Psychology

Learning about how drugs affect the brain, and how best to treat depression. Designing a research study to determine how people with tattoos are perceived, or how people are affected by social rejection. Helping victims of domestic violence, homeless women, or children with autism. Studying sports psychology in London or environmental psychology in Australia. Spending the summer working with a faculty member as part of the Summer Research Fellowship Program. These are just some of the many experiences you can have as a Psychology major at Misericordia University.

The Psychology Department offers both a major and minor in psychology. Students who complete all major requirements receive a Bachelor's of Science (BS) in Psychology. Since our department and class sizes are small, faculty will get to know you and provide you with individualized attention and mentoring.


Kelly B. Filipkowski, Ph.D., working with student research assistants

Kelly B. Filipkowski, Ph.D., working with student research assistants, is attempting to understand if people who are ostracized in-person experience different psychological and physiological responses than those who are ostracized online.

Mission

The Psychology Department at Misericordia is committed to excellence in undergraduate education in psychology. We seek to develop students that have the knowledge and skills essential for graduate study and/or post-graduate employment. Affirming the importance of experiential learning, we offer opportunities for student research, service learning, practica (internships), and extracurricular activities related to psychology. Our faculty are dedicated teachers and mentors, and we develop close relationships with students, both in and out of the classroom.

Overview and Highlights

  • Our Curriculum, based on *American Psychological Association guidelines, provides a basic foundation in the content and methods of psychology while allowing the flexibility to pursue your unique interest, including minors, specializations, and study abroad.
  • Career preparation courses help you identify career goals and plan for graduate study or diverse employment opportunities.
  • "Real word" experience is required- you will complete a practicum (internship) as part of your major.
  • Research opportunities are available- you can participate in a group, independent, and/or faculty-led project.
  • A Mental Health Interventions Specialization (Child or Adult focus) provides integrated coursework that prepares you or human services positions or clinically-focused graduate programs.
  • Experienced faculty are experts in their field of study.
  • Small interactive classes focus not only on content but on writing skills, speaking skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills, research skills, and cultural competency.

*The American Psychological Association (APA) is the world's largest association of psychologists, with more than 117,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.

Major Requirements

Our curriculum is designed to insure that graduating students are well prepared for both post-graduate employment and for graduate study in psychology or related disciplines.

Since the field of psychology is exceedingly diverse and career options within the field are numerous, we provide students with a solid background in the methods, theories, and content of the discipline of psychology, while also allowing them the flexibility to tailor a program of study that best meets their individual interests and career goals. All students are expected to develop essential skills in: critical thinking, writing, oral communication, research, and cultural competency.

COURSES REQUIRED FOR THE B.S. IN PSYCHOLOGY (46 credits)

Required Cognate: SOC 221 Cultural Minorities (3 credits)

Required Psychology Courses:

Course Number Course Name Credits
PSY 101

Introductory Seminar 1
PSY 200 Career Seminar 2
PSY 285 Communication Skills 3
PSY 232 Advanced Research Methods 3
PSY 475 Practicum 3
or
PSY 490 Independent Research 3
PSY 480 Advanced Seminar (take 1)
  • PSY 480A Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
  • PSY 480B Controversies in Psychology
  • PSY 480C Social Exclusion
  • PSY 480D Positive Psychology

3


Biological/Cognitive Psychology (10 credits)

Course Number

Course Name

Credits
PSY 301

Cognitive Psychology

4

PSY 303

Biological Psychology

3
One Biological/Cognitive Elective

See full list of electives on the curriculum checklist 3-4


Social/Developmental Psychology (9 credits)

PSY 275 Child & Adolescent Psychology 3
or
PSY 277 Adult Development & Aging 3
PSY 250 Social Psychology 3
One Social/Developmental Elective

See full list of electives on the curriculum checklist

3

Clinical/Counseling Psychology (6 total credits)

Course Number Course Name Credits
PSY 290 Psychopathology

3
or
PSY 332

Child Psychopathology

3
One Clinical/Counseling Elective

See full list of electives on the curriculum checklist 3


Students must also take a minimum of 26 free elective credits, which allow them to complete courses, minors, specializations, and/or certificate programs that are consistent with their interests and career goals. For example, students might elect to complete our Mental Health Interventions Specialization (which includes both Child and Adult tracks), a minor in Gerontology, or get a Certificate in Addictions Counseling.

View a full list of Psychology courses and descriptions.

