Course Descriptions

PS 110 Introduction to Psychology  3 CR
Introduction to psychology as the science of behavior, focusing on the individual as an adapting biological system. History, methodology and physiological bases of behavior are emphasized.

PS 201 Research Design and Analysis I
In this course, students learn how to do primary quantitative research in psychology. Students will learn to apply basic statistical principles to data collected using the scientific method. Emphasis is on descriptive, correlational, and other nonexperimental designs. Prerequisites:  MA 131 (Statistics) and one additional college-level mathematics course with an average of C+ or better across both courses with neither grade below C.

PS 211 Human Sexuality   3 CR
An in-depth analysis of issues relating to human sexuality, including historical perspectives and their significance, research evaluation, gender identity, communication, sexual response and sexual dysfunction and its treatment. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 212 Abnormal Psychology  3 CR
Examines mental disorders or psychopathology, including possible causal factors of these disorders. The major classifications of disorders studied include both disorders primarily diagnosed during childhood, such as autism/autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and mental retardation, as well as disorders commonly diagnosed in adulthood, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia, etc. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 215 Social Psychology: Interpersonal Factors   3 CR
Shows how people are affected by the persons around them. Topics include person perception, first impressions, interpersonal attraction, nonverbal communication, romantic love, prejudice, stereotyping, aggression, conformity, obedience and environmental influences on behavior. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 220 Drugs: Use and Abuse in Contemporary Society          3 CR
Examines the nature of drug use, legal and illegal, in contemporary society. Emphasis on the behavioral and physiological effects of psychoactive substances, addictions, rehabilitation strategies and ethical issues. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 222 Sports Psychology           3 CR
This course is designed to provide information on and facilitate understanding of individual sport behavior. Emphasis on the psychological constructs and concepts that relate to and help explain the phenomena of sports performance. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 224/PO 319 Political Psychology  3 CR
Themes and concepts related to the expanding field of political psychology. Topics include the media, nationalism, extremism, and security. Psychology of leadership examined through case studies. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 233 Introduction to Clinical Psychology   3 CR
Provides an understanding of the basic principles and tools used in clinical practice to implement behavioral interventions. Students are expected to master some of the elemental principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and to demonstrate the applicability of these principles to their own experience. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 241 Psychology of Personality     3 CR
Explores scientific perspectives on personality including trait, biological, Freudian, neo-Freudian, social learning and humanistic. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 252 Child Development Psychology        3 CR
This course traces development from conception through childhood, including basic concepts and theories as applied to psychological processes of perception, cognition, social interactions, affective and moral development. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 255 Industrial and Organizational Psychology    3 CR
Explores theories and methods involved in application of the psychological principles in work settings. Emphasis on understanding theory, research, learning methods and techniques used in practice. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 256 Consumer Psychology           3 CR
This course examines the psychological, social, and behavioral processes involved in consumer behavior, with a special emphasis on ethical issues.  Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 273 Adolescent Development      3 CR
An in-depth study of developmental and behavioral issues in adolescence. Emphasis on adjustment to adolescent roles, the search for self-identity, and healthy and unhealthy personality development. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 274 Adult Development               3 CR
Considers the various psychological issues and developmental tasks of adulthood and middle age, psychological characteristics of the elderly, and the psychology of death and dying.Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 275 Psychology of Women     3 CR
A survey and examination of current research and theories about women and gender. Topics include gender-role stereotypes, attitudes toward women, gender-role socialization, women and work, sexuality, marriage, love and the biology of women. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 285 Psychological Counseling I  3 CR
Deals with the fundamental principles of counseling, and involves the study of several different theoretical approaches, including client-centered and rational-emotive. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 286 Psychological Counseling II       3 CR
Presents further dimensions of the helping relationship and the approaches of reality, cognitive and Gestalt therapy. Audiotapes of students' counseling efforts are critiqued in class.  Note: This course may be used to fulfill the PS 396 requirement for majors.  Prerequisite: PS 285

PS 295 Health Psychology          3 CR
Focuses on the relationship between attitudes and personality factors and health. Emphasis on stress management and behavioral change methods for health improvement and maintenance.Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 298 Developmental and Learning Disorders of Childhood          1 CR
This course explores the nature of a variety of learning disabilities diagnosed in children. It will review up to date information on underlying causes and treatment options, educational strategies and sources of information and support. The course will include practical, experimental, and theoretical examination of differences in learning, memory and perception. A major focus is the affect o a learning disability on the individual through the life span, including emotional, social, and family relationships.

