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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Undergraduate Psychology Programs

Most of the primary issues facing the people of the world today — hunger, overpopulation, the continuing threat of war, prejudice, pollution, drug addiction — are people problems; people have created them, and it will be people who must and will find solutions to them. Psychology, as the scientific study of mind and behavior, helps provide the answers to many of these pressing problems.

Psychology’s attempt to understand the human condition takes many approaches. Some psychologists study brain chemistry and its relation to behavior, while others study the behavior of individuals in groups. Still others are engaged in providing counseling or psychotherapy to people who are mentally ill or who are having difficulty in coping with the demands of life. With a faculty of more than 30 people, the department offers a program of study which provides a solid foundation in the general concepts and methods of psychology, as well as courses and programs for students in many of the more specialized areas.

The core program in general psychology is designed to ensure that all students majoring psychology will develop a sound basic preparation for advanced study, as well as have a solid grounding in psychological research and the real world applications of research findings in the field. The program is designed to allow students flexibility in selecting courses with the assistance of their advisor. However, the design of the major ensures that each psychology major has direct experience with research methodology, from the theoretical underpinnings through research design, implementation and data analysis, and finally to a manuscript of the entire research project.

A very important type learning takes place when students become involved in research. Our faculty encourages students to become active participants in research, including their own projects or working with a faculty member on ongoing research. We also recommend that students participate in one of the many off-campus field experiences that are available. At the end of each academic year, the Department of Psychology sponsors PsychFest, a celebration of research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students. Students have opportunities to present their research as well as learn about the variety of research projects being conducted by their peers.

The Department of Psychology participates in a Behavioral Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Major that provides students with the specialized preparation and technological sophistication critical for success in a variety of graduate training programs, including neuroscience, psychology, pharmacology, mental health, and neurobiology; and health care, including medicine and dentistry. For those students who do not anticipate pursuing post-graduate education, the interdisciplinary behavioral neuroscience major provides an excellent platform for entry level positions in such areas as biomedical research and the pharmaceutical industry.