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Psychology Major

Click below for information on the requirements for the Psychology Major.*  A minor in psychology is not offered, but students from other majors across the college are welcome to take any psychology course for which they have the pre-requisites.

 


   Psychology Major Requirements



Course Descriptions

  Muhlenberg College Catalog


101. Introductory Psychology (B)
A survey of all the major areas of psychology. Includes an orientation to the attitudes and methods of the psychologist, the physiological basis of behavior, growth and development, sensation, perception, conditioning, human learning, cognitive processes, social interaction, personality, conflict adjustment, methods of measurement, behavior disorders and applied psychology.
Psychology 101 is a prerequisite for all other psychology courses. Typically offered every semester.


103. Psychological Statistics
The role of statistics in experimental design and the formation and testing of hypotheses. Descriptive and sampling statistics, statistical inference, correlational techniques, analysis of variance, and computer applications.
Prerequisites: Psychology 101 and Math 104 (G) or Math 121 (G). Typically offered every semester.


104. Research Methods in Psychology
An exploration of the methodological issues and strategies that are most germane to research in psychology. Topics include types of research designs, ethics, measurement, library resources, and a review of data analysis procedures. Scientific writing and oral presentations of research results will be emphasized. Four hours lecture/lab.
Prerequisites: Psychology 103. Typically offered every semester.


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201. Learning and Behavior
An investigation of how our behavior is changed by experience. Topics will include the nature-nurture issue, conditioned reflexes, operant conditioning, observational learning, reinforcement schedules, punishment, and the stimulus-control of behavior.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Typically offered every semester.


202. Social Psychology
The study of social influences on individual behavior, including topics in social cognition, attitude change, interpersonal behavior, social influence and small group behavior.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Typically offered every semester.


203. Personality Psychology
Historical (e.g., Freud, Skinner, Rogers) and more contemporary (e.g., the "Big Five," cognitive theory) approaches to personality are explored. Current research topics in the field of personality psychology are also addressed (e.g., gender identity, aggression, self-esteem, the unconscious).
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Not recommended for first-year students in their first semester.


204. Child Psychology
Emotional, mental, physical and social development of the child from birth to puberty, including maladjustments and deviations in these areas.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Typically offered every semester.


205. Psychology of Adolescence
A study of the development and behavior of the adolescent in American society. The course will also touch upon special topics such as drugs, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, suicide, etc. Twenty-four hours of field work is encouraged.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Recommended: PSY 204. Typically offered every year.


207. Sensation and Perception (S)
Exploration of the human sensory systems and perception. The course is focused on investigating the relationship between our conscious experience of the world and the anatomy and physiology of the sensory systems. We start with very basic sensory coding and work up to looking at individual differences and the influence of learning and development on perception. There is an emphasis on classroom demonstrations and laboratory experiences. All students run a perception experiment.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101.


208. Biological Psychology (S)
A study of the nervous system and physiological processes directly related to behavior in human beings and animals. The mechanisms underlying sensory and motor processes, learning, emotion and innate behavior patterns.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Typically offered every semester.


211. Multicultural Psychology
This course will examine marginalized groups within the United States and will address the role of race, ethnicity, gender, class, disability status, and sexual orientation in psychological discourse. Psychological theory and research will serve as a basis to explore topics such as identity development, acculturation, and world views. This course also aims to examine privilege and the way various "isms" (e.g., sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, and their intersections) inform psychological theory, research, and practice.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.


213. Abnormal Psychology
An exploration of psychological problems ranging from the commonplace to the bizarre. The classification, assessment, causes, course, treatment, and prevention of the major types of abnormal behavior will be addressed. Pertinent scientific research, narrative approaches, and major theories will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101. Typically offered every semester.


270. Research Apprenticeship (0.5 course units)
An elective course in which students learn a variety of important research skills, and gain in-depth knowledge of a specialized topic in psychology by participating in a faculty member’s ongoing research program. Experiences may include, but are not limited to, any of the following: gathering and analyzing information to develop proposals, stimulus development, data collection, statistical analysis, writing up results, presenting results. Topics and course availability will vary by professor. Interested students should consult with individual faculty for more information. Visit the department website for more information about conducting research in the psychology department.
Pre-requisite: instructor permission. Note: this course does not count toward the major, but does count toward the total number of experiential credits (4) that may be applied toward graduation.



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301. Cognitive Processes
The study of human mental processes, including perception, attention, memory, problem solving, language, cognitive styles and gender differences. All students participate in classroom demonstrations and run a cognitive experiment. This is an upper level class and is not recommended for first year students. Recommended for teacher education candidates.
Prerequisites: Psychology 101, PSY 104. Typically offered Spring semester.


302. History of Psychology
A review of the historical background and development of psychology with special attention given to the positions on controversial issues taken by different schools in the past and present. Primarily for upper-class majors to provide a perspective on the field of psychology.
Prerequisites: at least three courses in psychology or permission of instructor. Usually taught in alternate years in the Fall.


304. Psychotherapy and Counseling
An exploration of psychotherapy theories and intervention strategies, scientific research on therapy process and outcome, and the place of therapy in contemporary society, and a critical evaluation of therapeutic ideals. This course is not a practicum.
Prerequisites: Psychology 101, and PSY 203 or PSY 213, or permission of instructor. Typically offered in Fall semester.


