Academics

Psychology Course Descriptions

Click for an explanation of terms and abbreviations used in course descriptions.

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology. 3 cr.
This course introduces the science of psychology by surveying key fields such as human development, learning, memory, intelligence, motivation and emotions, personality, abnormality, social interactions, and ethics. Students explore foundations of psychology seen in philosophy, theory, biology, and culture. They also investigate the many ways psychological research can be applied to every day life. Additionally, class discussion focuses on the relationship between psychology and Christian beliefs. Students are also introduced to the scientific writing style of the American Psychological Association (APA).
PSY 120 Human Growth and Development. 3 cr.
This course provides an introduction to the study of the psychological, physical, and spiritual growth of the individual from conception to old age. The course surveys the principles, theories and research in the area of human development. Additionally, class discussion focuses on the relationship between psychology and Christian beliefs. Students are also introduced to the scientific writing style of the American Psychological Association (APA).
PSY 130 Psychology of Health & Adjustment. 3 cr.
The course provides a Christ-centered study of the concepts, theories, principles, and applications that contribute to the intersection of health psychology and human adjustment within the context of the biopsychosocial model. Emphasis is placed on Christian application of these principles to situations that might occur during college life, during personal and social experiences, and at work or in one's career.
PSY 210 Psychological Research Methods. 4 cr.
This course introduces the principles descriptive, quasi-experimental, and experimental research design. Students are required to conduct and report an empirical research study according to American Psychological Association requirements with particular emphasis on the Method section of the report. Offered every semester. Prereq: PSY 101 or 120.
PSY 230 Child Abnormal Psychology. 3 cr.
This course provides an overview of the nature and origin of cognitive, affective, and behavioral problems in children. It traces philosophical, biological, psychological, and cultural views of abnormalities which have contributed to science-based descriptions of current disorders. Influences on abnormalities, including biology, development, social factors, attachment, parenting, and temperament are investigated along with therapy, medication, and other ethical, science-based techniques methodologies that alleviate abnormalities. Critical thinking skills using Christian doctrine and scientific methodology are integrated to evaluate information. The course also focuses on applying scientific research and writing skills to develop special topics in this field. Prereq: PSY 101.
PSY 250 Introduction to Learning and Memory. 3 cr.
This course provides a historical survey of the psychological theories of learning and memory. The course reviews philosophical views of learning and applies those perspectives to more contemporary approaches to learning. Special emphasis is placed on behaviorism. Cognitivism and contructivism are also addressed. Contemporary learning theory is discussed along with information processing theories and memory systems. Offered every semester. Prereq: PSY 101 or 120.
PSY 260 Personality Theories. 3 cr.
This course is an introduction to personality theory. Eight major schools of thought are considered, including 1) psychoanalytic, 2) neo-analytic, 3) biological, 4) behaviorist and learning, 5) cognitive and social-cognitive, 6) trait and skill, 7) humanistic and existential, and 8) person-situation interactionist. The course includes particular emphasis on the purpose, problems, and application of personality theory to human behavior, and considers each theory from a Christian perspective. Prereq: PSY 101.
PSY 285 Physiological Psychology. 3 cr.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the physiological basis of behavior. Topics of discussion will include the structure and function of the nervous system at both a cellular and system level, the physiological bases of the senses, learning and memory, addiction, and hormones and behavior. Upon completion of the course, students will have a solid foundation regarding the biological bases of behavior upon which to build in more advanced courses of study. Prereq: PSY 101. BIO 225 highly encouraged, but not required.
PSY 300 Abnormal Psychology. 3 cr.
This course provides a scientific study of psychological disorders and integrates principles of Christian doctrine to evaluate this area of psychology. Philosophical, theoretical, and historical foundations of abnormality are addressed along with definitions of particular disorders and contributing factors such as biology, stress, and social and psychological influences. The course also addresses therapy, medication, and other methods identified through research as effective measures in improving these disorders. A final aspect of this course focuses on applying scientific research and writing skills to explore interest areas in abnormal psychology. Offered annually. Prereq: PSY 210.
PSY 310 Psychological Counseling. 3 cr.
This course provides a scientific study of psychological disorders and therapies in different populations while integrating principles of Christian doctrine. Philosophical, biological, psychological, and cultural foundations of abnormality are evaluated along with therapy, medication, and other methods identified through research as ethical, evidence-based techniques for alleviating these disorders. A final aspect of this course focuses on applying scientific research and writing skills to explore interest areas in counseling psychology. Offered annually. Prereq: PSY 210.
