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UG Course Descriptions

*Courses are offered each semester unless noted otherwise

101. Introduction to Psychology 3 cr.

Introduction to fundamental concepts and methods of psychology, examined from both traditional and human science perspectives. Prerequisite for all other psychology courses, unless otherwise specified.

102. Orientation to the Psychology Major 1 cr.

This course serves as an initial orientation for psychology majors. The purpose is to help students learn basic practical information necessary for success as a psychology major (such as APA style), introduce majors to the online portfolio system, discuss departmental goals, and provide a forum to discuss topics such as future careers and graduate school. This course is to be taken immediately after a student declares a major in psychology. May be taken concurrently with PSYC 101.

201. Research Methods in Psychology 3 cr.

This course provides an introduction to psychological research. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are addressed, with most of the course dedicated to the former. Students will learn to be knowledgeable readers of research reports, to understand and consider ethical issues in research, and to use APA writing style. Prerequisite: Math 125 or Math 225. Prerequisite for PSYC 321, 345, 399, 480, and 499.

203. Introduction to Psychology as a Human Science. 3 cr.

This course introduces the student to a variety of non-positivist traditions in Continental philosophy, and their implications for psychology. Prerequisite for PSYC 345, 410, 411, 412, and 413.

204. Science, Psychology and the Holocaust. 3 cr.

This course examines the Holocaust historically, as well as scientifically in the sense of selected research and theories of genocide which attempt to explain or understand its occurrence and process. We are particularly interested in psychological research, theories and concepts of genocide. The course also examines notions of science, and the challenge the Holocaust poses to any science and psychology of knowing, whether it is one of explanation or one of understanding. We will also spend some time examining selected texts of Freud and Frankl's, as well as pertinent aspects of their lives, given the acute intersections of their lives and work with the Holocaust. As a Breakaway course, there is a mandatory travel component attached to this course. We will travel to Vienna, Austria to visit Freud and Frankl's homes, and explore the city that was the psychological center of the world at the turn of the 19th century. From Vienna, we travel to Krakow, Poland, where we will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, arguably the most notorious of the Nazi death camps. Offered intermittently.

205. The Psychology of Human Experience. 3 cr.

Takes students on a journey through a series of unique philosophical and psychological perspectives on what it means to be human. As opposed to current and historical trends in the discipline that focus predominantly on behavior, biology, evolution or the neurological basis of psychology, we take seriously the idea that human experience itself is absolutely crucial in doing psychology. This focus on distinctively human experience takes us from the analysis of dreams to exploring the existential dimension of anxiety; from the embodied experience of music to questions of what really separates humans from other higher order mammals; from the contemplation of the question of being, to dilemmas of subjective belief, meaning and faith. The Spring Semester trip to London will bring these themes to life, with visits to: Buckingham Palace; the British Museum; Freud's house; the National Gallery, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre; Tate Modern; and all the traditional tourist sites London has to offer.

220. Brain, Behavior, and Cognition. 3 cr.

The course explores the biological, behavioral and cognitive approaches to psychology, with particular attention to assumptions that underlie each system of thought. The course emphasizes both classical theories and current findings. 

225W. Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence. 3 cr.

This course focuses on the development of children from infancy through adolescence, addressing social, cultural, biological, cognitive, and existential aspects of child development. Writing-intensive course.

228W. Psychology of Personality. 3 cr.

Critical examination of major theories of personality. Writing-intensive course.

240W. Social Psychology. 3cr.

Foundations of social processes, attitudes, values and roles, public opinion, propaganda and communication, personal participation in society. Writing-intensive course.  

252W. Psychological Disorders. 3 cr.

An examination of the clinical features, topical questions, and main theoretical approaches to abnormal psychology. Writing-intensive course.

260. Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality. 3 cr.

