) 
Fall and Spring semester
Focuses on human growth and development throughout the life span. Examines research methods and theories of development. Considers the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive domains of human development as affected by biological and environmental influences. Prerequisite: 
PY 1000. (SRII or SRI)

PY 3410. Child Development (3)
This course focuses on human development from conception to puberty. The main goal of the course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of typical changes during childhood that are based on fundamental principles of development. Interactions between physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development are examined. Emphasis is placed on theory and research as sources of knowledge. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PYED 3430. Adolescent Psychology (3)
The developmental tasks of adolescence are explored, including puberty, identity formation, the influence of peers, schools, self-esteem, and problem behaviors. Cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development are examined. Emphasis is placed on theory and research as sources of knowledge. Current educational applications are investigated. Prerequisites: PY 1000 and sophomore standing (or consent of instructor).

PY 3440. Adult Development and Aging (3) 
The developmental tasks of adulthood, including intimacy, identity, work and family, are considered in this course. The physical, social, cognitive and emotional aspects of the aging process are considered. Emphasis is placed on theory and research as sources of knowledge. Prerequisite: PY 1000 and sophomore standing.

PY 3500. Personality (3) 
After a consideration of the characteristics of scientific theories, this course examines the efforts of significant historical and contemporary theorists to explain the development, dynamics and determinants of personality. The usefulness of particular personality theories is evaluated within the framework of empirical research. Prerequisites: PY 1000 and 6 hours of upper-division psychology. (SRII or SRI)

PY 3550. Abnormal Behavior (3) 
Fall and Spring semester
An introduction to the various forms of maladjustment including anxiety, affective disorders, schizophrenia, dissociative processes, personality disorders, and child and adolescent psychopathologies. Disorders are considered from several perspectives including psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic-existential, family systems and biological. Prerequisite: PY 1000. (SRII or SRI)

PY 3600. Psychology of Sexual Behavior (3) 
Spring semester
A psychological perspective on human sexuality and patterns of behavior. Sexual functioning, gender identity, sexual disorders and treatment are considered. The role of personality, attitudes and emotional factors are emphasized. Prerequisite: PY 1000. (SRII or SRI)

PY 3700. Health Psychology (3)
Health psychology is one of the most rapidly expanding areas in the field of psychology. This course will discuss the role psychological factors play in physical problems. The role of psychological treatments for individuals with psychophysiological disorders will be discussed. This course will also address the role of the health psychologist in the health care system and topics such as chronic pain, obesity, nicotine addiction. Prerequisite: 
PY 1000.

PY 3990. Research Experience I (3)
Research Experience I is designed to introduce students to the research process by participating in faculty sponsored research. Activities as a member of this team may include reading literature relevant to the topic, data collection or data entry and attending research meetings. Students contract with a faculty mentor to determine their level of participation in the research process. Three hours of participation per week are required to earn one hour of college credit and the student must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 to participate. Students can earn a maximum of three credit hours. Prerequisite: PY 1000; minimum 3.0 overall GPA.

PY 4100. History and Systems in Psychology (3) 
The intellectual history of contemporary psychology is traced in light of positions taken on a number of fundamental philosophical and psychological questions. The course delineates psychology’s emergence as a science and a discipline separate from physiology and philosophy and chronicles its liberation from all-encompassing theoretical systems into the less restrictive organizing constructions found today. While the focus is on the historical development of a science, psychology’s history as an applied profession is examined too. Prerequisites: At least nine hours of upper-division credit in psychology.

PY 4200. Psychology of Motivation (3) 
Why do human beings and other organisms behave as they do? Answers are sought by examining the construct of motivation from biological, learning, cognitive, and social perspectives. The course begins with some of the “simple” motives that human beings share with other animals and then considers the complex ways in which the functioning of biological systems interacts with learning, cognition, and language. Major topics include hunger, sex, aggression, choice, attribution theory, and social influence. Emphasis is placed on the unique importance of language in structuring human motivation and emotion. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PY 4300. Cognition (3) 
Cognition is the scientific study of the human mind. Memory is explored extensively and such topics as attention, awareness, perception, thinking, concepts, creativity, and others are examined. The course is recommended for all students who plan to continue their studies in psychology, because the cognitive approach is dominate in contemporary psychology. Prerequisites: PY 1000 or PY 1100, PY 3100 or PY 3110.

