Degree Essentials

Psychology

Faculty

Professor Harry Heft, Chair

Professor Harry Heft; Associate Professors Nida Bikmen, D. Cody Brooks, Seth Chin-Parker, Gina A. Dow, Frank Hassebrock, Sarah L. Hutson-Comeaux, Susan L. Kennedy, Nestor Matthews, David P.J. Przybyla, Robert Weis; Assistant Professors Erin Henshaw, Rebecca Rosenberg; Visiting Assistant Professor Rebecca Achtman, Andrea Lourie; Academic Administrative Assistant Jill Uland

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

Some of the major goals of our course offerings in the Department include:

  • Presenting overviews of contemporary psychology, thus providing students with a knowledge of what psychologists do;

  • Stimulating interest and curiosity about human and animal phenomena;

  • Indicating applications of psychology to personal and social issues. Some examples of these applications concern study techniques and academic performance, the effects of anxiety or stress on performance, and the role of prejudice in society;

  • Developing an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and methodology;

  • Facilitating and encouraging the discovery of connections between psychology and other disciplines. Some examples of the connections include concerns of psychology and biology (e.g., neuroscience), computer science, and philosophy (e.g., cognitive science), psychological questions raised in the humanities and arts, and psychological assumptions in political, social, and economic theories;

  • Fostering the formulation of a personally meaningful and sophisticated psychological perspective.

The first priority for all majors should be to obtain a firm foundation in the basic topic areas of psychology and in research methodologies. For this reason, psychology majors are urged to select a broad range of courses in addition to those offerings that are particularly relevant to their primary interests. Students of psychology should aim for both breadth and depth of knowledge in the discipline. The requirements for a major in psychology at Denison are relatively flexible in order to provide students with the opportunity to select those courses and experiences that best complement their personal goals. At the same time, however, the flexibility of these requirements requires that psychology majors work closely with their academic advisors to develop an appropriate plan of study.

Psychology Majors

Degree Alternatives: The B.A. and the B.S. The B.A. and the B.S. Students may obtain either a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Psychology at Denison University.

Requirements for the B.A. in Psychology The B.A. degree in Psychology requires the completion of ten courses in Psychology. Required courses for the B.A. are:

Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 100).

  • AP Credit: AP credit does NOT allow PSYC 100 to be waived. Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Psychology test will be granted credit hours towards graduation only. Thus, students with AP credit MUST enroll in PSYC 100 as their first course in the major.

  • Transfer Credit: Students may waive the PSYC 100 requirement with approved PSYC 199 credit from an Introductory Psychology TRANSFER college course. PSYC 199 does NOT fulfill a Y (Science) GE and does NOT count toward the courses for the major/minor. Thus, students with PSYC 199 credit will need to complete one additional PSYC elective course to meet the required number of courses for the B.A. degree (see below for more information on Elective Courses). If a student with PSYC 199 credit elects to take PSYC 100 at Denison, his or her PSYC 199 credit will be forfeited.

Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 200).

Two Psychology Topical Course plus Research Course combinations (Fulfill a total of 4 courses).

  • PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for any research course.

  • Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. The FIRST topical/research course combination taken must be at the 200-level; the SECOND topical/research course combination taken must be at the 300-level. Specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed below:

200-Level Topical/Research Course Combination Options

  • (210) Development in Infancy and Childhood and (211) Research in Development in Infancy and Childhood

  • (215) Adult Development and Aging and (216) Research in Adult Development and Aging

  • (220) Social Psychology and (221) Research in Social Psychology

  • (225) Environmental Psychology and (226) Research in Environmental Psychology

  • (230) Organizational Psychology and (231) Research in Organizational Psychology

  • (240) Theories of Personality and (241) Research in Personality Psychology

  • (245) Adolescence and (246) Research in Adolescence

  • (250) Abnormal Psychology and (251) Research in Abnormal Psychology

  • (270) Health Psychology and (271) Research in Health Psychology

300-Level Topical/Research Course Combination Options

  • (310) Psychology of Learning and (311) Research in Psychology of Learning

  • (330) Cognitive Psychology and (331) Research in Cognitive Psychology

  • (340) Sensation and Perception and (341) Research in Sensation and Perception

  • (350) Biological Psychology and (351) Research in Biological Psychology

Two Psychology Elective Courses.

