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Courses

At every level, the Department of Psychology’s faculty work to ensure that Richmond students receive the finest education they know how to provide. Professors agree that a strong psychology education includes mentorship opportunities, strong academic advising and advanced coursework, research experiences and other experiential learning opportunities.

In the classroom, professors recommend students begin with the Introduction to Psychology course. Careful planning and personal reflection should dictate how you build the rest of your academic course load. Learning doesn’t just happen in one field of study, at the expense of all others.  Students grow by exploring all of the areas of specialization within psychology. At the undergraduate level, a breadth of study that gives students the tools they will need to acquire more tools is more important than conquering one discipline in its entirety. Students gain empirical experience as they take 300-level laboratory classes, and independent research with faculty members prepares them for psychology work at the graduate level.

Professors emphasize the distinction between clinical and cognitive psychology to students, both in their coursework and as they plan for careers, but remind them that there is no need to definitively choose one specialty over another as an undergraduate student. Cognitive psychology studies the underlying processes of human performance, including sensory processes, human learning, memory, information processing, problem solving and human factors. Clinical psychology includes a variety of interrelated concentrations such as child psychology or community psychology, all of which relate to the assessment and treatment of mental illnesses and disorders. At the undergraduate level, there is no reason for students to choose between the two fields; instead, they should enjoy the opportunity to take courses in both disciplines.

Courses
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychological Science
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)
Description
Overview of the study of human behavior, with emphasis on scientific reasoning and the technological skills involved in the process of conducting psychological research and understanding human behavior. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.

PSYC 200 Methods and Analyses
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to research methods and statistical procedures in psychological science. Emphasis on mastering fundamental scientific, reasoning, and technological skills associated with literature review, research design, experimental manipulation, data collection, data analysis, data graphics, data interpretation, data presentation, and scientific writing. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 100 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 299 Integrated Topics
Units: 1
Description
Courses that provide an integrative perspective of psychological theories, issues, and research across two or more disciplinary (or subdisciplinary) contexts. A maximum of 1 unit of PSYC 299 may be applied to the major.
Prerequisites
Psychology 100 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 300 Methods and Analyses Core Project
Units: 1
Description
Puts the principles learned in 'PSYC 200: Methods and Analyses' into practice in the pursuit of new scientific knowledge. Collaborative, project-based learning approach, students formulate new research questions based on critical evaluation of existing knowledge, design and conduct powerful, feasible, and ethical studies to answer new questions, analyze and interpret data thoughtfully, communicate effectively about research processes and outcomes.
Prerequisites
PSYC 200

PSYC 311 Child Development
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of research and theory on developmental changes and processes from prenatal through preadolescent periods. Emphasis on theoretical and empirical work on social, emotional, and cognitive development and on various developmental contexts. Includes an intensive laboratory experience focusing on conceptual, methodological, and analytical skills employed in the study of child development. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 313 Social Psychology
Units: 1
Description
Critical overview of current theory and research in social psychology, with emphasis on conceptual and empirical work on social inference, stereotyping, self processes, social influence, affective processes, attraction, interpersonal processes, altruism, aggression, and group dynamics. Includes an intensive laboratory component focusing on conceptual, methodological, and analytical skills associated with social psychological inquiry. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 315 Adult Development
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of changes and stability in behavior from late adolescence through advanced old age, including perception, intelligence, memory, personality, emotion, social networks, death/dying, creativity, and wisdom. Emphasis on theory, research, and applications in class with intensive laboratory component. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 317 Applied Social Psychology
Units: 1
Description
Critical overview of theory and research in applied social psychology. Emphasis will be on applications of experimental behavioral science to societal, institutional, and personal well-being (e.g., inequality, conservation, interpersonal processes, jury deliberation, health). Includes an intensive laboratory component focusing on conceptual, methodological, and analytical skills associated with the study of applied social psychology. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 319 Psychopathology
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of research and theory in psychopathology and behavior disorders including the phenomenology, etiology, assessment, and treatment of major forms of psychological disorders. Emphasis on an integrative approach incorporating clinical, developmental, biological, and sociocultural perspectives. Intensive co-requisite laboratory experience focused on conceptual, methodological, and analytical skills used in clinical psychology and investigation of psychopathology and behavior disorders. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 329 Special Topics
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of concepts in one of the following areas of psychology, including but not limited to life span development, clinical and abnormal, social cognition, health, learning and memory, cross-cultural, personality, human diversity, and other specialized topics in the developmental, clinical, and social psychological sciences. Emphasis on theory, research, and applications in lecture with intensive laboratory component. May be repeated for credit when topic differs. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 331 Behavioral Neuroscience
Units: 1
Description
Focus on the neural regulation of behavior, from animal to human. Intensive lab component with techniques and approaches used in design, execution, and analysis of research in behavioral neuroscience. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 333 Cognitive Science
Units: 1
Description
Examines the nature, function, and mechanism of mental structures that process and represent information, in humans as well as other intelligent agents. Cognitive science integrates methods drawn from psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, computer science, linguistics, and anthropology. Intensive lab component applies techniques from various fields, emphasizing human experimentation and the observation, analysis, and design of simulated creatures. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 337 Human Cognition
Units: 1
Description
Examines the experimental study of cognition, including perception, attention, memory, decision making, and problem solving. An intensive lab component emphasizes experimental design, data analysis, and applications in each subtopic of Cognitive Psychology. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
PSYCH 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 341 Cognitive Neuroscience
Units: 1
Description
Critically examines what brain injury and cognitive deficits can tell us about the relationship between brain and behavior. Covers the functional anatomy of the major cognitive systems, including action, object recognition, attention, memory, language, emotion, and executive function. Includes an intensive laboratory experience focusing on research skills employed in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 349 Special Topics
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of concepts in one of the following areas of psychology, including but not limited to psycholinguistics, stress, sensation and perception, animal behavior, and other specialized topics in the cognitive and brain sciences. Emphasis on theory, research, and applications in lecture with intensive laboratory component. Two and a half lecture and one and a quarter laboratory hours per week.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 350 Selfhood
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of the nature, function, and development of the human self. Explores the dynamic, open-ended qualities of the healthy, normal self and focuses in particular on the construction of self-identity.

