Bachelor's Degree Requirements for Psychology Majors
A total of 124 hours are required to graduate. Passing grades in all courses are required, as well as an overall GPA of 2.0 (C average).
Please note that requirements may change from year to year, and the student is responsible for following the requirements listed in the undergraduate catalog. The catalog may be obtained in Martindale Center.
The 124 required hours are made up of:
Forty-two of the 124 hours must be 300 level or higher.
Students interested in gaining research experience beyond their laboratory class can register for Psy 405 or Psy 420. These courses are not listed in the class schedule each semester. Psy 405 is taken for a Z grade, and Psy 420 is taken for a letter grade. Scheduling of your time for these courses is on an individual basis; it depends on the faculty members' research schedules (see below) and the nature of the project.
Prerequisites for 405: permission of instructor.
Prerequisites for 420: permission of instructor.
Steps taken to enroll in Psy 405 or Psy 420.
Course and research descriptions for individual faculty members who supervise students in Psy 405 and Psy 420:
Dr. Michael Allen, Psychophysiology.
Dr. Allen's areas of research are cardiovascular psychophysiology and cardiovascular behavioral medicine. He is currently working on a project that is examining the relationships of behavioral characteristics such as impulsivity and anxiety with measures of autonomic nervous system activity such as heart rate variability. Work in his lab would entail attending laboratory meetings, learning how to use psychophysiological equipment, and assisting in running studies. It is preferable that the student have completed PSY 202 and one of the laboratory classes in psychology.
Dr. Elizabeth Boerger, Cognitive Development.
Dr. Boerger's area of research is cognitive development in preschool and school-aged children. The studies conducted in this lab involve exploring what children know about mental states (such as thoughts, beliefs, dreams and imagination) and emotion. Some studies also compare children's knowledge and beliefs to the knowledge and beliefs of adults. Work in her lab entails reading and critiquing relevant research articles, attending weekly lab meetings, conducting experiment sessions with children and adults, and coding and entering data from the studies. Students are expected to spend 6 9 hours each week on these tasks. Psy 420 also requires regular individual meetings with Dr. Boerger and completion of a term paper. Dr. Boerger will be accepting 3 to 5 students/semester. Preference will be given to students who have taken Psychology 301 and one of the laboratory classes.
Dr. Erin Buchanan, Cognitive Psychology.
Dr. Buchanan's area of research involves studying the processes involved in memory and understanding the relationships between items in memory. She is currently studying how people understand the differences in types of memory (associative, semantic and thematic), how fast those memories can be processed, and if those memory judgments can be unbiased. Student duties would involve assisting in running studies, data entry, and some research (such as a psycINFO search). Participation would be about 6 hours a week including a lab meeting. Please email for further information.
Dr. Karen Christoff, Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Christoff's areas of interest are in children's social skills and friendships, and the factors that influence these. Projects of the last several years include an investigation of what influences, and what is related to, fifth-grade children's assessment of the smartness of their peers; assessment of the relationship of loneliness and other social factors to whether or not Freshman college students return to campus for their sophomore year; an investigation of the relationship of preschool children's activity levels and food choices to their parents' activity levels and knowledge about nutrition.
Dr. Carol Gohm, Social and Personality Psychology.
Research in Dr. Gohm's laboratory centers on how emotion and personality traits related to emotion influence human behavior. For example, are the judgments of some people more influenced by their moods than others are? Does personality influence the way people report their mood? Do different kinds of persons react differently to emotional situations? Some of the personality traits being investigated are components of emotional intelligence, such as valuing and paying attention to emotions and understanding your emotions.
Working in her lab would involve attending weekly meetings to discuss research ideas, design studies, plan tasks, etc. The largest portion of your time would be spent conducting experimental sessions. You might also help prepare materials (e.g., sort and staple), enter data into the computer, do a computer search on a specific topic, locate and copy articles, or other miscellaneous tasks. You would be expected to spend 6-9 hours per week on these tasks. She accepts 3-6 undergraduate assistants in Psy 405/420 each fall and spring semester.
Dr. Alan M. Gross.
Students interested in working on ongoing research projects may inquire about the availability of opportunities to work with Dr. Gross, or a graduate student who is conducting research. Current projects involve:
1. Alcohol expectancies and sexual coercion
2. Emotional regulation and aggressive behavior in children
3. Contextual variables in Date rape
Dr. Marilyn Mendolia, Social Psychology.
Dr. Mendolia (Office-Peabody 302 A) accepts from 3 to 5 students each Fall and Spring Semester to work on special research projects. Each student works for approximately 10 hours per week in the laboratory.
