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    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
   
 
  Oct 17, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 University Catalog

Psychology – Major


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Psychology is the study of how people think, act, react, and interact. Psychology is concerned with all aspects of behavior, thought, feeling, and motivation. Grounded in the conviction that mind, emotions, and behavior must be studied using statistical and scientific methods, psychology is a respected and socially useful discipline. As a psychology student, you will investigate topics such as the biological bases of behavior, links between physical health and mental well-being, the efficacy of psychological interventions, theories of cognitive function and intelligence, symptoms, and the effects of psychoactive drugs.

The psychology major combines traditional classroom learning about scientific and statistical approaches with research experience, so that you can apply what you are learning well before graduation. Because of our smaller student population, we offer many opportunities to do primary investigative research early in your undergraduate program, research that leads to publications and presentations at local and national meetings. Faculty will encourage these efforts and work closely with you on your projects.

The undergraduate program in psychology is committed to excellence in undergraduate education in psychology and the mission of University of the Sciences. Our program uses as benchmarks the Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major (American Psychological Association, 2006), Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology (American Psychological Association, 2011), and the missions of the department and University.

The Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology indicate that:

  • Students are responsible for monitoring and enhancing their own learning.
  • The faculty strives to become scientist-educators who are knowledgeable about and use the principles of the science of learning.
  • Psychology departments and programs create a coherent curriculum.
  • Academic administrators support and encourage quality practices in teaching and learning.
  • Policymakers and the general public understand why psychological literacy is necessary for informed citizens and an effective workforce.

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 Years 2017 and beyond (graduating classes of 2021 and beyond) - with general education.

 

To qualify for the BS in psychology, a minimum of 121 credit hours of approved courses is required. Included in these 121 credits must be PS 101 - Introduction to Psychology  (or approved equivalent introductory course) and PS 100 - Health Psychology Orientation  (or other approved orientation experience).* In addition, the University’s general education curriculum must be completed to earn the BS in psychology.

A minimum of 13 psychology credits must be at or above the 400-level. Of these 13 credits, the student must earn a grade of “pass” in the one-credit senior seminar course (PS 493). A grade of “B-” or higher is required for the 3 credits assigned as the capstone experience.

Psychology courses that are applied to the foundational, core, or advanced requirements must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better to count toward the minimum psychology credits required for graduation. Credit hours earned in a course of a psychological nature offered by a department other than the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences may only be used to meet the minimum credits required to qualify for a BS in psychology with written approval.*

In order to earn a degree from Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty in-residence credits at the USciences. Fifteen 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 contributes to the student’s calculated grade point average.

*All exceptions or waivers of individual course requirements are at the discretion of the director of the undergraduate program in psychology or chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Psychology Curriculum


Students entering in Catalog Years 2017 and beyond (graduating classes of 2021 and beyond) - with general education.

The psychology curriculum is designed to enhance opportunities for students to take a multidisciplinary and inquiry-based approach to learning about psychology. The courses in the first year and early in the second year expose students to broad areas of knowledge in the humanities, mathematics, writing, and sciences. Foundational psychology courses and our orientation course focus on establishing a knowledge base upon which the student can begin to build an inquiry-based experience. Advisors work with students to initiate the psychology portfolio and explain the research and capstone experiences required of all students in the major.

In the second year, students begin to develop applied research experience during our 8-credit course sequence in research design and statistics. Throughout the second and third years, students are exposed to the core disciplines of psychology and may choose to focus their major curriculum by developing an academic concentration area or minor and research skills. The student works with his/her faculty advisor to develop the minor or concentration area, selecting from approved University minor programs or suggested program concentration areas. Students are not required to develop a concentration area or minor.

The inquiry-based approach is emphasized in the third and fourth years. In consultation with a faculty advisor, students select psychology and elective courses that best satisfy personal interests and career goals. By the end of year three (i.e., the sixth semester), the capstone project must be approved and may be initiated as early as the spring semester of the third year. In year four, the capstone project is completed and advanced program electives embrace and build upon core disciplines of psychology and related areas introduced in the first three years. All fourth-year students participate in a fourth-year senior seminar that includes review, analysis, discussion, and formal oral presentation of the capstone projects.

General Education Requirements (41 credits)


  • General Education Communication (Written & Oral) Discipline Requirement Credits: 9
  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 6 
  • General Education Mathematics Discipline Requirement Credits: 6 
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 6

Electives (12 credits)


Psychology Advanced Requirements (12 credits)


The list below is not exhaustive. New courses may be added as they become available.

Choose 12 credits from the following courses:

Footnote:


Requires instructor and program director approval. No more than 3 credits of PS 340  or PS 399  may be used to satisfy the advanced requirement.

Advanced Electives (9 credits)


Choose 9 credits of courses at or above the 300 level. These courses may be from any discipline at the University.

Psychology Capstone Requirement (4 credits)


Psychology majors must complete 4 credits of approved capstone experiences during the senior year. Capstone projects must be proposed in writing, and both the proposal and final project must be approved by at least two full-time psychology faculty members, including the psychology advisor and undergraduate psychology program director.

Capstone projects must include an APA-formatted written paper that may be either a research manuscript or scholarly review of the area. Capstone projects will be publically announced and orally presented during PS 493 - Psychology Seminar. Projects may also be presented at local research conferences.

Sample Psychology Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Years 2017 and beyond (graduating classes of 2021 and beyond) - with general education.

First Year


Fall Semester


  • General Education Communication (Written & Oral) Discipline Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Mathematics Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 14


Spring Semester


  • General Education Communication (Written & Oral) Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Mathematics Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 14


Second Year


Fall Semester


  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Social Sciences Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • Advanced Psychology Requirement Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • General Education Communication (Written & Oral) Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3
  • Psychology Core Requirements Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 15


Spring Semester


  • Elective Credits: 6
  • Psychology Core Requirements Credits: 6

Credits/Semester: 15


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Advanced Elective Credits: 3
  • Advanced Psychology Requirement Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 3

Capstone Requirement (choose one):


Credits/Semester: 15


Spring Semester


  • Advanced Electives Credits: 6
  • Advanced Psychology Requirements Credits: 6
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Minimum Total Credit Hours for BS in Psychology: 121


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