PS 299 Special Topics in Psychology            3 CR
Designates new or occasional courses that may or may not become part of the department's permanent offerings. Courses capitalize on a timely topic, a faculty member's particular interest, an experimental alternative to existing courses, etc. Prerequisites established by the department as appropriate for the specific course. Course title is shown on the student's transcript. Consult the current course schedule for available topics and current prerequisites.

PS 302 Research Design & Analysis II            4 CR
In this course, students continue to learn how to do primary quantitative research in psychology. Students will apply basic statistical principles to data collected using the scientific method. Emphasis is on hypothesis testing in experimental and quasi-experimental designs, with special consideration given to the control of extraneous variables. Prerequisite: PS 301

PS 310 Forensic Psychology            3 CR 

PS 313 Abnormal Psychology in Film            3 CR
Study of the diagnosis, causes, and treatment of the major psychological disorders through examination of their portrayal in popular films. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 331 Psychometrics/School Psychology          3 CR
Examines principles, theories, applications, and ethics of psychological tests used for clinical, educational, industrial, or legal purposes.  Specific tests and issues unique to their use and abuse are presented.  Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 335 Learning Theory 3 CR
Explores theories of learning and memory from their historical origin to the present, and focuses on how these theories can be applied to the "real world".  Students will gain insight into the factors that influence their own behavior, as well as the behavior of others. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 350/BI 205 Introduction to Neuroscience           3 CR
Introduces students to the field of neuroscience, which combines biology and psychology into a single area of study.  Topics range from the cellular and molecular physiology of neurons to issues of human language, cognition, mental illness, and drug use.  Prerequisites: BI 111/113; PS 110

PS 351 Physiological Psychology            3 CR
Examines the molecular and molar views of the nervous and endocrine systems and emphasizes the roles of these systems in behavior.  Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 352 Hormones and Behavior            3 CR
This course will examine the hormonal mediation of various behaviors, including play, aggression, parenting, and cognitive functioning.  Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 353 Psychopharmacology            3 CR
This course will present current data and theories in psychopharmacology and drug abuse research.  Basic principles of pharmacology, neurotransmission, and drug use will be covered. Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 380 Experimental Psychology            4 CR
Courses covering research techniques and literature in a particular area of psychology. Laboratory work is included. Prerequisite: PS 302.

PS 382 Systems and Theories of Psychology           3 CR
An historical survey of theoretical formulations and systems in psychology. Evaluates structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, psychoanalysis and humanistic and cognitive orientation. Prerequisites: PS 110 second semester juniors or departmental permission

PS 389 Special Topics in Neuroscience        3 CR
Designates new or occasional courses in physiological psychology and neuroscience that may or may not become part of the department's permanent offerings. Courses capitalize on a timely topic, reflect a faculty member's particular interest, or serve as an alternative to existing courses. Course title is shown on the student's transcript. Consult the current course schedule for available topics.  Prerequisite: PS 110

PS 390 – 395 Psychological Research          1 – 6 CR
A senior course in which selected students conduct original independent research culminating in a formal written report at the end of the semester. By special arrangement with faculty member.

PS 396 Capstone: Psychology Internship           3 CR
Integrates theory and practice with supervised placement in agencies, schools and/or institutions. Seminars focus on career assessment, personal growth and work skills. Prerequisites: PS 380, Senior Psychology majors, permission of department.

PS 397 Capstone: Psychological Research            3 CR
A senior course in whihc students conduct research under the supervision of a faculty member. The course may involve a review and discussion of relevant literature in a seminar format and/or data collection in a laboratory setting. Intended for students who are planning to go to graduate school in  Psychology. Prerequisites: PS 380, Senior Psychology majors, by permission of department.

PS 398 Capstone: Practicum Project            3 CR
A senior course in which students particiate in a community service and/or research project in which students learn a set of practical skills and apply what they have learned in their other Psychology courses in a career-related setting. Prerequisites: PS 380, Senior Psychology majors. Note: The department may allow certain other courses to substitute for PS 396, PS 397, or PS 398, provided the course meets certain criteria and is approved by the chair.

