Oct 27, 2020  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
    
2020-2021 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


To qualify for the bachelor’s of science in psychology, a minimum of 123 credit hours of approved courses is required. Included in these 123 credits must be PS 111 (or approved equivalent introductory course) and PS 100 – Health Psychology Orientation or other approved orientation experience*.

At least 6 credits of PS 340 or coursework numbered ≥ 400 with the psychology (PS) prefix is required. A grade of “B-” or higher is required for the 4 credits assigned as the Capstone experience. 

Psychology courses that are applied to the Core or Advanced Program 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 bachelor of science in psychology with written approval*.

Psychology Curriculum


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 Behavioral and Social Sciences Discipline Requirement Credits: 6
  • General Education Communication Discipline Requirement Credits: 9
  • General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 6 
  • ​General Education Mathematics or Statistics Discipline Requirement Credits: 6 
  • General Education Natural Science Discipline Requirement Credits: 6
  • General Education Natural Science Laboratory Discipline Requirement Credits: 1
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 6

Open (Non-Program) Electives (15 credits)


Core Program Electives (9 Credits)


Select three three-credit courses numbered ≥ 200 with the psychology (PS) prefix

Advanced Program Requirements (12 credits)


At least 6 credits of PS 340 or coursework numbered ≥ 400 with the psychology (PS) prefix.

Advanced coursework from other areas may be approved provided that the content offers an interdisciplinary perspective that includes concepts of relevance to psychology.

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.

Sample Psychology Curriculum Plan


First Year


  • General Education Communication Requirement Credits: 6 
  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Mathematics Requirement Credits: 6 
  • General Education Natural Science Requirement Credits: 7
  • Principles of Psychology Credits: 3 
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 3
  • Psychology Orientation Credits: 1

 

Credits/Fall Semester: 14; Credits/Spring Semester: 16; First Year Total Credits: 30


Second Year


  • Free Elective Credits: 3  
  • General Education Behavioral & Social Sciences Requirement Credits: 3  
  • General Education Humanities Requirement Credits: 3  
  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 6  
  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3  
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 6 
  • Research Design & Statistical Analysis Credits: 8

Credits/Fall Semester: 16; Credits/Spring Semester: 16; First Year Total Credits: 32


Third Year


  • Advanced Program Elective Credits: 3  
  • Free Elective Credits: 12  
  • General Education Behavioral & Social Sciences Requirement Credits: 3  
  • General Education Communication Requirement Credits: 3  
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 6 
  • Psychology Core Elective Credits: 3 

Credits/Fall Semester: 15; Credits/Spring Semester: 15; First Year Total Credits: 30


Fourth Year


  • Advanced Elective Credits: 9  
  • Advanced Program Elective Credits: 9 
  • Capstone Requirement Credits: 3 
  • Psychology Core Requirement Credits: 9
  • Senior Seminar Credits: 1  

Credits/Fall Semester: 15; Credits/Spring Semester: 16; First Year Total Credits: 31


Minimum Total Credit Hours for BS in Psychology: 123


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