- Declaring a Major
- Major Requirements
- Course Descriptions
- Recommended Course Sequence
- Psychology Minor
- Research Opportunities
Undergraduate Psychology Courses
This page lists courses from both the Psychology Department (PSY) and the Department of Psychological Sciences (PSYS). Course numbers in brackets [ ] will be effective Fall 2014. For more information see this summary sheet (pdf).
For some courses listed in this program, appropriate off-campus laboratory experiences may be required. Such off-campus experiences must be under the direction and supervision of appropriate University faculty and executed within University policy.
PSY 100 / PSYC 100C. INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) An introductory course dealing with principles of behavior, scientific methods of psychology, measurement, learning, perception, motivation, development, personality, abnormal behavior, social behavior, intelligence, and other topics. C or better is required in this course for a major in psychology. Old GEN ED C | SB; Colonnade II SB
PSY 175. UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE. (3 hours) Special Requirements: For beginning college freshmen or transfer students with fewer than 24 semester hours of credit. Transition to university experience. Topics include study skills, library education, exploration of majors and careers, degree programs, campus resources and personal development. Special attention is given to educational requirements, careers and resources in the field of psychology.
PSY 199 / PSYC 199C . INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) A general course in developmental psychology covering the entire life span. Included are a description of growth stages, theories of development, and research methods of development. Old GEN ED C | SB; Colonnade II SB
PSY 210. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 with a grade of "C" or higher. Corequisite: PSY 211. Introduction to scientific thinking, research design, and research methods in psychology. Includes the nature of scientific explanations, validity, reliability, measurement scales, the rationale underlying hypothesis testing, critical evaluation of scientific evidence presented in journals and popular media, and how to write research reports.
PSY 211. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY LABORATORY. (1 hour) Prerequisites: PSY 100 with a C or better. Corequisite: PSY 210. Laboratory course to accompany PSY 210. Laboratory exercises involving research design, methodology, data collection, methods of organizing and presenting data, and research report writing.
PSY 250 / PSYC 250C. ADJUSTMENT AND PERSONAL GROWTH. (3 hours) Individual, social, and cultural determinants of personal growth and healthy life adjustment. Topics include stress and coping, relationships, values, career development, and decision-making. Old GEN ED F | GE
PSY 290 / PSYS 290. SUPERVISED STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY. (1-3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100. Directed readings or research under faculty supervision. Students must make their own arrangements in advance for supervision by a faculty member. May be repeated for a total of up to six hours, with no more than three hours counted in the first 37 hours of a psychology major. (course website)
PSY 299. SELECTED TOPICS IN PSYCHOLOGY (SEMINAR). (1-3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100. Study and discussion focusing on various issues in psychology; topics will vary based on faculty and student interest. May be repeated for a total of up to six hours, with no more than three hours counted in the first 37 hours of a psychology major.
PSY 301 . STATISTICS IN PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and 211 with a grade of "C" or better . Methods of organizing, describing, and analyzing psychological data.
PSY 310. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY: DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100 and one of the following: EDU 250, MGE 275, AGR 250, SMED 101, SMED 301, IECE 321 or permission of instructor. A required educational psychology course for students seeking teacher certification. Educational psychology is designed to give the student a thorough understanding of the theories and principles of psychology as applied to teaching and learning. The students will demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and application of theories and principles of development, learning, memory, motivation, individual differences, instruction, classroom management, and measurement and evaluation. PSY 310 may not be counted toward the psychology major or minor.
PSYS 321. CHILD DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100 or PSY 199. An introduction to the factors influencing normal psychological development during infancy and childhood. Theories, methodology, and current research in child development, including prenatal, physical, language, cognitive, social, and personality development, are considered.
PSY 340. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100. Theory, topics and applications within the field of sport and exercise psychology.
PSYS 345 . PSYCHOLOGY OF SEXUALITY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100 or PSY 199. Explores psychological, social, emotional, spiritual and cultural aspects of sexuality including sexual development across the life span, consensual and coercive sexual behavior, sex and gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and religious traditions, and sexuality education.
PSY 350. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. A general introduction to social psychology for majors and non-majors in psychology. The psychology of how people think about and relate to others. Topics include love, altruism, aggression, conformity, behavior in groups, leadership, intergroup conflict, prejudice, and persuasion. Old GEN ED C | SB
PSY 355. ISSUES IN CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 or equivalent and sophomore standing. Examines the impact of culture on major principles, theories, and applications of psychology, including social behavior, gender, communication, development and abnormal psychology. Involves interacting with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
PSYS 361 . PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and 211, or permission of the instructor. The consideration of methodological, theoretical, and ethical problems involved in test construction and use. Topics which are covered include reliability, validity, predictive efficiency, structure of human abilities, achievement tests, and projective techniques.