Mental Health Interventions Specialization

Psychology majors can elect to complete a 21-credit specialization in Mental Health Interventions (with a Child or Adult focus or both). This program reflects students' mastery of normal and abnormal processes surrounding mental health disorders and their treatment. Both the adult and child tracks include coursework on normal development, psychopathology and interventions for psychological disorders.

Mental Health Interventions Specialization- Child Focus

Course Number Course Name Credits
PSY 305 Psychopharmacology

3
PSY 315

Psychological Assessment

3
PSY 275

Child and Adolescent Psychology

3
PSY 332

Child Psychopathology

3
PSY 455

Child Interventions

3


Mental Health Interventions Specialization- Adult Focus

Course Number Course Name Credits
PSY 305

Psychopharmacology

3
PSY 315

Psychological Assessment

3
PSY 277

Adult Development and Aging

3
PSY 290

Psychopathology

3
PSY 452

Counseling and Psychotherapy

3

Revised 9/15

Minor Requirements

A total of 18 credits is required to minor in Psychology.

Required Courses (6 credits)

Course Number Course Name Credits
PSY 123 Introduction to Psychology 3
PSY 232 Research Methods 3
One of the following:
PSY 301 Cognitive Psychology 4
PSY 303 Biological Psychology 3
One of the following:
PSY 250 Social Psychology 3
PSY 275 Child & Adolescent Psychology 3
PSY 290 Psychopathology 3
PSY 450 Personality 3


Two additional Psychology electives (6 credits)

Curriculum Checklists

Careers in Psychology

The undergraduate degree in Psychology is excellent preparation for a variety of different careers. The following post-graduation career choices are common among our students:

Entry-level mental health/human services position (i.e., mental health worker, substance abuse counselor, preschool teacher, victims advocate; many students in these positions eventually seek a graduate degree)

Entry-level positions outside of mental health/human services for which psychology is a good background (i.e., management trainee, market researcher, human resources professional, law enforcement officer, college admissions counselor, coach)

Opportunities for students with a BS in Psychology

Psychiatric AideProbation/parole Officer
Residential Youth CounselorGroup Home Director
Day Care Center SupervisorTherapeutic Staff Support Worker
Activities/recreation DirectorVocational/employment Counselor
Volunteer Services DirectorSubstance Abuse Counselor
Child Protection WorkerCorrections Officer
Research AssistantPreschool Teacher
Admissions OfficerMilitary Mental Health Specialist
Human Resources SpecialistCaseworker
Child Development SpecialistCommunity Outreach Worker
Market Research AnalystSocial Services Aide
Victim's AdvocateVeterans Counselor


Graduate study in psychology (prepares students for careers as counselors, psychologists, or professors)

Graduate study in other fields (prepares students for careers in law, medicine, or business)

Opportunities for students with an Advance Psychology Degree


Mental Health CounselorMarriage and Family Counselor
Community CounselorClinical Psychologist
Health PsychologistGuidance Counselor
School PsychologistChild Psychologist
Industrial/Organizational PsychologistClinical Social Worker
NeuroscientistCollege/University Professor
Forensic PsychologistPsychiatrist
PsychotherapistRehabilitation Psychologist
Neuropsychologist

Admission Requirements

The minimum criteria for admission into the Psychology program as a freshman student are:
  1. Class rank in the top half of the high school graduating class and/or a cumulative 2.5 grade point average
  2. Minimum combined SAT score of 850 for Critical Reading and Math (combined) if taken prior to March 5, 2016, or 930 if taken after March 5, 2016. In lieu of the SAT, ACT results may be presented with a minimum required composite score of 18
Successful transfer applicants will typically hold a minimum collegiate grade point average of 2.0, having completed at least 15 college credits, and have a proven record of success in high school.

Please note the above listed requirements are general, and that each application is looked at thoroughly, taking into account individual grades, academic rigor, and other factors.

Course Descriptions

PSY 101 Introductory Seminar, 1 credit

Focus is primarily on the market opportunities with those stopping at a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in psychology or related field, and for those pursuing a doctorate in psychology or a related field. Also an introduction to our program, related clubs, faculty and other topics related to being a psychology major.
Spring only

PSY 123 Introduction to Psychology, 3 credits

A survey of the science of contemporary psychology, its methods, findings, theoretical foundations and practical applications. Topics include biological basis of behavior, developmental processes, perception, learning, motivation, personality, social behavior and abnormal behavior.
Fall and Spring

PSY 200 Career Seminar, 2 credits

Designed to help psychology majors find their career goals through the use of technologies related to career decision-making. This seminar plays out in three phases: 1) assessing students’ career-related interests, skills, values and personality; 2) investigating into and choosing career paths that match the students’ interests, skills, values and personality; and 3) planning how to enter their most favored career path.
Prerequisite: PSY 101, Introductory Seminar or permission of instructor.
Fall only

PSY 210 Sport Psychology, 3 credits

The course is designed to introduce students to the field of sport and exercise psychology by providing a broad overview of the major topics in the area. Specifically, the class will examine the following: 1) the influence that psychology and personal atributes have in directing involvement in sport and exercise activities; 2) pscyological skills training (PST) and the use of psychological factors in order to promote increased enjoyment and enhance performance; and 3) how sport and psychology are interwoven to influence our physical and mental well-being.

