The purpose of the undergraduate program is to apprehend, glorify, and respond to God through fostering the study and understanding of human and animal behavior and information processing, as well as the relevant physiological correlates. Students in the program are prepared to meet academic standards required for graduate work in any number of areas (psychology, neuroscience, medicine, law, theology, etc.). They also are exposed to principles of human behavior that promote success in any area of life, such as parenting, the job market, etc.

Course offerings provide insight into:

  1. methods for studying human and animal behavior;
  2. current research findings and major psychological theories, including their historical and theoretical underpinnings;
  3. integration of Christian faith with the field of psychology; and
  4. hands-on experience with the application of psychology in various venues (research in the laboratory, practical internships at off-campus locations).

In addition to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, the School of Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy offers a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and both a PsyD and a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

The program provides a foundation of knowledge in the subfields of psychology, which include the areas of cognition, development, perception, neuroscience, statistics, research methods, experimental, social, and clinical psychology. This training lays the groundwork for success in graduate programs in psychology, as well as in other related fields, and in a number of other job sectors such as non-profit and government social services. Thus, the Undergraduate Psychology program prepares students for opportunities in a variety of post-graduation career options. The major introduces students to the accumulated literature in psychology and develops their abilities for understanding, evaluating, and applying psychological knowledge. Students are also trained in the research methodologies utilized in psychology and provided with opportunities for practical experience in pre-professional activities related to basic and applied psychology. An important goal in all our courses is to help students in their ability to appropriately interrelate their study of psychology and the Christian faith.

Honors. The Undergraduate program offers an honors program for those students who meet the academic qualifications and are approved by program faculty.

Chair, Associate Professor of Psychology Raymond Phinney
Arthur P. Rech and Mrs. Jean May Reich Professor of Psychology Mark Yarhouse
Professors William Struthers, Terri Watson
Associate Professors Aimee Callender, Dean Sarah Hall, John Vessey
Assistant Professors Darlene Hannah, Charles Liu
 

Psychology Courses

PSYC 101. Introduction to Psychology. (4 Credits)

Provides an introduction to psychology as a social and behavioral science, focusing on its major topics, methods, theories, applications, and the integration of psychology and Christianity.

Tags: SI

PSYC 235. Cross-Cultural Psychology. (2 Credits)

An examination of the impact of culture on various psychological processes and systems. This course is designed for both majors and non-majors.

PSYC 241. Social Psychology. (4 Credits)

A study of human thought, emotion, and behavior in an interpersonal context.

Tags: SI

PSYC 268. Statistics. (4 Credits)

An introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics used in research. Students will be taught how to conduct and interpret correlations, simple regression, several types of t-tests, analysis of variance (one-way and factorial with interaction), and chi-squared tests. Students will be introduced to the framework of hypothesis testing, type 1 and type 2 errors, and power. Pre or Corequisite: PSYC 101.

Tags: AAQR

PSYC 269. Experimental Psychology. (4 Credits)

An examination of the research methods of psychology and the philosophy behind their use and an opportunity to apply these skills in research. Prerequisite: PSYC 268.

PSYC 317. Developmental Psychology. (4 Credits)

An overview of the major theories, concepts, issues, data, and research methodologies of developmental psychology across the life span.

Tags: SI

PSYC 343. Sensation and Perception. (4 Credits)

A survey of the current scientific models, concepts, and integrative theories that encompass the field of human sensory and perceptual studies, with a special emphasis on the neurological and cognitive features of vision. Prerequisite: PSYC 269.

PSYC 345. Learning. (4 Credits)

Examines learning through the Pavlovian and Skinnerian traditions from the early twentieth century up to the present day. Students will apply their course learning outside the classroom by engaging in behavioral training with an animal. Prerequisite: PSYC 269

PSYC 348. Abnormal Psychology. (4 Credits)

An overview of the major theories, concepts, issues, data, and research methodologies of abnormal psychology. Emphasis on assessment, treatment, and prevention. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

PSYC 351. Cognition. (4 Credits)

A survey of the current scientific models, concepts, and integrative theories that encompass the field of human thought such as information processing, language, attention, and problem solving, as well as human perceptual experience and consciousness. Prerequisite: PSYC 269.

PSYC 352. Contemporary Clinical Psyc. (4 Credits)

Contemporary Clinical Psychology. An overview of the major contemporary approaches to psychotherapy used in mental health settings. Includes an emphasis on the counselor as a person and as a professional, ethical issues in counseling practice, and essential counseling skills. Prerequisite: PSYC 348.

