Psychology (BA or BS)

Chair:  Neva Sanders, PhD

Introduction

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Canisius College offers two separate degrees; a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology.  While there are some similarities between these degrees, the differences between the two degrees are primarily related to what you want to do with the degree and the coursework aligned within each program. 

The most noteworthy difference between the two degrees is the level of science/research courses that must be completed.  In addition to the acquisition of discipline-specific knowledge obtained through the 10 courses aligned within the BA program, there are three additional statistical/research based courses that must be completed for the B.S. degree.  In the Bachelor of Science degree program, student majors will be given the opportunity to complete scientifically rigorous coursework and to be immersed in research based experiential activities. Courses aligned with the degree are specifically designed to increase student knowledge and understanding of advanced statistical methods, and to help students develop the mastery of a skillset useful in attaining postgraduate and/or career objectives that utilize these methods of scientific inquiry.

The Department of Psychology maintains two useful websites; a Departmental website that provides a description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities, and the Psycholopedia that includes information on upcoming courses and events, psychology relevant student organizations, and a guide for students interested in applying to graduate school.

Qualifications

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the major and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in Psychology.

Advisement

All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Double Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a double major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a double major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some double major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a double major, the student must complete the appropriate double major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.  Please note that students will receive only one degree, regardless of the number of majors they complete.

Minors in Other Disciplines

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

BA Curriculum

An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation.

Major Requirements

Required Courses
PSY 101Introduction to Psychology I3
PSY 102Introduction to Psychology II3
PSY 201Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences3
PSY 202Research Methods in Psychology3
Area 1: Neuroscience & Cognition
Select one of the following:3
Cognitive Psychology
Psychology of Memory
Biopsychology of Stress
Neurobiology of Mental Disorders
Neurobiology of Childhood Mental Disorders
Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology
Sensation and Perception
Area II: Developmental & Psychosocial
Select one of the following:3
Lifespan Developmental Psychology
Personality Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Social Psychology
Motivation and Emotion
Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
Area III: Outcomes & Applications
Select one of the following:3
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Leadership and Motivation
Child, Family and Community Psychology
Behavior Modification
Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences
Techniques of Counseling
Theories of Counseling
Psychology Electives: Any three psychology courses listed in the catalog or substitutions approved by the department chairperson9
Total Credits30

Note:  All students must complete a "Senior Assessment Exam" during the second semester of their senior year to complete the degree requirements

BS Curriculum

An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation.

Major Requirements

Required Courses
PSY 101Introduction to Psychology I3
PSY 102Introduction to Psychology II3
PSY 201Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences3
PSY 202Research Methods in Psychology 13
PSY 401Advanced Statistics Seminar 23
PSY 402Applying Research Methods in Psychology 33
Application of Psychology
Choose one of the following3
Guided Research in Psychology 4
Psychology Practicum
Advanced Experimental Psychology 5
Area 1: Neuroscience & Cognition
Select one of the following:3
Cognitive Psychology
Psychology of Memory
Biopsychology of Stress
Neurobiology of Mental Disorders
Neurobiology of Childhood Mental Disorders 6
Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology 7
Sensation and Perception
Area II: Developmental & Psychosocial
Select one of the following:3
Lifespan Developmental Psychology
Personality Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Social Psychology
Motivation and Emotion
Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
Area III: Outcomes & Applications
Select one of the following:3
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Leadership and Motivation
Child, Family and Community Psychology
Behavior Modification
Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences
Techniques of Counseling
Theories of Counseling
Psychology Electives
Students may take any three psychology courses listed in the catalog. Substitutions of other courses may be possible but require approval by the department chairperson9
Total Credits39

Note:  All students must complete a "Senior Assessment Exam" during the second semester of their senior year to complete the degree requirements 

Roadmap

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course

Freshman
FallSpring
PSY 101PSY 102
Sophomore
FallSpring
PSY 201PSY 202
Psychology Area Course (I, II or III)Psychology Area Course (I, II or III)
Junior
FallSpring
Psychology Area Course (I, II or III)Psychology elective
PSY 401 (BS students only)PSY 402 (BS students only)
Senior
FallSpring
Psychology electivePsychology elective
Psychology Practical Experience (BS students only)1 

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

Students will demonstrate knowledge in selected discipline-specific content areas of psychology.

