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Psychology (B.A.)

Psychology is a science that seeks to understand the mind and behavior of humans and non-human animals. There are many areas of specific interest within the discipline of psychology, such as perception, learning, memory, intelligence, personality, development across the lifespan, abnormal behavior and social behavior.

The psychology department at Thiel College has adopted five goals for psychology majors, which adhere to the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major. These five goals include the following:

  • Goal 1: Knowledge Base in Psychology
  • Goal 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking
  • Goal 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
  • Goal 4: Communication
  • Goal 5: Professional Development

Considering these goals, a student who graduates from Thiel College with a major in psychology should develop:

  • Fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems;
  • Scientific reasoning and problem solving skills, including effective research methods;
  • Ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity;
  • Communication skills, including competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Professional abilities including engagement in the application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project management skills, and career/graduate school preparation.

Psychology Departmental Honors Students will earn departmental honors if they achieve a 3.5 or higher GPA in the major.

Major Requirements (45 CH)

The major in psychology consists of 19 hours of foundation courses, 4 hours of capstone courses, and 9 psychology elective hours. The final 13 credit hours comprises the student’s specialization courses in one of three tracks:

  1. Counseling,
  2. Cognitive, or
  3. Social Psychology.

In order to successfully complete the psychology major, students must earn a grade of at least C minus in the courses required for the major and maintain a 2.0 overall average for all psychology courses. Majors are expected to choose an advisor within the psychology department, and work conscientiously to ensure appropriate course selections and timely progress toward fulfilling major and general college requirements. All psychology majors, regardless of track specialization, must successfully complete the following (C- or higher):

Foundation Courses:

  • PSY 100 Orientation to Psychology
  • PSY 150 General Psychology
  • PSY 270 Neuropsychology
  • PSY 233 Statistics for the Social Sciences
  • PSY 222 Research Methods
  • PSY 246 Lifespan I or PSY 248 Lifespan II
  • PSY 430 History and Philosophy of Psychology

Capstone Courses: 

  • PSY 333 Junior Seminar in Psychology
  • PSY 444 Senior Seminar in Psychology

Psychology Electives: (Cannot overlap with Foundation, Capstone, or selected Track course listings)

  • 200-level or higher at least 6 CH
  • 300-level or higher at least 3 CH
  • Note: elective CH can also include enrollment in internship or research credit along with traditional PSY course listings. Also included in the acceptable electives (outside of PSY listings) are REL 250 Psychology of Religion and EDUC 112 Educational Psychology.

All psychology majors must SELECT ONE of the following track specializations, and successfully complete (C- or higher) 13 CH of coursework within the track:

  • Track 1: Counseling (13 CH total)
    • PSY 300 Abnormal Behavior, 
    • PSY 370 Counseling Methods, 
    • PSY 373 Research with Human Participants
    • 400-level Seminar/Topics course
  • Track 2: Cognitive Development (13 CH total)
    • PSY 246 Lifespan I or PSY 248 Lifespan II,
    • PSY 342 Cognitive Psychology
    • PSY 343 Sensation & Perception
    • 400-level Seminar/Topics course
  • Track 3: Social Psychology (13 CH total)
    • PSY 210 Positive Psychology or PSY 257 Health Psychology
    • PSY 360 Social Psychology, 
    • PSY 364 Experimental Social Psychology
    • 400-level Seminar/Topics course