PSY 365 . INTELLIGENCE AND CREATIVITY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100. A survey of the history, theories, nature, measurement, origins in heredity and environment, contemporary research, social influence, and uses and abuses of the concepts of intelligence and creativity.
PSYS 370. INDUSTRIAL / ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100. The application of psychological principles and research techniques to industrial and personnel problems including selection, efficiency, management models, and organizational behavior.
PSY 371. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SALES BEHAVIOR. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100. This course includes the psychology of consumer behavior and its implications for sales ethics, psychology of the behavior of sales personnel, the psychology and techniques of the sales process, sales motivation advertising psychology, and the psychology of sales management.
PSY 390. FIELD EXPERIENCE IN PSYCHOLOGY. (3-6 hours) Prerequisites: Junior standing; Psychology Major or Minor with 12 hours in psychology; approval of the department and a 2.5 GPA in psychology. Field placement sites are approved based on consistency with the student's academic preparation. Practical work experience in a supervised psychology-related work setting with a cooperating psychology or human services agency, private business, or industry. Psychology 390 may be taken for 3 hours credit at one time. Only three hours will count toward the psychology major or minor. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to designated or assigned sites. (course website)
PSYS 405 . COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and PSY 211 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Overview of theory and research in human cognition, with primary emphasis on attention, memory, judgment and decision-making, and problem solving. Cognition in special populations (e.g., elderly, brain-injured, mentally disordered) is also covered.
PSYS 407 . PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and PSY 211 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Overview of scientific study of human language abilities, with primary emphasis on individual psychological mechanisms.
PSY 410 . PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and PSY 211 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing or permission of instructor. Facts and principles of human and animal learning, especially as these have been treated in theories attempting to provide a general framework for understanding what learning is and how it takes place.
PSYS 411 . PSYCHOLOGY OF SENSATION AND PERCEPTION. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Basic sensory mechanisms involved in taste, smell, hearing, and sight, with primary emphasis on auditory and visual perception. Topics include speech perception; visual illusions; color vision; perception of form, shape, movement, time, and space; perceptual motor coordination; and the development of perception.
PSY 412. PSYCHOLOGY OF MOTIVATION AND EMOTION. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. A study of the principal theories of motivation and emotion. Examination of needs, cognition, and social aspects. Includes a critical review of research and application of these theories to human behavior.
PSY 421. PSYCHOLOGY OF EARLY ADOLESCENCE. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Focuses on theory and research related to cognitive, personality, and social development in early adolescence. Theories are applied to important developmental contexts such as peers, families, and learning environments. Designed for students planning to meet middle grades certification requirements. Either PSY 421 or PSY 422, but not both, may be taken to satisfy the requirements of the psychology major or minor. PSY 421 may not be used to satisfy the Developmental Course Category restricted elective requirement of the major.
PSY 422. ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Introduction to behavior and development from early adolescence to adulthood, emphasizing a critical review of research and literature. Either PSY 421 or PSY 422, but not both, may be taken to satisfy requirements of the Psychology major or minor.
PSYS 423. PSYCHOLOGY OF ADULT LIFE AND AGING. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Psychological processes in adulthood and aging. Emphasis on contemporary theories, methodological issues, and interactions of psychological, biological, social, and environmental factors in adulthood and aging.
PSYS 424. TOPICS IN DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 199 or PSYS 321 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. A consideration of special topics to acquaint students with theoretical and research issues of particular interest in developmental psychology. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
PSYS 430 . PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Six hours in psychology, including PSY 100, and junior standing. Scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of girls and women. Topics include gender differences and similarities, inclusion of females in psychological research, psychological development of girls and women, sexuality, and mental health issues.
PSY 432. PSYCHOLOGY OF THE GIFTED AND CREATIVE. (3 hours) Prerequisite: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. The course covers identification of gifted children and adults with an emphasis upon the development of educational programs which maximize the development of giftedness. Included will be a critical review of research and literature in the areas of giftedness and creativity.
PSYS 433. JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and PSY 211 or permission of the instructor. Description and analysis of how actual decisions differ from optimal decisions. Survey of judgments under risk and uncertainty and of major topics in judgment research.
PSY 435. MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. An in-depth study of and reflection upon psychological theories of morality, moral development, moral functioning and current models of moral education and professional identity.
PSY 436 APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY. Prerequisite: PSY 100 with a grade of "C" or better or permission of the instructor. This course will focus on the application of empirical cognitive findings to real-world memory tasks, reasoning, and problem-solving. Topics covered include attentional processes applied to distracted driving, memory formation and retrieval as they relate to eyewitness testimony and recovered memories, and strategies for compensating for our limited short-term memory capacity.
