Psychology

Psychology

Courses & Curriculum

Psychology is an exciting and constantly evolving discipline that plays an important role in a liberal arts education. As a science, it is the study of the mental processes, behavior and experience of humans and animals. As a profession, the goal of psychology is to apply psychological principles to help individuals, groups, and institutions to improve people’s lives. Download our award-winning course guide Psycholopedia for a detailed look at our program and courses.

In order to complete the psychology major, seniors may need to participate in an assessment evaluation such as the Senior Assessment Exam. This process is used to assess how well these goals and learning objectives are being met by the Psychology Department. The score on the exam does not affect a student’s GPA.  

The Canisius College Psychology major is designed to be flexible, permitting students to pursue dual majors or minors in other disciplines. Undergraduates can take advantage of Psychology minors in Child, Family and Community Studies, Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Neuroscience, School Psychology and Sport Psychology. Each of these minors is a structured set of courses providing students with a specialized knowledge base that will better prepare them for post-graduate studies and/or careers. 

Co-Curricular Opportunities

Extracurricular and social activities related to psychology are also available to those who are interested in extending their Canisius experience outside of the classroom. These activities include Psi Chi (national Honor Society in Psychology), the Psychology Club and participation in events sponsored by the college’s Counseling Center.

Qualifications for the major

Requirements for graduating as a Psychology major are a C average (2.00 G.P.A.) in psychology courses, and a C average (2.00 G.P.A.) in all college courses. Students wishing to major in psychology who did not list this major on entry to Canisius should complete a Major Declaration form from the registrar’s office and  fill out a Psychology Major Declaration Form in the Psychology Department (HSC 209).

Psychology Curriculum:

1. Core Curriculum Requirements: 

View the Core Curriculum requirements.  All students complete these requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.

2.  Major course requirements:  (10 courses)
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology I  3 credits
PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II  3 credits
PSY 201 Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences  3 credits
PSY 202 Experimental Psychology  3 credits
One Course from each Core Area 9 credits
Three free Psychology electives 9 credits
Core I (Neuroscience & Cognition): one course to be chosen from the following: PSY 324, 326, 391, 397, 398, 410, 431 3 credits
Core II (Developmental & Psychosocial): one course 
to be chosen from the following: PSY 203, 302, 318, 323, 384
3 credits
Core III (Outcomes & Applications): one course 
to be chosen from the following: PSY 229, 329, 334, 373, 395, 452. 453
3 credits 
Psychology electives: three courses.  9 credits
Note: A total of only six credit hours from PSY 495, 497, 498, and 499 collectively may be counted toward the 30 credit hours for the Psychology major. Additional hours of these courses may be taken as free electives.


Recommended Schedule:

Fall                           Spring                       
Freshman Year            
PSY 101   3 credits   PSY 102   3 credits
              
Sophomore Year            
PSY 201   3 credits   PSY 202   3 credits
Psychology core   3 credits   Psychology core   3 credits
              
Junior Year            
Psychology core   3 credits   Psychology elective   3 credits
             
Senior Year            
Psychology elective   3 credits   Psychology elective   3 credits


Minors

General Psychology Minor

The General Psychology minor is for students not majoring in Psychology. Psychology courses required for the minor:

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology 3 credits
PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II  3 credits
Psychology electives: four Psychology courses
approved by the student's Psychology Department adviser 
12 credits 
Total (6 courses)

18 credits

Clinical Counseling Minor

The Clinical Counseling Psychology minor is appropriate for individuals planning careers in the field of Mental Health Services (Clinical/Counseling), Social Work, or Counseling Education and is open to majors and non-majors with the needed prerequisites. Students learn about the therapeutic services provided in counseling centers, independent or group practices, hospitals or clinics.

