Psychology

Major/Minor

The Psychology program explores the social and biological bases of behavior and the normal and abnormal functioning of personality with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and gender. The curriculum incorporates industry tools such as the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and requires the use of APA Style. It is designed to develop critical thinkers skilled in communicating orally and in writing.

Program Locations

Available Majors

  • Psychology

Available Minors

  • Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology

Additional Study Options

Faculty

Courses

  • Fundamentals of Biology: BIO-111 (4 credits)

    Focuses on the structure and function of the fundamental unit of life, the cell. Examines basic biological molecules, membrane structure and function, basic metabolism, photosynthesis, cellular reproduction, evolution, genetics and introductory systematics. In weekly laboratory exercises, students design and conduct experiments to answer scenario-based questions. Includes independent small-group laboratory research project that culminates in a student research symposium. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory. Designed for students with a strong high school background in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Prerequisite: MSAT greater than department-designated value or BIO-110 with minimum grade of C+, or permission of chair. Fulfills general education requirement in natural sciences. [4 credits]
  • Unity and Diversity of Life: BIO-230 (4 credits)

    Focuses on the unity of biological processes common to plants, animals and fungi, such as transport, gas exchange, and reproduction; also focuses on the diversity of organisms in their adaptation to environmental challenges. Unity and diversity are studied in both ecological and evolutionary contexts. An independent small-group research project is completed in the laboratory and culminates in a student research symposium. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO-111 with minimum grade of C or permission of the instructor. [ 4 credits ]
  • Animal Behavior: BIO-343 (4 credits)

    Analyzes the behavior of animals from many perspectives, including the role of genetics and the environment, hormonal influences, and the neurobiology of behavior, as well as the evolutionary causes and consequences of behavior. Emphasizes the organizing mechanisms employed by organisms responding to complex environments and the value of behavioral strategies in finding food, avoiding predators, choosing mates, parenting, communicating and forming groups. Uses video and living examples to illustrate techniques in the study of animal behavior. An independently designed and executed research project is completed in the laboratory and culminates in a student research symposium. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO-230 Unity and Diversity of Life or PSY-101, with a minimum grade of C or permission of instructor. [ 4 credits ]
  • Business Research: BUS-360 (3 credits)

    Introduces students to key sources of secondary data and basic research methods that enable them to define the research problem, develop the research plan, collect, evaluate and organize relevant information, develop findings and conclusions and recommend a preferred course of action supported by analysis. Students will learn core primary research concepts such as how to locate key industry and customer information via secondary databases as well as to design an electronic survey and conduct a focus group. [ 3 credits ]
  • Introduction to Criminology: CRM-101 (3 credits)

    Provides an examination of the nature, causes and social significance of crime. Emphasizes the major explanations of criminal behavior and typologies of crime and examines crime and crime prevention strategies as they relate to theory, policy and practice. Serves as a gateway course for students interested in the field of criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]
  • Theories of Crime and Social Deviance: CRM-203 (3 credits)

    Examines major paradigms, models and theories of criminology. Students critically review explanations of criminal behavior and analyze past, current and future trends in criminal activity. Theories in deviance and criminology from multidisciplinary perspectives provide a foundation for discussion. Prerequisite: CRM-101. [3 credits]
  • Basic Statistics: MAT-215 (3 credits)

    Introduces the basic ideas of statistics: descriptive statistics, central tendency variability, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, multinomial experiments, contingency tables and analysis of variance. A statistical software package is used. Designed for students in a variety of fields that rely on regular statistical analysis in decision-making. Fulfills general education requirement in mathematics. Prerequisite: A strong algebraic background (as evidenced by placement test) or successful completion of MAT 100 or MAT 103 is recommended. [3 credits]

  • First Year Seminar: NDMU-100 (3 credits)

    First Year Seminar course (formerly Perspectives in Culture and Education - IDS-100)
  • Introductory Psychology: PSY-101 (4 credits)

    Examines psychology's perspective on human behavior through many human experiences: learning and memory, perception, motivation and emotion, personality, social interaction, normal and abnormal behavior, and human development. Draws from experience and fosters application to the students' own lives. This is a foundational course, and it meets prerequisite requirements for most psychology courses. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. Lecture and lab. [4 credits]
  • Believe It Or Not: PSY-110 (3 credits)

    Provides a lively look at critical thinking, fostering in students the skills and experiences that produce fundamental thinking, reasoning and language abilities. Students are guided and motivated to apply analytical thinking to complex and controversial issues through examples drawn from everyday life experiences, the media, the vast market of psychobabble and scholarly works. [3 credits]
  • Psychology At the Movies: PSY-130 (3 credits)

