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2011-2012 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology – Major


Return to: Misher College of Arts and Sciences

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, emotion, and behavior. The important component of this definition is that psychology is a science, and its basic tools are rigorous methodology and mathematical analysis.

Psychology studies how we perceive information in the world. It focuses on how we process information, how we respond to information emotionally and behaviorally, how we learn, and how our mental processes change over time. Psychology studies these intra-person mechanisms in both animals and humans. It deals with the study of the mind-emotion-behavior system using a variety of methodologies, including observation, experimentation, quantitative modeling, and the biological bases for these systems. Because of the breadth of its content and its methodology, psychology is an interdisciplinary science. For this reason, it forms an important part of a science education that can complement any scientific or health profession that attends to information processing, emotion, and behavior. It provides the kind of analytic and conceptual skills that are relevant to becoming a thinking person and scientist. It also can serve as the foundation for a variety of careers. The overarching consideration, when considering psychology as a major or minor, is to realize that it is a quantitative, empirical science. As such, the development of quantitative research skills and penetrating reasoning and problem-solving skills are the focal points of an education in psychology.

American Psychological Association Task Force on Undergraduate Psychology Major Competencies (2000) as Adopted by USciences Psychology Program

Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with the Science and Application of Psychology

  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspective, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  • Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  • Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their Psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with Both a Science and Liberal Arts Education That Are Further Developed in Psychology

A. Liberal Arts

  • Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  • Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.

B. Science

  • Students will understand and apply biological principles to fundamental problems in psychology and larger social issues.
  • Students will understand and apply mathematical principles to fundamental problems in psychology and larger societal issues.
  • Students will understand and apply principles of physics, chemistry, or other natural sciences to fundamental problems in psychology and larger societal issues.

Psychology Degree Requirements


Students entering in Catalog Year 2008 and beyond (graduating classes of 2012 and beyond)

 

Psychology Professional & Career Development Requirements (8 credits)


  • PS 1XX - Psychology Orientation II Credit: 1

Advanced Skills Electives: 4-Year BS Degree Program (minimum of 9 credits)


To be used by students to prepare for a specialization in an area of psychology for career or graduate school. Can be used for independent study, independent research, or thesis. The courses in this area can be used for prerequisites for medical school, nursing school, public health, or any legitimate career area with the approval of a psychology advisor.

Advanced Skills Electives: 5-Year BS/MS Degree Program (minimum of 9 credits)


To be used by students to begin to develop clinical and assessment skills in preparation for the MS degree in health psychology. Choose any three from:

Advanced Program Electives (6 credits)


Choose any two courses at the 300 level or above in any discipline for a total of six credits.

General Education Discipline Requirements (42 credits)


  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 6
  • General Education Social Sciences Requirement Credits: 6
    Choose any two courses with prefix AN, CO (except CO 101 and CO 204), EC, PO, SO, and SS (except SS 221 and SS 222).
  • BS 103/BS 104 - General Biology I and II Credits: 8
    or
  • BS 130/BS 131 - Introductory Biology I and II Credits: 8

Intellectual Heritage I & II Credits: 6


(Choose two)

General Education Distribution Electives (minimum of 12–14 credits)


  • History Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Additional Information


In order to earn a degree from the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Passing the writing proficiency examination is a graduation requirement for students who entered in Catalog Year 2008 or earlier (see Catalog Year for Degree Requirements). Students who failed the examination are urged to seek assistance from the Writing Center.

Minimum Total Credits Required for Psychology BS degree: 121


Sample Psychology Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Year 2008 (graduating class of 2012)—with general education.

First Year


Second Year


Fall Semester


  • Natural Sciences Elective Credits: 3–4

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15-16


Spring Semester


  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • Natural Sciences Elective Credits: 3–4

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15-16


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Social Sciences Requirement Credits: 3
  • History Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Social Sciences Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Advanced Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • Advanced Program Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Spring Semester


  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Advanced Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Advanced Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Advanced Program Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Total Credit Hours for BS Degree in Psychology: 121–123


Sample Psychology Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Years 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year


Credits/Semester: 14


Spring Semester


  •  PS 1XX - Psychology Orientation II Credit: 1

Credits/Semester: 15


Second Year


Fall Semester


  • Natural Sciences Electives Credits: 3–4

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15-16


Spring Semester


  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • Natural Sciences Elective Credits: 3–4

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15-16


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
  • History Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Social Sciences Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Advanced Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • Advanced Program Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Advanced Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Advanced Skills Elective Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3
  • Advanced Program Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Total Credit Hours for BS Degree in Psychology: 121–123


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