PSYC 355. Advanced Statistics and Psychological Testing. (4 Credits)

An introduction to computer-based statistical analysis and psychological testing of child and adult intelligence, personality, and psychopathology. Topics include exploratory data analysis, multiple regression, factor analysis, scale construction. Students will also learn to administer and evaluate specific psychological tests. Prerequisite: PSYC 269 or consent of instructor.

PSYC 361. Behavioral Neuroscience. (4 Credits)

An overview of the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurochemical underpinnings of sensory systems and the expression of behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 269 or consent of instructor. Course is offered occasionally.

PSYC 371. Intro to Psychopharmacology. (2 Credits)

This course examines the psychological effects and neurobiological mechanisms of action of psychoactive drugs, drugs that are used in the treatment of psychopathological disorders, and recreational drugs of abuse. This course is designed to provide undergraduate students interested in clinical psychology or psychopharmacology with an overview of the effects and mechanisms of substances which act on both the body and the brain. Prerequisite: PSYC 361. Course is offered occasionally.

PSYC 431. Psychology of Human Sexuality. (4 Credits)

An examination of human sexuality from the physiological, psychological, and social context. Topics include theories of psychosexual development, the nature of contemporary gender roles, ethnic identity, theological views of authentic sexuality, and cultural factors that impact sexual views and behaviors. Course is offered occasionally.

PSYC 482. Theories and Methods of Integration. (2 Credits)

Introduces students to approaches to integrating Biblical and theological perspectives with psychological science and practice, including issues regarding the relationship between science and religion, contemporary models of integration and their critics, and the prescriptive nature of psychology as social science. This course meets the Advanced Topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 483. Advanced Topics in Abnormal Psychology. (2 Credits)

Provides students with an in-depth understanding of controversial issues within the field of abnormal psychology, including ethical, legal, political or social issues. Topics pertaining to the integration of abnormal psychology with Christian faith are discussed. This course meets the advanced topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 484. Psychology of Religion. (2 Credits)

Draws upon foundational studies in psychology to explore religious experience from a social scientific perspective, including the exploration of the complex relationships between personality dynamics and faith. Course is offered occasionally. This course meets the advanced topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 485. Psychology of the Family. (2 Credits)

An overview of developmental and systemic theories of family functioning, with an emphasis on the impact of family on individual development. This course meets the advanced topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 486. History of Psychology. (2 Credits)

An examination of the historical development of the field of psychology with specific emphases on its relationship with science, its engagement with Christian religious belief and practice, and its role as an intellectual force in Western culture. This course meets the advanced topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 487. Men and Addictions. (2 Credits)

This course introduces students to the distinct ways in which men suffer from addictions. It explores the underlying genetic, neurophysiological, behavioral, cognitive, spiritual, and social factors that predispose men towards various addictions and their treatments. Course is offered occasionally. This course meets the advanced topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 488. Current Issues in School Psychology. (2 Credits)

A survey of current psychological issues in schools including the exploration of individual, family, and societal factors contributing to students' functioning. Emphasis is placed on interventions provided in the school setting. Topics such as school violence, learning disabilities, gender issues, counseling in schools, and academic intervention will be covered. Course is offered occasionally. This course meets the advanced topic course requirement for the Psychology major. Prerequisite: Psychology Major with Junior or Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

PSYC 494. Senior Capstone: Personality Psychology. (4 Credits)

This Senior Capstone course examines major personality theories, their individual assumptions on the nature of persons and their important contributions to the psychological field. Students are challenged to critically evaluate the world-view of each theorist from a Christian theological perspective. Students are also guided through the process of self-assessment and reflection of their experience as a psychology major throughout the semester. Prerequisite: Senior status and psychology major or permission of instructor.

General Education: SHAR

PSYC 495. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)

Individual library or experimental research carried on under the supervision of a staff member. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.

PSYC 496. Internship. (4 or 8 Credits)

Credit given for participation in the department's internship program. Prerequisites: five courses in psychology; junior or senior standing with Psychology major.

PSYC 497. Collaborative Research Groups. (2 or 4 Credits)

Credit given for participation in faculty sponsored ongoing research program. The course may be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits, 4 of which may count as major elective. Prerequisite: PSYC 269

PSYC 499. Honors Thesis. (4 or 8 Credits)

An independent project requiring original research developed in a scholarly paper and culminating in an oral examination. By application only.