    Explores the impact of psychological themes and theories on popular movies within the context of culture. Consists of an intensive, didactic experience that introduces the student to related psychological research and applications as they apply to a specialty field within psychology. Special emphasis is given to the comparison of cultural and cross-cultural elements embedded and transmitted through the filmmaker's story. [3 credits]
  • Human Sexuality: PSY-165 (3 credits)

    Examines the role of sexuality in human behavior. Through integration of biological and psychological aspects, attempts to survey the breadth of human sexuality, alternative life styles and deviations. Includes individual differences through the life span. [3 credits]
  • Human Relations in a Culturally Diverse Society: PSY-167 (3 credits)

    Applies psychological principles, theories and research to a broad range of international and interpersonal relationships. Examines self-understanding, personality, friendship, family, group dynamics and work relationships from different cultural perspectives. Investigates the impact of cross-cultural research on belief systems, attitude and behavior. All students complete a group presentation, a relationship analysis paper and a cross-cultural interview/analysis. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]
  • Child and Adolescent Development: PSY-203 (3 credits)

    Surveys development from conception through adolescence. Explores methods of developmental research, major developmental theories, ways to analyze evidence generated through research, social and behavioral traits and the impact of cultural context on development. Applies concepts to teaching, parenting and working with children. Prerequisite: PSY-101 or status as an elementary education major. PSY-101 is strongly recommended for elementary education majors and will improve student performance in this course. [3 credits]
  • Theories of Personality: PSY-205 (3 credits)

    Explores the structure, processes and development of personality from major theoretical perspec- tives, including psychoanalytic, neoanalytic, humanistic, behavioral, social behavioral and trait approaches. Emphasizes the comprehension, application and contrast of theories of personality and the enhancement of the student's critical thinking skills. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]
  • Psychopathology: PSY-207 (3 credits)

    Considers and studies intensively the wide range of disordered behaviors from the different scholarly perspectives that comment on "abnormality." Explores the nature of abnormality; the relationships between body and mind, and brain and behavior; and the significance of abnormal personal patterns to human relationships. Prerequisites: PSY-205, PSY-210. [3 credits]
  • Multicultural Psychology: PSY-208 (3 credits)

    Explores the major ethnic groups and the particular psychological issues and needs relevant to specific groups. The impact of culture, race, and ethnicity on theory, research, and practice are examined. Issues related to diversity, tolerance and social behavior are explored. Specific consideration related to sex/gender differences within various cultures and ethnicities will be integral. Prerequisites PSY 101. Fulfills cross-cultural and/or gender studies requirement. [3 credits]
  • Social Psychology: PSY-209 (3 credits)

    Investigates the diverse mechanisms through which people influence the individual, particularly cultural socialization, stereotyping and prejudice, membership in formal and informal groups, and in close relationships. Examines topical areas of influence including attitudes, perceptual processes, conformity, conflict and aggression, roles and norms, and helping behavior, with a focus on gender. Emphasizes critical thinking about research and application of concepts to life experience. Prerequisite: PSY-101. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [ 3 credits ]
  • Research Methods: PSY-210 (4 credits)

    Introduces the basic methods of research design and report writing in the behavioral sciences. Descriptive, correlational and experimental research strategies will be discussed. Students design original research and select appropriate data analyses. Ethical issues in each type of research design will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: MAT-215 and PSY-101. [4 credits]
  • Lab: Research & Stat Methods: PSY-210L (0 credits)

  • Cognition: PSY-212 (3 credits)

    Investigates the nature of thinking, including attention, perceptual organization, memory, imagery, concept formation, problem solving and language. Emphasis is placed on both research and practical applications of the decision-making process, strategies for problem solving and the facilitation of memory. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]
  • Introduction to Neuroscience: PSY-220 (3 credits)

    This course is an introduction to the human nervous system exploring bio-behavioral relationships of the brain, mind, and behavior from a multidisciplinary perspective. Topics will include the sturcture and function of the nervous system, sensory and motor functioning, cognition, motivation, emotion, consciousness, neuroplasti- city, behavioral genetics and nervous system disorders. Prerequisites: BIO-111 or PSY-101. [ 3 credits ]
  • Biopsychology: PSY-223 (3 credits)

    Presents a current understanding of the brain and its relationship to the behaviors of species from simple organisms to humans. Content includes the study of the anatomy and function of neural systems and their relationship to major disorders of the central nervous system. Contemporary techniques of neural investigation are included. The relationship between biopsychology and other content areas within psychology such as cognitive processes, human development, clinical psychology, learning, motivation and perception are high-lighted. Prerequisites: PSY-101, BIO-111 with a minimum grade of C.
  • Human Growth and Development: PSY-233 (3 credits)

