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Psychology (PSY)


PSY 1030 - Introduction to Psychology - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

An introductory course concerned with the methods and principles of psychology. Major emphasis is placed upon the theoretical aspects of psychology. Topics include research methods, perception, basic learning processes, memory and cognition, the biological basis of behavior, motivation, personality and individual differences, abnormal behavior and its treatment, and social influence processes.

This course meets the General Education Social Science Breadth requirement.


PSY 1400 - Child Development - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Focuses on the ways in which children develop emotionally, physically, socially, and intellectually, starting from the moment of conception until puberty.

This course meets the General Education Social Science Breadth requirement.


PSY 2010 - Orientation to the Psychology Major - 1 credit

Fall and Spring Semesters

This purpose of this course is to give Psychology majors the knowledge and tools they need to get the most out of the major and assist them in making informed decisions about career choices in Psychology. It is also designed to assist potential Psychology majors in determining if the Psychology major is the most viable option to assist them in achieving their career goals. During the course, you will learn about Psychology at Curry College, including course requirements and opportunities available outside the classroom. You will learn about writing in American Psychological Association (APA) format and have opportunities to practice writing in this format.


PSY 2050 - Research Methods in Psychology - 4 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

(Formerly “Experimental Psychology”) An introduction to the scientific method as applied to the study of human behavior. This course focuses on a critical evaluation of naturalistic observation, survey research, correlational studies, an true experiments as methods of answering questions about behavior period. The course emphasizes critical thinking and quantitative analysis of research data. Students will perform studies and will summarize their work in written research reports involving observation of behavior and collection and analysis of research data using basic statistical methods.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030 and MATH 1150.


PSY 2060 - Aging and the Life Cycle - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

Focuses on various developmental stages of the life cycle from birth to death including cross-cultural materials, attitudes and values about the aging process, rites of passage, and the accompanying changes of status for the individual. Major milestones of each developmental stage in the life cycle are discussed focusing on often differing societal expectations regarding gender and age. (Same course as SOC 2060).

Prerequisite: Any 1000-level PSY or SOC course.


PSY 2070 - Motivation - 3 credits

Spring Semester

The study of how internal psychological processes interact with the social context to influence human behavior. Particular attention is given to sexual and aggressive motives, biological factors, cognition, and the role of expectation in guiding human behavior.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2090 - Personality - 3 credits

Fall Semester

This course examines several theoretical perspectives on the development of personality and abnormal behavior. This course reviews both historical and current trends in personality psychology (from phrenology to constructivism) and encourages students to understand the social climate that may shape the dominant beliefs of the personality psychologists.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2100 - Adolescent Psychology - 3 credits

Spring Semester

The study of the changes (social, intellectual, emotional, and physical) associated with adolescents. Attention will be paid to a variety of cultural and global perspectives and experiences related to the transition to adulthood.

This course meets the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2125 - Substance Use Counseling: Theory and Practice - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

This course examines assessment, diagnosis and treatment modalities for counseling of individuals with substance use disorders. There will be an emphasis on the importance of comprehensive integrated treatment of individuals with co- occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. Students will be introduced to prevention strategies, relapse prevention strategies, treatment planning, the importance of family therapy and self-help groups and how they relate to treatment outcome.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2130 - Introduction to Clinical and Counseling Psychology - 3 credits

Fall Semester

This course introduces students to, and provides training in, the basic skills used in clinical and counseling psychology. Topics covered include: ethics, assessment and treatment procedures such as diagnostic and development intakes, survey measures and interviewing, psycho-educational and skills groups, curricula related to program outreach and treatment in community settings (e.g., college campuses, schools, clinics), the DSM-5 supervision, professionalism and issues of diversity related to working with and to help others. Threaded throughout the course will be the concept of counselor as social change agent and advocate. Students will be encouraged to examine their own attitudes, values, self-care practices, and interpersonal skills. This course will help prepare students for internships and future careers in Psychology.

This course meets the General Education International/ Global Interdependence requirement.


PSY 2200 - Behavior Disorders in Children - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Reviews the major recognized emotional disorders of children. Attention is directed to detecting and assessing the nature and degree of the child’s problems.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2220 - Death, Dying & Bereavement - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course will examine customs, attitudes and beliefs, and rituals associated with death, dying, and bereavement. Emphasis will be placed on death and dying in the developmental cycle of the individual and in a social-cultural context. (Same course as SOC 2220).