309. Psychological Assessment
Introduction to the theory and application of psychological tests as measures of personality, intellectual functioning, and attitudes. This course considers the use, abuse, and limitations of such measures and focuses on topics such as validity and reliability of tests; construction of tests, rating scales and surveys; the administration of tests and the interpretation of test results.
Prerequisites: Psychology 103. Recommended: PSY 104. Typically offered every other year in the Spring.


314. Psychology of Women
This course will examine theory and research on gender differences, specifically female gender development, taking into consideration biological, cognitive, behavioral, and social influences. Emphasis will be placed on a critical analysis of the assumptions about human behavior and the methods used to test these ideas. Topics include gender-role development, achievement motivation, women and work, sexuality and health, and violence against women.
Prerequisite: Psychology 101 or WST 101. Typically taught once per academic year.


316. Child Psychopathology
An exploration of emotional, behavioral, developmental, and learning disorders in children and adolescents. This course emphasizes the interdependence of biological, psychological, and social/cultural factors in the etiology, course and treatment of childhood disorders.
Prerequisite: Psychology 213. Typically taught alternate years.


318. Psychopharmacology
An exploration of the key concepts and principles of how drugs and brain chemistry affect behavior. Topics will include basic pharmacology, research methods, states of consciousness, reinforcement and addiction, and the treatment of psychological disorders.
Prerequisite:  Psychology 208 or BIO 151, or permission of instructor. Typically taught alternate years.


BUS 360, 361. Organizational Behavior (counts toward the two "Advanced Courses and Seminars" required)
This course is an overview and application of theory explaining how and why people behavior as they do with an emphasis on the human processes that occur in groups or organizations We will explore the complex dynamics of how people work together, related to co-workers, and respond to supervisors and leaders. And, we will develop insight into the behavioral influences that effect productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. Students will be active participants, involved in group exercises, role plays, case discussions, and project teams.
Pre-requisites for Psychology Majors: Psychology 101 (BUS and FIN pre-requisites will be waived for declared Psychology Majors). Meets general academic requirement "W" (outside the Psychology Major) when offered as BUS 361. Note that team project collaborations with off-campus companies and organizations may require access to transportation.


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401. Advanced Lab in Conditioning (W)
A laboratory course exploring the basic variables in conditioning. Attention will be given to operant and respondent techniques with human and non-human animals. Emphasis will be placed on reinforcement schedules, discrimination, and motivation. Final projects will be presented in both oral and written form. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: Psychology 103, 104 and 201 or 208. Usually taught in the fall semester.


402. Advanced Lab in Social & Personality (W)
A laboratory course exploring research methods that use human subjects to investigate social behavior. Emphasis will be placed on experimental and quasi experimental designs. Student conducted experiments are used to teach principles of measurement, control and statistical application. Final projects will be presented in both oral and written form. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: Psychology 103, 104 and 202 or 203. Usually taught in the fall semester.


403. Advanced Lab in Perception & Cognition (W)
A laboratory course exploring research methods that use human subjects to investigate phenomena in perception and cognition. Student conducted experiments are used to teach research design, the use of apparatus, and statistical application. Emphasis will be on experiments that investigate perceptual or cognitive processes. Final projects will be presented in both oral and written form. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory.
Prerequisites: Psychology 103, 104 and 207 or 301. Usually taught in the spring semester.


404. Advanced Lab in Clinical Research (W)
Students explore quantitative and qualitative research methods used in contemporary clinical and counseling psychology to investigate psychological problems, the prevention of psychological problems, and the amelioration of psychological problems (e.g., in psychotherapy and counseling). By conducting their own research projects or participating in ongoing research projects, students learn about the logic of research, the process and methods of conducting research, and how to draw appropriate conclusions from research. Special attention is devoted to the various types of clinical research, experimental designs, data analyses and interpretation, emerging rigorous qualitative research approaches, and ethical issues. Students present final projects in both oral and written form. Five hours of class per week.
Prerequisites: Psychology 103, 104 and 213 or 304. Typically offered every semester.


4XX.  Special Topics Courses
Course descriptions and prerequisites vary by course and year. These courses count toward the two "Advanced Courses and Seminars" required by the major.


420-429. Perspectives in Psychology
This seminar course will allow in-depth study of an advanced topic in psychology such as health psychology, philosophical psychology, cultural psychology, or evolutionary psychology. Emphasis will be placed on acquainting students with emerging fields in psychology. These courses count toward the two "Advanced Courses and Seminars" required by the major.
Prerequisites: four or more courses in psychology. Offered on an irregular basis.


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960. Internship
Contact a professor in the psychology department for more information about finding and coordinating psychology internships. You might also want to check for general information about internships and research oriented jobs at this website. May be used as the one-course elective requirement for the major.


970. Independent Study/Research
Contact a professor in the psychology department for more information, and/or visit our departmental website for more information about conducting independent research. May be used as the one-course elective requirement for the major.


975, 976. Senior Thesis I & II
Contact a professor in the psychology department for more information, and/or visit our departmental website for more information about applying to the senior thesis program.


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*Click here for the Major Requirements for students who entered the college in the Fall of 2003 or earlier.



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