    Explores the principles of developmental psychology from infancy through adulthood and includes general consideration of developmental tasks through the lifespan. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]
  • Positive Psychology: PSY-260 (3 credits)

    Focuses on the theoretical underpinnings and practical application of positive psychology. Students explore the fundamentals of positive psychology including human strength, virtues, positive emotions, happiness, love, humanity, leadership, spirituality, mindfulness, prosocial behavior, humane leadership, and approaches for living a healthy and meaningful life. Students learn how to apply and integrate these concepts into their understanding of the development of health lifestyles. They will also study their role in mitigating pathology, and analyze how these fundamentals are exhibited in work and community settings. Prerequisite: PSY 101 [3 credits]
  • Hrs: Psychology of Gender Roles: PSY-271 (3 credits)

    An analysis of the social sources and psycho- logical mechanisms that shape gender role differentiation. Special attention will be given to the political, ideological behavior and social construction of gender. Historical and cross-cultural data will be used to demonstrate patterns of inequality. The psychological and social impact of gender inequality will be examined. Prerequisite: Morrissy scholar or permission. Fulfills general education requirement in both social science and gender studies. [3 credits]

  • Adulthood and Aging: PSY-304 (3 credits)

    Explores developmental change over the adult life course in physical, cognitive and social domains. Examines issues of continuity and change and the impact of gender, ethnicity, and social and cultural context on the developing person. Gives special emphasis to the mature adult and the process of aging. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-233. [3 credits]
  • Theories and Techniques of Counseling: PSY-306 (4 credits)

    Introduces counseling perspectives, models, ethics and counseling skills for students interested in the helping professions. Surveys major theoretical paradigms and emphasizes mastery of basic communication skills useful in interpersonal relations settings. All students participate in lectures, class demonstrations, role playing and peer practice by using depart-mental counseling suites. This is the foundation course for PSY-406 Advanced Therapeutic Techniques. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-205, and PSY-207 and Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. [3 credits]
  • Special Topics: PSY-311 (3 credits)

    Provides a contemporary approach to analyzing and evaluating current topics in psychology or behavioral neuroscience through a critical theoretical framework along with empirical evidence. Topics vary. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: PSY 101 and PSY 210 (or an equivalent research methods course approved by the psychology department chair) or by permission of the psychology department chair [3 credits].
  • Sensation and Perception: PSY-323 (4 credits)

    Investigates the structure and function of sensory receptors and the organization of sensory input for the basic senses of vision, audition, taste, smell and touch. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: PSY-210. [4 credits]
  • Learning and Motivation: PSY-325 (4 credits)

    Develops knowledge and research skills in learning and the experimental analysis of behavior in both animals and humans. Covers theoretical issues, basic principles and experimental procedures. Emphasizes biological explanatory mechanisms. Practical applications of basic principles are considered. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: PSY-210. [4 credits]
  • Lab: Learning and Motivation: PSY-325L (0 credits)

  • Quantitative Methods: PSY-340 (4 credits)

    Builds on the content of Research Methods I (PSY-210) to provide hands-on research and data analysis experience using more advanced techniques. Explores multivariate research designs and analysis including multifactor analysis of variance, multiple regression, factor analysis and selected non-parametric techniques. Students design and conduct a research project, write an APA research report, create a poster presentation and use professional statistical analysis software. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: PSY-210. [4 credits]
  • Lab:Quantitative Methods: PSY-340L (0 credits)

  • Assessment and Evaluation: PSY-342 (3 credits)

    Surveys the theory and use of a variety of assessment instruments, including personality, aptitude, vocational, intelligence and interest testing. Evaluates the role of tests and questionnaires in placement and counseling. Prerequisites: PSY-101; statistics highly recommended. [3 credits]
  • Animal Behavior: PSY-343 (4 credits)

    Studies animal behavior from many perspectives, including the role of genetics and the environment, hormonal influences and neurobiology of behavior. Consideration of evolutionary causes and consequences. Topics include the organization and development of behavior, foraging and feeding, anti-predator behavior, mating and reproductive behavior, parenting, social behavior and animal communication. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory/field experience. Prerequisites: BIO-230 or PSY-101. [4 credits]
  • Principles of Learning: PSY-370 (3 credits)