Prerequisite: Any 1000-level PSY or SOC course.


PSY 2230 - Palliative Care for Older Adults: Principles and Practice - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

Promoting quality of life for people living with serious illness, along with effective communication strategies and skills, are key concepts of palliative care for older adults. Honoring and preserving individual worth, intrinsic value and dignity during difficult circumstances will be addressed through case studies, reflective writing and discussion.

Prerequisite: PSY 2400.


PSY 2250 - Family Life - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

Examines major psychological issues in the family including theories and techniques of child rearing, relationships among family members, and patterns found in diverse families and cultures. The course will also include analyses of family conflicts, including the recognition and remediation of challenges such as poverty, substance use, family violence, homelessness, racism, aging, sexism, and illness.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2300 - Abnormal Psychology - 3 credits

Spring Semester

This course examines the nature, causes, and treatment of the major forms of psychopathology. Topics will include diagnosis and assessment, stress and psychopathology, and the major classes of disorders, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, substance-related disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and disorders of childhood. The major psychological, biological, and sociocultural models of psychopathology, as well as empirical findings, will be emphasized.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2310 - The Psychology of Criminal Behavior - 3 credits

Spring Semester

This course examines the nature and causes of crime from a bio psychosocial perspective, with a primary focus on the contribution of biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors to the development of criminal behavior. The heterogeneity of criminal behavior will also be explored, with attention paid to the different subtypes of offenders, as well as to the role that mental illness plays in criminal behavior. The course will also focus on the application of psychological principles to the rehabilitation of offenders in community and institutional settings.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2330 - Drugs and Behavior - 3 credits

Spring Semester

A survey of psychoactive drugs emphasizing the social, psychological, and legal context of drug use. Four major aspects of use will include drug definitions, drug effects, drug related behavior and the drug experience throughout history. Discussion of prevention and treatment of drug abuse as well as social control of drug use will be included.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2400 - Human Development - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

The course will focus on cognitive, physical, emotional and social changes over the life span. Emphasis will be placed on the psychological issues relevant to each stage in the life cycle.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2410 - Older Adult Wellness: Evidence-based Practice and Research - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

Evidence-based strategies for health promotion, disease prevention, and chronic illness management for older adults are explored. Quality of life is addressed through physical, cognitive, psychological, emotional, and spiritual domains of wellness.

Prerequisite: PSY 2400.


PSY 2500 - Behavior Change: Theory and Alternate Practice - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

Covers the theoretical, ethical and practical considerations of different behavior change techniques including behavior modification, as used by psychologists, educators, nurses, business managers and other professionals.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2800 - Social Psychology - 3 credits

Fall Semester

This course examines the various ways our thoughts, feelings and behavior are influenced by other people. The objective is to familiarize students with issues, methods, theories and research pertinent to the study of social psychology, as well as to help students understand how social psychological principles are applicable to their lives. Classic and contemporary topics include social perception, attribution, conformity, obedience to authority, attitudes and persuasion, brainwashing, stereotypes and prejudice, interpersonal attraction and relationships, group behavior, aggression, and pro-social behavior.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 2900 - Practicum in Psychology - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

In this service-learning course, you contract to volunteer with a community agency to gain practical applied experience in a community setting. In the classroom, structured assignments are designed to help you transfer learning from psychology coursework to the “real world” and to reflect on your career goals and interests. As a psychology major, you must think critically and scientifically and to work effectively with diverse groups of people; because these skills are relevant in virtually every setting. (100 hours of classroom time and 3-4 hours per week of supervised field experience.)

This course meets the General Education Active Learning requirement.

Prerequisite: PSY 1030.


PSY 3020 - Psychological Tests - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course provides a historical overview of psychological testing, emphasizing intelligence and personality tests. Students will learn about all aspects of the testing enterprise, such as construction, reliability and validity research, administration issues, and the ethical use of tests. Special attention is given to the abuse of psychological tests in order to justify social and political climates.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3100 - Psychology of Learning - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

The study of the ways in which individuals adapt to changes in their environment. Also studied will be methods designed to improve learning skills.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3110 - Psychoanalytic Psychology - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course provides an opportunity for in-depth analysis of psychoanalytic theory. Students read the writings of Sigmund Freud and other early analysts. Attention is paid to psychosexual stages of development, theories of repression and regression and treatment protocols. Neo-Freudians are also discussed. Students will examine applications of psychodynamic theories in advertising, fairy tales, trauma and parenting. Criticisms of dynamic therapy will also be included.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3120 - Counseling Theory - 3 credits

