Use your interpersonal and quantitative skills to make a difference.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Psychology studies at KWU are designed to provide education and training for a variety of career goals, including teaching and research, counseling, substance abuse treatment, criminal justice-related work and kinds of other human service area employment. Studies in psychology at KWU are designed to be extremely flexible, allowing you to prepare for three possible career directions: graduate studies in experimental psychology, clinical or counseling psychology or general psychology.
This program is offered:
The mission of the Behavioral Science and Human Services Department is to foster intelligent and compassionate students capable of critical thinking.
The mission of the Kansas Wesleyan University Psychology program is to develop ethical and analytical students, skilled in communication and knowledgeable in psychology and the human experience for the purpose of improving human well-being and addressing social concerns.
Students who complete the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of theory and research central to the major domains of the field.
- Demonstrate knowledge of theory and research associated with domains beyond the core subjects.
- Demonstrate knowledge of overarching themes, broad or enduring controversies and major problems in psychology.
- Identify and explain the scientific foundations of psychology, a use and evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims.
- Demonstrate ethical knowledge and skills appropriate to the level of experience and education.
- Recognize existence of universal and culture-bound psychological principles, exhibit sensitivity and develop appreciation for all dimensions of human diversity.
- Develop skills in writing in APA style, teamwork and collegial participation in discussions or debates in diverse groups, constructing and interpreting graphs and tables and giving effective formal (i.e. professional) and informal presentations of research.
- Understand the basic subject areas of psychology and employment of psychologists and establish a plan to accomplish personal career goals.
PSYC 101 Introductory Psychology: The World of You — Fall & Spring
This course offers an introduction to the areas, findings, problems and methods which constitute the discipline of psychology. Areas studied include neuropsychology, sensation, perception, learning, memory, development, personality, psychopathology, therapy and social behavior.
PSYC 120 Positive Psychology: Voyage of Self-Discovery — Odd Year Spring
Transitioning to college, and from college to the rest of life, can be a challenge. This course explores the psychological knowledge related to motivation, goal-setting, and personal happiness and well-being. Students complete a number of self-assessments to explore their strengths and potentials as well as their goals and directions in life.
PSYC 200 Professional Ethics in Psychology — Odd Year Spring
This course will involve an in-depth exploration of the ethical, legal and behavioral issues facing the professional psychologist. The student will learn about confidentiality rules and regulations; rights and responsibilities of practitioners, researchers, clients, and participants; codes of ethics; and avenues for addressing ethical problems that arise in a variety of clinical, supervisory, consultative and research settings.
PSYC 201 Social Psychology — Odd Year Fall
This course reviews the relationship between the individual and others, including interpersonal perception, attitude formation, social influence, prejudice, aggression, romantic relationships, group processes and other topics. Areas studied include the application of experimental methods to social processes, and current and historical theoretical perspectives on social processes.
PSYC 202 Professional Seminar in Psychology – Spring
This course offers students the opportunity to explore the career possibilities in psychology and to develop plans to achieve them. Activities include career exploration, interviews/shadowing, producing a vita, crafting a personal statement of goals and purpose, and developing curricular plans and a personal timeline for applying to graduate school or a job.
PSYC 210 Psychology of Mass Communication – Alternate Odd Year Spring
This course is an exploration of the psychological effects of mass communication on behavior and thought of the individual in society. Psychology of Mass Communication examines the role that media (TV, movies, newspapers, radio, magazines, etc.) play in today’s society. The course explores different types of media (news, advertising, sports, etc.) as well as the impact that media has on topics like stereotyping, gender roles, sexual and/or violent behaviors, education, values and the transmission of culture.
PSYC 215 Health Psychology – Alternate Odd Year Fall
This course examines the ways in which the field of psychology can inform the health professions. Topics include the relationship between psychological factors and illness, coping and healing; promoting health and wellness; and effective patient-practitioner relationships. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
PSYC 244/EDUC 244 Developmental Psychology — Fall & Spring
The course offers a comprehensive study of human growth and development from conception to death. We will examine ways people change – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially across the lifespan, integrating key developmental theories and milestones, so that you may better understand yourself and those around you.
PSYC 260 Psychopharmacology — Odd Year Fall
This course examines the primary biochemical and pharmacological processes occurring with the use and abuse of psychoactive drugs. Basic knowledge of pharmacology will be covered along with the properties of drugs and their psychological, behavioral, physical and social effects. Prerequisite: PSYC 101; BIOL 110 or BIOL 221 recommended or consent of instructor.