PSY 321 Child Development. 3 cr.
This course focuses on the scientific research and theory related to socio-emotional development of the infanct and child including areas of the history of the child development theory, attachment, temperament, self, peers, friendship, and linguistic development. Special emphasis is placed on the psychological theories supporting child development research. Students are expected to read original readings and participate as well as reflect on numerous field activities observing children. Offered alternate years. Prereq: PSY 120 and 210.
PSY 324 Adult Development. 3 cr.
This course provides an overview of adult psychological, physical and emotional development from the ages of 21 to death. Special emphasis is placed on the aging process and gerontological research. Students are required to participate in field experiences designed to assist them in reflecting on the biological, psychological, social, and cultural influences on aging. Offered alternate years. Prereq: PSY 120 and 210.
PSY 350 Memory and Cognition. 3 cr.
A systematic survey of the methods and research of cognitive psychology and memory processes. The course includes research and theory in such topics as attention, working memory, long term memory, concept formulation, problem solving, and language. Offered alternate years. Prereq: PSY 210 and 250.
PSY 375 Drugs & Society. 3 cr.
This course provides an overview of drug use from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective ) in contemporary society, including historical perspective, drug metabolism, drug action/classification, legal issues, reasons for abuse, and drug abuse prevention strategies.
PSY 395 History and Systems of Psychology. 3 cr.
This course reviews world history and culture, philosophy, scientific knowledge, theology, and their influences on the development of the psychology field. Systems for investigating psychology and related areas such as perception, learning, neurobiology, social and developmental processes, motivation and personality are critically evaluated to allow synthesis of information, and the development of students personal view of psychology. Written work involves the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style, and oral presentations involving multimedia technology. Prereq: PSY 210, completion of major application procedures, and junior standing or consent of instructor.
PSY 400 Perspectives on Christian Counseling. 3 cr.
This course is designed to give students an overview of the philosophies and theologies that contribute to and define existing Christian counseling ideologies. It also evaluates Christian counseling on the basis of Lutheran doctrine and the science of psychology. The application of Christianity in counseling will be observed in its history, its proponents, its opponents, its theology, and how all of these affect Lutheran Christians study psychology. Finally, this course will provided examples of Christian counseling as it is carried out by Lutherans in real life situations. Prereq: PSY 210 and PSY 310.
PSY 411 Experimental Psychology. 3 cr.
This is an advanced course in the use of the scientific method in psychological research with special emphasis on experimental design and related statistics. The course focuses on the formulation of hypotheses, use of appropriate research design, and methods of statistical analysis of data. Students are required to propose a research study and prepare a complete scientific report according to American Psychological Association requirements. Prereq: PSY 210 and MAT 117.
PSY 430 Advanced Adolescent Development. 4 cr.
This course provides a survey of the psychological theory and research in the area of adolescent development. This course focuses on the physical, psychological, cognitive, moral, and spiritual development of individuals between the ages of 10 and 21. Students are required to participate in field work and must run a research study designed to explore some aspect of adolescent development and report this study according to APA style. Prereq: PSY 120 and 411.
PSY 450 Social Psychology. 3 cr.
This course provides an introduction to the field of social psychology which emphasizes how people think about, influence, and relate to one another in a social world. It surveys topics such as attitudes, persuasion, discrimination, aggression, altruism, and group influences. Focal points involve history, theory, scientific research and application of evidence-based knowledge for improving human conditions. Critical thinking, ethics, and Christian perspectives are also emphasized as students propose and conduct a research study using the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style. Offered annually. Prereq: PSY 411. 
PSY 470 Psychological Testing. 3 cr.
This course introduces the nature of psychological measurement and principles of evaluation with special emphasis on test construction. The course also includes an analysis of commonly used psychological tests, the classification of tests, and standards of ethical conduct in using tests. Students are required to construct and empirically test a questionnaire or survey as well as critique a published test. Prereq: PSY 411.
PSY 490 Internship. 1-3 cr.
By arrangement with the instructor. Prereq: Consent of instructor.
PSY 492 Selected Topics in Psychology. 1-3 cr.
This is an advanced seminar on contemporary theoretical and research trends in selected areas of psychology. Topics to be announced. Prereq: PSY 210 or consent of instructor.
PSY 498 Independent Study: Readings and Research. 1-3 cr.
A project designed in conjunction with a department faculty advisor in basic psychological research on a topic of the student's choosing. Prereq: PSY 411 or consent of instructor.
PSY 199-499 Independent Study. 1-3 cr.
By arrangement with the instructor.