Psychology is the scientific study of individual human and animal behavior. A student of Psychology can expect to investigate the following topics: learning, motivation, social influences, perception, cognition, neuroscience, human development, personality, and abnormal behavior. The study of psychology also involves learning how psychologists work, including the areas of experimental methods, statistical analysis, and clinical psychology. From the basic courses to the more advanced, students achieve a greater understanding of themselves and others that will serve them well in their relationships and in any career they pursue.

In addition to the basic skills in writing, critical thinking, and use of technology expected of all Western students, Psychology majors will have the opportunity to be involved in laboratory work. As students advance in their experience and knowledge, they can participate in individual projects under faculty supervision in the biofeedback laboratory, animal laboratory, or sleep laboratory. There are also internship opportunities available outside the classroom with programs for at-risk children, in domestic violence advocacy, at the local probation departments, and in other social service agencies statewide and nationally.

Student Engagement

Psychology students at Western State Colorado University have many opportunities to get involved and enhance their learning through academic clubs.  Psi Chi and the Psychology Club are open to students who want to get involved.  Some examples of club activites include:

  • Attendance and participation by 15-20 students at the Rocky Mountain Regional Psychology Conferences Ft. Collins, CO and Albuquerque, NM
  • Organized two recent blood drives on campus, worked on the Oxfam Hunger Project, and volunteered at the Gunnison Habitat for Humanity house
  • 14 students were involved in designing and carrying out a research project on attitudes toward capital punishment in cases where the defendant had been diagnosed with cognitive impairment. The students collected data in the winter of 2000 with submission for publication shortly thereafter

Colorado Statewide Articulation Agreements for Approved Majors:



 PSY 100 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY GSS3 (3 credits)

An introduction to psychology including research methodology, biological bases of behavior, human development, sensation, perception, intelligence, cognition, language, states of consciousness, learning, memory, motivation, emotion, personality, abnormal behavior and stress and health.


An introduction to statistical procedures often encountered in the analysis of data from behavioral science research. Statistical methods covered include measures of central tendency and variability, correlation, regression, t-tests and analysis of variance. Prerequisites: PSY 100

 PSY 210 - HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

Introduces psychology majors to the philosophical underpinnings and historical context underlying the development of the discipline. Prerequisite: PSY 100.


An examination of the fundamental theories of personality including the psychoanalytic, trait, behavioral, social-learning, humanist and existential perspectives.


A critical look at the change and continuity that occurs throughout the life span, emphasizing the interrelationships among physical, cognitive and psychosocial realms of human development. Current research findings are emphasized.

 PSY 301 - RESEARCH METHODS (3 credits)

An examination of experimental and non-experimental research methods, the design of research studies, measurement issues, research ethics, research reporting and advanced topics in data analysis using computer statistical software. Students design and conduct their own study and present the results following APA approved format. Prerequisite: PSY 200.

 PSY 324 - FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An overview of the different tasks performed by forensic psychologists, including assessment, civil commitment, jury selection, eyewitness testimony, behavioral profiling, provision of clinical services to incarcerated individuals, and custody evaluations. Prerequisites: PSY 100 or instructor permission.


An exploration of the relationship between behaviors and their consequences through the application of basic behavioral principles. Topics include classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, stimulus control, aversive control, and the biological constraints on learning. Students conduct their own experiments to apply the behavioral principles discussed throughout the course. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or instructor permission.

 PSY 345 - BIO PSYCHOLOGY W LAB (4 credits)

An investigation of the physiological basis of human behavior. Topics include functional neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and the activity of the nervous system in relation to behaviors such as sexual behavior, drug effects, emotion, and memory. Prerequisite: PSY 200.

 PSY 368 - ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A systematic study of the etiology, symptoms, assessment, and treatment of major forms of psychopathology. An interdisciplinary approach is employed as a basis for understanding disordered behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 PSY 457 - SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

A discussion of theories and research findings concerning the individual in social situations with an emphasis on their applications to current social issues. Included are such topics as interpersonal attraction, persuasion, altruism, morality, aggression, and intra-group relations.


An introduction to the general methodology and theory of psychological testing. Students have the opportunity to take, score, administer and interpret several common assessment instruments. Ethics and limitations of testing are emphasized. Prerequisite: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 PSY 475 - CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An introduction to the profession of clinical/counseling psychology through the presentation and analysis of different theoretical orientations and their respective techniques. Students have in-class opportunities to practice basic skills. Professional ethics in the delivery of mental health services are addressed. Prerequisites: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.


This capstone course is required for all psychology majors, except those who opt to complete the capstone internship. It is intended to provide the opportunity for the synthesis of the ideas and concepts acquired during undergraduate education in psychology. The seminar includes a discussion of controversial issues and ethical considerations in both experimental and applied areas, the completion of a comprehensive literature review and a consideration of the future of the field. Prerequisites: completion of a minimum of 18 credits in psychology including PSY 210.

Faculty & Staff


Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.S., Lafayette College; M.A., Ph.D., American University.
Phone: (970) 943-3022
Office Location: Kelley Hall 212
Lecturer in Psychology
B.A., Western State College of Colorado; M.A., Colorado School of Professional Psychology.
Phone: (970) 943-3018
Office Location: Kelley Hall 210
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Kalamazoo College; M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University.
Phone: (970) 943-2645
Office Location: Kelley Hall 209
Phone: (970) 943-7011
Office Location: Kelley Hall 211
Phone: (970) 943-7011
Office Location: Kelley Hall 207
Lecturer in Psychology and Sociology
B.A., University of Northern Colorado, Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Denver, Curriuculum and Instruction, M.S. Colorado School of Mines, Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering
Phone: (970) 943-2098
Office Location: Kelley 203