Spring Semester

An examination of major theoretical models used in counseling, and applications of theories to the counseling process. A background in both abnormal psychology and personality theory will be presupposed.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3130 - Brain and Behavior - 3 credits

Fall Semester

Studies the emerging field of Neuroscience, with a focus on theories of how brain function creates our higher psychological processes, e.g., attention, memory, perception, and language. Problems to be explored include the role of brain mechanisms in human development, learning, motivation, emotion, sexuality, aggression, addiction, and mental illness. Specific attention will be devoted to the neuropsychology of learning disabilities.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3135 - Cognitive Psychology - 3 credits

Every Year

This course is designed as an introduction to the theory and research in the area of Cognitive Psychology. This course considers empirical investigations and theoretical accounts of cognitive issues, including perceptual processes, attention, memory, language, problem solving, imagery, creativity, reasoning, and decision-making. 

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3150 - Neuropsychology of Learning Differences - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course will survey neuropsychological topics and conditions that are relevant to the performance of individuals in educational, clinical, and criminal justice settings. The focus will be on how brain compatible teaching can enhance the practice of professionals as well as the learning and development of the people with whom they work. Specific areas of interest will include left-right whole brain learning, learning style differences, the impact of gender and cultural differences on learning, and the involvement of learning disorders (attention deficit disorders, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders) in the learning process. Additional areas of interest will include the effects of traumatic brain injury, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease on the learning process. The course will review sample neuropsychological assessments and practical, effective intervention plans that address the learning and emotional needs of individuals in the human service settings noted above.

Prerequisites: Any 2000-level PSY course, sophomore standing.


PSY 3160 - School Psychological Services - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

Studies a variety of topics related to student performance in educational, clinical and/or criminal justice settings. The focus will be on student mental health as the foundation of all learning and development. Topics will include wellness, behavior problems and mental health disorders, as well as prevention and intervention. Attention will be devoted to professional training and ethical standards, student diversity issues, collaboration and consultation with student stakeholders, assessment strategies and social policy, legal and fiscal issues that influence service delivery. Additional areas of study include school-based mental health and wellness, interventions for mental health problems, e.g. behavior, mood and substance abuse disorders and student exposure to violence, abuse and trauma. Resources for students, educators, families and advocates will be reviewed. Students will become involved in a hands-on approach to solving problems through research and mini-project papers.

Prerequisites: Any 2000-level PSY course, sophomore standing.


PSY 3170 - Autism Spectrum Disorders: Theory, Assessment, and Interventions - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course will examine children, adolescents and young adults who present with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). An examination of definitions cumulating to ASD, review of the DSM-IV/V diagnostic presentations, understanding eligibility criteria, incidence rates, etiology, neurodevelopment/ neuropsychological impact, comprehensive assessment procedures, evidence-based interventions, learning the initial stages of applied behavioral analysis, development of tools for social-relational approaches, understanding cultural impact, understanding and developing pragmatic communications approaches, and the effective transition to adulthood are among the many areas examined in this course. Perspectives from the student/client, family, school, community and career personnel are explored and expressed. Problem-solving collaborative approaches and professional development are the focus of this course. Goals are to develop a basic set of competencies to begin working with students/clients presenting with ASD via course work and applications/project(s), as well as to explore possible future internships.

Prerequisite: PSY 2200 and junior or senior status.


PSY 3200 - Stress, Coping and Adaptation - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course examines both the physiological and psychological nature and consequences of stress and trauma. The primary objective is to familiarize students with methods, theories, and research in the study of stress. Topics will include basic models of stress, arousal, and emotion; learned helplessness; life change and stress; behavioral style, personality, and their links to illness; stress and immune function; social support; crowding; institutional and organizational stress; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and stress management. Readings will be derived from primary journal articles, as well as from chapters from books written by experts in the area.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3210 - Stereotypes and Prejudice - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course examines the topic of prejudice as viewed by Social Psychology. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with current and classical social-psychological theory and research regarding prejudice, especially prejudice related to race and culture. Topics will include historical approaches to understanding prejudice, personality approaches, social categorization and stereotyping, “modern” racism, the social consequences of prejudice, and ways to combat prejudice. Because some of the topics may be controversial, students will be expected to view such topics in a dispassionate, scientific manner.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3220 - Attitude Change and Social Influence - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

