Psychology Major

Courses in the psychology major are designed to acquaint the student with the scientific investigation of behavior and mental processes.

Which track should I choose?

Choose the Research Track if: 

    • You are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in psychology
    • You are also encouraged to complete the requirements to gain the department’s Recognition in Scientific Analysis

Choose the Applied Track if: 

    • You are not pursuing a graduate degree
    • You are interested in using knowledge of psychology in other professions such as business, communication, education, law, or social work

Psychology Major - Research Track

Required Courses (44 credit hours)

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology
3 credit hours

This is a survey course providing a study of the behavior of living organisms, particularly human behavior. Typical problems are methods and measurement in psychology, theoretical systems, learning, motivation, perception, personality and psychopathology.

PSYC 334: Abnormal Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101
Following a brief introduction to personality theories, the course focuses on the etiology, classification and treatment of behavior disorders.

BSCI 109: Scientific Writing
1 credit hours

This course introduces students to professional writing styles used in the behavioral sciences, emphasizing the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The course is also designed to familiarize students with library databases used to conduct empirical literature reviews.

BSCI 200: Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. 
Considers the major methods of the social sciences, including applied statistics. Topics include research design, surveys, secondary data and other unobtrusive methods, evaluation research, sampling and research reports.

BSCI 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.  Co-requisite:  BSCI 275-L. 
This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential techniques behavioral scientists use to help guide decision?making. Emphasis is given to hypothesis testing, to include coverage of t?tests, one?way ANOVA, regression, and correlation, as well as APA?formatting issues.

BSCI 275-L: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite:  BSCI 275. 
A laboratory to complement Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. SPSS basics are emphasized.

BSCI 359: Advanced Behavioral Research I
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L. 
Students enrolled in this course complete the initial stages of an original, team-based research project to include conducting and writing a literature review, devising a research design strategy and applying ethical protection of human participants. It is essential that students complete Scientific Writing, Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences and Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences with lab before taking Advanced Behavioral Research I. Course fee required.


Students must complete these three classes before taking BSCI 359:

BSCI 109: Scientific Writing
1 credit hours

This course introduces students to professional writing styles used in the behavioral sciences, emphasizing the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The course is also designed to familiarize students with library databases used to conduct empirical literature reviews.

BSCI 200: Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. 
Considers the major methods of the social sciences, including applied statistics. Topics include research design, surveys, secondary data and other unobtrusive methods, evaluation research, sampling and research reports.

BSCI 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.  Co-requisite:  BSCI 275-L. 
This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential techniques behavioral scientists use to help guide decision?making. Emphasis is given to hypothesis testing, to include coverage of t?tests, one?way ANOVA, regression, and correlation, as well as APA?formatting issues.

Students who fail or do not successfully complete BSCI 359 will be removed from the Advanced Behavioral Research I and II course sequence. Students will not be allowed to register for and/or audit BSCI 361 during the following spring semester. Failing students must re-attempt the 359/361 sequence the following fall semester.


BSCI 361: Advanced Behavioral Research II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 359. 
As a continuation of Advanced Behavioral Research I, students enrolled in this course complete their original, team-based research project. This involves conducting the study, data analysis, reporting the findings in the context of a scientific paper and delivering a formal presentation of the research. Course fee required. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

Students who fail or do not successfully complete BSCI 361 must earn a passing grade inBSCI 343 in order to fulfill the university and department research requirement. The final grade awarded in BSCI 343 shall not replace any prior grade earned in BSCI 361.


BSCI 380: Undergraduate Internship Experience
3 credit hours

Internships are designed to help students better understand the connection between theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to learn more about expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better to be eligible for internships. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

BSCI 493: Senior Seminar
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Senior standing, BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L
This is the capstone course for the major. Current issues in the field are researched and presented in a seminar setting. Students practice the writing, oral communication and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in graduate school and their future careers. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

Students enrolled in BSCI 493 are required to take a comprehensive examination over topics covered in the major as well as a nationally-normed exit exam.