An exploration of psychological perspectives on religious experiences, beliefs, and practices. The course will consider religious/spiritual approaches to phenomena such as meaning-making, self and others, consciousness, relationship, love, suffering, death, faith, reason, Spirit/God/Mystery (by whatever name), socio-political ramifications of doctrine, social engagement and justice, the natural world, meditative/contemplative practices, and personal and cultural transformation. This course fulfills the University Core requirement for the "Faith and Reason" theme area. No prerequisites required. Offered intermittently.

265. Special Topics. 3 cr.

A visiting professor presents his or her specialty, or a regular faculty member presents highly specialized studies. Repeatable. Prerequisites vary with instructor. Permission of Department Chair or Director of Undergraduate Psychology required for non-majors. Offered intermittently.

270. Special Topics 3 cr.

A faculty member presents highly specialized studies. This course may occasionally be a team taught course. This course fulfills the University Core requirement for the "Social Justice" theme area. Offered intermittently.

275. Psychology and Nature 3 cr.

This course explores the interdependence of human well-being - biological, psychological, socio-cultural, and spiritual - and the well-being of rest of nature. And so too our lack of well-being. We consider how our current eco(psycho)logical peril calls for a real transformation in consciousness, culture, and relationship, key areas of psychology's expertise. And we address the relevance of ecopsychology for clinical practice, socially engaged research and action, and contemplative spirituality. The course involves textual study, lecture, conversation, and experiential activities. Open to students in all disciplines. No prerequisites required. This course fulfills the University Core requirement for the "Social Justice" theme are. Offered Intermittently.

280. The Art of Happiness: Wellbeing Theory and Practice 1 cr.

The goal of this course is not only to impart knowledge but to transform lives. Students will cultivate resilience through pursuing a life well-lived with wellbeing as a byproduct or result. Throughout the semester, we will be differentiating between "hedonic wellbeing" vs. "eudaimonic" wellbeing, with the former regarding the impossible pursuit of always having to "feel good" and the latter regarding the pursuit of a life well-lived, which begins by having students ask the timeless philosophical question, "What is the good life and how can I live it?" In responding to this question, students will be asked to critically yet compassionately examine themselves and the world in which they live. Students will be encouraged to re-evaluate their own "happiness projects" in the service of developing ones that have a different foundation, ones that are based upon pursuing a life of purpose, meaning, flourishing, and through caring for others. This course attempts a kind of synthesis between philosophy, psychology, spirituality, and scientific thought to demonstrate the shared interest in understanding what it means to be human, and most importantly, how to make the world a better place for self and others. Offered intermittently

321. Laboratory in Psychological Research. 3 cr.

This course focuses on applied research. Research design, methodology, and ethics will be explored. Students will conduct one or more actual research studies. Prerequisite: PSYC 201. (Cannot substitute SOCI 201 for prerequisite). Offered Intermittently.

324. Perspectives on Disability and Illness. 3 cr.

An overview of the impact of the environment and individual experience on issues related to having a disability or chronic illness. The influence of lifestyle occupations, personal attitudes and social justice are used to explore the unique biopsychosocial person-environment interaction when a person of any age experiences disability and chronic illness. Also listed as OCCTH 324. Offered Intermittently.

325. Developmental Psychology: Adulthood and Aging. 3 cr.

The course focuses on psychological development through adulthood, and late adulthood. It addresses psychological, social, cultural, biological, cognitive, and existential aspects of adult development, aging, and dying. Offered Intermittently.

335. Psych, Identity, and Film: Perspectives from the African Cinema 3 cr.

In this course, we will explore the psychology of identity in relation to contemporary African and African Diasporic writings and films. Our approach to understanding identity construction will be interdisciplinary. We will read texts on identity and film across the disciplines of psychology, philosophy, African studies, post-colonial and de-colonial theory, anthropology, cultural studies, literature, and film theory. We will also screen and engage films on their own aesthetic terms - that is, as art forms that offer media-specific possibilities for producing identities. This course will offer you new tools for actively constructing intellectually profound, ethically-nuanced, and culturally-complex identities as world citizens. Offered Intermittently.

