Shane Murphy, Chair
Warner Hall 311, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8905 (fax)
Carol O’Connor, Department Secretary
Warner Hall 304, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8905 (fax)
|S. Murphy, Chair
|L. Rene Reynolds
Courses in the Psychology Department are designed to offer the psychology major a comprehensive education in the methods and content of the discipline of psychology while simultaneously providing some flexibility in course selections.
Students are given a broad overview of the field in their first course, Introduction to Psychology, and are required to complete a three-course sequence dealing with the methods and statistics used by psychologists. In addition to the required methods courses, students must satisfy a breadth requirement by taking at least one course from each of five major areas within psychology (cognitive, biological, developmental, social-personality, and clinical-counseling).
Lastly, in their junior or senior year, students are required to take an advanced seminar in a specific area or in research. An optional opportunity also exists for qualified students to graduate with the designation “psychology with distinction” by completing psychology honors courses, PSY 475 and PSY 476.
The department sponsors a chapter of the international psychology honor society, Psi Chi, and students majoring or minoring in psychology are eligible for membership. Each applicant must meet high standards of scholastic excellence to be selected as a member. Applications are made online at http://www.psichi.org/?page=become_member. Also available to all students enrolled in the university is membership in the Psychology Student Association. Students majoring in psychology are automatically members and may participate in all activities of the association.
The psychology program offers a comprehensive education in the methods and content of the discipline of psychology while remaining true to the liberal arts ideal. The program provides flexibility, so that students can expand their intellectual horizons, and structure, so that students can acquire the core ideas and skills of psychology.
Students graduate with skills in interpersonal and intrapersonal interactions, quantitative analysis skills for understanding social science data, and with exposure to a tiered writing experiencing emphasizing critical analysis and argument based on empirical evidence.
The department prepares our students to be productive members of a culturally diverse society embedded within a changing global environment.
At the completion of their studies, Psychology majors will be able to:
- Be knowledgeable of the facts, theories and principles of scientific psychology, including the areas of cognitive, biological, developmental, social and personality, and clinical and counseling psychology.
- Describe applications of psychology.
- Interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research.
- Demonstrate psychology information literacy.
- Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem-solving.
- Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
- Write in a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, explain the ideas of others, and express their own ideas with clarity.
- Produce a research study or other psychological project, explain scientific results, and present information to a professional audience.
- Apply psychological content and skills to career goals.
- Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.
Degree Programs in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (B.A.)
(Also available evenings)
Students must complete all general education requirements, 39 semester hours in psychology including the courses specified below with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in psychology and additional free electives to total a minimum of 120 SH including a foreign language.
A. PSY 100, 201*, 204* and 324
*Note that a minimum grade of C- is required to complete both PSY 201 and PSY 204 in order to move on to PSY 204 and PSY 324 respectively.
B. Breadth Requirement: at least one course from each of the five areas:
Area A—Cognitive: PSY 220 or 251
Area B—Biological: PSY 230, 349 or 352
Area C—Developmental: PSY 210, 211 or 222
Area D—Social-Personality: PSY 205 or 215
Area E—Clinical-Counseling: PSY 202, 203, or 260
C. Advanced Seminar: one of the following courses: PSY 412, 415, 425, 426, 439, or 450. Note that the Advanced Seminar is not offered in the summer. PSY 439 is a 4 credit course that includes a one-credit applied practicum experience.
D. Nine elective credits in psychology; at least one of which must be at the 300-or-400 level. Majors have the option of choosing internship or practical courses which help prepare them for a career in mental health care via applied experience.
Students are advised and encouraged to complete their required introductory and methods courses in their first two years or, if transfer students, in their first three or four semesters following their transfer.
E. Psychology with Distinction (optional). Eligible students (minimum overall GPA of 3.30 and minimum psychology GPA of 3.50) who elect to take the Psychology Honors Option must take PSY 475: Psychology Honors Guided Readings and PSY 476: Psychology Honors Thesis in addition to the 39-credit major. It is the student’s responsibility to identify a psychology faculty member willing to direct the student for this 6-credit honors work. PSY 475, the first course in the sequence, cannot be taken sooner than second semester in the junior year or after at least 75 SH have been completed. PSY 324 and Advanced Seminar (PSY 412, 415, 425, 426, 439 or 450) are prerequisites for PSY 475. Please consult with your advisor if you are interested in this option.
For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.
Below is a recommended PSY major requirements course sequence. Other combinations are possible, but the focus should be on completing the research methods/stats sequence as early as possible:
|PSY 100 Intro to Psychology
||PSY 201 Prin of Research in Psychology
||PSY Area A, B, C, D, or E course
|PSY 204 Psychology Statistics
||PSY 324 Experimental Psychology
|PSY Area A, B, C, D, or E course
||TWO PSY Area A, B, C, D, or E courses
|TWO PSY Area A, B, C, D, or E courses
||Psychology elective course (300 or 400 level)
|Psychology elective course
||Advanced Seminar in Psychology
|Psychology elective course
||Optional PSY 306 Internship
|Optional Honors course PSY 475
||Optional Honors course PSY 476
Minor in Psychology
Eighteen semester hours of psychology courses including PSY 100 with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in those courses. At least nine credits towards the psychology minor must be taken at Western.
Internship in Applied Psychology
Students with junior or senior standing and instructor’s permission may apply for PSY 306, the Internship in Applied Psychology. In this course, students obtain experience in the application of psychological principles in community settings. These settings include social service, mental health, medical, veteran’s services and educational agencies. Students collaborate with the course instructor in selecting their practicum site, and must obtain 120 hours of practicum experience in a semester, over a period of at least 10 weeks in a spring or fall semester.
Prerequisites are PSY 201, and either PSY 202 or PSY 203. Entry is competitive and places are limited to 15 students per semester.
The psychology department offers four courses (PSY 392, PSY 393, PSY 394 and PSY 395) for a total of 16 semester hours in substance abuse counseling. These courses meet the academic requirements for Certification of Substance Abuse Counselors (CADC) as defined by the Connecticut Certification Board (CRB). Other requirements for certification are 6,000 hours of paid substance abuse counseling experience and a passing score on the national certification exam. Students should check the Connecticut Certification Board homepage at http://ccb-ing.org/ccb.html for the most up-to-date certification information.
Agencies Used for Student Placements in PSY 439: Community Psychology:
Arms Acres, Carmel, N.Y.
Birth to Three Danbury CT
Blue Sky mental health Danbury CT
Connecticut Counseling Center Danbury CT
Danbury Head Start, Danbury CT
Department of Children and Families, Danbury CT
Kennedy Center, sites in Trumbull, Newtown & Southbury
Mid-Western Connecticut Council on Alcoholism (MCCA), Danbury CT
Nurturing Families/Parents As Teachers Danbury CT
Women’s Center, Danbury CT
Note: Students are required to have significant flexibility in their schedule to accommodate hours required by the required practicum experience in PSY 439.
Students cannot take both PSY 439 and PSY 306 (Internship) in the same semester.