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Curriculum

The Psychology major prepares students for both entry-level jobs in the workforce and advanced professional education in psychology. The psychology major exposes students to each of the major domains of psychology and provides students with a solid base of knowledge in each of these domains. It encourages students to integrate and apply knowledge, and allows flexibility in course selection to help students meet their career goals. The major emphasizes scientific research and application to significant areas of human activities.

Learning Outcomes

A successful psychology graduate is expected to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the major theories, principles, and concepts that underlie the following core areas of psychology:
    1. Learning, Memory, and/or Cognition;
    2. Sensation, Perception, and/or Biological Bases of Behavior;
    3. Human Development;
    4. Clinical, Abnormal, and/or Personality;
    5. Social Influences on Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors;
    6. Research Measurement, Design, and Methodology;
  2. Integrate and apply the major theories, principles, and concepts of psychology to address research and/or applied
    issues in the field of psychology using critical thinking skills, skeptical inquiry, and when possible, the scientific
    approach;
  3. Present written psychological information in a clear, concise manner that is consistent with professional standards (i.e., APA format).

Curriculum Requirements

General Education Requirements (30 credits)

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours as part of the General Education Program.

Psychology Major Requirements (54 credits)

MATH 2020 - Applied Statistics I (3 credits) OR MATH 2020H - Applied Statistics Honors (3 credits)

MATH 2020 - Applied Statistics I (3 credits)

This course is an introductory course in the use of descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics include graphical and numerical descriptive measures, probability, common random variables and their distributions including the binomial and normal distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, sampling procedures, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. This course has been exempted from the requirements of the Writing Across the Curriculum policy. Prerequisite: MATH 1040 or higher. 

MATH 2020H - Applied Statistics Honors (3 credits)

This course is an introductory course in the use of descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics include graphical and numerical descriptive measures, probability, common random variables and their distributions including the binomial and normal distributions, the Central Limit Theorem, sampling procedures, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. This course has been exempted from the requirements of the Writing Across the Curriculum policy. Prerequisite: MATH 1040 or higher; Honors students only. 

PSYC 1020 - Introduction to Psychology (3 credits) OR PSYC 1020H - Introduction to Psychology Honors (3 credits)

PSYC 1020 - Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)

An introduction to theory, research, and applications in the field of psychology. Topics include biological bases of behavior, perception, learning and memory, psychological development, personality, social psychology, and the identification and treatment of mental illness. 

PSYC 1020H - Introduction to Psychology Honors (3 credits)

An introduction to theory, research, and applications in the field of psychology. Topics include biological bases of behavior, perception, learning and memory, psychological development, personality, social psychology, and the identification and treatment of mental illness. Prerequisite: Honors students only. 

PSYC 2900 - Introduction to Quantitative Psychology (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the quantitative methods employed by psychologists and other social scientists to answer their empirical questions. You will learn both descriptive and inferential statistics during the semester. After you have taken this course, you should be better able to understand and interpret the results sections of articles in scientific journals. You will understand, for example, what it means to say that two groups have different levels of anxiety at a statistically significant level, and what calculations are involved in drawing such a conclusion. As another example, you should come away from this class with a good understanding of what it means (and, importantly, what it does not mean) to say that crime rates and ice cream sales are positively correlated. Prerequisites: MATH 2020 or MATH 2020H or MATH 3020 or MATH 3020H and PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 3000 - Psychological Research Methods (3 credits)

This course covers the methodological tools used in psychological research studies, with specific emphasis on observational, correlational, experimental, and quasi-experimental designs. Students will develop testable hypotheses, design a quantitative experimental research study, and use APA-format to write a report similar to those found in professional psychological journals. Prerequisites: PSYC 2900.