PSY 440. ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Six hours in Psychology, including PSY 100, and junior standing or permission of instructor. Introduction to abnormal psychology emphasizing forms of abnormal behavior, etiology, developmental factors, interpretations, behavioral manifestations and treatment programs.
PSY 441. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF ALCOHOLISM. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100, PSY 440 and permission of instructor. Intensive study of theories and research regarding alcoholism; emphasis on application of psychological theories to the treatment of alcoholism and on psychological research regarding alcoholism.
PSY 442. BEGINNING SKILLS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVIEWING. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Six hours in psychology, including PSY 100, junior standing and permission of instructor. Paraprofessional skills for conducting structured and unstructured interviews in non-therapy settings. Emphasizes skills development in addition to theoretical material.
PSY 443. BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Six hours in psychology, including PSY 100, and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Introduction to theory and application of behavioral modification techniques. Emphasizes the use of behavior modification in education, child rearing, clinics, and selfmodification. Course activities or assignments may require the individual to disclose personal information.
PSYS 450. PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Six hours of psychology, including PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of instructor. Overview of the major theoretical approaches to the study of personality, including historical as well as contemporary theorists, avenues of analysis, and concepts.
PSY 455 . INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL PRACTICE OF PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 440 or PSYS 450, and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Survey of theories, models, and techniques in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. Includes emphasis on professional ethics for psychologists. Field experiences in appropriate off-campus settings may be required. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to designated or assigned sites.
PSYS 462. NEUROSCIENCE OF LEARNING AND MEMORY. (3 hours) Prerequisites/corequisites: PSYS 405 Cognitive Psychology or PSY 410 Psychology of Learning, and PSYS 480 Behavioral Neuroscience. Introduction to the neural basis of learning and memory. Topics include cellular and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory, neural substrates of different learning and memory systems, impairment of learning and memory tied to brain disorders.
PSYS 465. PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission of the instructor. Examination of psychoactive drugs and their effects upon the brain and neural mechanisms responsible for mind and behavior.
PSY 470. PSYCHOLOGY AND LAW. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of instructor. Psychological knowledge that is pertinent to the legal system. Emphasis on how human characteristics and psychological factors influence attitudes, decisions, and behavior throughout the legal process. Field trips to off-campus locations will be required. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation.
PSYS 473. TRAINING IN BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY. (3 hours) Prerequisite: MGT 311 or PSYS 370 or permission of the instructor. An introduction of theories, research, and methods of training needs analysis, program design, implementation, and evaluation. Equivalent to MGT 473.
PSYS 480 . BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 210 and PSY 211 with a grade of "C" or better, and junior standing or permission of the instructor. An examination of the neurological bases of human and animal behavior emphasizing brain processes and structures underlying major psychological constructs such as sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, communication, reproductive behavior, and neurological and psychological disorders.
PSYS 483 . EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of the instructor. A survey of the research methods and core concepts of evolutionary psychology as they apply to human adaptive problems, including problems of survival, sex and mating, parenting and kinship, and aggression.
PSYS 485 . PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Nine hours of psychology, including PSY 100, and junior standing; or permission of the instructor. PSY 210, PSY 301, and PSYS 450 are preferred but not essential. Classical theories and current research in the psychology of religion.
PSY 490 / PSYS 490. RESEARCH, READINGS OR SPECIAL PROJECTS IN PSYCHOLOGY. (1-3 hours) Prerequisites: PSY 100, junior standing, and permission of the faculty project supervisor. Advanced students will conduct research and / or readings or projects concerning issues in psychology under the direction of faculty members. The course may be repeated; up to six hours can be counted toward the major. (course website)
PSY 495 . HISTORY AND SYSTEMS OF PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: Nine hours in psychology, including PSY 100, and junior standing or permission of the instructor. Overview of the main historical systems of psychology: introspectionist, functionalist, purposive, psychoanalytic, behaviorist, gestalt, existentialistic, and humanistic. Emphasizes the recent history of psychology and the identification of important systematic trends in contemporary writings in psychology and their underlying assumptions.
PSY 499. SENIOR SEMINAR IN PSYCHOLOGY. (3 hours) Prerequisites: 12 hours in Psychology, including PSY 100, and senior level classification. Seminar in which major concepts and issues in psychology are considered. Directed reading, guest lectures, field trips, and / or oral reports by students are utilized.
Statewide General Education Codes
GE – General Elective
SB – Social and Behavioral Sciences
WKU General Education Codes
Colonnade Fall 2014 Forward
Colonnade II SB – II Explorations, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Old GEN ED C – Category C: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Old GEN ED F – Category F: Health and Wellness
See the WKU undergraduate catalog for more information on these codes.