Dr. Mendolia's research is in the area of emotion. Students attend weekly laboratory meetings and contribute to a specific research project.
Other laboratory responsibilities may include data entry (e.g., coding and entering data using a computer), minor statistical analyses, and discussion of various research articles.
Dr. Nick Prins, Cognitive Psychology.
Dr. Prins studies visual perception. Most of your time in PSY 405 will be spent acting as a participant in research on low-level visual processes. Testing is self-paced and typically not very demanding. Scheduling of hours (about 4 hrs/week) is very flexible as you will learn how to get the experiment up and running yourself after which you can test without supervision. During meetings the background, purpose and results of the research will be discussed. Requirements are that you are reliable (i.e., show up for the times that you have signed up for) and take the testing seriously.
Dr. Matt Reysen, Cognitive Psychology.
Students interested in working on research projects involving: False memory, social influences on memory performance, and other basic memory phenomena, are invited to inquire about the availability of opportunities to work on these and other related projects.
Dr. Karen Sabol, Behavioral Neuroscience.
Student participation in Psy 405 and Psy 420 involves coming to the laboratory 6-8 hours/week to test rats in one of the ongoing experiments. Scheduling each semester depends on the needs of the experiment, and students' individual schedules. Students learn how to handle rats, conduct the experimental procedure, read scientific articles relevant to the experiment, analyze and interpret data. Students are asked to attend weekly lab meetings at which the status of different research projects is discussed; students are asked to present a scientific article to the research group at one of the lab meetings. A term paper is required for Psy 420.
Research in Dr. Sabol's laboratory focuses on the effects of the abused drug, methamphetamine in the rat. She is interested in knowing whether rats treated with methamphetamine as young adults will have difficulty with attention, learning, and memory when they reach middle or old age. A second area of focus is the development of tolerance to methamphetamine's effects on learned tasks (reaction time) and body temperature.
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor; an A or B in 322 (Drugs and Behavior), or 390 (Behavioral Neuroscience Lab), or Psy 319 (Brain Science and Behavior).
Dr. Stefan E. Schulenberg, Clinical Training Program.
Research Program. Research in Dr. Schulenberg's laboratory focuses on psychological assessment, test construction and validation, meaning/life purpose, adolescent psychopathology, and clinical/disaster psychology. Additional areas may be addressed depending on graduate student involvement and interests.
Expectations. Students will be expected to attend weekly lab meetings (anticipated at about 1 hour per week), and to put in an additional 6 hours in the laboratory (e.g., collecting data, entering/double-checking data, pulling articles, conducting literature searches, reading/discussing articles).
Prerequisites: A grade of an A or a B in PSY 317 (Tests and Measurements), a 3.0 or higher overall GPA, and consent of instructor.
Dr. Todd A. Smitherman, Clinical Psychology
Dr. Smitherman's research focuses on two broad domains: the study of headache conditions as well as anxiety/depressive disorders in adults. He is interested also in the study of individuals who suffer from both migraine headaches as well as an anxiety disorder, and in identifying the optimal strategies for assessing and treating these patients. As such, his interests lie in traditional clinical psychology as well as health psychology. Work in his lab would entail attending laboratory meetings, learning how to administer psychological interviews and surveys, data entry, and assisting in running studies. There are opportunities to be a co-author on a conference presentation and/or journal publication. It is preferable (but not required) that the student has completed PSY 202 and maintains an A or B average in psychology courses.
Dr. Ken Sufka, Behavioral Neuroscience.
This 405/420 class meets in a seminar type format every Monday 1-2:00 p.m. Laboratory research times are scheduled around student schedules. The work expectation is approximately 6-9 hr. per week including weekends. Students will learn all aspects of psychopharmacology research including animal care, handling and testing, drug preparation and injections, experimental design, statistical analyses, data presentation, etc. Second year RAs typically earn more responsibilities in the lab.
Dr. Sufka's research program in behavioral neuroscience is in the development and validation of animal models and procedures for use in behavioral pharmacology research. His recent research has focused on modeling the anxiety-depression continuum in chicks. He has also developed a procedure to quantify pain related functional disability/recovery and another procedure to quantify the affective and motivational properties of analgesic drugs. His research group also collaborates with a number of research faculty interested in developing novel analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and antidepressant compounds derived from natural products.
Additional Prerequisites: A final grade of an A or B in Psychology 319, Brain and Behavior or Psychology 322, Drugs and Behavior; Students must also meet compliance with university requirements for working with research animals.