Chairperson: Elizabeth Fein, Ph.D.

Duquesne University's Psychology Faculty are well known for our expertise in human science psychology. Our approach can be contrasted to natural science psychology, which developed in the late 1800s, and was modeled after natural sciences such as physics and biology. Experimental and quantitative research methods drawn from the natural sciences yield much valuable knowledge, but there are many dimensions of the human experience that are best addressed with qualitative research methods developed specifically to study human beings. For example, a human science approach that addresses questions of meaning, values, experience, history, culture and power is well suited for studying love, dreams, spirituality, interpersonal relationships, gender roles, race issues, and so on. Our faculty believe that human science approaches provide an appropriate and illuminating path to grasp the full depth and subtlety of human experience.

What does this mean for undergraduate students? As a psychology major, you will gain broad exposure to both the human science and natural science approaches to psychology, but our focus is firmly rooted in the human science tradition. Our Psychology Department's emphasis on the human science perspective means that coursework aims to foster critical thinking, ethical reflection and creative attention to the nature of psychological life. Many students find that our human science orientation is especially helpful to students who plan to pursue careers or graduate study in disciplines that focus on serving others.

Teaching/Learning Goals

Duquesne’s undergraduate Psychology program aspires to help students:

  • Understand the fundamental concepts, issues and interest areas of psychology, both as a human science and a natural science.
  • Think critically and creatively about human psychology and life as a whole.
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Be critically and socially engaged with the contemporary world, including being appreciative of its many forms of diversity.
  • Work with and apply ethical principles, both personally and professionally.
  • Become prepared for careers and/or graduate study in psychology, social work, and counseling, and in related fields such as education, business, law, health care, and human services.
  • Cultivate their potential as distinctive individuals and participants in society.

Requirements for the Psychology Major

The major involves 36 credits in Psychology with requirements in specified areas of study and opportunities for electives in areas of special interest. A minimum of 23 credits in psychology is to be completed within the Department of Psychology at Duquesne University. Students must earn at least a grade of C in all courses required for the major.

B.A. Program in Psychology

Curriculum for Undergraduate Psychology Majors

Students must take:
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology, 3 credits*
PSYC 102 Orientation to the Major, 1.5 credit
PSYC 201 Research Methods in Psychology, 3 credits**
PSYC 203 Introduction to Psychology as a Human Science, 3 credits
PSYC 220 Brain, Behavior, and Cognition, 3 credits
PSYC 480 Psychology and Community Engagement, 3 credits
PSYC 399 Professional Preparation for Psychology Majors, 1 credit

Students must take two of the following:
PSYC 225W Developmental Psych: Childhood & Adolescence, 3 credits
PSYC 228W Psychology of Personality, 3 credits
PSYC 240W Social Psychology, 3 credits
PSYC 252W Psychological Disorders, 3 credits

Students must take at least one of the following:
PSYC 271 Anti-Semitism, 3 credits
PSYC 324 Perspectives on Disability and Illness, 3 credits
PSYC 353 Psychology of Gender, 3 credits
PSYC 354 Psychology of Social and Cultural Diversity, 3 credits

Students must take at least one of the following:
PSYC 321 Laboratory in Psychological Research
PSYC 410 Existential Phenomenological Psychology
PSYC 411 Post Structural and Critical Psychology
PSYC 412 Psychoanalytic Psychology
PSYC 413 Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology

Students must complete six additional credits in Psychology (from the courses listed above and or elective courses)

*PSYC 101 is a prerequisite for all other Psychology Courses, unless otherwise indicated in the course catalog.
**PSYC 201 has a prerequisite of MATH 125 Statistics or MATH 225 Biostatistics

For a B.A. in Psychology: Students complete at least 36 credits in Psychology plus Statistics (MATH 125) or Biostatistics (MATH 225), with a grade of C or above in all of these courses. A minimum of 23 credits in Psychology to be completed within the Department of Psychology at Duquesne University. Unless otherwise specified, all Psychology courses are 3 credits.

Requirements for the Minor

Requirements for a minor are Psych 101, Psych 203 and nine other psychology credits. A minimum of nine credits in psychology (to be completed within the Department of psychology at Duquesne University) for the minor.