Choose one course from the following:

PSYC 230: Life Span Development
3 credit hours

Study of the major theories of and influences on human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development. Special emphasis on change processes.

PSYC 240: Social Psychology
3 credit hours

This course studies the behavior and psychological process of individuals who occupy positions in social structures, organizations and groups.

Choose twelve hours from the following:

PSYC 230: Life Span Development
3 credit hours

Study of the major theories of and influences on human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development. Special emphasis on change processes.

PSYC 240: Social Psychology
3 credit hours

This course studies the behavior and psychological process of individuals who occupy positions in social structures, organizations and groups.

EDUC 302: Educational Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Behavioral science majors: PSYC 230; Education majors: EDUC 205 and EDUC 207.   
This course is designed to introduce different theories and principles of development, learning, motivation and assessment of student learning. The major emphasis in this course is on how to apply these principles in classroom practice in both typical and multicultural settings. Normally taken in the second semester of the sophomore or junior year.  

BSCI 308: Qualitative Research Methods
3 credit hours

This course exposes students to the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting and analyzing data using various qualitative methodologies to include ethnographic, grounded, observational and content analysis methods. Special emphasis will be given to the students’ understanding of various methodological challenges, the standards of scientific evidence, issues of generalizability and ethics. 

PLSC 312: Islam and the West
3 credit hours

Examination of the historical, cultural, religious, economic and political interactions between the Western and Islamic worlds. Focuses on the place of Muslims in Europe, especially questions the identity and politics. Offered as a study abroad course.

PSYC 313: Cross-Cultural Psychology
3 credit hours

Explores the multiple and reciprocal nature of interaction between culture, intra-individual processes (such as perception, cognition, personality) and inter- individual processes (such as communication and group identity). Factors affecting these interactions, like ethnocentrism and prejudice, are also examined.

BIOL 323: Functional Neuroscience
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181 and BIOL 364
Explores the cellular and molecular biology of the nervous system in order to provide an in-depth analysis of such topics as sensation and perception, consciousness and sleep, learning and memory, neuroplasticity and neural regeneration. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

PSYC 325: Psychology of Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
3 credit hours

This course is a study of psychosocial and cognitive development in adolescents and emerging adults (individuals of ages 14-25). The course incorporates psychology, biology, cross-cultural research, and other disciplines that are relevant. The course emphasizes identity, relationships, and transitions within a cultural context.

BIOL 327: Psychopharmacology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 172 or PSYC 356.  
This course will explore the effects of drugs on behavior as well as how these effects are mediated by changes in synaptic activity. Emphasis is given to psychoactive drugs, such as alcohol, barbiturates, inhalants, benzodiazepines, psychostimulants, psychedelics, analgesics and antidepressants. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

PSYC 331: Biological Bases of Clinical Disorders
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 172 or PSYC 101
This course will provide an overview of the basic neuroanatomical and neurophysiological contributions to psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, somatoform disorders, cognitive disorders, and disorders of childhood and adolescence. Pharmacological treatments will also be addressed.

PSYC 333: Psychology of Sustainability
3 credit hours

An investigation of the connection between human behavior and environmental issues. Topics will include psychological perspectives on the issues of conservation, ecopsychology, cognition and motivation as they relate to interactions with the natural environment.

PSYC 338: Personality Theory in Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PSYC 101
A comparative analysis of the major theories of personality in psychology today. The approach is both rational and empirical.

BSCI 339: Ethical Dilemmas in the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Designed as an exploration of contemporary moral issues and as an introduction to research ethics, this course examines philosophy-based ethical theories and encourages their application in case studies derived from an array of disciplines. A segment of the course is exclusively devoted to applications in scientific endeavors. Students are required to obtain National Institutes of Health certification to conduct research with human participants.

EDUC 340: Education of the Exceptional Child
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  EDUC 205. 
This course surveys all areas of exceptionality. It is designed to help the prospective teacher identify and understand the problems of students with atypical learning patterns.

