Wilkes University

Psychology, B.A.

Requirements

Total minimum number of credits required for a major in Psychology leading to the B.A. degree — 120.
Total minimum number of credits for a minor in psychology — 18.
Total minimum number of credits for a minor in neuroscience — 28.

The Psychology major at Wilkes University emphasizes a scientific approach to the content, methods, and theories of human and nonhuman behavior. Wilkes students are prepared to pursue professional careers in psychology or related fields such as medicine or law, obtain employment immediately upon graduation, or attend graduate school in psychology.

Psychology Major

Coordinator: Dr. Edward Schicatano

The Psychology major must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours. In addition to satisfying the University’s General Education requirements, the student majoring in Psychology completes a minimum of 41 credits in psychology, including PSY 101(General Psychology), five breadth area courses, two applied psychology courses, a three-course capstone sequence, and a career mentoring course. (Please see the course listings for the specific course requirements.) PSY 101 is a prerequisite to all other psychology courses. The Psychology major must take either BIO 105 (Human Biology) or another biology course approved by the department. It is also strongly recommended that the student take a foreign language.

Students are encouraged to consult the Undergraduate Bulletin for all information regarding degree requirements. Each student should also meet frequently and work closely with the faculty advisor in order to make the optimal course selections based upon the student’s interests and career goals. With numerous free elective credits, many Psychology majors choose to major or minor in a second discipline.

There are two different options for satisfying the capstone requirement in psychology. For students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in psychology or psychology research in their career, the research-based capstone will provide an excellent opportunity for hands-on research experience. For those who are more interested in pursuing a career immediately after graduation, or are pursuing non-research based careers, or graduate school in an applied area, the applied option will provide valuable experience in real-world settings, and with additional guidance and structure, will enhance the student's applied skills. The courses for the two options are detailed below.

All students majoring in psychology must complete a common set of courses in the major.

Required Courses (21 cr.)

Psychology majors must take all of the following courses:

PSY101

General Psychology

3

PSY 221

Developmental Psychology

3

PSY 242

Personality

3

PSY 341

Social Psychology

3

PSY 331

Cognition

3

PSY 311

Behavioral Neuroscience

4

PSY 309

Career Mentoring for the Social Sciences

2

Elective Courses (minimum 9 cr.)

Psychology majors will also choose at least three elective psychology courses. Two must be from the following list of applied topics, and the third can be selected from any psychology offering that is not already counted toward the major requirements.

PSY 250

Applied Behavior Analysis

3

PSY 351

Behavioral Medicine

3

PSY 352

Abnormal Behavior**

3

PSY 353

Clinical Methods in Psychology

3

PSY 354

Exceptional Individual

3

PSY 355

Forensic Psychology

3

PSY 356

Industrial/Organizational Psychology

3

PSY 257

Neuropsychology

3

PSY 358

Psychological Tests and Measurements

3

PSY 359

Psychopharmacology

3

**Course was formerly called "Psycopathology"

Capstone Sequence (14 cr.)

Majors must choose one of the following capstone options:

Option #1 - Research-Based Capstone

PSY 200

Statistics

4

PSY 300

Research Methods

4

PSY 400

Senior Capstone

3

 

PSY Elective

3

Note: The courses for this option must be completed in sequence and may not be taken concurrently. It is recommended that students complete most of the required psychology courses before taking PSY 300, which should not be taken prior to the junior year.

Option #2 - Applied Capstone

PSY 200

Statistics

4

PSY 301

Psychological Research

3

PSY 399

Internship Experience

3

PSY 401

Research Capstone

4

Note: PSY 301 and 399 may be taken in any order and may be taken concurrently, but both must be successfully completed prior to enrolling in PSY 401. Students taking PSY 401 will need a second internship as part of the requirement for this course.

Recommended Course Sequence

First Semester Credits

 

BIO 105 Human Biology

3

Distribution Requirement

3

ENG 101 Composition or Distribution Requirement

3-4

FYF 101 First-Year Foundations

3

PSY 101 General Psychology

3

Total Credits

15-16

Second Semester

 

Distribution Requirements

9

ENG 101 Composition or Distribution Requirement

3-4

PSY 242 Personality

3

Total Credits

15-16

Third Semester

 

Distribution Requirements

6

Free Electives

6

PSY 221 Developmental Psychology

3

Total Credits

15

Fourth Semester

 

Distribution Requirements

6

Free Elective

3

PSY 331 Cognition or PSY 341 Introduction to Social Psychology

3

PSY 200 Statistics or Major Elective

3-4

Total Credits

15-16

Fifth Semester

 

