Catalogue 2016 - 2017

Psychology Major

General Information

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior. In addition to helping students understand themselves and others, the research findings of psychology have wide application to many professional fields, from human services to medical, industrial, and educational settings. Within the major there is flexibility to select courses that meet individual career objectives, i.e. Sports Psychology, School Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Child Psychology, Neuropsychology, Applied Behavior Analysis, Special Education, Autism Treatment, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Gender Studies, Conservation Psychology, etc.

The Department of Psychology offers students the opportunity to receive either the BA or the BS Degree. The BS degree includes all of the requirements of the BA degree, along with an additional six credits of any science courses, as well as an additional 12 credits of research courses in Psychology (or any 18 credit combination of research courses in Psychology and science courses approved by the department chairperson).

Students interested in pursuing a research methods track should take one or more of our advanced research courses.

Students interested in the Neuroscience major should see Neuroscience Major for a full description of the Neuroscience program.

Students may also pursue teacher certification at the elementary level by also majoring in Elementary Education, or receive training in special education by participating in the New England Center for Children internship program.

Career Opportunities

Students are prepared to enter the world of work in counseling, research, autism treatment, personnel administration, human service agencies, special education, elementary school teaching or other child life work; to continue their studies at the graduate level; or to enter related fields such as medicine, law, criminal justice, and social work.

Psychology Faculty

Program Objectives

  1. To study human and other animal behavior from a scientific perspective with consideration of the environmental, biological, and multicultural influences on behavior.
  2. To introduce students to the scientific findings of psychology as they relate to diverse populations and as they apply to a range of professional fields including medicine, human services, industry, and educational settings.
  3. To provide flexibility of course selection to meet individual career objectives.
  4. To encourage internships and minors in related fields of interest.

Student Competencies

Students who complete the degree requirements in psychology should be able to:

  • identify the environmental, biological, and multicultural influences on behavior;
  • differentiate and appreciate the value of primary research literature in psychology compared to popular media reports;
  • understand and perform statistical analyses and know how to generate an original research hypothesis;
  • demonstrate how psychologists use the scientific method to generate psychology’s knowledge base;
  • gather information in psychology using a variety of relevant resources including PsycINFO database, MedLine, etc.;
  • prepare papers using an APA format;
  • demonstrate sensitivity to issues of human diversity as they apply to psychological research and practice;
  • understand how contemporary psychology evolved from its historical roots;
  • demonstrate what ethical principles apply to psychologists in testing, counseling, and research.

Student Assessment

Students’ progress in psychology is assessed in a variety of ways and may include: objective and essay quizzes and examinations, class attendance and participation, journals, individual and group projects, oral presentations, poster sessions, research papers, critical review papers, videotaping, and simulations.

Students are encouraged to keep a portfolio of their work as a means of tracking their own development, as well as to demonstrate their abilities and accomplishments when applying to graduate school and/or for positions in the field of psychology.

General University and College Requirements

See General University Requirements and College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.

Degree Requirements

Required courses (27 credit hours):

PSY 101Introduction to Psychology

3 cr.

PSY 201Developmental Psychology

3 cr.

PSY 207Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

3 cr.

PSY 214Social Psychology

3 cr.

PSY 309Research Methods

3 cr.

NSCI 212Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience

3 cr.

PSY 313Learning

3 cr.

PSY 326Abnormal Psychology

3 cr.

PSY 420History of Psychology and Personality Theory

3 cr.

Total Credit Hours:27

Nine additional credit hours required in upper-level psychology (PSY 300-400) courses.

Total Credit Hours:9

Note that for the BS degree these credit hours may include the required upper level research courses in psychology.

Three additional credit hours in a multicultural perspectives course or an approved equivalent.

Total Credit Hours:3

Total Credit Hours: 39

The 2.0 required grade point average in the major is based on all PSY courses pursued as a part of the student’s degree program.