Psychology is a field of inquiry devoted to understanding human thought and behavior. Although largely concerned with the study of humans, other animals are studied as well, often with a specific interest in comparing their behavior to that of humans. Psychology is a blend of paradigms or ways of understanding. Some approaches view psychology as a science, while others emphasize the applied, eclectic nature of the discipline. Psychology has its roots and shares its goals with many neighboring fields such as philosophy, physiology, and sociology. The Psychology Department faculty reflects the diverse nature of the discipline by representing a wide range of conceptions and interests in psychology.
Our discussion of the goals and objectives for the psychology major begins with a list of the skills and abilities that we view as being particular to students of this discipline. This list of skills and abilities is followed by a description of the particular content areas that we see as being essential to those who graduate from our program.
Skills and Abilities
Students who successfully complete a major in Psychology should be able to:
- Evaluate and use current theoretical and research trends in psychology;
- Design and implement a research study including the development of hypotheses that are testable within the context of acceptable research strategies;
- Recognize the ethical aspects and implications of psychological research and practice;
- Synthesize information arising from different sub-areas of psychology;
- Understand the application of psychology to personal and social issues;
- Recognize and understand the complexity of sociocultural diversity.
It should be recognized that skills and content are inseparable. The skills mentioned above must be taught within the context of some content. Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish between the material that is learned (content) and the processes used to learn and apply the material (skills). Students who successfully complete a major in Psychology should demonstrate:
- An understanding of the various models of behavior (e.g., psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, biological,etc.);
- Knowledge of the sub-areas of psychology;
- Knowledge of various strategies for developing knowledge in psychology;
- Knowledge of recent trends in psychology;
- Knowledge of theory in at least one sub-area of psychology
The major field program in Psychology leads to the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree. Students may elect to receive either degree. Both degrees require the completion of at least 44 credits in Psychology. All courses for the Psychology major must be taken for a letter grade.
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Last updated September 25, 2018