Students will:
  • Objective A: demonstrate knowledge in learning theory, cognition, and memory;
  • Objective B: demonstrate knowledge of sensation and perception, and physiological psychology;.
  • Objective C: demonstrate knowledge in the areas of clinical and abnormal psychology as well as personality theory;
    Objective D: demonstrate knowledge of social and developmental psychology
  • Student Learning Goal 2

Students will demonstrate abilities related to scientific inquiry in psychology.

Students will:
  • Objective A: demonstrate knowledge of basic research methods; 
  • Objective B: use basic statistics to test hypotheses and correctly interpret the results of their analyses; 
  • Objective C: think critically about psychological phenomena and research;
  • Objective D: demonstrate the communication skills, information literacy, and technology literacy necessary for conducting and interpreting scientific psychological research.

Student Learning Goal 3

Students will demonstrate knowledge of psychological ethics and social responsibility.

Students will:
  • Objective A: demonstrate knowledge of the APA code of Ethics in the treatment of human and nonhuman research participants;
  • Objective B: demonstrate knowledge of ethical guidelines within the context of academic and professional psychology.

Courses

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology I 3 Credits

The study of behavior from a psychological perspective. Topics include methods of psychological inquiry, motivation and emotion, thinking and language, learning, memory and physiological basis of behavior. Students taking PSY 101 are expected to be available for participation in research studies or equivalent activity.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II 3 Credits

The study of behavior from a psychological perspective. Topics include methods of psychological inquiry, human development, social behavior, psychological testing, personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. May be taken before PSY 101. Students taking PSY 102 are expected to be available for participation in research studies or equivalent activity.

Offered: every spring.

PSY 201 Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences 3 Credits

Descriptive statistics, probability, sampling distributions, hypothesis testing and inferential statistics. SPSS for Windows.

Offered: fall & spring.

PSY 202 Research Methods in Psychology 3 Credits

Philosophical measurement and statistical concepts of common methods of experimental and non-experimental research. Design and execution of project required.

Prerequisite: PSY 201 or equivalent.

Offered: fall & spring.

PSY 203 Lifespan Developmental Psychology 3 Credits

This course is designed to give an introductory overview of lifespan developmental psychology. We begin with neonatal development and end with aging and death. At each period in the lifespan we discuss physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. By the end of the course, you will be able to identify how human psychological development progresses across the lifespan, explain fundamental historical theories of human development, and describe important scientific research in the field. We also discuss the impact discrimination, economic disadvantage, and other social justice issues can have on development.

Offered: every fall & spring.

PSY 229 Industrial/Organizational Psychology 3 Credits

Selection, evaluation and training of personnel, facilitation of group dynamics on the job, leadership, worker motivation and effects of workplace environment on performance and morale. Emphasis on student career development.

Offered: fall.

PSY 230 Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 3 Credits

Psychology of Religion and Spirituality covers the measurement, biological processes, triggers, development, and behavioral correlates of religion and spirituality broadly defined.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in RST 101.

Offered: occasionally.

PSY 235 Health Psychology 3 Credits

Psychology of health-related behaviors, including coping with stress and ill health, physician-patient relationships, compliance with medication and psychological influences on specific disorders. Students conduct personal stress assessments and design interventions.

Offered: spring.

PSY 302 Personality Psychology 3 Credits

Covers modern theories on what personality is, different ways of approaching and assessing personality, how personality develops across the lifespan, causes of individual differences in personality, and the many important things personality influences such as physical and psychological health.

Offered: once a year.

PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology 3 Credits

Overview of the clinical symptoms associated with adult psychiatric disorders identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-V). Factors associated with the development of the various types of psychopathology are examined and empirically validated treatments for these conditions are reviewed. The impact of mental illness on those afflicted, their family members and society is examined.

Offered: every fall & spring.

PSY 307 Adolescent Psychology 3 Credits

Physiological, psychological and emotional factors in achieving maturity. Focuses on time frame from pre-puberty to emerging adulthood. Extension of theoretical orientation to adolescent problems. Emphasis on real world problems and solutions.

Offered: occasionally.

PSY 310 Applied Behavioral Analysis 3 Credits

This course focuses on the principles of applied behavior analysis and their application in classroom and home environments. Students receive in-depth instruction in functional behavioral assessments as well as the application of ABA principles to intervention, skill acquisition, and data management.

Offered: once a year.

PSY 312 Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities 3 Credits

This course provides an in-depth review of the characteristics and features of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their impact on the adaptive, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of individuals with ASD. Additionally this course will cover treatments and interventions for individuals with ASD. Attention will be given to etiology, myths, assessment, research-based interventions, program models, and legal issues.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C in PSY 101 or PSY 102, and in both 201 and 202.

Offered: once a year.

PSY 318 Social Psychology 3 Credits

This course will examine scientific research on how individuals' thoughts and emotions influence social behavior. Topics will include persuasion, stereotyping and prejudice, social identity, aggression, and relationships.

Offered: once a year.

PSY 320 Cultural Psychology 3 Credits

Humans learn from our cultures in all aspects of our lives. Choosing a mate, political attitudes, prejudices, and even basic perceptions all depend on cultural learning. In all our actions we rely on ideas, values, strategies, feelings, and goals that have been shaped by our cultures. We cover both the psychological universals and the variations across cultures.

Fulfills College Core: Core Capstone, (part of the Global Citizenship Core Pathway)

Offered: fall & spring.

PSY 323 Motivation and Emotion 3 Credits

Covers behavioral, cognitive and physiological theories of motivation and emotion with special focus on humanistic motivational theories. Through course activities and assignments, students will apply the theories learned in class to their own behaviors, examine the nature and progress made on their personal goals during the semester and understand the dynamic interplay between goal- directed behavior and emotion.

Offered: spring.

PSY 324 Cognitive Psychology 3 Credits

The psychological processes that enable us to acquire, store, retrieve and use knowledge. Topics include perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, and decision making. Applications in education, psychopathology.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 326 Psychology of Memory 3 Credits

Examines the findings from laboratory research to gain a better understanding of the structure and organization of memory. Topics include working memory, encoding and retrieval processes, implicit memory and multiple memory systems, reconstructive processes in memory, eyewitness memory, developmental changes in memory, neuropsychological correlates of memory and memory disorders, source memory, memory improvement, and the repressed/recovered memory controversy.

Offered: spring.

PSY 329 Leadership and Motivation 3 Credits

Determinants of leadership effectiveness, factors influencing effectiveness in maintaining leadership position, influencing followers and accomplishing group objectives. Emphasis on communication competencies, group interaction, experiential learning.

Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 102, & junior or senior standing.

Offered: spring.

PSY 334 Child, Family and Community Psychology 3 Credits

Focuses on the prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders through the study of family and community influences on the developing child. Risk and preventive factors are examined and interventions at the family and community level are explored. Introduces students to the field of community psychology and offers meaningful ways for students to apply concepts. Also counts for CRJ credit.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 335 Psychopathology in Media 3 Credits

An examination of the manner by which psychopathology is presented in various forms of media (e.g., movies, TV, internet). The validity of the information presented is comparatively analyzed against empirically generated diagnostic criteria, and the resulting impact of misinformation and inaccurate portrayals on societal knowledge/views of individuals with mental illness is discussed.

Offered: occasionally.