Free Electives

9

PSY 331 Cognition or PSY 341 Introduction to Social Psychology

3

PSY 200 Statistics or Major Elective

3-4

Total Credits

15-16

Sixth Semester

 

PSY 309 Career Mentoring

2

PSY 311 Behavioral Neuroscience or Major Elective

3-4

Free Electives

6

PSY 300 Research Methods or PSY 301 Psychological Research

3-4

Total Credits

14-16

Seventh Semester

 

PSY 311 Behavioral Neuroscience or Major Elective

3-4

PSY 400 or PSY 401 Senior Capstone*

3

or PSY 300 Research Methods

3-4

or PSY 301 Psychological Research

 

or Free Electives

6-9

Total Credits

15-16

Eighth Semester

 

Major Elective or PSY 400 or PSY 401 Senior Capstone*

3

Free Electives

9

Total Credits

12

*Students can choose to take the capstone course in either the fall or spring of their senior year.

Psychology

PSY-101. General Psychology

Credits: 3

An introduction to the field of psychology with emphasis on objective and systematic methods of inquiry. Extensive survey of major psychological topics including: biological basis of behavior, sensory systems, learning, cognition, emotions, consciousness, development, stress, personality, social factors and mental health.

PSY-200. Statistics

Credits: 4

An introduction to the use of statistical procedures (by hand and with SPSS) in the analysis of psychological data. Topics include descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Techniques such as t-tests, ANOVA, correlation and regression will be used for hypothesis testing. 

Pre-Requisites
PSY-101 and Math competency (MTH 101 or higher).

PSY-201. Applied Statistics and Research

Credits: 4

An introduction to how psychological research methods and statistics are used in academic journals and the popular media. The following topics will be discussed: scientific method, research methods used to gather evidence, descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing. Students will be asked to critically review and evaluate research findings.

Pre-Requisites
PSY-101 and Math competency (MTH 101 or higher).

PSY-221. Developmental Psychology

Credits: 3

The course provides a general view of human growth and development from conception through the life span. Physical, cognitive, personal, and social development of the various stages of life will be presented. Discussions will include issues such as the influence of heredity versus environment and how these issues can be studied using various developmental research techniques.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-222. Adolescent Psychology

Credits: 3

This course is designed as a study of the adolescent stage of life. Emphasis will be placed on the following areas of development: physical; emotional; cognitive; and social.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-242. Personality

Credits: 3

An examination of the major theoretical perspectives on personality development and functioning, with additional emphasis on the assessment of personality and research in personality.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-250. Applied Behavior Analysis

Credits: 3

This course will explore the dynamics and management of human behavior. As such, the course will involve exercises with empirical research, statistics, literature searches and analysis with emphasis on the principles emanating from Operant and Pavlovian conditioning phenomena.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-257. Neuropsychology

Credits: 3

A survey of the relationship between nervous system physiology and human behavior with emphasis on neurological disorders, neuropsychological assessment, head injury, cerebral asymmetry, and rehabilitation.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-300. Research Methods

Credits: 4

A lecture and laboratory course designed to familiarize the student with the methods of psychological research. Hands-on experimental participation will give the student direct experience with research design and statistical analyses using SPSS. The student will prepare a formal APA style research proposal to be used for the capstone experience.

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Pre-Requisites
PSY-101 and PSY-200. To be taken by Psychology majors only, during the junior or senior year.

PSY-301. Psychological Research

Credits: 3

An introduction to how psychological research methods and statistics are used in academic journals and the popular media. The following topics will be discussed: scientific method, research methods used to gather evidence, descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing. Students will be asked to critically review and evaluate research findings.

Pre-Requisites
PSY-101 and PSY-200. To be taken by Psychology majors only, during the junior or senior year.

PSY-309. Career Mentoring for the Social Sciences

Credits: 2

This course will offer career guidance for students in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. The course will include topics such as mentoring, networking, résumés and interviewing skills.

Pre-Requisites
PSY-101, junior standing. Course will be cross-listed with PS and SOC-309 Course credits will not count towards minor credits. Open only to majors in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

PSY-311. Behavioral Neuroscience

Credits: 4

A study of the physiological mechanisms mediating behavior and cognition. Emphasis on the structure and function of the nervous system and the neurophysiological bases of sensory processes, emotion, abnormal behavior, sleep, learning and memory, pain, and drug abuse. Laboratory experience includes brain dissection and psychophysiological techniques employed in human behavioral neuroscience research.