The study of the processes underlying attitude change and social influence has long been central to the field of social psychology because these processes often play a vital role in advertising, health behavior, interpersonal attraction, prejudice, voting, social movements, environmental conservation and consumer behavior. The objective of the course is to provide students with a background in the theories of attitudes, attitude change and social influence and to review classic and contemporary research in these areas. In addition, students will learn the various techniques that have been most effective with regard to attitude change and social influence. Topics studied will include attitudes and their formation, models of attitude change and persuasion, brainwashing and intense indoctrination, subliminal influence and social influence in groups.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3225 - Multicultural Psychology - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course provides an opportunity for the study of behavior, cognition, and affect in settings where people of different backgrounds interact. Topics include the influence of culture on worldviews, communication, health and mental health as well as acculturation, identity development, stereotyping, and discrimination. This course involves self-exploration into one’s own beliefs and values. Students gain a greater understanding and learn about other perspectives beyond their own experiences through assignments and discussions.

This course meets the General Education Diversity requirement. Open to only psychology majors and psychology minors.

Prerequisites: One 2000 and one 3000-level PSY course.


PSY 3260 - Psychology of Violence & Terror - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course will study the social, psychological and cultural forces that promote violence among people and the consequences of violence and terror. It will examine the use of violence and its impact on victims. Particular attention will be given to the effects of traumatic stress on law enforcement and public safety practitioners, and the role of community cohesion in moderating the effects of disaster and terror.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3300 - Moral Development - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course will explore the various theories and studies detailing the development of moral thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Problems in character development will be addressed, along with strategies for fostering morality. Consideration will be given to the effects of temperament, gender, family and culture.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3350 - Health Psychology - 3 credits

Spring Semester

This course critically examines the history of health psychology, major theories in the field and methods of applying health psychology knowledge to promoting health and preventing disease. Particular attention will be given to the roles of individual, social, cultural and economic factors. Topics include global communicable and chronic diseases, stress and coping, HIV and AIDS, risky behaviors, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and cancer.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 3400 - Peer Teaching in Psychology - 3 credits

Provides an opportunity for Junior and Senior Psychology majors to obtain supervised experience in tutoring and assisting in the teaching of Psychology students in a specific Psychology course. Students must have completed, and received a grade of B+ or better, in the course in which they participate in peer teaching.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course and approval of instructor.


PSY 3450 - Psychology Internship - 1-9 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Provides students with practical experience working in an applied field placement. Field placement sites are selected with the assistance of the Psychology Internship Coordinator. Students are required to attend a weekly seminar with their faculty supervisor.

This course meets the General Education Active Learning requirement.

Prerequisite: A 2.75 GPA, completion of 12 PSY credits at the 2000 level or higher, and junior or senior standing.


PSY 3450 - SM Psychology Internship Seminar

This course is required for all students doing a Psychology internship and must be taken during the semester of internship. Students must arrange an internship with the assistance of the Psychology Internship Coordinator. In addition to spending time each week in their field placement students will integrate their learning with weekly on campus course meetings and assignments, discussing practice based learning, reviewing their field experiences, and documenting their learning.


PSY 3500 - Senior Seminar - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Required for advanced psychology majors. Integration and synthesis of knowledge and experience in psychology is an important goal of this course. Potential graduate students should take this course in the fall.

Prerequisites: Any 2000-level PSY course and senior status.


PSY 3600 - Issues in Aging - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

This course will explore the process of aging and how it affects our personal and professional lives. We will discuss concerns of family members and caretakers of the elderly. Legal, ethical and spiritual dimensions will be addressed. Students will develop counseling/ case-management skills essential to working on interdisciplinary teams. We will also examine public policy, advocacy and cross- cultural issues. Students will explore the social and political ramifications of the graying of the world population. Future career options in gerontology will be explored.

Prerequisite: Any 2000-level PSY course.


PSY 4000 - Independent Research - 3-6 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Structured research activity involving participation in an ongoing research project.

Prerequisite: Departmental approval.


PSY 4100 - Independent Readings in Psychology - 1-3 credits

The student will design an independent readings course in an area of Psychology approved by the faculty. A bibliography and integrative paper are required.

Prerequisite: Departmental approval.