Psychology literally translated means “study of the mind.” To some extent that definition still holds today, but since the workings of the mind are manifested in behavior, a more contemporary definition highlights the "study of behavior and mental processes."
The psychology department offers a variety of courses intended to provide the student with an understanding of influences on behavior, both biological and socio-cultural, and of the uniquely individual dimensions of experience. Psychologists assume that behavior is lawfully determined or caused by prior events. The task of psychology then is to discern these multiple sources of behavior and to formulate general statements or theory about them and their inter-relationships. Psychological theories that stand up to testing provide useful insights for many areas of human endeavor such as mental health, education, work organization, parenting, law enforcement, technology design and so forth.
For all students, the department presents an introduction to the diverse, fascinating field of psychology and its basic principles of behavior ranging from the biological to the social, from the normal/adaptive to the abnormal/maladaptive aspects of behavior. In addition to a greater appreciation for the diversity of all behavior, human and animal alike, the student can also experience greater self-understanding, awareness and the potential for personal growth.
For students majoring in psychology, the department provides training in research philosophy and methodology. Thus students become accustomed to: 1) examining issues in terms of research; and 2) designing, executing and effectively communicating their own research. In addition, psychology majors are exposed to a wide range of theory and research in a variety of areas of psychology as well as to issues of ethics, social policy and applications of psychology. The major is designed to afford a thorough preparation for graduate work in psychology for students desiring advanced degrees.
The psychology major also offers excellent preparation for direct entry into numerous
human service occupations. For those planning church-related or service-oriented careers,
the department fosters an appreciation for the complex relationship between psychology
and Christianity and the development and exercise of skills relating to human problems.
Courses in the psychology major introduce students to the diverse field of psychology, develop basic skills in social and behavioral science research philosophy and methods, expose students to the code of ethics adopted by the profession of psychology and guide them in reflection upon the interaction of faith and psychology.
Required core: (40 semester hours)
PSY 110 Introduction to Psychology (3)
PSY 230 Tests & Measurements (3)
PSY 235 Developmental Psychology (3)
PSY 250 Abnormal Psychology (3)
PSY 258 Social Psychology (3)
PSY 284 General Statistics (3)
PSY 310 Personality (3)
PSY 315 Biological Psychology (3)
PSY 325 Special Topics in Psychology (3)
PSY 360 Basics of Social Research (3)
PSY 370 Psychology of Learning and Cognition (3)
PSY 403 Research Seminar (3)
PSY 412 Psychology, Faith and Ethics (3)
PSY 414 Social Science Seminar (1)
CHOOSE ONE COURSE FROM THE FOLLOWING ELECTIVES: (3 hours)
PSY 240 Interviewing: Theoretical and Skill Based Approaches (3)
PSY 385 Psychology Practicum (3)
CRJ 320 Family Violence (3)
CRJ 340 Conflict Transformation & Mediation (3)
SOC 325 Race & Ethnicity in American Society (3)
SWK 280 Child Welfare Services (3)
EDU 353 Educational Psychology (3)
HFS 230 Sport Psychology (3)
In addition to completing a psychology major, students often choose a complementary second major or area of emphasis, such as social work, child development, biology or criminal justice, as a way of enhancing employment possibilities.
Psychology majors preparing for graduate school need a broad, solid grounding in the fundamentals of psychology to build upon. Additional electives from the natural sciences, sociology, philosophy and literature are encouraged.
Students who would like to combine a minor in psychology with a major in one of the other disciplines may do so by taking PSY 110 (3 hours) and 17 additional hours of elective psychology courses for a total of at least 20 hours. Elective courses must be chosen from the list of courses approved for the Psychology major and must include at least two courses with 300-level numbers or above. One class from the list of approved psychology electives without a PSY prefix can count toward this minor. All other classes to count toward the minor in psychology must have a PSY prefix.