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Pre-Requisites
PSY-101; junior or senior standing.

PSY-331. Cognition

Credits: 3

A survey of human cognitive processes such as attention, pattern recognition, memory, language, and problem solving as well as other selected aspects of human cognition. The course includes historical as well as current perspectives on cognitive issues and emphasis on the research techniques used.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-333. Critical Thinking in Psychological Science

Credits: 3

This course provides an opportunity to learn and practice the basic skills of critical thinking within the context of psychological science. Students will evaluate claims and theories in psychology, generate alternative explanations of psychological findings, identify common fallacies in thinking, construct and evaluate arguments, and learn how to become a more intelligent consumer of information. Additional topics include the interface of politics and the media with science and the dangers of pseudoscience.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-341. Introduction to Social Psychology

Credits: 3

An introduction to the study of social behavior from a psychological perspective. Topics include attitude formation and change, conformity, leadership, culture, gender and sexuality, prejudice and discrimination. Cross listed with SOC-341.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-351. Behavioral Medicine

Credits: 3

This course provides a survey of the basic theoretical concepts and major issues in Behavioral Medicine. Specifically, this course examines how the areas of health, illness, and medicine can be studied from a psychological perspective. Topics of emphasis include the following: the psychological aspects of wellness and illness; preventive medicine; stress; chronic and terminal diseases (such as cancer and AIDS); and the use of alternative medicine.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-352. Abnormal Behavior

Credits: 3

A general survey of psychological disorders in children and adults with emphasis on symptomatology, etiology, and assessment. Forensic and classification issues are also examined.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-353. Clinical Methods in Psychology

Credits: 3

A survey of the clinical methods in psychology including general therapeutic models and specific clinical techniques. Issues of assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders are examined.

Pre-Requisites
PSY-101; PSY-242; PSY-352; junior or senior standing.

PSY-354. The Exceptional Individual

Credits: 3

A study of the psychological, physical, and social challenges and needs of exceptional individuals with an emphasis on etiology, assessment, impact, and educational interventions.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-355. Forensic Psychology

Credits: 3

A survey of the role that psychology has played in the legal system from issues of morality and theories of crime, to eyewitness testimony, the evaluation of criminal suspects, and jury selection. The application of the methods and theories of psychology to the legal system will be emphasized.

Pre-Requisites
PSY-101; junior or senior standing.

PSY-356. Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Credits: 3

A survey of the applied areas of personnel, organizational, human factors, and consumer psychology.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-358. Psychological Tests and Measures

Credits: 3

A survey of the psychometric properties of various instruments and measures of psychological phenomena (especially intelligence and personality). A variety of group and individual tests are studied as to their reliability, validity, and utility.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-359. Psychopharmacology

Credits: 3

A study of the effects and mechanisms of the action of psychoactive drugs on behavior. Focus will be placed on drugs used to treat psychopathological disorders and drugs of abuse. Topics of emphasis include a survey or stimulants, depressants, antipsychotics, antidepressants, psychedelics, and legal drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-362. History of Psychology

Credits: 3

A study of the philosophic and scientific roots of contemporary psychology, with emphasis on the applicability of past questions and knowledge to current psychological thought.

Pre-Requisites

PSY-399. Cooperative Education

Credits: 1-3

Professional cooperative education placement in a private or public organization related to the student’s academic objectives and career goals. In addition to their work experience, students are required to submit weekly reaction papers and an academic project to a Faculty Coordinator in the student’s discipline. (See the Cooperative Education section of this bulletin for placement procedures.)

Pre-Requisites
Sophomore standing, minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, consent of academic advisor, and approval of placement by the department chairperson.

PSY-400. Research Capstone

Credits: 3

This course is designed to provide a research-based capstone experience for senior Psychology majors. Students will run an experiment, conduct the appropriate statistical analysis, and present the results formally in an APA manuscript, a poster, and in an oral presentation.

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Pre-Requisites
PSY-101; PSY-200; PSY-300; Senior status and departmental permission.

PSY-401. Applied Capstone

Credits: 4

This course will offer a professional capstone experience, including a required internship experience. Students will prepare client case presentations based upon their observations during their internship. An internship is required prior to taking PSY 401 (PSY 399) and a second internship is required for this course, which is counted with the four credit requirement.

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Pre-Requisites
PSY-101; PSY-201 or PSY-301; PSY-399; Senior status.

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