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The Psychology Major
Requirements and Core Curriculum
Sequence of Courses
Experiential Courses
Independent Research
Research Group

The Psychology Minor
Mental Health Interventions Certificate Program

Academic Performance
Academic Integrity

The Psychology Major
The study of psychology enhances one’s knowledge and understanding of human behavior, mental processes, and social interaction. As our society becomes increasingly diverse and our economy more global, this knowledge and understanding will be necessary for success in the rapidly changing workplace. Therefore, the Psychology major is relevant to any occupation that involves interaction with others. It prepares students who wish to obtain baccalaureate-level positions, as well as those who wish to pursue graduate study in psychology or related fields.
The field of psychology is exceedingly diverse and career options within the field are numerous. Therefore, the psychology major was designed with two goals in mind. First, in order to ensure a solid background in the methods, theories, and content of the discipline of psychology, all majors must take a required core of psychology courses Second, great flexibility is built into our curriculum to allow students to tailor a program of study that best meets their individual interests and career goals. 
We have adopted the goals and objectives for undergraduate psychology programs specified by the American Psychological Association:
Goal 1. Knowledge Base of Psychology
Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
Goal 2. Research Methods in Psychology
Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
Goal 3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology
Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
Goal 4. Application of Psychology
Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
Goal 5. Values in Psychology
Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
Goal 6:  Information and Technological Literacy
Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
Goal 7. Communication Skills
Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
Goal 8. Sociocultural and International Awareness
Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
Goal 9. Personal Development
Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
Goal 10. Career Planning and Development
Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.


Requirements and Curriculum
A total of 120 credits are required for graduation with a Psychology Major. In addition to core curriculum requirements, psychology majors must complete the following courses (46 credits).  All classes are 3 credits except where indicated:
Required classes:
Introduction to Psychology (PSY 123)
Introductory Seminar (PSY 100; 1 credit)
Statistics (MTH 115)
Research Methods (PSY 232)
Advanced Research Methods (PSY 233)
Cultural Minorities (SOC 221)
Career Seminar (PSY 200; 2 credits)
Social Psychology (PSY 250)          
Cognitive Psychology (PSY 301; 4 credits)
Biological Psychology (PSY 303)
Child and Adolescent Psychology (PSY 275) or Adult Development and Aging (PSY 277)
Communication Skills (PSY 285)
Psychopathology (PSY 290) or Child Psychopathology (PSY 332)         
Practicum (PSY 475) or Independent Research (PSY 490)
Advanced Seminar in Psychology (PSY 480 A, B, C or D)
Major Content Electives (one in each of the following areas):
One Biological/Cognitive Elective
One Social/Developmental Elective
One Clinical/Counseling Elective. 
Electives (26 credits):  students take a remaining 26 credits in free electives, which allows them to complete courses, minors, and/or certificate programs that are consistent with their interests and career goals.
You can download the Psychology Major Checklist to keep track of what courses you have already taken. 
Students in the DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) program who are majoring psychology have a separate Pre-DPT Major Curriculum as well as a Pre-DPT Sequence of Courses.
To read a description of these courses, go to the Psychology Course Description homepage.


