University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Program Description


Students majoring in Psychology are required to take a minimum of 11 psychology courses including 5 Core Courses, 1 Theoretical Foundations course, 1 Applications course, 2 Laboratory/Systems courses, 1 Advanced Seminar course, and 1 Research/Internship course. For those students who plan to continue their education in graduate school, Directed Research and/or Senior Project I/II is strongly recommended. 


Core Courses are designed to provide the student with a thorough grounding in the principles and methods of scientific psychology.  Psych 0200 (Introduction to Psychology) is a survey that cuts across all areas of psychology to give the students a general familiarity with psychological terminology, methods, principles, and applications. Psych 0270 (Introductory Statistics) exposes the student to the statistical principles involved in the scientific study of behavior. Psych 1031 (Research Methods and its Lab) introduces techniques of experimental design and develops the writing style required by the American Psychological Association. Two Psychology Seminar classes (Psych 1000) give students the opportunity to attend presentations about the different fields in which people with psychology degrees work, as well as information about graduate programs in general. 

Theoretical Foundations courses are designed to provide exposure to some of the important substantive theoretical areas in Psychology.  Psych 0210 (Social Psychology) provides an introduction to the study of behavior in the social environment. Psych 0230 (Child Development) reviews physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development from conception to adolescence. Psych 0240 (Theories of Personality) involves an introduction to the study of the personality characteristics used to describe complex human behavior. Psych 1141 (Psychopathology) involves the study of research and theory in the description and etiology of psychological disorders. Psych 0351 (Psychopharmacology) provides a look into the physiological and biological aspects of drugs.  Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology. 

Applications courses are focused upon specific areas in Psychology where scientific and theoretical knowledge are applied to real-world problems. Psych 0384 (Adult Development and Aging) covers normal and abnormal changes that human beings experience with age. Psych 1636 (Organizational Psychology) is concerned with issues surrounding the workplace, including industrial and organizational settings. Psych 0470 (Behavior Modification) concentrates on the modification of human behavior through various cognitive and behavior-based techniques. Psych 1216 (Health Psychology) is a multidisciplinary course that examines illness, health, and wellness. Psych 1251 (Models of Therapy) is designed to examine traditional and contemporary therapeutic methods of treating disorders. Psych 1178 (Human Sexuality) is concerned with the biological and psychological aspects of human sexuality.  Prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology and any other courses required by the instructor. 

Laboratory/Systems courses are upper-level courses that emphasize the scientific and methodological aspects of Psychology. Psych 1065 (Cognitive Psychology and its lab) provides insight into the expanding area of human cognition and cognitive science. Psych 1121 (Tests and Measurements and its lab) provides a background in measurement theory and in the tests used by experimental and clinical psychologists. Psych 1440 (Psychology of Learning) focuses on the cross-species principles which underlie learned (conditioned) behavior and gives the student a chance to apply his/her research methodology skills to the study of simple behavior.  Psych 1500 (Physiological Psychology) involves methods and theories in physiological research along with associated laboratory work.  Psych 1570 (History & Systems of Psychology) provides students with an overview of the History of Psychology and of the ways that the study of Psychology can be approached. Prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology, Introductory Statistics, and Research Methods. 

Advanced Seminar (Psych 1650) is an upper-level, specialized course that varies from semester to semester.  This course is rotated across the faculty members in the Psychology department.  Typically, the seminar is related to a faculty member's academic interest or research area.  This seminar involves the intense study of methods, data, and theory in a specific sub-area of psychology. Prerequisites: Introduction to Psychology, Introductory Statistics, Research Methods, and any other courses required by the instructor. Note: Although the Advanced Seminar Courses have the same number (PSY 1650) when listed in the course offerings, the course topic changes with each offering.  Students may take more than one PSY 1650 course for additional credit, however, a grade earned in one 1650 course may not be replaced by a grade earned in another 1650 course even when taught by the same instructor. 

Research/Internship is designed to give each student the opportunity to obtain experience in conducting research or experience in a real-world internship setting. Psychology majors interested in going on to graduate school are strongly encouraged to engage in Directed Research with a faculty member, to complete a two-term Senior Project, and/or an Internship.  Directed Research usually involves an apprenticeship of the student with a faculty supervisor, where the student becomes involved in an ongoing research project. Senior Projects tend to be more comprehensive and usually involve the design and completion of a small-scale laboratory or field research project that takes place over the course of 1 year. For a Senior Project, each student designs his or her project in close consultation with his or her major advisor, a member of the Psychology faculty who is an expert in the project area.  Internships involve closely supervised work with a community agency, and are recommended for students planning to go to graduate school in clinical or counseling psychology, social work, or planning to work in the field with their B.S. degree. It should also be noted that if a student does not wish to participate in a research or internship experience, he or she may opt to take one additional course in Theoretical Foundations, Laboratory/Systems, Applications, or Advanced Seminar to fulfill the Research/Internship requirement. Prerequisites: Permission of Research Advisor / Internship Director. *Note that students can take a maximum of 6 graded credits of Directed Research/Readings and a maximum of 6 graded credits of Internship. Credits above these limits can be taken on a pass/fail basis. 


Related Area Each student is required to develop an expertise in a related discipline. To make sure that this produces a real multidisciplinary approach, majors are required to take at least four courses (totaling a minimum of twelve credits) outside of the Psychology department. A student interested in experimental psychology in the biological correlates of behavior disorders, for example, are advised to take courses in biological techniques, genetics, embryology, anatomy, and physiology offered by the Biology faculty. A student interested in psychological tests and their development are advised to take some of the mathematics curriculum statistical offerings, while students interested in public health applications are advised to study Political Science. Students interested in Education or Business applications in Psychology are encouraged to take courses in those areas.  Students planning to continue in an area related to Clinical Psychology can maximize their chances of being accepted at a graduate school by choosing a related area in mathematics, biology, or chemistry. It is recommended that students who intend to apply to graduate school take additional statistics, computer science courses, or philosophy courses. * Note that Biology 0080, 0081, 0083, 0085, 0950, 0960, 0970, 0980, and 1178 cannot be used to fulfill a related discipline requirement in Biology. Students wanting a formal minor officially recognized on their transcript may extend the courses in their related discipline to include the requirements set out by the minor department. Students must contact the department offering a minor to determine what courses are needed. 

 Diversity Requirement Our society consists of individuals from many different cultures. In an attempt to recognize some of these different cultural perspectives, students must complete two courses from the list of diversity courses (available from the department).  Courses may be taken from the same or different departments.  In addition, these two courses may “double count” as general education knowledge area courses, thus incurring no additional credit requirements. 

Biology Requirement Because of the current emphasis on both nurture and nature in psychology, majors must complete General Biology I with its lab (Biology 110/111) and General Biology II with its lab (Biology 120/121).