PSYC 286 Special Topics — Lower-Level — On Demand
This course allows for the study of current topics in psychology best suited for sophomore level students. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or consent of the instructor.
PSYC 310 Learning and Behavior Modification — Odd Year Spring
This course emphasizes how to change the behavior of oneself and others (human and animal) using the principles of classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning and social learning. Students complete and present individualized research projects to apply these theories in real-world practice. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
PSYC 315 School Psychology – Odd Year Spring
The course offers an introductory exposure to the profession of school psychology. Major areas of study will include personal and career counseling, dealing with special populations, and issues of divorce, suicide, sex, substance abuse and school violence.
PSYC 325 Abnormal Psychology — Spring
This class will examine the major psychological disorders, including anxiety disorders, affective disorders, personality disorders, addictive disorders and schizophrenias. Areas also studied include the application of experimental methodology to mental disorders, current and historical theoretical perspectives, methods of assessment, classification, treatment, etiology and prognosis.
PSYC 340 Introduction to Group Counseling — Even Year Spring
This course introduces the student to the dynamics of group process involving structured and unstructured interpersonal experiences. Special emphasis is placed on experiencing group interaction via exercises, role-playing and videotaped group process for the acquisition of basic observational and process skills. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or consent of instructor.
PSYC 345 Addiction and the Family — Even Year Fall
This course introduces the general principles of family development. The student will develop a working knowledge of family systems theory, a basic understanding of what causes dysfunction within families, and knowledge of the important relationships between family life and the larger social networks and community systems of which it is associated. Special consideration will be given to the importance of cultural competence in addressing family issues and to the intervention process, as it pertains to the treatment of addictive disorder.
PSYC 351 Theories of Counseling — Odd Year Fall
The different theoretical orientations toward the helping relationship and the skill sets needed will be examined as well as review of counselor ethics and professional responsibilities in clinical and educational settings. Prerequisite: PSYC 101, PSYC 380 recommended.
PSYC 352/SOWK 352 Principles of Counseling Practice — Spring
This will be a skill development course with exposure to a variety of counseling techniques and opportunities for role playing of hypothetical therapy situations. Students will also have an opportunity to practice the counseling skills established as national standards of psychologists, social workers and substance abuse counselors, and be reviewed and examined on those skills as well as receive training in the use of assessment tools. Prerequisite: PSYC 351 or SOWK 332.
PSYC 355 Industrial/Organization Psychology – Alternate Odd Year Spring
This course is an introductory survey of the area of Industrial/Organization Psychology. Industrial/Organization psychologists apply psychological theory and research practices to the workplace setting, often employed as trainers or human resource professionals. The course includes such topics as job satisfaction and motivation, personnel selection, job assessment and performance evaluation, leadership, and group behaviors. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or instructor consent.
PSYC 360 Cognitive Psychology — Even Year Spring
This class investigates the major areas of human cognition, including perception, attention, memory, language, problem-solving, reasoning and applications in areas such as artificial intelligence. Includes lab activities demonstrating key principles. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
PSYC 365 Environmental Psychology — Odd Year Fall
This is an interdisciplinary course studying person-environment interactions. Persons are affected by their environment by pollution, noise, architecture and population density. They also have the power to impact their environments in terms of institutional and residential design, catastrophe preparedness and positive social change related to resilience and global health.
PSYC 380 Theories of Personality — Even Year Fall
This course investigates several major approaches to the study of personality. This course will include psychoanalytic, psychosocial, humanistic/existential, behavioristic and social learning approaches. It includes the major contributions to the study of personality by psychologists such as Freud, Erikson, Rogers, Maslow, Dollard and Miller, Skinner and others. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
PSYC 385/SPES 385 Psychology of Sport and Exercise — Fall
The course will introduce students to psychological and behavioral aspects of sport, exercise and physical activity. The course is designed to help student-athletes improve their performance and those who hope to work with amateur and/or professional athletes, or those engaged in fitness, exercise and/or rehabilitation, to effectively communicate and motivate their clients toward their goals. In addition, this course will explore factors that affect performance and psychological development in sport, exercise and physical activity, factors that influence behavior and effective goal-setting, and will examine psychological techniques for enhancing sport, exercise and physical activity. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or consent of the instructor.