PS 450 Foundations of Psychological Science 4 CR
This course is designed to provide those that did not major in Psychology with a scientific foundation of psychology theory. It is a required prerequisite course that may be waived, by the director, if sufficient past coursework has been completed. The course will present key elements of the five major perspectives of psychology while incorporating both social and natural science aspects of psychology. The course will also cover key elements of the history, systems, and theory of psychology. Throughout the course, research methodology is incorporated to highlight the application of psychology within each perspective. A minimum grade of B is required to continue to PS 500.

PS 500 Foundations of Applied Psychology 4 CR
This course provides a foundation in the application of psychology in workplace, school, and community settings. Particular emphasis is placed on ethical, legal, and multicultural diversity issues. Following the principles and guidelines established by the American Psychological Association, students will examine the ethical and legal issues involved when psychological science is applied in the workplace, schools, or the community at large. Students will understand how cultural diversity impacts group dynamics and how to effectively manage and evaluate multicultural organizations.

PS 520 Developmental Issues Across the Life Span 3 CR

This course will explore human development from childhood to old age, with a particular focus on developmental milestones and their influence on human behavior in applied settings. The course will provide students with a knowledge base regarding contemporary and historical theoretical perspectives, an understanding of basic research methods related to development, and instruction in the use of critical thinking and a scientific approach to better understand the life challenges encountered at various stages of development.

PS 525 Identifying and Managing Psychopathology in Community Settings 3 CR
This course provides advanced coverage of the psychological conditions defined in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–TR. The course addresses the multidimensional nature of factors involved in understanding, diagnosing, and treating mental disorders – including biological, psychological, social, and cultural. Students will be trained in the mode of a scientist-practitioner approach to psychopathology, learning to identify those at risk in the community and to determine appropriate management and referral of these individuals.

PS 530 Personnel Psychology 3 CR
This course examines the application of psychological research, employment law, and ethical principles to human resource problems in organizations. It focuses on applications designed to make employees, and organizations, more effective and creating organizations that are satisfying places to work. Particular attention is given to hiring practices, including recruitment, screening, and selection, training and development, and performance evaluation. 

PS 531 Organizational Behavior 3 CR
Explores behavior in organizations at individual, interpersonal, group, intergroup, and organizational levels of analysis. Students gain insight into their own behavior and that of others through discussion of concepts and current management challenges, analyses of cases, and participation in experiential activities. Emphasis is on identifying ways to help people interact more effectively to achieve organizational goals.

PS 532 Job Analysis, Competency Modeling and Criterion Development 3 CR
Covers the fundamental processes of job analysis and competency modeling. Students will learn how to conduct job analysis and competency modeling and how to use the results for designing personnel selection systems, performance appraisal instruments, 360 feedback, training, and career development. Prerequisite: PS 530 Personnel Psychology

PS 533 Employee Training and Development 3 CR
Examines theory and techniques used to design, conduct, and evaluate instructional programs based on principles of adult learning, conditioning, and modern learning theories. Application of different approaches to training (e.g., computer-assisted instruction, simulation, behavior modification) will be emphasized. Students will learn to evaluate training programs to ensure learning outcomes, transfer of training, and how to develop good instructional skills in trainers. Prerequisite: PS 531 Organizational Behavior and PS550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics

PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology 3 CR
This course considers the legal, ethical, and practical issues that arise when providing counseling in community settings, and provides an overview of the entire process. The purpose of this course is to describe the career options in Community Psychology. The course covers the fundamentals of community psychology focusing on the types of programs and techniques used in community settings.

PS 541 Theories of Counseling and Personality 3 CR
This class will cover the major approaches to personality and the schools of psychotherapy that have developed out of each. Those approaches will include psychoanalytic and psychodynamic, social-cognitive, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and interpersonal. Students will be expected to critically evaluate each approach, as well as compare and contrast each approach to the others. They will also learn about the counseling philosophies that have developed from each approach. Prerequisite: PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology

PS 542 Counseling Methods and Techniques 3 CR
The focus in this class will be on translating counseling theory into practice. The class will start with teaching students to recognize and apply basic counseling responses common across all approaches and will continue with teaching students to recognize specific counseling stances and skills from each approach (psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, social-cognitive, humanistic, and interpersonal). Prerequisite: PS 541 Theories of Counseling and Personality

PS 543 Community Health Psychology 3 CR
This course will examine the multidimensional field of community health psychology, with a focus on the major theoretical approaches (e.g., empowerment theory, social change theory, and models of prevention and treatment of health problems). Students will develop skills in methods of advocacy, community organizing, health promotion, and social change. A particular focus of this course is on the social determinants of health and illness. Prerequisite: PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology

PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics 4 CR
This course provides a foundation for students to take later research courses, including PS 551, PS 552, and the thesis, internship, and capstone courses. Students will receive an overview of the basic principles of psychological research, with a focus on the particular challenges of conducting research in an applied setting such as a workplace, school, or agency. They will also apply the skills they have learned to conduct a research project in an applied setting.