345. Forensic Psychology. 3cr.

This course focuses on the interface between psychology and the law. We will explore the different roles of a forensic psychologist: advocate, researcher, and clinician. We will investigate the place of forensic psychology in the criminal justice system. Students will learn to evaluate the interaction between forensic psychology and larger societal issues. Prerequisite: PSYC 201 and PSYC 203, (PSYC 203 can be taken concurrently) or with permission of course instructor. Offered Intermittently.

353. Psychology of Gender. 3 cr.

This course explores men's and women's existence as gendered beings. The theoretical as well as existential dimensions of gender are thematized, and the biological, social, and personal contexts will be discussed.

354. Psychology of Social/Cultural Diversity. 3 cr.

This course critically explores some of the ways in which psychology understands cultural and/or social diversity and difference. Offered Intermittently.

356. Psychology of Peace and Conflict. 3 cr.

This course examines theories of conflict and violence at interpersonal, intergroup, and international levels. Additionally, theories of peace, and attempts at conflict resolution, management, and control, will also be covered. Offered Intermittently.

391. Applied Psychology Practicum. 3 cr.

An applied psychology setting provides the opportunity for interacting with clients under the supervision of professionals. Settings have included psychiatric hospitals, medical hospitals, and schools. Must be a Psychology major with at least 12 credits completed in psychology. By application. Permission of course instructor.

399. Professional Preparation for Psychology Majors. 1 cr.

During this course, students will reflect on their development as psychology majors and consider future plans. Students will be asked to carefully consider their career and graduate school options. Topics such as interview skills, job search strategies, clinical skills, and research experience will be included. This course should be completed in the second semester of junior year or first semester of senior year. Prerequisite: PSYC 102 and 201.

410. Existential-Phenomenological Psychology. 3 cr.

Detailed investigation of selected works or topics in existential-phenomenological psychology, a distinctive approach within the human science model of psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 203 or permission from instructor. Offered Intermittently.

411. Post-structural and Critical Psychology. 3 cr.

This course investigates the social construction of psychological dynamics and social realities, emphasizing the role of taken-for-granted systems such as language and economics. Critical psychology is developed by asking how the fields and practices of psychology are socially constructed, and how psychology in turn nurtures the political environment in which it develops. Prerequisite: PSYC 203 or permission from instructor. Offered Intermittently.

412. Psychoanalytic Psychology. 3 cr.

An in-depth examination of the contributions of Freud (and possibly of other psychoanalysts as well), with attention to the difference between Freud's times and cultural context and our own. Prerequisite: PSYC 203 or permission from instructor. Offered Intermittently.

413. Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology. 3 cr.

An in-depth exploration of major theories, concepts, and practices of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, two distinctive approaches within the human science model of psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 203 or permission from instructor. Offered Intermittently.

440. History and Systems of Psychology. 3 cr.

Survey of the psychologies of previous eras, the development of the modern science of psychology, and the diverse approaches within the discipline today. Offered Intermittently.

457. Independent Studies. 3 cr.

A tutorial course for an exceptional student who wishes to pursue a particular study with a faculty member. For majors only; usually those intending graduate study; advanced coursework completed. Permission of faculty member and either Department Chair or Director of Undergraduate Psychology required.

480. Psych and Social Engagement: A Service-Learning Seminar. 3 cr.

This advanced seminar helps students integrate their studies in psychology by exploring the interrelationship of psychology, social engagement, and service. The course centers on students' participation in a community service-learning project related to the field of psychology. Prerequisite: Senior status and PSYC 201. Juniors with permission of instructor.

490. Special Topics. 3 cr.

A visiting professor presents his or her specialty, or a regular faculty member presents highly specialized studies. Repeatable. Prerequisites vary with instructor. Permission of Department Chair or Director of Undergraduate Psychology required for non-majors.

499. Senior Integrative Project. 2 cr.

This course enables students to integrate learning across the curriculum. Students compose a personal portfolio which presents evidence of their development as psychology majors. The course will help students plan future directions in their educational and vocational paths. Prerequisite: PSYC 102, PSYC 201 and senior status.