PSYC 386 The Wesleyan Journey — On Demand
This course combines service-learning with travel to provide students an opportunity to strengthen values and abilities, in addition to learning specific academic content. The service projects will be linked to the academic content of the class, and the course may require a co-requisite or stand-alone as its own special topics course. Credit varies based on the length of the journey and may involve additional fees for travel. Prerequisite: INTD 110 is recommended but not required for this course.
PSYC 390 Psychological Research Design — Fall
This course examines the use of experimental designs in the systematic study of major areas in the field of psychology. As part of an embedded lab, students will learn how to write formal APA style reports, and will have the opportunity to conduct and present research projects. Prerequisites: PSYC 101, BSHS 210 and BSHS 210L, or instructor consent.
PSYC 402 Physiological Psychology — Even Year Spring
This course examines the relationship of psychological phenomena (such as sensation, motivation, and memory) to brain structure and function as well as biochemical processes. Investigative techniques such as brain lesions and stimulation, bioelectrical recordings and anatomical procedures will also be examined. Lab exercises are included to enhance student understanding. Prerequisite: PSYC 101.
PSYC 403 Senior Seminar in Psychology — Even Year Spring
This course offers students the opportunity to review content areas in Psychology in preparation for the major field test, and provide assistance in preparation for career after college (i.e. graduate school or employment). Students will construct or revise resumes, personal statements and their Senior Portfolio as well as prepare for the Graduate Record Examination. Prerequisite: PSYC 202.
PSYC 410 History of Psychology — Even Year Spring
This course studies the development of psychological thought from its philosophical roots to the present time, including an examination of the schools of psychology that emerged to define the field of psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and Junior standing or consent of instructor.
PSYC 455/SOWK 455 Case Management — Spring
This class will ideally be preparatory to agency internship/field experience. The course covers aspects of client management and treatment planning, including screening, intake, assessment and referral procedures. There will be review of client support systems and issues in counseling special populations; review of legal, ethical and professional growth issues for the counselor; and examination of state services and treatment trends and programming-related issues, particularly in the fields of addictions counseling and social work. Prerequisite: SOWK/PSYC 352 or SOWK 332.
PSYC 460 Internship — Variable Credit (On Demand)
This course offers an intensive field experience with a community social service agency, treatment center or other psychological service provider. Placement will be based on the student’s career orientation. Prerequisite: Departmental approval and satisfaction of entry criteria, where applicable.
PSYC 465 Introduction to Art Therapy — On Demand
This course examines the use of art in assessment and treatment, using a variety of theoretical perspectives. It also explores the training and ethics required for certification as a practitioner. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 (PSYC 325 recommended).
PSYC 470 Research Assistantship — On Demand
This course offers students the opportunity to participate as part of a psychological research team. Depending on the stages of various projects in the department, students may be involved in planning, data collection, data entry, analysis or writing and presentation phases of research. Course may be repeated, preferably in adjacent semesters. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and consent of the instructor (PSYC 390 or SOCI 331 recommended).
PSYC 485 Special Topics – Upper-Level— On Demand
A focused investigation of a specialty or advanced area (or areas) of psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and PSYC 390 or consent of the instructor.
PSYC 490 Independent Study in Psychology — On Demand
With consent of the instructor, the student is allowed to pursue advanced or specialized study in a topic of special interest. See Independent Study under Alternate Means to Academic Credit for a more detailed description.
Prerequisite Knowledge (4 credit hours)
Program Goal: Expose students to the breadth and possibilities of the discipline.
Student Outcome: Understand the basic subject areas of psychology and employment for psychologists, and establish a plan to accomplish personal career goals.
The student must complete all of the following:
PSYC 101 Introductory Psychology: The World of You
PSYC 202 Professional Seminar in Psychology
In addition, because a broad range of experiences is useful for psychologists, students are encouraged to use courses outside the major for meeting requirements in the Liberal Studies Program.
Scientific Methods (9 credit hours)
Program Goal: Teach the skills and behaviors of behavioral scientists.
Student Outcome: Identify and explain the scientific foundations of psychology, use and evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims.
The student must complete all of the following:
BSHS 210 Statistical Analysis
BSHS 210L SPSS Lab
PSYC 390 Psychological Research Design
Students considering graduate school are encouraged to take two semesters of courses with a MATH prefix.
Diversity and Ethics
Program Goal: Integrate diversity concerns across the curriculum.
