Psychology

Major
Bachelor of Arts
Behavioral & Social Sciences
 

Psychology students achieve a greater understanding of themselves and others that will serve them well in their relationships and in any career they pursue.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Psychology students investigate learning, health, 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. All the while, students have opportunities to design, evaluate and conduct research or, depending on their interest, practice the hard and soft skills used in counseling, assessment and therapeutic intervention.

THE PROGRAM

The Psychology program has three tracks: the Standard Major, Experimental Psychology and Clinical, Counseling & School Psychology. The Standard Major offers flexibility for students who wish to design their own major path and often taken with a major from another discipline. The Experimental Emphasis focuses on the biological and social bases of behavior, preparing students for graduate study in neuroscience and social psychology. The Clinical Emphasis is for students interested in the applied areas of the discipline.

CAREERS

A Psychology degree prepares students for entry-level careers in human services, education, business and health-related fields. Many students plan to attend graduate school, seeking licensure or certification in clinical settings. Others go on to teaching and research-based careers.

  • Mental Health Clinician
  • School Counselor
  • Health Educator
  • Data Analyst
  • Forensic Evaluator
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Applied Behavior Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Environmental Psychologist
  • Child/Family Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Probation Officer
  • Management Consultant
  • Human Resource Professional

WANT TO LEARN MORE? 

Our friendly faculty would love to hear from you.

Lindsey Fast, Ph.D.

Opportunities

OPPORTUNITIES

  • RESEARCH: Students can develop their own projects under faculty supervision or participate in internship activities. In you can envision a research project, then the Psychology program can help you create and execute it.

  • PSI CHI: The International Honor Society in Psychology.

  • PSYCHOLOGY CLUB: A place to participate in discourse and activities that are psychological in nature.

  • ACTIVE MINDS: An advocacy group that provides mental health education.

Profiles

Megan Yingling
“The Field House is my second home. It’s where I work and where I play.” 
Rachael Sandhagen-Turner
Honors student double-majoring in Psychology and Sociology, President of Psi Chi Honor Society, SGA, Active Minds, tutor at Gunnison Middle School, and so much more!
Laura Miess
Orientation Coordinator, First Year Experience Committee, Semester-at-Sea Program, Symphony Band & Saxophone Quartet, Active Minds member
Amber Leal
"In such a unique location, Western draws in people who are passionate about being here and are driven to learn. "

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Scott I. Cohn headshot
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.S., Lafayette College, M.A., American University, Ph.D., American University
Phone: 970.943.3022
Office Location: Kelley Hall 212
Kari   Commerford headshot
Lecturer in Psychology
B.A., Western Colorado University, M.A., Colorado School of Professional Psychology
Phone: 970.943.3018
Office Location: Kelley Hall 210
Susan Coykendall headshot
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Kalamazoo College, M.A., Ohio State University, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Phone: 970.943.2645
Office Location: Kelley Hall 209
Lindsey C. Fast, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.S., Texas State University, M.S., Colorado State University, Ph.D., Colorado State University
Phone: 970.943.2317
Office Location: Kelley Hall 224
Salif P. Mahamane headshot
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

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 PSY 100 - General Psychology (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.

 PSY 200 - Statistics and Data Analysis (3 credits)

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.

 PSY 258 - Introduction to Personality (3 credits)

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

 PSY 270 - Developmental Psychology (3 credits)

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. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or instructor permission.

 PSY 338 - Cognitive Psychology (3 credits)

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 - Biological Psychology (with laboratory) (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. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: PSY 200.

 PSY 361 - Industrial and Applied Psychology (3 credits)

A course designed to show how psychology is directly related to the studentÀs career and the studentÀs 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.

 PSY 380 - Evolutionary Psychology (3 credits)

Evolutionary psychology examines mental and psychological traits such as memory, perception, attraction, or aggression, as adaptations or functions of the natural selection process. Topics addressed include the nature and nurture conflict, relationships between the two sexes, group cooperation, crime, and racism. Prerequite: PSY100

 PSY 437 - Behavioral Pharmacology (3 credits)

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.

 PSY 460 - Psychological Testing (3 credits)

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.

 PSY 498 - Capstone Seminar in Psychology (3 credits)

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.

 PSY 499 - Capstone Internship in Psychology (3 credits)

An opportunity for psychology majors to gain field experience through direct, supervised contact with professionals in psychology and related fields. In addition to on-site responsibilities, students write a comprehensive paper integrating the field experience and psychological theory and later formally present the paper in an open forum. Prerequisites: completion of a minimum of 18 credits in psychology, including six credits at Western.