Prerequisite: PSY 123 (approved 10/2/2014. First offered Spring 2015)

PSY 224 Organizational and Industrial Psychology, 3 credits

Investigation of organizational behavior, personnel and industrial psychology, with emphasis on utilization of basic psychological theory to make organizations more effective. Topics include personnel selection, performance appraisal, training employees and managers, leadership and supervision, communication, motivation, attitudes and job satisfaction.

Prerequisite: PSY 123 or permission of instructor. On Demand

PSY 225 Psychology of Adjustment, 3 credits

This course invites students to learn more about the nature of adjustment from a psycho-socio-cultural approach that includes culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender in considering adjustment in our over-stimulating, fast-paced world.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Spring even years

PSY 232 Research Methods, 3 credits

Development of an appreciation for the scientific method as applied to the behavioral sciences. The language of science, concepts, propositions, hypotheses, models, theories and empirical laws. Analysis of the concepts of experimental, correlational and case study methods. Prepare skills in conducting scientific literature reviews and survey research.
Prerequisites: PSY 123, MTH 115. Fall and Spring

PSY 233 Advanced Research Methods, 3 credits

This course is the second of a two-semester sequence of research related courses required of all psychology majors. The goal of the course is to help students develop the skills necessary to conduct research in psychology. Students will learn how to conduct research from identifying a problem to interpreting results. These skills will be developed through the completion of assigned laboratory exercises and a small independent research project.

Prerequisite: PSY 232. Spring only

PSY 250 Social Psychology, 3 credits

Study of the relationships between individuals, and between individuals and groups or institutions. Topics include attribution of responsibility, interpersonal attraction, social influence, attitude change, characteristics and effects of crowds, and determinants of behavior.
Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall and Spring

PSY 275 Child and Adolescent Psychology, 3 credits

Study of the relationship between physiological and psychological growth of the individual from infancy through adolescence. Emphasis on the theoretical formulations of child and adolescent development relative to emotional and cognitive processes.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall and Spring

PSY 277 Adult Development and Aging, 3 credits

This course will provide an overview of adult development from early adulthood through death and will focus on both normative changes and individual differences. Topics to be discussed include: biological changes, changes in health and health habits, cognitive and intellectual changes, sex roles and family roles, work and work roles, development of relationships, changes in personality and motives, mental health and psychopathology, and death and dying. Developmental theories, models, and research methods will also be discussed.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall and Spring

PSY 285 Communication Skills: Interviewing and Recording Techniques, 3 credits

Development of skills that may be useful in working directly with clients and others, including listening for emotions, monitoring one’s own reactions and responses, and building a client-worker relationship, which can foster constructive change in the client.
Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall and Spring

PSY 290 Psychopathology, 3 credits

Study of both professional and popular theories regarding mental illness and abnormal behavior. Exploration of chronology of abnormal behavior theories and treatments from demonology and phrenology to psychophysiology and chemotherapy, from madness and demonic possession to modern day viewpoints. Comparative study of the medical, behavioral and social models of mental disorder.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall and Spring

PSY 300 Research Group, 2 credits

Provides psychology majors and minors an opportunity to engage in collaborative research at the undergraduate level. Students will have the opportunity to work with a member of the faculty and

other students on research projects of general interest. Students can take up to four times for credit.
Prerequisite: PSY 123; MTH 115; PSY 232

PSY 301 Cognitive Psychology, 4 credits

This course will cover the techniques and findings of modern cognitive psychology, as well as the theoretical issues and explanatory models of complex mental processes. Potential topics include: thinking, problem-solving, creativity, memory, attention, language, mental imagery, cognitive development, and the neural basis of cognition. Lecture: 3 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

Prerequisite: PSY 232. Spring only

PSY 302 Learning, 3 credits

A survey of current and traditional research findings and theories related to classical, operant, and observational learning. Non-associative forms of learning and the application of learning principles in behavior modification will also be discussed.
Prerequisite: PSY 232. Spring even years

