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The Study of Psychology

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Susquehanna offers courses in a variety of specialized areas. These include clinical, cognitive, educational, experimental and social psychology. Additional areas are biopsychology, child development, counseling and psychopharmacology — the effect of drugs on behavior.

Research. Research experience is essential for students preparing for professional and/or graduate training. At Susquehanna, psychology majors and faculty jointly conduct original research. Recent projects have focused on areas such as developmental psychobiology, language development, learning, psychological testing and social psychology. Students have presented papers describing their work at national and regional professional meetings and undergraduate conferences. Majors also have co-written articles in leading professional journals.

Field Work. Practical experience in human service agencies is available to qualified students. A wide variety of practicum placements is available. Sites include agencies serving persons who are developmentally disabled, mental health programs, child care programs, adoption agencies, geriatric centers and school guidance offices. Students can also gain experience at programs for abused women and children, drug and alcohol abuse programs, personnel departments, and probation offices.

Secondary Teaching Certification. Psychology majors preparing for certification may substitute student teaching for the two psychology electives. They also must meet additional Department of Education requirements.

Liberal Studies majors who pursue elementary education certification with a concentration in Psychology take 24 semester hours in psychology with a grade of C or better in each course. PSYC:101 Principles of Psychology and PSYC:250 Educational Psychology are required. The remaining 16 hours may be filled by any courses meeting the guidelines for concentrations listed in the Department of Education catalog.

Honors in Psychology. The departmental honors program encourages and recognizes outstanding performance in psychology. To graduate with honors in psychology, students must:

  • complete all the requirements for the major,
  • have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a psychology GPA of 3.50,
  • score at least 80 percent on the comprehensive examination,
  • complete PSYC:525 Independent Research for two or more credits, and
  • present their independent research in an approved public forum.

Psi Chi. Students who meet requisite national standards are eligible to join the national psychology honor society.

Interdisciplinary options. Psychology and sociology majors may choose the minor in Human Resource Management. This minor requires: ACCT:200 Financial Accounting, ECON:105 Elements of Economics or ECON:202 Principles of Microeconomics, MGMT:360 Management and Organizational Behavior, MGMT:361 Human Resource Management, MGMT:461 Projects in Human Resource Management and MGMT:462 Human Resource Planning. An additional four semester hours of electives are chosen from MGMT:460 Advanced Organizational Behavior, MGMT:467 Seminar in Human Resource Management and ECON:325 Labor Economics.

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