(Note: Non-majors must complete the following prerequisites before beginning the minor: PSY 101, PSY 102, and PSY 201)

Adult Clinical/Counseling Track

Psychology courses required for the minor: 

PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology    3 credits
PSY 452 or 453 Theories and Techniques of Counseling   3 credits
Plus any FOUR of the following courses:    
   PSY 302 Personality Psychology   3 credits
   PSY 324 Learning & Cognition   3 credits
   PSY 391 Biopsychology of Stress   3 credits
   PSY 395 Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences   3 credits
   PSY 397 Neurobiology of Mental Disorders   3 credits
   PSY 498C Practicum: Clinical/Counseling Psychology   3 credits
Total (6 courses)   18 credits


Child/Adolescent Clinical/Counseling Track

Psychology courses required for the minor:

PSY 373 Behavioral Modification    3 credits
PSY 384 Child Psychopathology   3 credits
PSY 452 or 453 Theories and Techniques of Counseling   3 credits
PSY 203 Lifespan Psychology   3 credits
Plus any TWO of the following courses:    
   PSY 310 Applied Behavioral Analysis 3 credits
   PSY 334 Child, Family and Community Psychology   3 credits
   PSY 370 School Psychology   3 credits
   PSY 398 Neurobiology of Childhood Mental Disorders   3 credits
   PSY 498C Practicum: Clinical/Counseling Psychology   3 credits
   COM 304 Family Communication   3 credits
Total (6 courses)   18 credits
Forensic Psychology Minor

The Forensic Psychology minor, open to both majors and non-majors, focuses on the application of psychology to law and criminal justice, including the clinical, applied and research activities where these disciplines intersect. (Note: Non-majors must complete the following prerequisites before beginning the minor: PSY 101, PSY 102, PSY 201 or equivalent Field 7 statistics course, and PSY 202 or equivalent research methods course.)

Psychology courses required for the minor:

PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology    3 credits
PSY 360 Psychology and Law   3 credits
PSY 369 Forensic Psychology   3 credits
CRJ 227 Criminal Justice I   3 credits
CRJ 228 Criminal Justice II   3 credits
Psychology elective: ONE of the following courses: 
PSY 334, PSY 373, PSY 395, PSY 452, PSY 453, PSY 498F
3 credits 
Criminal Justice elective: one of the following courses: 
CRJ 320, CRJ 337, CRJ 344, CRJ 345, CRJ 351, CRJ 354, 
CRJ 356, CRJ 382, CRJ 449, CRJ 450
3 credits 
Total  (7 courses) 21 credits
Industrial-Organizational Psychology Minor

The Industrial/Organizational Psychology minor is open to majors in Psychology or Management/Marketing. This interdisciplinary collaboration is concerned with the workings of industrial and non-industrial organizations. Students interested in a career as a psychologist working in a business or similar organizational environment learn about selection and placement, organization development, training, personnel research, consumer psychology and engineering psychology.

Psychology courses required for the minor:

Required Psychology Courses  
PSY 229 Industrial/Organizational Psychology 3 credits
PSY 318 Social Psychology 3 credits
PSY 329 Leadership and Motivation 3 credits
PSY 395 Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences 3 credits
Required Business Courses  
MGT 360 Organizational Behavior 3 credits
 Or  
ENT 411 Entrepreneurial and Mgmt. Leadership Skills  
MGT 364 Human Resources Management 3 credits
MGT 367 Employee and Labor Relations 3 credits
Total (7 courses) 21 credits

Note:  Students may not take PSY 229 and MGT 360 in the same semester.

School Psychology Minor

The School Psychology minor focuses on the role of psychology in the field of education. Students gain knowledge of psychological development, applied behavior change and different types of psychological and educational assessment. This minor, which is of special value to students interested in education, testing, or working with children, is open to majors and to non-majors who take the prerequisite courses.

Psychology courses required for the minor:

PSY 203 Lifespan Developmental Psychology     3 credits
PSY 370 or PSY 334 School Psychology or Child, Family & Community   3 credits
PSY 373 Behavior Modification   3 credits
PSY 395 Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences   3 credits
PSY 498D Practicum: School Psychology   3 credits
Total  (5 courses)   15 credits
 
Note: Non-majors must complete PSY 101, 102, and 201 before beginning the minor.
 
Child, Family & Community Studies Minor

The social science interdisciplinary minor is co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. It is intended for students seeking a deeper understanding of the dynamics of family relations and the interaction of the family with society. Its mission is to prepare undergraduate students for careers and future graduate studies in the fields of education, social work and social services. Embedded within the interdisciplinary focus of the minor is an emphasis on creating reflective and compassionate practitioners who are committed to the Jesuit ideal of men and women for others. 