PSYC 3710 - History and Theories of Psychology (3 credits)

Exploration of the historical roots of psychology, and the bases and growth of psychology as a science. Examines the major historical and contemporary theories of psychology with an emphasis on enduring issues. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

PSYC 3760 - Multicultural Issues in Psychology (3 credits)

Issues relevant to the field of psychology. Examinations of different cultural groups and their values as they pertain to the individual, the family, time, proxemics (personal and interpersonal space), communication styles, and body language. Different cultural worldviews will be explored as they pertain to locus of control, conception of mental illness, and attitude toward seeking psychological help. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

PSYC 4880 - Senior Seminar (3 credits)

Students will have the opportunity to integrate information from a variety of specialties in psychology. Each seminar will have a focal theme that will allow students to gain new perspectives, as well as apply knowledge from prior courses and experiences. This course is presented as a capstone experience, therefore students with advanced standing in the psychology major will benefit the most from the seminar. Prerequisite: PSYC 3000.

Major Foundation Courses (18 credits)

Select 3 credits from the following courses:

PSYC 2010 - Cognitive Processes (3 credits)

This course will provide an introduction to experiments (methods and results) and theory in cognitive psychology. Topics covered will include object recognition, attention, memory, concepts, language, imagery, problem solving and reasoning and the neural bases of cognitive processes. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 2300 - Behavior Modification (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the concepts and principles of behavior analysis and behavior modification techniques applied to diverse areas such as mild and severe behavior problems in children and adults, behavior medicine, organizational behavior, sports psychology, and self-management. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 3520 - Principles of Learning (3 credits)

Principles of Learning examines theories and research concerning the basic principles and concepts of learning. Theories of classical and operant conditioning will be explored, in addition to selected theories which explore the interaction between learning, memory and motivation. Additionally, basic neuroanatomy and neurochemistry underlying various learning processes will also be introduced. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or 1020H.

Select 3 credits from the following courses:

PSYC 2100 - Biological Bases of Behavior (3 credits)

This course provides a survey of genetic, neural, and endocrine bases of behavior. Focus topics include brain neuroanatomy, neural communication, sensory processes, motivation, emotion, and arousal. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

PSYC 3200 - Evolutionary Psychology (3 credits)

This course will serve as an overview to the theoretical approach of evolutionary psychology as well as a survey of some of the major topics areas that have been approached from an evolutionary perspective. Adaptationism is the position of claiming that many of the traits we observe in organisms (including present-day humans) exist in their current form because of past evolutionary benefits. Students are expected to develop the ability to evaluate adaptationist hypotheses, to understand the fundamental differences between the evolutionary approach and traditional social science approaches (esp. tabula rasa behaviorism), and to recognize/avoid the common errors of naive adaptationism. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 3920 - Sensation and Perception (3 credits)

This class will cover the fundamentals of the sensory world, such as taste, touch, vision, hearing and extrasensory phenomenon. Students in sensation and perception will explore the value of each sense in the perceptual world and will be encouraged to consider what life would be like without each sense. Perceptual illusions will be employed in order to encourage students to delve into the neural underpinnings of sensory perception. Through studying the pathways from sensations to perceptions, students will gain an appreciation of the fragility of perceptions. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

PSYC 4300 - Psychophysiology (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of psychophysiology, with a focus on human psychophysiology and physiological measures of emotion and cognition. Students in this course will examine the theory of psychophysiology as well as common psychophysiological techniques. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

Select 3 credits from the following courses:

PSYC 2350 - Life-Span Human Development (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of systematic changes within the individual from conception through death. Unlike many studies of development, this course is structured around issues of development rather than examination of development from a chronological perspective. This structure will allow the student to more completely grasp life-span issues. Family, social roles, lifestyle, psychological disorders, mental abilities, and death and dying will be examined. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

PSYC 2360 - Adolescent Psychology (3 credits)

This course will provide an overview of the principles, theories, and research pertaining to the development of the adolescent. Topics include physical, emotional, social, intellectual, moral, and personality development, as well as the importance of the home, school, and community. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 2370 - Early Childhood Growth and Development (3 credits)