PSY 303 Biological Psychology, 3 credits

This course surveys the recent advances in understanding how the brain works and how it controls behavior. Beginning with the basics of the structure and functioning of the nervous system, students explore the biological bases of topics that have long been of interest to psychologists. These topics include: Sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, learning and memory, and abnormal behavior and its treatments.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall only

PSY 304 Sensation and Perception, 3 credits

This course deals with how we construct a conception of physical reality from sensory experience. While the primary focus will be on vision and hearing, the chemical senses (taste and smell) and the somatosenses (touch, temperature, vibration, etc.) will also be addressed. Students will cover the anatomy and physiology of the various sensory receptors, the neural mechanisms of sensation, sensory representation in the brain, as well as the phenomenological experience of perception. Topics will include the ways in which illusions can fool our senses and what they tell us about how our sensory systems work.
Prerequisite: PSY 123. On demand

PSY 305 Psychopharmacology, 3 credits

This course explores what is currently known about the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders and the use of psychoactive drugs to treat them. Starting with the basics of the brain/behavior relationship and principles of pharmacology, we will cover the symptoms and treatment of the affective disorders, anxiety disorders and the schizophrenias, among others. Also included will be the psychological aspects and pharmacotherapy of the neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall and Spring odd years

PSY 306 Drugs and Behavior, 3 credits

Drug abuse is our nation’s number one health and social problem. In this course students will examine the use and abuse of drugs from many perspectives: social, historical, legal, medical, pharmacological and psychological. Beginning with a basic coverage of how the brain controls behavior, we will look at how drugs interact with the brain to have such powerful effects on behavior. Topics will include the medical use of drugs (including over-the-counter and psychotherapeutic drugs), the illegal abuse of drugs like heroin and cocaine, and the use and abuse of legal drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Spring odd years

PSY 310 Gender Studies, 3 credits

Focuses on gender issues from the perspective of different disciplines. Specific topics may include: biological, social, and cultural determinants of gender differences, gender roles in the family, philosophical views of men and women, gender in the classroom, gender issues in the workplace, gender issues in the health professions, and men, women and power.

Prerequisite: PSY 123. Fall odd years

PSY 315 Psychological Assessment , 3 credits

Development of skills necessary to determine the adequacy of testing instruments. Topics include personality measures, interest tests, IQ scales, achievement tests and aptitude tests. Summary of measurement statistics provided, but students are encouraged to take MTH 115 Basic Statistics, as background.

Prerequisite: PSY 232. Fall odd years

PSY 325 Autism Spectrum Disorder, 3 credits

This course will review the history of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), identify the characteristics of each disorder, as well as diagnostic criteria and procedures for diagnosis. Students will learn about the importance of early identification and detection, and will learn about research-based assessment tools and behavioral interventions used to treat ASD.
Prerequisite: PSY 123. On demand

PSY 332 Childhood Psychopathology, 3 credits

This course will focus on the nature, causes, course, and treatment of various child and adolescent disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, conduct disorder, autism, childhood depression, anxiety disorders in children, and eating disorders. These disorders will be discussed and understood as deviations from normal development in childhood and adolescence.
Prerequisite: PSY 275 or OT 220 Fall and Spring even years

PSY 342 Educational Psychology, 3 credits

This course introduces students to current learning that explains how learning occurs, both typically and atypically, from birth through adolescence. This course prepares students to use learning theories to explain and critique teaching and formal testing methods used with students at various stages of development. Also offered as TED 232: Educational Psychology. Students may not receive credit for both PSY 342 and TED 232, nor for both PSY 342 and TED 231: Learning.

PSY 381 Special Topics, 1-3 credits

Topics may vary from semester to semester and will be announced with preregistration information and course hours.
(On demand)

PSY 384 Advanced Career Seminar, 1 credit

This course is designed for seniors majoring in Psychology. It focuses on rational career decision making and post graduation career planning.

Prerequisites: Senior status.

PSY 385 Graduate School Preparation Seminar I, 0 credits

This course is designed for juniors or seniors majoring Psychology who are planning on applying to graduate programs. The course will walk students through the beginning aspects of the application process including solidifying their career choice, searching for accredited graduate programs in their field of choice, preparing and taking the GRE, and planning for necessary coursework during their last year.

Prerequisites: Students must have a declared major in Psychology have junior or senior status.

PSY 386 Graduate School Preparation Seminar II, 1 credit

This course is designed for juniors or seniors majoring Psychology who are planning on applying to graduate programs. The course will walk students through all aspects of the application process from selecting programs to developing their application materials and preparing for interviews.
Prerequisites: PSY 385; junior or senior status.