    Develops knowledge and practical skills in learn- ing and the analysis of behavior applied to the work environment. Covers theoretical issues, basic principles and approaches to learning. Explores how behavioral principles are involved in employee relations and performance management. This course is for IOP majors. Not open to PSY majors. Prerequisites: PSY-101 and PSY 210 or BUS 360. [3 credits]
  • Women and Her Symbols: PSY-371 (3 credits)

    Explores symbols and symbolism related to women through interdisciplinary lenses of psychology, philosophy, literature, politics, sociology, religious and cultural traditions, and art. Students will critically examine, analyze, and disucss the use of symbols in understanding women from psychological and spiritual perspectives. The use of symbols will be explored through theories, scientific evidence, cultural and religious rituals, art, and literature. Students will complete an integrative project. Prerequisite: Morrissy Scholar or permission from instructor and Morrissy Program Director. Fulfills gender study requirement. [ 3 credits ]
  • Sex and Gender: PSY-375 (3 credits)

    Explores the evidence for the cultural and biological influences on sex differences-the development of gender identity, gender role and sexual orientation. Investigates the impact of the cultural construct of gender on attitudes and behavior. Prerequisites: PSY-101 and junior standing. Fulfills general education requirement in gender studies. [3 credits]
  • Qualitative Methods: PSY-380 (4 credits)

    Explores the nature of qualitative methodologies, identifies which types of research questions are most appropriate for qualitative methods, and examines the assumptions underlying qualitative methods. Course focuses on the acquisition and application of qualitative analytic skills. Students complete a project involving the application of qualitative research skills. Prerequisites PSY-210 (or equivalent research course determined by the psychology department chair). [4 credits]
  • Lab: Qualitative Methods: PSY-380L (0 credits)

  • Career Counseling: PSY-390 (3 credits)

    Provides a practical and theoretical basis in personal and career development. Topics focus on occupational-educational information, career exploration techniques, vocational choice theory, and ethical standards, all within a context of diverse populations. Applications include computer-assisted career development and inventories. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]
  • Advanced Therapeutic Techniques: PSY-406 (3 credits)

    Links the practice and application of techniques that flow from basic theoretical personality models. Expands the skills of students with clinical aptitude, background and interests. Therapeutic techniques from various clinical models are examined and tested. Communication, refocusing and redirection, behavioral assessment and change are explored. Prerequisites: PSY-205, PSY-207 and PSY-306 and Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. Conference and permission of instructor required. [3 credits]
  • Psychometrics: PSY-409 (4 credits)

    Provides opportunities for students to learn the theoretical and statistical principles related to the construction and use of psychological tests. Students will learn the standard administration, scoring, and interpretation of a borad battery of standardized cognitive and psychological assessment instruments. Students will become aware of the ethical issues related to cognitive and psychological testing. Student will be required to complete a clinical psychological assessment report analyzing and interpreting psychometric data. This course serves as an upper level research course. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-205 and PSY-207 and Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. [4 credits]
  • Lab: Psychometrics: PSY-409L (0 credits)

  • Advanced Topics: PSY-411 (3 credits)

    Explores in depth a focused topic in psychology, based on instructor's area of specialization. Topic changes from year to year, with recent offerings including Psychology of Religion, Attachment, Psychopharmacology, Forensic Psychology, Health Psychology, Applied Behavioral Analysis and Culture of Violence. All students give a seminar paper and complete a major research paper. Prerequisite: will be noted for specific course, based on topics. Prerequisite: PSY-210, senior status as a psychology major. Not open to minors. [3 credits]
  • History and Systems of Psychology: PSY-420 (3 credits)

    Considers, through an analytical approach, the history and development of the ideas that shaped psychology as a scientific discipline. Seminar- style deliberation concerning development of the foundational ideas of the field of psychology. Examines how the system of psychology is presently structured. Specific attention is given to the role of women in the development of psychology. Reading of original material from basic theorists in the field is required. Prerequisite: Status as senior psychology major or minor. [3 credits]
  • Practicum I: PSY-461 (4 credits)

    Provides opportunities for field experience for qualified students under professional supervision. Allows for consultative meeting with practicum coordinator concerning career goals and aspirations, which then determine the nature of a placement most consistent with student abilities and interests. Offers students an additional opportunity for advanced training and increased levels of professional responsibility through Practicum II. Requires students to meet academic and background requirements for chosen placement and to attend an academic seminar in addition to fieldwork. Prerequisite: junior psychology major status and conference with coordinator. Not open to liberal arts majors or psychology minors. Prerequisites: Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. Cannot retake if student receives a failing grade. [4 credits] Students will not be permitted to repeat PSY 461 or PSY 462 if they receive a failing grade (D or F) or are removed from their practicum site due to an ethical violation. Ethical violations are defined by the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Ethical violations may include plagiarism. The practicum requirement cannot be waived or completed through another institution.
  • Independent Research/Independent Study: PSY-463 (3 credits)