PSYC 351 Religion and Psychology
Units: 1
Description
For millennia, religion and psychology have addressed issues pertaining to the nature and functioning of the human soul (anima) or mind (psyche). Will explore some of the intertwined history of religion and psychology, touching upon the religious underpinnings of modern psychology and looking into the psychological foundations of religious experience, doctrine, ritual, and belief. (Same as Religion 364.)

PSYC 352 Choice and Decision Making
Units: 1
Description
Critical examination of theories, concepts, and applications in the areas of human choice, judgment, and decision-making. Rational models of choice will be compared and contrasted with strategies that typify human behavior. Also focuses on applications of theoretical concepts to a variety of choices in everyday life as well as to major life decisions.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 359 Special Topics
Units: 1
Description
Special course offerings to explore specific direction within subdisciplinary area of psychology. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Prerequisites
Stated when course is offered.

PSYC 361 Independent Research
Units: .5-1
Description
Individual research conducted in collaboration with faculty. Note: No more than 2 units may count toward a psychology major. Available as pass/fail only.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better and permission of supervising instructor prior to registration.

PSYC 388 Individual Internship
Units: .5-1
Description
Supervised independent work in field setting designed to give student applied experience after completion of appropriate coursework in psychology. Requires consultation with and approval by department chair. No more than 1.5 unit of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units. Available as pass/fail only.
Prerequisites
Psychology 299 appropriate to the internship setting.

PSYC 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

PSYC 433 Multivariate Statistics
Units: 1
Description
Multiple variable research design and applied multivariate analyses, including, but not limited to multiple regression, factor analysis, structural equation modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, and multivariate analysis of variance.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 442 The Neurobiology of Relationships
Units: 1
Description
Examination of complex array of behaviors that animals display toward each other from the perspective of evolutionary pressures that shaped extant neurobiology. Focus on inextricable link between human and animal origins.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 444 Clinical Case Studies
Units: 1
Description
Intensive seminar that examines select clinical case studies and their contributions to our understanding of brain-behavior relationships. Special emphasis will be placed on the power and limits of the double dissociation methodology: contrasting patients with opposing patterns of deficits.
Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 449 Advanced Seminar
Units: 1
Description
Intensive seminar intended for seniors and advanced juniors, based on faculty expertise and research specializations, and offered regularly in fall and spring semesters for capstone requirement.

Advanced Seminar: Metamemory

In-depth focus on what individuals know and believe about how memory works in self and other, and how this develops and changes over the life span. 

Prerequisites
Psychology 200 with a grade of C- or better.

PSYC 461 Senior Research
Units: 1
Description
Intensive year-long research project for seniors, requiring conception, completion, and presentation of a research thesis under faculty mentorship.
Prerequisites
PSYC 200

PSYC 462 Senior Research
Units: 1
Description
Intensive year-long research project for seniors, requiring conception, completion, and presentation of a research thesis under faculty mentorship.
Prerequisites
PSYC 461

PSYC 491 Senior Honors
Units: 1-1
Description
Intensive year-long research project for seniors who meet requirements for University and department honors programs, requiring conception, completion, and presentation of senior honors thesis under faculty mentorship.
Prerequisites
Departmental invitation. PSYC 200.

PSYC 492 Senior Honors
Units: 1-1
Description
Intensive year-long research project for seniors who meet requirements for University and department honors programs, requiring conception, completion, and presentation of senior honors thesis under faculty mentorship.
Prerequisites
Departmental invitation. PSYC 491.