PSY 450 Personality, 3 credits

Survey of various theories of development, structure and characteristics of personality. Freudian theory, behavioral, humanistic and existential viewpoints, trait theorists and others are explored.
Prerequisite: PSY 123 Fall

PSY 452 Counseling and Psychotherapy, 3 credits

Emphasis is on treatment of psychopathology, including discussion of salient issues in therapy, attributes of successful therapists, ethical issues in therapy, and multicultural counseling. In addition, an emphasis will be placed on learning about major established therapies including, Psychoanalysis, Adlerian Therapy, Existential Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Reality Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Feminist Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy. We also study the current research on the effectiveness of the various therapies.
Prerequisite: PSY 290. Spring odd years

PSY 455 Child Interventions, 3 credits

The child interventions course focuses on assessment methods and interventions to treat child and adolescent disorders. Students will learn and practice how to conduct a comprehensive clinical interview to diagnose child and adolescent disorders and to become familiar with therapeutic issues such as ethnical and legal responsibilities and how to build a therapeutic relationship. Several models of child therapy will be discussed including family therapy and parent training, dialectical behavior therapy, group and psychopharmacological approaches. The course emphasizes the application of research in clinical practice and places assessment and treatment in a multicultural context. Assignments focus on critical thinking about childhood problems and their treatments and the practical application of assessment and treatment techniques through role-plays, practice sessions, and experiential assignments.
Prerequisites: PSY 290 or PSY 332. Spring even years

PSY 475 Practicum in Psychology, 3 credits

Work experience in a setting where psychology is applied. Can be used to further career exploration or promote transition to the work place. Students may take up to two times for credit.
Prerequisite: Completed 75 credits as a psychology major. Fall and Spring

PSY 480A Advanced Seminar: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood, 3 credits

In this advanced topical seminar, students will further develop skills in critical reading/critical thinking, application, writing, and oral communication. We will analyze contemporary theories and current research on salient issues in adolescence and emerging adulthood such as: puberty; neurological and cognitive development; identity; dating and sexuality; family and peer relationships; school and work; racial, ethnic, and cultural influences; and adolescent problems. Both normative development and individual differences will be considered.

Prerequisite: PSY 275; Junior or Senior Status

PSY 480B Advanced Seminar: Controversies in Psychology, 3 credits

In this advanced topical seminar, students will further develop skills in critical reading/critical thinking, application, writing, and oral communication. This course focuses on debates and conflicts over the past 30 years related to psychological concepts and theories of human behavior and experiences. The controversies discussed cross all subfields of psychology including clinical, social, developmental, biological, and cognitive. Topics may include multiple personality disorder, expert testimony, new age therapies, repressed memories, sexual orientation conversion therapies, inkblot tests, media violence, effect of spanking and divorce on children, and paranormal phenomenon. Students will learn in-depth methodologies for critical thinking and apply learned strategies to real-world problems. The course emphasizes the application of research skills to examine the multiple facets of each controversy in light of evidence gathered from current empirical sources. Students will take sides on an issue of their choice, gather evidence to support their position, and present their case in a symposium-style debate.
Prerequisite: PSY 233; Junior or Senior Status

PSY 480C Advanced Seminar: Social Exclusion, 3 credits

In this advanced topical seminar, students will further develop skills in critical reading/critical thinking, application, writing, and oral communication. This course aims to familiarize students with various contemporary topics within the social exclusion literature: whether there is a need to belong, what the different types of exclusion are, why societies/individuals exclude others, how we detect exclusion, and what our responses are to exclusion. We will examine theoretical and empirical articles in order to understand how social exclusion is conceptualized and tested in the field. Students will apply critical thinking skills in order to critique the literature and apply it to real life concerns (and post-graduation plans).
Prerequisite: PSY 250 & PSY 233; Junior or Senior Status

PSY 480D Advanced Seminar: Positive Psychology, 3 credits

In this advanced topical seminar, students will further develop skills in critical reading/critical thinking, application, writing, and oral communication. The content of this course focuses on positive psychology; what is good about people, and what makes people happy resilient and content. This course will include both Eastern and Western notions of positive psychology and will review and analyze theories and research related to this new and exciting area of psychology.
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Status

PSY 490 Independent Research, 3 credits

Opportunity for students to conduct a study on a topic of their choosing. Students can take up to three times for credit.
Prerequisites: Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, completion of PSY 233, and junior year status as a Psychology major. Fall and Spring

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