Majoring in Psychology
Psychology offers a major in psychology leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as course work leading to the Associate of Arts degree, and a minor in psychology. As a scientific endeavor, psychology seeks to understand the basic principles by which organisms adapt their behavior to the changing physical and social environments in which they live. Psychologists apply their understanding of behavior, thought, and emotion to the improvement of the human condition through education, counseling, and therapy. The breadth of modern psychology is reflected in the diversity of courses offered by the department.
The psychology program is designed not only for students who plan to attend graduate school in psychology or related fields but also for students who want to pursue psychology as a minor or as a concentration area to complement a major in another field.
The First Course
PSY-P 103 General Psychology
This course is prerequisite to all 200, 300, and 400 level courses in psychology.
This course offers an introduction to psychology, its data, methods, and theories. The course provides a survey of historical and contemporary attempts to understand the basic mechanisms controlling behavior, emotion, and thought. A number of themes cut across all topics: 1) Psychology is an empirical and theoretically diverse science; 2) Behavior is grounded in biological mechanisms of the nervous system; 3) Behavior is the end result of and individual's developmental and learning history; 4) Behavior is responsive to momentary environmental conditions; 5) Individual differences among people are widespread and each person's view of the world is highly subjective; 6) Behavior occurs in a sociocultural context so that an individual's behavior is sensitive to the presence of others; 7) Human behavior is governed by multiple factors, some of which are beyond conscious awareness.
A wide variety of topics is discussed and different instructors will choose to emphasize some topics over others. Nevertheless, the following broad issues will be covered; sensation and perception, learning and memory, development, psychopathology and psychotherapy, personality, cognition and intelligence, motivation and emotion, social influences.
Some of the famous psychologists you are likely to encounter in this course include Freud, Jung, Erikson, Pavlov, Skinner, and Piaget. Some of the contemporary issues include: unconscious motivation, repressed memories, themeasurement and meaning of IQ, the development of morality, the nature of dreaming, drug use and abuse, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, depression and other alterations of moods, psychotherapy and drug therapy for mental illness, and the roots of prejudice.