PSYC – Psychology course descriptions


Shawn Wick (chair), Keith Jones Randall Renstrom, Ashley Scolaro


Statement of philosophy

The curriculum of the psychology program is designed to inform students about approaches used, discoveries made, explanations offered and questions asked by people in the discipline to promote greater understanding about the nature of being human. Courses encourage students to examine their lives in personal, communal, societal and cultural contexts; to teach about ways to develop more productive and satisfying relationships; to understand how belief systems color and shape perceptions of self and others; to be aware of development across the life span; to be open to experience; and to grow in self-acceptance. Awareness is directed both to what is and to options about what could and, perhaps, should be.

Majors are prepared for graduate study in a variety of areas and are provided with the interpersonal skills and the communication skills that make them attractive at the B.A. level to employers in a wide variety of work situations. The department offers opportunities to do research and to have off-campus study experiences through participation in internships, service-learning, study abroad programs, and the Chicago Metropolitan Program.


Study abroad opportunities

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program.


Major Communication Skills

An initial evaluation of a student’s writing, reading, speaking, information literacy, computer skills, and critical thinking skills occurs in PSYC 220 and recommendations about ways to enhance skill development are made to the student. Subsequently, students who declare a major in psychology are evaluated by individual faculty and referred to the Tutoring & Writing Center as needed for additional skill development. Each semester the psychology faculty discuss the status of each student’s skills and make recommendations as needed to the student for skills improvement. Final evaluation and certification normally occur during the fourth year after the student has completed PSYC 480 Advanced Research in Psychology (4) and PSYC 336 SPSS for Psychological Research (1), which involve substantial writing, reading, information literacy, critical thinking, computer skills, and both informal and formal speaking components (including a presentation at a departmental research symposium).


Psychology Major Requirements (37 credits)

  1. Complete all of the following:
    PSYC 122 General Psychology (3)
    PSYC 220 Psychological Investigations (4)
    PSYC 335 Fundamentals of Statistics (4)
    PSYC 336 SPSS for Psychological Research (1)
    PSYC 348 Experimental Psychology (4)
    PSYC 480 Advanced Research in Psychology (4)
  2. Complete 17 credits of PSYC elective courses. One of these electives must be at least a 3-credit hour, 400-level psychology course (excluding PSYC 497 Internship).


Psychology Minor Requirements (18 credits)

Complete 18 credits of PSYC courses; at least six credits at the 300-level or above.

Note: Students wishing to earn a minor should seek advising from a member of the psychology department early in the development of their program.