Psychology courses required for the minor:

Prerequisite courses (2 of the following):    
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology   3 credits
PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology   3 credits
SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology   3 credits
COM 204 Interpersonal Communication   3 credits

Required foundation courses (2 of the following):  
PSY 334 Child, Family and Community 3 credits
COM 304/WST 376 Family Communication 3 credits
CRJ 337/WST 337 Violence in the Family 3 credits

One course from EACH of the following three areas: 
THREE courses, ONE (1) course from EACH of three areas listed below. TWO (2) courses out of the three courses must be outside the student’s major OR be cross-listed with a department outside the students major.
CHILDREN:    
PSY 203 Lifespan Developmental Psychology   3 credits
PSY 384 Child Psychopathology   3 credits
EDE 273 Human Growth and Development: Birth through Childhood   3 credits
EDU 351 Human Growth and Development: Pre-Adolescence and Adolescence   3 credits
EMC 352 Human Growth and Development: Middle Childhood   3 credits
FAMILY:    
CRJ 354 Juvenile Delinquency   3 credits
PSY 333 Foundations of Social Gerontology   3 credits
SOC 372 Sociology of Mental Illness   3 credits
SOC 390 Marriage and Family   3 credits
EDY 313 Family and Community Involvement in Early Childhood   3 credits
COMMUNITY:    
COM 350 Health Communication   3 credits
SOC 255 Introduction to Human Services   3 credits
PSY 370 School Psychology   3 credits
SOC 321 Ethics & Human Services   3 credits
SOC 341 Race and Ethnic Relations   3 credits
SOC 350/GRN350 Programs and Policies for the Aging   3 credits
Service Learning: Students enrolled in the minor must complete 20 hours of volunteer work in addition to the course requirements
TOTAL:  (7 courses)   21 credits
Sports Psychology Minor

The Sports Psychology minor focuses on how psychological factors affect behavior in sports and athletics and on how participation in these activities affects the athlete. Students study social perception, motivation, group dynamics, development of motor skills, leadership, aggression and other topics essential to working with teams and individual athletes for careers in coaching, education, research/teaching or counseling.

For Psychology Majors

Psychology courses required for the minor:

Psychology courses required for the minor:  
PSY 318 Social Psychology 3 credits
PSY 329 Leadership and Motivation 3 credits
PSY 373 Behavior Modification 3 credits
PSY 391 Biopsychology of Stress 3 credits
Kinesiology courses required for the minor:  
HED 461 Sports Psychology 3 credits
PED 351 Coaching Theory and Techniques 3 credits

PED 380 Concepts in Teaching Sports Skills

3 credits

Note: Non-majors must complete PSY 101, 102, 201, and 202 before beginning the minor.

For Physical Education Majors

Psychology courses required for the minor:

Kinesiology courses required for the minor:  
HED 461 Health Psychology 3 credits
PED 351 Coaching Theory and Technique 3 credits
PED 380 Concepts in Teaching Sports Skills 3 credits
Psychology courses required for the minor:  
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology I 3 credits
PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II 3 credits
PSY 201 Statistics 3 credits
PSY 318 Social Psychology 3 credits
PSY 329 Leadership and Motivation 3 credits
PSY 373 Behavior Modification 3 credits
PSY 391 Biopsychology of Stress 3 credits

 

Other Programs:

Psychology/Biology Dual Major 
A dual major in Psychology and Biology exists for students with an interest in both fields and seeking a combined educational program. (See description in Biology Department listing.) Students in this dual major may count BIO 315, BIO 315L, and BIO 316 as PSY courses and as Core III courses in psychology. 

Psychology/Criminal Justice Dual Major
Students interested in forensic psychology or the application of psychology to the legal and criminal justice systems may wish to combine Psychology and Criminal Justice courses into a dual major. Courses that count for credit in both psychology and criminal justice (e.g., Abnormal, Counseling, Drugs and Behavior and Forensic Psychology) facilitate this dual major and an accompanying minor in Forensic Psychology. Detailed information may be obtained from the Psychology Department.

