Psychology

The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College psychology degree program provides the advantage of a well-balanced generalist program taught by doctoral level faculty who are experienced teachers, researchers and practitioners.

With a psychology degree from The Woods, you will make a difference in the area of mental health. You'll be prepared to combine knowledge about the human mind with the ability to collect, analyze and interpret data from a logical, problem-solving perspective. You'll develop research skills and gain insight into human behavior. Our graduate merge seamlessly into entry-level health an human service careers or go on to earn advanced degrees.

What is Psychology?

As a psychology major at SMWC, you will be prepared to combine knowledge about the human mind with the ability to collect, analyze and interpret date from a logical, problem-solving perspective. A psychology degree will lead you to a variety of psychology careers.

Psychology Major - (43 credit hours)

You will need a minimum of 120 credit hours (125 credit hours if you entered SMWC before Fall 2014) to complete your baccalaureate degree at SMWC. In addition to the Woods Core courses and electives, the psychology major requires 43 credit hours of psychology-focused coursework.  The major was revised in Fall 2013, so if you started at SMWC before then, please see the online catalog from the year that you began for your requirements.

Psychology Major - Required Courses

29 credit hours required; all courses listed.

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.

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.

Explores career options in psychology, including a survey of graduate school options for both clinical and research psychology, including a survey of graduate school options for both clinical and research psychology. Students will participate in resume building as well as exercises for the preparation of a successful graduate school application. Students will also review professional ethics and standards.

Explores the way humans receive, stored, and manipulate information from the world around them. The principles for cognitive neuroscience, attentions and consciousness, memory, knowledge representation, language processes and problem solving will be studied. Major theories of cognition and their applications to real-world phenomena will be examined. Prerequisites: PS 111

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

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.

Ethics Course

Choose one of the following Ethics Courses

An introduction to ethical issues in the helping professions and the legal context of the practice, with emphasis on the development of ethical competence for the undergraduate helping professional.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A psychology degree from SMWC prepares the graduate to combine a knowledge about how people learn, with the ability to collect, analyze and interpret data from a logical, problem-solving perspective. Because of this, the career choices for a psychology major are numerous and varied:

  • Mental health caseworker
  • Social agency caseworker
  • Consultant to other professionals
    • lawyers
    • educators
    • physicians
    • engineers
    • managers
    • policy makers

Places of employment for psychology majors may include:

  • Laboratories
  • Hospitals
  • Courtrooms
  • Schools and colleges
  • Prisons
  • Corporate offices
  • Counseling centers
  • Recreational centers

For a more complete list of psychology careers, go to the SMWC Career Development Center or the American Psychological Association homepage.

For further information, please contact a faculty member in the Psychology Department.

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