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Departmental Mission Statement

Requirements for Major

Requirements for Minor

Course Descriptions


Associate Dean of Psychology, Associate Professor Terri Watson

Chair of Undergraduate Psychology, Associate Professor Raymond Phinney

Arthur P. Rech and Mrs. Jean May Rech Associate Professor of Psychology Jamie Aten

Professors Richard Butman, Sally Schwer Canning, Stanton Jones, Michael Mangis, Cynthia Neal Kimball, Tammy Shultz, William M. Struthers

Associate Professors Kelly Flanagan, Sarah Hall, Ezer Kang, Jana Pressley, David Van Dyke, John Vessey, Natalia Yangarber-Hicks

Assistant Professors Pamela Davis, Ward Davis, Elisha Eveleigh, Darlene Hannah, Jacob Johnson, Benjamin Pyykkonen, Sandra Yu Rueger, Hana Yoo

Co-Directors of Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Associate Professors Jamie Aten, David Boan


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 department offers a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries and a Doctor of Psychology degree.

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 Psychology Department 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.

Requirements for a major are 36 hours in psychology, including PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology, PSYC 268 Statistics, PSYC 269 Experimental Psychology, and PSYC 494 Personality. Additionally, two foundational processes courses must be taken from among the following: PSYC 343 Sensation and Perception, PSYC 345 Learning, PSYC 351 Cognition, PSYC 355 Advanced Statistics and Psychological Testing, or PSYC 361 Behavioral Neuroscience. Two hours of PSYC 481 Advanced Seminar in Psychology are also required. Finally, 10 elective credits of psychology coursework are required to round out the 36 credits. Additional information concerning requirements and electives for the major can be found in the Undergraduate Psychology Student Handbook.

Internship. Students are encouraged to take an internship (PSYC 496) to augment their classroom experience. Internships for four credit hours are regarded as the norm. Eight credit hour internships are also permitted; however, only four hours of internship credit may be counted toward the major credit hours requirement. Additional credits taken in internship will satisfy the College requirement for general upper-division electives.

Research. The Department of Psychology also encourages undergraduate students to pursue collaborative research (PSYC 497) in preparation for their graduate studies in the field of psychology.

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

Requirements for a minor in Psychology are 20 hours. Any undergraduate psychology course offered by the department can be used to meet this requirement except PSYC 496 or PSYC 499.

Psychology Courses (PSYC)

Note: Undergraduate courses are designated 101-499.

PSYC 101. Introduction to Psychology. 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.

PSYC 101L. Introduction to Psychology Lab. Supplementing PSYC 101 lectures, weekly laboratories provide direct, small-group experience with key psychological concepts through demonstrations, experiments, and discussions. Required with PSYC 101. (0)

PSYC 235. Cross-Cultural Psychology. An examination of the impact of culture on various psychological processes and systems. This course is designed for both majors and non-majors. (2)

PSYC 241. Social Psychology. A study of human thought, emotion, and behavior in an interpersonal context.

PSYC 268. Statistics. A study of basic statistical procedures for psychological research, including correlation, bivariate regression, t-tests, analysis of variance (one-way and factorial), and several nonparametric procedures. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.

PSYC 269. Experimental Psychology. 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. An overview of the major theories, concepts, issues, data, and research methodologies of developmental psychology across the life span.

PSYC 343. Sensation and Perception. 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. 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. 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. 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 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 & Psychological Testing. 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. An overview of the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurochemical underpinnings of sensory systems and the expression of behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 269 or consent of instructor.

PSYC 371. Introduction to Psychopharmacology. 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 (2)

PSYC 431. Psychology of Human Sexuality. 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.

PSYC 481. Advanced Seminar in Psychology:

PSYC 481-1. Theories and Methods of Integration. 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. Requires Junior or Senior status. (2)

PSYC 481-2. Advanced Topics in Abnormal Psychology. Provides students with an in-depth understanding of controversial issues within the field of abnormal psychology, including ethical, legal, political, and social issues. Topics pertaining to the integration of abnormal psychology with Christian faith are discussed. Prerequisite: PSYC 348. Requires Junior or Senior status. (2)

PSYC 481-3. Psychology of Religion. 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. Requires Junior or Senior status. (2)

PSYC 481-4. Psychology of the Family. An overview of developmental and systemic theories of family functioning, with an emphasis on the impact of family on individual development. Requires Junior or Senior status. (2)

PSYC 481-5. History of Psychology. 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. Requires Junior or Senior status. (2)

PSYC 481-7. Men and Addictions. 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. Requires Junior or Senior status (2)

PSYC 481-8. Current Issues in School Psychology. 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. Requires Junior or Senior status. (2)

PSYC 494. Personality Psychology. This senior capstone course examines major contemporary theories of personality in Christian, scientific, historical, and interdisciplinary perspectives. Prerequisite: Senior status or permission of instructor.

PSYC 495. Independent Study. Individual library or experimental research carried on under the supervision of a staff member. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor. (1-4)

PSYC 496. Internship. Credit given for participation in the department's internship program. Prerequisites: five courses in psychology; junior or senior standing with Psychology major. (4 or 8)

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

PSYC 499. Honors Thesis. An independent project requiring original research developed in a scholarly paper and culminating in an oral examination. By application only. (4 or 8)

Revision Date: June 1, 2015


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