FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 PSY 100 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY GSS3 (3 credits)

An introduction to psychology including research methodology, biological bases ofbehavior, 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; MATH 113 or MATH 140 with a minimum grade of C-, or instructor permission.

 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, includingassessment, civil commitment, jury selection, eyewitness testimony, behavioral profiling, provision of clinical services to incarcerated individuals, and custody evaluations. Prerequisites: PSY 100 or instructor permission.

 PSY 335 - LEARNING AND BEHAVIOR (4 credits)

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.


A theoretical and empirical investigation into the processes and outcomes of thinking. Topics such as memory and forgetting, problem solving and creativity, cognitive dissonance and consistency, defensive repression, language, optimism, and attribution are studied in relation to current scientific research findings. Prerequisites: PSY 100 and minimum sophomore standing 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 345 - BIOPSYCHOLOGY 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.


A course designed to show how psychology is directly related to the student¿s career and the student¿s life as a job applicant, employee, manager, and consumer. Topics covered include worker morale, leadership, work climate, communication networks, and productivity.

 PSY 368 - PSYCHOPATHOLOGY (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 mental disorders and mental illness. Prerequisites: PSY 100, PSY 258, or PSY 270.

 PSY 369 - HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY (3 credits)

An overview of the emerging, multidisciplinary field of health psychology, which synthesizes research from clinical psychology, behavioral medicine and alternative therapies. Psychological aspects of prevention, health promotion and wellness are addressed. Content is both theory and application-based.


Considers the relationship between our sensation of the physical world and our internal perceptions through the lens of behavioral pharmacology. Attention is given to the exploration of altered perceptions produced by drugs. Prerequisites: PSY 100 and PSY 200.

 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 tocomplete 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.

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 activities include:

  • Yearly attendance and presentations and national and regional conferences in psychology
  • Organize blood drives on campus and volunteer at numerous non-profit organizations in the Gunnison Valley

Colorado Statewide Articulation Agreements for Approved Majors:


Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Psychology Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family.

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Faculty & Staff


Scott I. Cohn
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.S., Lafayette College; M.A., Ph.D., American University.
Phone: (970) 943-3022
Office Location: Kelley Hall 212
Kari Commerford
Lecturer in Psychology
B.A., Western State Colorado University; M.A., Colorado School of Professional Psychology.
Phone: (970) 943-3018
Office Location: Kelley Hall 210
Susan Coykendall
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Kalamazoo College; M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University.
Phone: (970) 943-2645
Office Location: Kelley Hall 209
Dr. Lindsey C. Fast
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.S., Texas State University; M.S. & PhD, Colorado State University
Phone: (970) 943-2317
Office Location: Kelley Hall 224
Salif P. Mahamane
Assistant Professor of Psychology; Graduate Faculty, MEM
B.A., Baylor University, M.S., New Mexico Highlands University, Doctoral Candidate, Utah State University
Phone: 970-943-7037
Office Location: Kelley 240
Dave Pinkerton
Lecturer in Psychology and Sociology
B.A., University of Northern Colorado, Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Denver, Curriculum and Instruction, M.S. Colorado School of Mines, Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering
Phone: (970) 943-2098
Office Location: Kelley 203