PS 551 Individual Psychological Assessment and Appraisal 3 CR
This course is designed to improve the knowledge, understanding and practices of those who take tests, construct tests, and administer tests in applied settings. Students will examine the meaning, value, and uses of test scores in the evaluation of individuals. Students will also consider the practical and ethical consequences of using test results for decision-making in corporate, school, and workplace settings.
Prerequisite: PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics

PS 552 Program Development and Evaluation 3 CR
This course teaches students how to assess the need for and then design, implement, and evaluate a program that responds to a need in the workplace or community. Students will apply the skills they learned in PS 550 first to assess and evaluate existing programs, then to design and implement their own programs. Students will also learn about the consulting process, and conduct a sample project in which they must serve as a consultant for a particular agency or workplace. Prerequisite: PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics

PS 599 Special Topics in Applied Psychology 3 CR
Designates new or occasional courses that may or may not become part of the department’s permanent offerings. Courses capitalize on a timely topic, or a student or faculty member’s particular interests. Will be offered as a class or, if there are not enough interested students, will be offered as an independent readings/independent study course. Course title will be shown on the student’s transcript.

PS 590 Comprehensive Exam 3 CR
This is a three-credit experience that is taken as the last three credits in the Master’s program. The exam is taken in stages over an eight-week period. Students will be given a selected bibliography corresponding to the content of each course in the Master’s program (prepared by the instructor of that course). Each week, students will be expected to review the material for one of these courses, then write an essay in response to a question posed by the instructor. The question will be comprehensive enough so that it incorporates the most important material from the course as well as the content from the bibliography. The first six weeks correspond to the major classes in the program (PS 500, PS 520, PS 525, PS 550, PS 551, and PS 552). The last two weeks will cover the content from the student’s chosen concentration. This option is for those that are not completing extensive capstone or thesis projects. The other 3 final credits may be completed by taking PS 595 or an elective approved by the Director. Prerequisite: Completion of 32 credits required in the graduate program.

PS 595 Capstone Project I 3 CR
Required as an alternative to the thesis, and recommended especially for students in the on-line version of the master’s program. In this course, the student works with a faculty advisor in defining a short research or implementation project in an applied setting. For this project, the student may do fieldwork to gather information and/or identify challenges in an agency or workplace. The student surveys relevant literature, then designs either a data collection project or program implementation based on this information. The project could also be a combination of research and implementation. At the end of this course, the student should have a well-defined problem, have surveyed relevant literature and have made partial progress toward the completion of the work. This project is somewhat more limited than the full thesis (PS 600 and PS 601), but will be sufficient in scope and complexity to be appropriate for graduate work. Prerequisite: Completion of 32 credits required in the graduate program

PS 596 Capstone Project II 3 CR
This course is a continuation of PS 595, in which the student continues to develop and complete the research project or program implementation that he or she began in that course. In this course, the student should complete the work remaining in the project started in PS 595, write a report approved by the faculty member, and make a public presentation of the work (which could be in the form of a presentation on the Web). Prerequisite: PS 595 Capstone Project I

PS 600 Thesis I 3 CR
In this course, the student works with a faculty advisor in defining a substantial research or implementation project. The student surveys the relevant literature and develops a method for gathering quantitative data about a particular topic in applied psychology, or designs and implements a program in response to a particular problem in the community. Students’ theses may involve a combination of research and implementation. At the end of this course, the student should be ready to make a brief presentation of the work in progress to the advisor. Also, by the end of this course, a proposal describing the work should be written and approved by a thesis committee chosen by the student and the advisor. Prerequisite: Completion of 32 credits required in the graduate program

PS 601 Thesis II 3 CR
This course is a continuation of PS 600, in which the student will continue to develop and complete the research project or program implementation that he or she began in that course. By the end of this course, the student completes the work remaining in the project started in PS 600, as defined by the written proposal. The final thesis paper must be written and defended before the thesis committee in a forum that is open to other students and faculty. Prerequisite: PS 600 Thesis I