Experiential Courses
To complete their psychology major, students in their junior or senior year are required to complete a Practicum in psychology or an independent research project. We believe that these experiences will provide an important "capstone experience" for you and facilitate your transition from college to graduate school or work.
1)     Practicum in PsychologyStudents interested in getting some "real world" experience and apply course material can choose to complete a practicum. Students usually choose settings that reflect their own career interests. Placements, for example, may be in community agencies for those pursuing clinical or counseling careers, school districts for those interested in school psychology or industry for those interested in human resources careers. A list of sites where students have been previously placed can be found in the resource area of the psychology department and recent students have worked:
·         At a crisis line and mobile crisis unit
·         With an adult outpatient therapist
·         With emotionally disturbed children at a residential treatment facility
·         With a school psychologist as a local elementary school
·         With children with developmental disabilities at a therapeutic gymnastics center
          With a probation officer
·         In a human resources department
Most students complete their practicum in either the Fall or Spring semester of their Senior year. Students must spend at least 100 hours at their practicum site, record their experiences in a log, write a final paper, and attend a weekly required practicum seminar with a faculty member. Click here to download a copy of the practicum guidebook. A copy of the practicum guidebook can be found in the literature organizer near the faculty offices.
Students applying for practicum should meet with their Practicum supervisor (either Dr. Chuck or Dr. Nordstrom) during the semester prior to their practicum. Students select their own practicum sites and are responsible for making the initial contacts, but supervisors will provide assistance as needed. All students should complete the Practicum Application and turn it in to their advisors during advising week. The application can be found in the appendix of the Practicum Guidebook.
Click here to download a copy of the Practicum Guidebook.
Students should obtain Criminal, Child Abuse, and/or FBI clearances 2-4 months in advance of starting their site due to the time lag in processing these documents.  Students should ask their site supervisors which clearances are required.  Directions to apply for clearances can be found in the Practicum Guidebook, and application forms can be found here:
     -click here for Security Clearance instructions
     -click here for directions to local Fingerprinting site (for FBI clearance)
2) Independent Research: Students can also become involved in their own independent research under the supervision of a faculty member (this is usually done during your Senior year). Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to register for this course and have completed PSY 232 (Research Methods) and PSY 233 (Advanced Research Methods). Outstanding projects can be submitted for presentation at an undergraduate psychology conference sponsored annually by area colleges. Psychology students have also presented their research at the Eastern Psychological Association conference. Publication opportunities are available as well for superior student research. If you are interested in pursuing independent research, contact the faculty member whose interests most closely resemble yours and submit the Independent Research Application to your research advisor prior to registration.
3) Research Group: In Research Group, you can work as a research assistant for a faculty member who is engaged in his or her own research. You can take Research Group for up to 3 semesters (and earn 2 credits each semester). This facilitates involvement in a larger more involved study and/or or allows you to conduct longitudinal research. If you are interested in taking Research Group, you should contact a member of the Psychology faculty during pre-registration.  


The Psychology Minor
A total of 18 credits (or 19 if Cognitive Psychology is taken) are required for graduation with a Psychology Minor (click here to download the checklist). The following is a list of required courses for psychology majors.   All classes are 3 credits except where indicated.
Click here for a Psychology Minor Checklist.
Introduction to Psychology (PSY 123)
Research Methods (PSY 232)
One of the following:
Cognitive Psychology (PSY 301; 4 credits)
Biological Psychology (PSY 303)
One of the following:
Social Psychology (PSY 250)
Child and Adolescent Psychology (PSY 275)
Psychopathology (PSY 290)
Personality Theory (PSY 450)
Two Psychology electives
A checklist of the minor requirements can be found in the literature organizer near the faculty offices.  Students in Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, and Social Work have slightly different requirements and should consult the checklist and Department Chair. 
Mental Health Interventions Certificate
The Mental Health Interventions Certificate Program is most directly associated with a major in one of the helping professions. However, the certificate can be earned independently of a bachelor’s degree. It may be taken in support of several degrees. For a detailed description of the certificate program requirements and sequence of courses click here.  All students interested in pursuing the certificate program should see Dr. Alicia Nordstrom to complete an application. 


Academic Policies
Academic Performance
You must achieve an average G.P.A. of 2.0 overall to graduate from College Misericordia. This applies to all your coursework, not just your coursework in psychology. 
The psychology department requires that you earn a "C-" or above in all required psychology courses. This means that if you receive a "D" or "F" in a required psychology course you must retake the course. Students in the Psychology Pre-DPT Major must also earn a C or above in all courses considered prerequisites for entrance into the DPT program.
Academic Integrity
The psychology faculty supports the college's policy on academic integrity, which can be found in your Misericordia Student Handbook and the Misericordia University Catalog under "Academics". Please make sure that you read this policy in its entirety. Be aware of what constitutes academic dishonesty and what sanctions may be applied when a violation occurs. Individual instructors usually include information about this on course syllabi. If you are confused about issues related to academic integrity, please see your advisor. To learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it, go to the Misericordia University website on writing help.