  • These two courses are typically selected from regular Denison course offerings at the 200, 300, or 400-level. Field Experience (PSYC 202), Senior Research (PSYC 451-452), Directed Studies (PSYC 361-362), and Independent Studies (PSYC 363-364) do NOT count toward the elective courses required for the major.

  • Transfer Courses: A maximum of ONE elective course can be fulfilled with TRANSFER course credit from either a Study Abroad program or another U.S. college or university. In order for a transfer course to count toward this requirement for the major, the individual course must transfer to Denison as being equivalent to 3-4 credit hours AND must have been reviewed and approved in advance by the Psychology Department Chair.

  • Students with PSYC 199 credit will need to complete one additional PSYC elective course (a total of 3 elective courses) to meet the required number of courses for the major (see section above on Introduction to Psychology for more information).

One 300-level Psychology Seminar course (PSYC 300 or PSYC 301).

  • One 200-level PSYC Research Course is a prerequisite for all PSYC seminar courses.

  • PSYC seminars are open to students in their junior and senior years.

History and Systems of Psychology (PSYC 410).

  • This course is typically taken in the junior or senior year.

The flexibility of the B.A. requirements places maximum responsibility upon the student to select a course of study most compatible with future goals. For example, PSYC 370 (Statistics for Behavioral Sciences) is helpful for many upper-level courses and is required for admission into most graduate schools, and either is a prerequisite for or must be taken concurrently with Senior Research (PSYC 451-452). Those contemplating graduate work should become involved in research activities in the department (e.g., Directed Study, Senior Research, Research Assistant, Denison Summer Science Scholars). Students interested in the intersection of biology and behavior may wish to participate in the Neuroscience concentration. Students interested in the application of psychology to organizations and businesses might participate in the Organizational Studies program. All students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in developing an appropriate program in the major.

Requirements for the B.S. in Psychology The B.S. degree in Psychology requires the completion of eleven courses in Psychology and four cognate courses from the Natural Sciences departments outside Psychology (excluding Astronomy and Neuroscience). Required courses for the B.S. are:

Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 100). Please see the notes under the B.A. degree regarding AP Credit and Transfer Credit.

Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 200).

Three Psychology Topical Course plus Research Course combinations (Fulfill a total of 6 courses).

  • PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for any research course.

  • Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. The FIRST topical/research course combination taken must be at the 200-level; the SECOND and THIRD topical/research course combinations taken must be at the 300-level. Specific courses that fulfill the topical/research course combinations are listed under the B.A. degree.

One 300-level Psychology Seminar course (PSYC 300 or PSYC 301).

  • One 200-level PSYC Research Course is a prerequisite for all PSYC seminar courses.

  • PSYC seminars are open to students in their junior and senior years.

Statistics for Behavioral Sciences (PSYC 370).

  • PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for this course.

  • This course is typically offered in the fall semester only.

History and Systems of Psychology (PSYC 410).

  • This course is typically taken in the junior or senior year.

Four cognate courses in the Natural Sciences Division (outside of PSYC).

  • This requirement should be accomplished by taking TWO courses from two different departments or all FOUR courses from a single department.

  • All courses must be courses that meet the requirements for the major in that department. Computer Science and Mathematics courses are considered as being from separate departments.

  • Courses offered by disciplines without a major (e.g., Astronomy or Neuroscience) do NOT meet this cognate requirement.

Psychology Minor

Students with a major in another department will find a minor in psychology to be a significant contribution to their education. In order to best complement the major area of study, students should carefully select those psychology courses that have the most direct relevance to that major. These choices should be made in consultation with the academic advisor, as well as a member of the psychology faculty.

A minor in psychology requires the completion of seven courses in Psychology. Required courses for the minor are:

Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 100). Please see the notes under the B.A. degree regarding AP Credit and Transfer Credit.

Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 200).

One 200-level Psychology Topical Course plus Research Course combination (Fulfills a total of 2 courses).

  • PSYC 200 is a prerequisite for any research course.

  • Research courses must be taken concurrently with their accompanying topical courses. Specific courses that fulfill the 200-level topical/research course combination are listed under the B.A. degree.

Three Psychology Elective Courses.

  • These three courses are typically selected from regular Denison course offerings at the 200, 300, or 400-level. Field Experience (PSYC 202), Senior Research (PSYC 451-452), Directed Studies (PSYC 361-362), and Independent Studies (PSYC 363-364) do NOT count toward the elective courses required for the minor.

  • Please see the notes under the B.A. degree regarding Transfer Courses and PSYC 199 credit.