PSY 340 Stereotyping and Prejudice 3 Credits

This course will examine stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination from a social psychological perspective. This will include a focus on both individual differences and situational influences on stereotyping and prejudice, as well as a consideration of the cognitive and emotional factors that can promote or inhibit these processes.

Offered: Occasionally.

PSY 360 Psychology and Law 3 Credits

Examines issues of considerable importance to the criminal justice system using empirical techniques from psychology. Topics include the conviction of the innocent, lie detection, the death penalty, the insanity defense, civil commitment, eyewitness memory, false and repressed memories, children in the courtroom, jury decision-making, and expert testimony.

Offered: spring.

PSY 365 Psychology of Aging 3 Credits

This course examines the developmental changes experienced during late life. We begin by examining the demography and science of aging. We then turn to the normative physical, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that come with aging. We also consider variability in normative age related changes. We examine the fine threshold between function and disability as well as important issues in late life such as long-term care and death & dying. Throughout the semester we engage with these topics with a variety of hands-on learning and lecture experiences to augment our excellent text. In particular, we address the unique challenges of aging for marginalized groups in a series of immersive projects.

Fulfills College Core: Core Capstone

Offered: occasionally.

PSY 370 School Psychology 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the field of school psychology including historical foundations, current issues, principles of assessment and service delivery models. This course focuses heavily on applying current research and evidence-based practice for children with behavioral, emotional, developmental and learning problems in schools. Issues involving schools as systems, cultural diversity, human exceptionality, professional standards, legal/ethical considerations, and the interrelationship between general and special education are emphasized.

Prerequisite: PSY 203.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 373 Behavior Modification 3 Credits

A study of the principles of conditioning and learning as applied to practical approaches of behavior management and change. Students will learn how to conduct a functional analysis of problematic behavior and how to apply evidence based behavior-change techniques. Self-regulation and cognitive-behavioral techniques will also be discussed.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 380 Science and Pseudoscience in Psychology: Thinking Critically 3 Credits

This course will provide students with the skills needed to scientifically evaluate fringe-science, paranormal, and otherwise unorthodox claims about human behavior that regularly appear in popular culture and in the popular media. A major focus of the course will be on biases and heuristics in cognition that are typically adaptive but that also lead to predictable errors in reasoning.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences)

Offered: Every spring.

PSY 384 Child & Adolescent Psychopathology 3 Credits

This course will introduce students to the signs and symptoms of various psychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence (e.g., conduct disorder, ADHD). Factors correlated with the development of these disorders are reviewed and empirically validated treatments for these conditions are discussed.

Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in PSY 101 and PSY 102.

Offered: every spring.

PSY 391 Biopsychology of Stress 3 Credits

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the anatomical, physiological and psychological components and effects of short-term and long-term stress. Material includes effects of stress on cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems as well as factors that modulate the stress response.

Offered: once a year.

PSY 392 Prosocial Behavior 3 Credits

This course will examine the scientific evidence for what motivates people to behave in ways that benefit others. Topics include altruism, psychopathy, preferences for fairness, and the neuroscientific underpinnings of morality.

Fulfills College Core: Justice

Offered: Fall

PSY 395 Assessment in the Behavioral Sciences 3 Credits

Addresses fundamentals of classic test theory, scaling, reliability, and validity and provides an overview of measures of intelligence, achievement, and personality for clinical, educational, and research use.

Prerequisite: PSY 201.

Offered: fall & spring.

PSY 396 Behavior Intervention/Spec Pop 3 Credits

This RBT course has been designed for individuals that meet the eligibility requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (e.g., the person must possess a high school degree). This course is a hybrid course designed to teach you the basic principles, procedures and the underlying philosophy of ABA delivered in class and online. This training program is based on the Registered Behavior Technician Task List and is designed to meet the 40-hour training requirement for the RBT credential. The program is offered independent of the BACB.

Offered: occasionally.