BSCI 343: Fundamentals of Research
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BSCI 359. 
This course is intended for students who fail or do not successfully complete BSCI 361. Students enrolled will write a review of literature and complete an original research project. This involves designing methodology, conducting a study, ensuring ethical protection of human participants, analyzing and interpreting data, generating an original research report and delivering a formal presentation.

PSYC 346: Health Psychology
3 credit hours

Study of the interrelationships among biological, psychological and social factors in health and illness. Topics will include health promotion and illness prevention, behavioral medicine and psychoneuroimmunology.

SOCI 347: Medical Sociology
3 credit hours

This course is concerned with the social causes and consequences of health and illness. Major areas of investigation include the social facets of health and disease, the social behavior of healthcare personnel and people who utilize healthcare, and the social functions of health organizations and healthcare delivery systems.

PSYC 348: Psychoneuroimmunology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 172 or PSYC 356
Examines the bidirectional interaction between the brain, behavior and the immune system. Students in this course will study both human-and animal?based literature. Topics include the brain, behavior and immune interface, behavioral and psychosocial characteristics linked with immune function, the impact of stress and coping, sickness behavior, and immunoenhancement. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

PSYC 352: Psychology of Gender
3 credit hours

Psychological study of gender in historical and contemporary perspective. Includes biological, psychological and sociological examination of the role of gender in development, self-concepts, social relations and mental health.

PSYC 355: Industrial Organizational Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BSCI 274.
A systematic study of human behavior in the world of work. Examines selection, evaluation, appraisal and training as aspects of personnel psychology. Focuses on the psychology of work in terms of worker motivation, job satisfaction and adjustment.

PSYC 356: Biopsychology
3 credit hours

Examines the physiological, ontogenetic and functional foundations of human and animal behavior. Emphasizes central nervous system mechanisms that mediate processes such as arousal and sleep, hunger and satiety, learning and memory, aggression and violence, human psychopathology, and the psychoactive properties of recreational and therapeutic drugs.

PSYC 357: Psychology of Adulthood
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or SOCI 101
An empirical analysis of the biological, psychological and social changes in the adult who is moving along the age continuum from age 18 and beyond.

BIOL 364: Neuroanatomy
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 172. 
An in?depth study of the biology of the nervous system emphasizing the relationship between neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Lecture and laboratory.

PSYC 370: Human Sexuality
3 credit hours

A study of the anatomy and physiology of the female and male reproductive systems, sexually transmitted diseases, methods of contraception, the sexual response cycle, sexual dysfunctions, gender identity, development of sexual orientation, adult sexuality, the development of relationships, cross-cultural comparisons of sexuality and socialization of gender roles.

PSYC 371: Psychology and the Law
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101.  
This course will examine relevant theory, research case law and issues of psychological practice within the criminal justice system.

BSCI 435: Psychological Tests and Measurements
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L. Co-requisite:  BSCI 435-L. 
An intensive study of the theory of measurement with emphasis on errors in measurement, validity, reliability, item analysis, test construction and prediction. A laboratory period will include training in the construction, taking, scoring and interpretation of psychological tests.

BSCI 435-L: Psychological Tests and Measurements Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite: BSCI 435. 
A laboratory to complement Psychological Tests and Measurements.

PSYC 440: Cognitive Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, junior/senior standing.  
A survey of topics in cognitive psychology, including perception, attention, learning and memory, knowledge representation, language and concepts, imagery, problem-solving and decision making. Emphasis is placed on classic and cutting-edge studies in these fields.

BSCI 475: Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 275 and BSCI 275-L. Co-requisite:  BSCI 475-L. 
This course provides an in?depth examination of inferential statistics used in behavioral sciences. Topics include analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, multivariate techniques and non?parametric analyses.

BSCI 475-L: Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite:  BSCI 475. 
A laboratory to complement Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

BSCI 480: Undergraduate Internship Experience II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 380. 
A second opportunity for students to connect theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to discuss expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better.