    Independent study of a topic and development of a project of a student's choice. Includes directed readings, literature review and clinical study or data collection and analysis. Mentored and supervised by a faculty member of the department. Each student completes a major research paper and oral presentation. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-340 and acceptance for supervision by a department member. [3 credits]
  • Directed Research: PSY-464 (3 credits)

    Students participate in the work of faculty by serving as members of a research team for one semester. May include input on project design, instrument development, data collection and analysis, literature review and development of a research report. Requirements: 10 hours/week including a one-hour conference or team meeting and one major written assignment to be determined in conjunction with the faculty supervisor. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-340 and acceptance for supervision by a department member. [3 credits]

Four-Year Plan

Sample program of study for the psychology major. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor. It is recommended that students complete MAT- 215 and PSY-210 by their sophomore year.

Fall Spring
First Year

PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology

4

100/200-level Psychology

3

NDMU-100 First Year Seminar

3

MAT-215 Basic Statistics

3

General Education

9

General Education/Electives

9

[16 credits]

 

[15 credits]

 
Second Year

PSY-205

3-4

200-level PSY course

3-4

PSY-210 Research Methods I

4

Upper Level Research Course

4

General Education/Electives

9

General Education/Electives

6

[16-17 credits]

 

[13-14 credits]

 
Third Year

PSY courses

6-7

300-level PSY course

3-4

PSY-463 or PSY-464

3

300-level PSY course

3-4

General Education/Electives

6

PSY-461 Practicum (option)

4

[15-16 credits]

 

General Education/Electives

6

   

[16-18 credits]

 
Fourth Year

PSY-420 History and Systems

3

PSY-406 or PSY-411 or PSY-464

3

400-level PSY course

3-4

PSY-406 or PSY-411 or PSY-464

3

PSY-461 or PSY-462 Practicum (option)

4

PSY-462 Practicum (option)

4

General Elective

3

General Education/Electives

6

[13-14 credits]

 

[16 credits]

 

What to Expect Studying at Notre Dame of Maryland University

A rigorous and rewarding curriculum includes extensive opportunities for individualized learning through laboratory courses, original research projects, service-learning, and a practicum. Clinical courses taught by licensed psychologists with small class sizes ensure personal attention and a high quality education.

Program Goals

The APA psychology curriculum goals are to: 

  1. Develop a strong knowledge base in the discipline; 
  2. Develop discipline specific professional skills including writing, oral presentation, critical thinking, research design and statistics; 
  3. Know and apply a professional ethical code by articulating and applying the relevant ethical principles; 
  4. Prepare for entry-level career placement or graduate school; and 
  5. Contribute to the well-being of self and others (generativity).

Research Opportunities

One of the hallmarks of our rich educational environment is the opportunity to participate in research in your field of interest.

Nancy Kreiter Student Research Day provides the perfect forum to showcase your hard work with a formal research presentation to the Notre Dame community.

Capstone Experience

As a capstone experience, you will have an opportunity to apply all of the knowledge and skills you have gained, integrating theory, science, and practice, in a supervised, individual practicum.

Examples of Practicum Opportunities

Psychology Careers

Understanding human behavior and scientific processes of measurement and analysis provides a portable skill set that opens up a wide range of career opportunities. 

While many graduates go on to attend graduate or medical school, you can use the principles of psychology in clinical or research settings, or in the fields of education and training.

Potential Graduate Programs

  • Psychology (Psy.D.)
  • Clinical, Counseling, Cognitive, Developmental, Educational, Experimental, Social, School, Forensic, or Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Masters or Ph.D.)
  • Human Resource Management (MBA)
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Higher Education Student Affairs
  • Nursing
  • Business Leadership & Management at NDMU (Masters)

Examples of Clinical/Counseling Jobs

  • Applied Behavior Analyst
  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor
  • Career Counselor
  • Child Development Worker
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Employee Training Instructor
  • Health Psychologist
  • High School Guidance Counselor
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Examples of Corporate Jobs

  • Human Resources Manager
  • Industrial Relations Specialist
  • Business Consultant
  • Industrial Relations Specialist
  • Business Analyst
  • Market Researcher

Examples of Government Jobs

  • Social Worker
  • Counselor
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Probation Officer
  • Program Coordinator/Manager
  • Intelligence Analyst

Examples of Research Jobs

  • Research Associate
  • Data Analyst
  • Clinical Writer
  • Social Scientist