PY 4320. Cognitive Development. (3)
The goal of this course is to better understand cognitive psychology by making use of developmental research. To accomplish this goal important themes that are discussed include innate qualities of human cognition, the patterns of change found in cognition, the study of possible universal forms of cognition, and different methods for examining cognitive change. To become acquainted fully with these issues, students read and critique original source material. Prerequisites: 6 upper division hours in psychology.

PY 4350. Psychology of Language (3)
The study of language is approached from a cognitive perspective. Hence, the course seeks to understand the knowledge speakers and listeners require to use language, the cognitive processes involved in ordinary language use, and how these interact within environmental and biological constraints to account for linguistic performance. Principal topics include comprehension, production, and acquisition of language, speech perception, conversational interaction, and the biological foundations of language. The course also explores topics like reading, sign language, cultural influences on language, and language and pathology. Prerequisites: PY 1000 or PY 1100, PY 3100 or PY 3110.

PY 4400. Social Psychology (3) 
The scientific study of the manner in which the behavior, emotions, or thoughts of the individual can be influenced or determined by the behavior or characteristics of others. Topics include methods of research, social perception, attitude formation and change, aggression, attraction, persuasion, conformity, and interpersonal communication. Prerequisite: PY 1000 and 6 hours of upper-division psychology. (SRII)

PY 4500. Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy (3) 
An overview of the major theories of psychotherapy including psychoanalytic, existential, cognitive, behavioral, client-centered, Gestalt, and family systems perspectives. The course identifies the emotional challenges of conducting psychotherapy. An eclectic approach is emphasized. Case studies, videos, and role-playing are utilized. Prerequisite: PY 1000.

PY 4600. Psychology of Gender (3) 
The study of the manner in which gender is socially constructed, and the ways in which gender identity is socialized and acquired. Additional topics include: physical health and reproduction, psychological well-being, relationship issues, career and work issues, psychological abilities, media influences, issues concerned with aging, and the role of political movements all in relationship to gender. Prerequisite: PY 1000 and sophomore standing.

PY 4960. Psychology Seminar (3)
Fall and Spring semester
A senior-level, capstone experience emphasizing independent research; archival, empirical, or both. The instructor selects an organizing theme or topic for the seminar and the student's research reflects that theme.  Recent examples of organizing theme are Psychology and Law, Evolutionary Psychology, Child Psychopathology, Memory and Repression, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and Identity.  The culminating experience is a public presentation of the research. Prerequisites: Senior standing, PY major.

PY 4970. Practicum in Psychology (2-3)
Practicum in Psychology provides students with opportunities to observe and participate in the work of psychologists, counselors and other professionals in a variety of mental health, forensic/legal, and business/industry settings. The 3-credit practicum requires 150 on-site hours and the 2-credit practicum requires 100 on-site hours. In addition to daily logs and journals, completion of a paper that integrates empirical research and practical experience is required. Interested students must consult with the Practicum instructor before enrolling. Prerequisite: Declared major or minor in psychology; junior or senior standing; 2.5 overall GPA; instructor approval.

PY 4990. Research Experience II (1-3)
Research Experience II is designed to expose students to the broadest range of research activity possible. The student will plan, conduct and analyze data from a research project in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Students contract with a faculty member to determine their specific research activities which may extend over multiple semesters. It is required that a level II research experience culminate in an APA style research paper, a poster presentation, or an oral presentation at a student conference. Three hours of participation per week are required to earn one hour of college credit. The student must have a minimum of 36 credit hours, an overall GPA of 3.0 and either PY 3100 or PY 3110 with a minimum grade of B to enroll. Students can earn a maximum of nine credit hours. Prerequisite: Minimum 36 credit hours; minimum 3.0 overall GPA; PY 3110 or PY 3100 with B or better.