PSYC 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

PSYC 391, 392, 491, 492: Research
1-12 credit hours

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

Electives in the Behavioral Sciences

Courses used as electives for one behavioral science major or minor (criminology, psychology or sociology) may not also satisfy elective requirements for another behavioral science major or minor.

Courses in the behavioral neuroscience minor may be used as electives for the psychology major or minor. Likewise, courses in the community health minor may be used as electives for the criminology major or minor.


Required Coursework in the Natural Sciences (minimum of six hours)

Choose one of the following options: 

Option I

Select six hours of coursework from the Science and Discovery Menu or approved transfer equivalents.

Option II

Select three hours of coursework from the Science and Discovery Menu or approved transfer equivalents.

AND

Choose one course from the following:

BIOL 172: Exploring Molecular Biology
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite or co-requisite: CHEM 115 or CHEM 238
This course examines the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins. The molecular mechanisms of replication, transcription, mRNA processing and translation will be emphasized. In addition, regulation of these processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Intended for students majoring in biology or related disciplines.

BIOL 205: Human Anatomy
4 credit hours

An introduction to the gross and microscopic anatomy of the human body. Mammalian examples of major systems are studied in the laboratory. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 206: Human Physiology
4 credit hours

This course examines the organization and function of the human body as a whole and the interrelations of its various systems, organs, tissues, and cells. Lecture and laboratory.

PSYC 346: Health Psychology
3 credit hours

Study of the interrelationships among biological, psychological and social factors in health and illness. Topics will include health promotion and illness prevention, behavioral medicine and psychoneuroimmunology.

SOCI 347: Medical Sociology
3 credit hours

This course is concerned with the social causes and consequences of health and illness. Major areas of investigation include the social facets of health and disease, the social behavior of healthcare personnel and people who utilize healthcare, and the social functions of health organizations and healthcare delivery systems.

PSYC 356: Biopsychology
3 credit hours

Examines the physiological, ontogenetic and functional foundations of human and animal behavior. Emphasizes central nervous system mechanisms that mediate processes such as arousal and sleep, hunger and satiety, learning and memory, aggression and violence, human psychopathology, and the psychoactive properties of recreational and therapeutic drugs.

Psychology Major - Applied Track

Recommendations & Requirements

  • Students should complete all 100- and 200-level requirements before accumulating 60 credit hours (junior status)
  • All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

Required Courses (44 credit hours)

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology
3 credit hours

This is a survey course providing a study of the behavior of living organisms, particularly human behavior. Typical problems are methods and measurement in psychology, theoretical systems, learning, motivation, perception, personality and psychopathology.

PSYC 230: Life Span Development
3 credit hours

Study of the major theories of and influences on human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development. Special emphasis on change processes.

PSYC 240: Social Psychology
3 credit hours

This course studies the behavior and psychological process of individuals who occupy positions in social structures, organizations and groups.

PSYC 334: Abnormal Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101
Following a brief introduction to personality theories, the course focuses on the etiology, classification and treatment of behavior disorders.

BSCI 109: Scientific Writing
1 credit hours

This course introduces students to professional writing styles used in the behavioral sciences, emphasizing the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The course is also designed to familiarize students with library databases used to conduct empirical literature reviews.

BSCI 200: Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. 
Considers the major methods of the social sciences, including applied statistics. Topics include research design, surveys, secondary data and other unobtrusive methods, evaluation research, sampling and research reports.

BSCI 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.  Co-requisite:  BSCI 275-L. 
This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential techniques behavioral scientists use to help guide decision?making. Emphasis is given to hypothesis testing, to include coverage of t?tests, one?way ANOVA, regression, and correlation, as well as APA?formatting issues.

BSCI 275-L: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite:  BSCI 275. 
A laboratory to complement Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. SPSS basics are emphasized.