Psychology/English Dual Majors 
Psychology and English both have human experience as their subject matter and both strive to develop students’ abilities to think critically, logically and creatively. Studied together, these disciplines enrich students’ abilities to create and understand characterizations of personality and normal and abnormal behavior, increase their understanding of the impact of social forces on the individual and help them gain a greater appreciation of individual differences (e.g., children versus adults) in cognitive and emotional functioning.

Neuroscience: A Neuroscience minor administered in the Biology Department is pertinent to those Psychology majors interested in brain-behavior relationships.

Courses

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology         3 credits
The study of behavior from a psychological perspective. Topics include: methods of psychological inquiry, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, learning, memory and physiological basis of behavior. Students taking PSY 101 are expected to be available for participation in research studies or equivalent activity. Fall


PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology         3 credits
The study of behavior from a psychological perspective. Topics include: methods of psychological inquiry, human development, social behavior, psychological testing - personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. May be taken before PSY 101. Students taking PSY 102 are expected to be available for participation in research studies or equivalent activity. Spring


PSY 110 Animal Learning          3 credits
Animal conditioning and memory research with emphasis on both theory and practice. The training of animals in zoos and other applied settings will be emphasized. Fall 


PSY 201 Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences         3 credits
Descriptive statistics, probability, sampling distributions, hypothesis testing and inferential statistics. SPSS for Windows.  Fall & Spring


PSY 202 Experimental Psychology          3 credits
Philosophical measurement and statistical concepts of common methods of experimental and non-experimental research. Design and execution of project required. Prerequisite: PSY 201. Fall & Spring


PSY 203 Lifespan Developmental Psychology           3 credits
examines how individuals grow, change, and remain the same throughout their lives. The course begins by considering important historical theories in development psychology and specific methodological techniques to address research in developmental psychology. It then progresses through the lifespan from conception to death considering issues of physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development across a broad range of psychological disciplines from historical psychodynamic perspectives to the latest research in cognitive neuroscience. Fall


PSY 229 Industrial/Organizational Psychology          3 credits
Selection, evaluation and training of personnel, facilitation of group dynamics on the job, leadership, worker motivation and effects of workplace environment on performance and morale. Fall

PSY 230 Psychology of Religion          3 credits
A broad, inclusive treatment of religious experience addressing not just Judeo-Christian religiosity but comprehensive ideas of religion and spirituality that cut across religious traditions. Field 1, Spring

PSY 235 Health Psychology           3 credits
Psychology of health-related behaviors, including coping with stress and ill health, physician-patient relationships, compliance with medication and psychological influences on specific disorders. Students conduct personal stress assessments and design interventions. Spring

PSY 302 Personality          3 credits
Covers modern theories on what personality is, different ways of approaching
and assessing personality, how personality develops across the lifespan,
causes of individual differences in personality, and the many important
things personality influences such as physical and psychological health. Fall

PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology          3 credits
Overview of psychopathology: history, assessment, causes, DSM-IV, clinical symptoms and treatment. Review of major DSM-IV disorders with an emphasis on adults.   Fall & Spring


PSY 307 Adolescent Psychology           3 credits
Physiological, psychological and emotional factors in achieving maturity. Extension of theoretical orientation to adolescent problems. Emphasis on real world problems and solutions. (Also counts for CRJ credit.) Spring

PSY 318 Social Psychology           3 credits
The self in social interaction: social perception and cognition, development and maintenance of relationships, attitudes, prejudice, social influence, group dynamics and related gender issues. (This course also counts for WST credit.)Fall 

PSY 320 Motivation and Emotion          3 credits
Covers behavioral, cognitive and physiological theories of motivation and emotion with special focus on humanistic motivational theories. Through course activities and assignments, students will apply the theories learned in class to their own behaviors, examine the nature and progress made on their personal goals during the semester and understand the dynamic interplay between goal-directed behavior and emotion.  


