Course Requirements

Psychology students undertake careers in settings such as youth service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse programs and a variety of other positions where knowledge of human behavior is important. The College's Psychology major is a generalist program, designed to be useful both to students seeking employment after graduation and to those going to graduate school.

The psychology major or minor can be completed on campus or through our distance education program.

Psychology Major - (35 credit hours)

You will need a minimum of 125 credit hours to complete your baccalaureate degree at SMWC. In addition to the general studies courses and electives, the psychology major requires 35 credit hours of psychology-focused coursework.

Additional requirements to complete a psychology major include:

  • Portfolio of selected examples of work
  • Exit examination prior to graduation

Psychology Major - Required Courses

29 credit hours required; all courses listed.

An overview of contemporary psychology introducing students to: human development, cognition and language, learning, memory, sensation, perception, motivation, emotion, biological basis of behavior, social psychology, personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. The focus of the course is on both the scientific method of acquiring psychological data, as well as the theories which interpret that data and help guide further research in the field. For majors and non-majors, this course also serves as the prerequisite for most psychology classes. Fulfills general studies requirement.

This course orients beginning psychology majors to the major and to the profession of psychology. Students learn how to use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, how to access the primary databases in psychology, the benefits of membership in APA and Psi Chi, and the necessary training to practice in various careers in psychology. Students also participate in a service learning project.

An overview of current psychological theories and research on issues which impact women in their development throughout the life cycle. Gender roles, women and work, violence against women, psychological disorders in women, and the biological/cultural basis of sex/gender are among the topics explored.

Studies human physical, cognitive, personality, emotional, social and moral development and change from conception to death. Prerequisite: PS111.

Introduces research methods including experimental and quasi-experimental design, correlation techniques, survey and field research. May have course fee. Prerequisites: PS 111 and PS/ MA 253.

Considers the processes of learning and memory based on contemporary research and theory. Focuses on how learning processes work in animals and humans, as well as the practical aspects of the psychology of learning. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Teaches how the brain and central nervous system may be divided by function, the relationship between the biological potential of the organism and behavior, and how observable behavior has evolved over time. Focuses on the factors that arouse, sustain and direct the behavior of humans and animals. May have course fee. Prerequisites: PS 111, plus six hours of psychology and BI 101, or instructor‘s consent.

Studies the dynamics of abnormal behavior including etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of emotional disorders, psychoses, substance abuse and childhood disorders. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Extensive coverage of the basic concepts and methods, major theories and results of research in the field of personality. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Introduces psychological tests and measuring such things as intelligence, achievement and personality; stresses critical evaluation of their reliability, validity and appropriate use and interpretation. Prerequisites: PS 111 and instructor‘s consent.

Designed to help the student prepare her resume, learn job interview skills and make the transition between being a student and entering the job market or going to graduate school. Reviews professional ethics and standards.

Psychology Major - Electives

Choose 6 credit hours from the following elective options.

Studies the biological, psychological and socio-cultural aspects of human sexuality and related research. Topics include anatomy and physiology related to human sexual response, sexual and psychosexual development, sexual orientation, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual dysfunction, variations in sexual behavior, abuse and age related changes.

Studies physical, emotional, intellectual and moral development during adolescence; adjustment to change; peer, adult and institutional influences, relationships and pressure.

Special psychological topics such as Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Intimate Relationships, Prejudice and Stereotyping, and Sport Psychology. May be repeated with different topics. Prerequisite: PS111.

Theoretical and practical knowledge needed to make use of basic counseling skills. Emphasis on process in utilizing these skills. Activities include role playing and video presentations.

Introduces theoretical and practical applications of the principles of stress management. Emphasizes learning to use techniques such as deep breathing, visual imagery, progressive relaxation, exercise and cognitive restructuring.

Studies the psychological, biological and social aspects of alcoholism and other drug addictions with an introduction to group, individual and pharmacological treatment methods. Prerequisites: PS 111 or instructor‘s consent.

Studies the way in which people‘s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Topics covered include attitudes, conformity, interpersonal relationships, aggression, and prejudice. Prerequisite: PS 111 or SO 211.

Studies the way in which people‘s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Topics covered include attitudes, conformity, interpersonal relationships, aggression, and prejudice. Prerequisite: PS 111 or SO 211.

Course similar to PS 280 except requires more background. May be repeated with different topics. Prerequisites: PS 111 and nine hours of psychology or instructor‘s consent.

Provides an overview of crisis theory and interventions for working with clients in crisis. Crisis and conflict management theories, strategies and skills will be examined and applied to a variety of situations including those involving suicide, physical and sexual assault, natural and manmade disasters, grief or traumatic loss and violence in the workplace, the home, or the school.

Work experience with firm or agency directly related to the student‘s major area of study. The learning experience is structured within the College approved guidelines for the internship program. Through close supervision by the director of interns, faculty advisor and the worksite supervisor, the student works toward achieving goals outlined in the individual learning contract. Normally reserved for third and fourth year students. May be repeated with different topics.

Research experience with agency or institution where students observe on-going research activities and assist in the work. Goals for the practicum are developed between the student, site supervisor and faculty advisor and are outlined in an individual learning contract. Normally reserved for students with third for fourth year status.

Psychology Major - General Studies Requirements

The following courses are required for psychology majors but count towards general studies requirements.

Survey of major events and developments of twentieth-century history, worldwide. Topics will include the two World Wars; the Holocaust; independence movements in Europe‘s colonies; revolutions; communism, fascism, socialism, laissez-faire capitalism, economic globalization; women‘s liberation; cultural trends including cultural diversity; and the role of technology in shaping today‘s world.

Organization of data; binomial, normal and t distributions; estimation; hypothesis testing; correlation and regression; chi-square; analysis of variance; application to business decisions and experiments in natural and social sciences. Use of appropriate computer software. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: MA112 or placement.

The study of law and the legal system. Introduces case law, analysis and ethical consideration in our world. Provides an overview of the courts, civil and criminal procedure, torts, contracts, property law and the individual's rights. An excellent course for any student because of its practical, universal content and for students who are interested in attending law school. Fulfills general studies requirement.

Studies the basic principles, perspectives and concepts of sociology. Broad overview with emphasis on social structure, social interaction, culture, socialization, groups, formal organization, stratification, social institutions and social change. Fulfills general studies requirement.

Psychology Minor (21 credit hours)

Psychology Minor - Required Courses

21 credit hours required; all courses listed.

Choose six credit hours of psychology electives to customize your major for your field of interests. Contact your academic advisor for details.

An overview of contemporary psychology introducing students to: human development, cognition and language, learning, memory, sensation, perception, motivation, emotion, biological basis of behavior, social psychology, personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. The focus of the course is on both the scientific method of acquiring psychological data, as well as the theories which interpret that data and help guide further research in the field. For majors and non-majors, this course also serves as the prerequisite for most psychology classes. Fulfills general studies requirement.

An overview of current psychological theories and research on issues which impact women in their development throughout the life cycle. Gender roles, women and work, violence against women, psychological disorders in women, and the biological/cultural basis of sex/gender are among the topics explored.

Considers the processes of learning and memory based on contemporary research and theory. Focuses on how learning processes work in animals and humans, as well as the practical aspects of the psychology of learning. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Studies the dynamics of abnormal behavior including etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of emotional disorders, psychoses, substance abuse and childhood disorders. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Extensive coverage of the basic concepts and methods, major theories and results of research in the field of personality. Prerequisite: PS 111.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.