Student Goal: Recognize existence of universal and culture-bound psychological principles; exhibit sensitivity, appreciation and respect for all dimensions of human diversity Issues of diversity are a concern in all courses, and the curriculum is designed to integrate diversity throughout, across courses. However, students’ educational experience can be strengthened by 1) taking SOCI250 Racial & Ethnic Minorities or SOCI240 Social Inequality, and 2) by developing communication skills in a second language.
Program Goal: Teach ethical awareness and skills across the curriculum.
Student Goal: Demonstrate ethical knowledge and skills appropriate to level of experience and education.
As with diversity, ethics is incorporated throughout courses in the major. Students conducting research are expected to know and follow national and university regulations, and to submit research for IRB review prior to data collection.
The student must take:
PSYC 200 Professional Ethics in Psychology
Content Domains (18-21 credit hours)
Program Goal: Teach a balanced program incorporating core courses essential to the field.
Student Outcome: Demonstrate knowledge of theory and research central to the major domains of the field.
Students considering graduate school are strongly advised to take as many of the regularly-offered courses from the core lists, as possible.
The student must complete the following core course on the biological bases of psychology:
PSYC 402 Physiological Psychology
The student must complete the following core course on lifespan development:
EDUC 244 Developmental Psychology
The student must complete the following core course on the interpersonal bases of psychology:
PSYC 201 Social Psychology
The student must complete at least one of the following core courses on the cognitive bases of psychology:
PSYC 310 Learning and Behavior Modification
PSYC 360 Cognitive Psychology
The student must complete at least one of the following core courses on the sociocultural bases of psychology:
BSHS 220 Gender
BSHS 337 Cross-Cultural Psychology
SOCI 250 Race and Ethnic Minorities
The student must complete at least two of the following core courses on individual differences:
PSYC 120 Positive Psychology: Voyage of Self Discovery
PSYC 325 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 351 Theories of Counseling
PSYC 380 Theories of Personality
Application (6 credit hours)
Program Goal: Teach a program with sufficient breadth to offer students exposure to a range of opportunities and applications in the field.
Student Outcome: Demonstrate knowledge of theory and research associated with domains beyond the core subjects
The student must complete at least two of the following application courses:
BSHS 231 Marriage and Family
BSHS 232 Human Sexuality
BSHS 245 Forensic Psychology
BSHS/CRIM 315 Domestic Violence
PSYC 210 Psych of Mass Communication
PSYC 215 Health Psychology
PSYC 315 School Psychology
PSYC 352 Principles of Counseling Practice
PSYC 355 Industrial/Organizational Psychology
PSYC 365 Environmental Psychology
PSYC 385 Psychology of Sport and Exercise
PSYC 465 Introduction to Art Therapy
Integrative Experience (7 credit hours)
Program Goal: Teach a program that integrates multiple perspectives and themes.
Student Outcome: Demonstrate knowledge of overarching themes, broad or enduring controversies, and major problems in psychology.
The student must complete:
PSYC 403 Senior Seminar in Psychology
PSYC 410 History of Psychology
Choose one of the following Professional Psychology courses:
BSHS/PSYC 499 Independent Research Project – Senior Thesis
BSHS/PSYC 460 Internship
BSHS/PSYC 490 Independent Study
Students desiring solely a bachelor’s degree are strongly recommended to complete a minor or second major in an area of professional interest. The Professional Psychology course may require additional university fees.
You will have the opportunity to explore the rich field of psychology and tailor your program to your interests and career goals. Working closely with your professors, you can customize your psychology curriculum to meet your education and career goals. A psychology degree from KWU provides graduates with interpersonal and research skills that can be applied to a variety of careers. The Psychological Services and Psychology majors allow students to:
- Complete an internship, independent study or independent thesis project in a setting or topic area of your choosing.
- Learn to use SPSS software, the major statistical tool used in social science fields.
- Gain leadership experience by participating in Kappa Psi Upsilon, KWU’s psychology club.
- Develop a professional network by attending regional psychology conferences, joining the Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the Behavioral Sciences or becoming a student affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
What Can I Do With This Degree?
Psychology is an incredibly flexible degree and prepares you to use your interpersonal and quantitative skills for good. Many of KWU’s psychology graduates have pursued graduate studies in research psychology, clinical psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, criminal justice and law. Others have gone on to work in mental health settings, businesses and hospitals. Recent alumni have attended graduate programs at Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Washburn University, Wichita State University, Emporia State University and Fort Hays State University.