PSY 397 Neurobiology of Mental Disorders 3 Credits

Examines the role of the putative biological underpinnings of the symptoms, etiology and treatment of various mental disorders. Includes introduction to neuroanatomy, neurophsyiology, and neurotransitter systems.

Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 102, or permission of instructor.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 398 Neurobiology of Childhood Mental Disorders 3 Credits

This course is a sequel to Neurobiology of Mental Disorders and focuses on the neurobiological underpinnings of several developmental and other mental disorders affecting children today. There is extensive discussion of the role of a variety of prenatal and postnatal stressors in the development of mental disorders.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in PSY 397 or BIO 114 or BIO 345 or Permission of Instructor.

Offered: every spring.

PSY 401 Advanced Statistics Seminar 3 Credits

Topics include bivariate and multiple regression, least-squares estimation, model-building techniques, assumptions and diagnostics, mediation and moderation, the logistic model and exploratory factor analytic techniques. SPSS will be used throughout. Students will conduct a final research project through secondary analysis of a large national data set.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of B- in PSY 201.

Offered: spring.

PSY 402 Applying Research Methods in Psychology 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students with hands-on practice with experimental research methods in psychology. Students will learn how to plan, conduct, and analyze their own experimental research, and develop the knowledge and skills to apply and critique the scientific method across a variety of settings.

Prerequisite: PSY 202.

Offered: spring.

PSY 410 Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology 3 Credits

An advanced course that provides students with a perspective on the neural mechanisms underlying behavior. Material covered in the course will include (but not be limited to) structure and function of the brain from the cellular to the structural levels, brain imaging techniques, and brain development, plasticity and neurological disorders.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in PSY 101 or 102 or BIO 111 or BIO 114 or BIO 345 or Permission of Instructor.

Offered: spring.

PSY 431 Sensation and Perception 3 Credits

This course is an introduction to sensory systems and perceptual processes. Course focuses on each of the major sensory systems, beginning with the anatomy and physiology of the sense organ, and builds up to how we represent that information in the mind.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in PSY 101 or PSY 102.

Offered: spring.

PSY 452 Techniques of Counseling 3 Credits

Examines the therapeutic relationship and traditional counseling and psychotherapy skills. Provides the opportunity to practice counseling strategies in an encouraging and supportive environment. Assists in the development of effective communication skills applicable in professional, general human services, and nonprofessional helper roles. Assessment and treatment strategies, used to address the most common disorders encountered in counseling, are studied.

Offered: every fall.

PSY 453 Theories of Counseling 3 Credits

Explores classic and contemporary theories of counseling. Cultural competency and empirical research are examined. Counseling approaches for specific diagnoses are discussed. Relates theories to students’ personal experiences and observations of others. Assists students with exploring their personal views regarding therapeutic change.

Offered: spring.

PSY 495 Guided Research in Psychology 1-6 Credits

Opportunity for students interested in designing and conducting empirical research to collaborate with faculty in research activities leading to undergraduate or professional conference presentations and possible publication.

Prerequisite: PSY 101, PSY 102, PSY 201, PSY 202, junior or senior status, & permission of instructor.

Offered: fall, spring, & summer.

PSY 497 Advanced Experimental Psychology 3 Credits

Intended for advanced students with the interest, prerequisites and commitment to experimental research. Involves students in hands-on data collection and statistical analysis.

Prerequisite: PSY 101, PSY 102, PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 401, junior or senior status, & permission of instructor.

Offered: fall.

PSY 498 Psychology Practicum 6 Credits

Internships are available in clinical counseling psychology, forensic psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, school psychology, and sports psychology. Joint supervision by staff members and agency personnel. Registration requirements vary; six credit maximum. Please click on this link to find out how to register for a practicum http://canisiuspsychology.net/psychwiki/ PracticumRequirements.

Prerequisite: permission of chair or supervising faculty member.

Offered: every fall, spring, & summer.

PSY 499 Independent Study 3 Credits

Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.

Offered: fall, spring, & summer.