Students in this course will critically examine theories and research concerning the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development of the typical and atypical child from birth to age eight. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to observe and describe child behavior and to understand the principles and processes that govern growth and development in the early childhood years. Implications of knowledge of child development for parental behavior, professional practices, and social policy will also be considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

Select 3 credits from the following courses:

PSYC 2020 - Foundations of Clinical and Counseling Psychology (3 credits)

This course serves as an overview of Clinical and Counseling Psychology including a discussion of the training and employment of clinical/counseling psychologists; the assessment tools and treatment approaches routinely utilized by clinical/counseling psychologists; subspecialties of clinical and counseling psychology; and current trends and emerging issues in the field of clinical/counseling psychology. Various other related counseling professions are discussed throughout the course. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 3210 - Personality (3 credits)

Survey of psychoanalytic, humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral theories of personality. Current issues and personality research. Prerequisites: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 3260 - Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)

Diagnoses, causes, and prognoses for the various categories of psychological disorders. Case studies supplement and illustrate theory and research. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

Select 3 credits from the following courses:

PSYC 2160 - Social Psychology (3 credits) OR PSYC 2160H - Social Psychology Honors (3 credits)

PSYC 2160 - Social Psychology (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Topics such as self-perception, judgment and decision-making, rationalization, attitude change, conformity, social influence, obedience, attraction, love, aggression, violence, altruism, deception, nonverbal communication, and prejudice will be covered. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H. 

PSYC 2160H - Social Psychology Honors (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Topics such as self-perception, judgment and decision-making, rationalization, attitude change, conformity, social influence, obedience, attraction, love, aggression, violence, altruism, deception, nonverbal communication, and prejudice will be covered. Prerequisites: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H and honors students only. 

PSYC 3180 - Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination (3 credits)

This course examines how individuals, groups, and cultures develop stereotypes. The course also explores how these stereotypes are used for prejudicial and discriminatory purposes toward other individuals and/or groups. Finally, the course explores the impact of both implicit and explicit prejudice. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or PSYC 1020H.

PSYC 3360 - Psychology of Gender (3 credits)

This course examines theories about, as well as the psychological and social factors related to, gendered identities, roles, and behaviors. Prerequisite: PSYC 1020 or 1020H or SOCL 1020.

Select 3 credits from the following courses:

PSYC 3030 - Experimental Psychology (3 credits)

This course offers laboratory experience in various areas of experimental psychology. Fundamental assumptions and principles of scientific observation and research design are discussed. Students will learn how to conduct and report experiments in various core areas of psychology. Students will learn how to conduct, interpret and evaluate research and to communicate research findings. Prerequisite: PSYC 3000.

PSYC 4800 - Practicum in Psychological Research (3 credits)

This course provides practical experience in conducting psychological research. Students will read relevant research literature in professional psychological journals, develop a testable hypothesis, design and run an empirical research study, analyze data from the study, and write a full APA-format research paper. Prerequisite: PSYC 3000. 

PSYC 4810 - Practicum in Community Psychology (3 credits)

Experience in in applying psychological principles in a human services agency. Supervision onsite: weekly team meetings at the university. Written reports required. Prerequisites: PSYC 2000 or PSYC 2020 and PSYC 3450.

PSYC 4840 - Advanced Practicum in Psychology (3 credits)

Experience in in applying psychological principles in a human services agency. Supervision onsite: weekly team meetings at the university. Written reports required. Prerequisites: PSYC 2000 or PSYC 2020 and PSYC 3450.

Electives

At least 9 of these credits must be at the 3000/4000 level.

The academic program and curriculum requirements listed on this page are from the the NSU Undergraduate Student Catalog. Students are bound by policies and curricula published in the catalog in effect the semester they enter the university, unless an agreement is made with appropriate NSU administration officials allowing them to abide by policies published in a later catalog.

View sample 4-Year Academic Plan

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