PSY 324 Cognitive Psychology           3 credits
The psychological processes that enable us to acquire, store, retrieve and use knowledge. Topics include: perception, memory, language, thinking, decision making. Applications in education, psychopathology. Spring


PSY 329 Leadership and Motivation          3 credits
Determinants of leadership effectiveness, factors influencing effectiveness in maintaining leadership position, influencing followers and accomplishing group objectives. Emphasis on communication competencies, group interaction, experiential learning. Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 102; junior or senior status. Spring


PSY 334 Child, Family and Community Psychology          3 credits
Effects of social and non-social environments on emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Psychological reactions and adjustments to the nature of community life. Deals with social problems such as AIDS, alcoholism and child and elder abuse. (Also counts for CRJ credit.) Fall


PSY 369 Forensic Psychology          3 credits
Psychology’s role in the legal system; criminal behavior; trial process (competency evaluation, psychologists as expert witnesses, jury selection, jury deliberation, insanity defense); law enforcement and corrections; family law (divorce, domestic violence, child custody). (Also counts for CRJ credit.) Spring


PSY 373 Behavior Modification           3 credits
Application of conditioning principles to changing human behavior and cognitions; emphasis on practical problems.  Fall


PSY 384 Child Psychopathology           3 credits
This course will introduce students to the signs and symptoms of various psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence (e.g., conduct disorder, ADHD). Spring


PSY 391 Biopsychology of Stress           3 credits
Examines the physiological and psychological components and effects of stress, including the involvement of the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. Fall


PSY 395 Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences         3 credits
Overview of measures of intelligence, personality, achievement and aptitude for clinical, industrial and research use. Students construct and validate psychological tests. Prerequisite: PSY 201. Fall


PSY 397 Neurobiology of Mental Disorders          3 credits
Examines the role of the central nervous system and other biological factors underlying the symptoms, etiology and treatment of various mental disorders.Spring


PSY 398 Neurobiology of Childhood Mental Disorders          3 credits
A sequel to the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders course that is currently being offered. This course will focus on the neurobiological underpinnings of several developmental and other mental disorders affecting children today. PSY 397 or Behavioral Neuroscience/Neuropsychology course is a prerequisite. Spring 


PSY 401 Advanced Statistics Seminar          3 credits
Topics include:  bivariate and multiple regression, least-squares estimation, model-building techniques, assumptions and diagnostics, mediation and moderation, the logistic model and exploratory factor analytic techniques. SPSS will be used throughout. Students will conduct a final research project through secondary analysis of a large national data set. Spring


PSY 406 Selected Topics in Psychology         3 credits
Current and advanced topics which may vary from semester to semester will be covered in this seminar.  Spring


PSY 410 Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology           3 credits
An advanced course that provides students with a perspective on the neural mechanisms underlying behavior. Material covered in the course will include (but not be limited to) structure and function of the brain from the cellular to the structural levels, brain imaging techniques, and brain development, plasticity and neurological disorders.  Spring


PSY 452 Theories and Techniques of Counseling          3 credits
Theoretical foundations of counseling and psychotherapy with an emphasis on the mastery of technique and practical applications. Assessment and treatment planning to facilitate cognitive, emotional and behavioral change for a variety of patient populations. Fall


PSY 495 Research Seminar in Psychology          3 credits
Opportunity for students interested in designing and conducting empirical research to collaborate with faculty in research activities leading to undergraduate or professional conference presentations and possible publication. Prerequisites: PSY 101-102, PSY 201-202, PSY 497, junior or senior status and permission of instructor. Summer, Spring & Fall


PSY 497 Advanced Experimental Research          3 credits
Intended for advanced students with the interest, prerequisites and commitment to experimental research. Involves students in hands-on data collection and statistical analysis. Prerequisites: PSY 101-102, PSY 201-202, PSY 401, junior or senior status, OR permission of instructor. Summer, Spring & Fall


PSY 498 A-G Psychology Practicum           3 credits
Internships are available in animal behavior, clinical counseling psychology, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, counseling, school psychology, sports psychology, and leadership mentoring. Joint supervision by staff members and agency personnel. Registration requirements vary; six credit maximum. Prerequisite: Permission of chair or supervising faculty member. Summer, Spring & Fall 


PSY 499 Independent Study           3 credits
Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, department chair and associate dean. Summer, Spring & Fall