BSCI 380: Undergraduate Internship Experience
3 credit hours

Internships are designed to help students better understand the connection between theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to learn more about expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better to be eligible for internships. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

BSCI 480: Undergraduate Internship Experience II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 380. 
A second opportunity for students to connect theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to discuss expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better.

BSCI 493: Senior Seminar
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Senior standing, BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L
This is the capstone course for the major. Current issues in the field are researched and presented in a seminar setting. Students practice the writing, oral communication and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in graduate school and their future careers. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

Students enrolled in BSCI 493 are required to take a comprehensive examination over topics covered in the major as well as a nationally-normed exit exam.

Choose three courses from the following:

PSYC 312: Positive Psychology
3 credit hours

Positive Psychology seeks to understand optimal human behavior. It emphasizes a scientific approach to knowing, guiding, healing, educating and helping people to flourish.

PSYC 333: Psychology of Sustainability
3 credit hours

An investigation of the connection between human behavior and environmental issues. Topics will include psychological perspectives on the issues of conservation, ecopsychology, cognition and motivation as they relate to interactions with the natural environment.

BSCI 339: Ethical Dilemmas in the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Designed as an exploration of contemporary moral issues and as an introduction to research ethics, this course examines philosophy-based ethical theories and encourages their application in case studies derived from an array of disciplines. A segment of the course is exclusively devoted to applications in scientific endeavors. Students are required to obtain National Institutes of Health certification to conduct research with human participants.

PSYC 355: Industrial Organizational Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BSCI 274.
A systematic study of human behavior in the world of work. Examines selection, evaluation, appraisal and training as aspects of personnel psychology. Focuses on the psychology of work in terms of worker motivation, job satisfaction and adjustment.

PSYC 370: Human Sexuality
3 credit hours

A study of the anatomy and physiology of the female and male reproductive systems, sexually transmitted diseases, methods of contraception, the sexual response cycle, sexual dysfunctions, gender identity, development of sexual orientation, adult sexuality, the development of relationships, cross-cultural comparisons of sexuality and socialization of gender roles.

PSYC 371: Psychology and the Law
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101.  
This course will examine relevant theory, research case law and issues of psychological practice within the criminal justice system.

Choose two courses from the following:

SOCI 302: Poverty and Inequality
3 credit hours

This course explores the causes and consequences of institutionalized inequality and how life chances, including life, health and death differ by race, socioeconomic status, and gender. Special emphasis will be given to how these social statuses affect health outcomes in the community.

SOCI 306: Social Movements
3 credit hours

An examination of historical and contemporary collective protest movements that seek change in or preservation of the social and political structure of society. Course will survey theory and research on social change featuring case studies that include the United States labor movement, civil rights, feminism, gay/lesbian rights, environmentalism, animal rights and the new right conservatism movement.

SOCI 316: Minority Groups
3 credit hours

Examines the process of adjustment of various ethnic and cultural groups to life in the United States. Some consideration to world ethnic situations.

PSYC 313: Cross-Cultural Psychology
3 credit hours

Explores the multiple and reciprocal nature of interaction between culture, intra-individual processes (such as perception, cognition, personality) and inter- individual processes (such as communication and group identity). Factors affecting these interactions, like ethnocentrism and prejudice, are also examined.

CRIM 332: Juvenile Delinquency
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or CRIM 102 or SOCI 101
A systematic analysis of theories of juvenile delinquency and how the juvenile justice system manages delinquents. Consideration is also given to the solutions of delinquency.

PSYC 352: Psychology of Gender
3 credit hours

Psychological study of gender in historical and contemporary perspective. Includes biological, psychological and sociological examination of the role of gender in development, self-concepts, social relations and mental health.


Electives in the Behavioral Sciences

Courses used as electives for one behavioral science major or minor (criminology, psychology or sociology) may not also satisfy elective requirements for another behavioral science major or minor.

Courses in the behavioral neuroscience minor may be used as electives for the psychology major or minor. Likewise, courses in the community health minor may be used as electives for the criminology major or minor.