Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Department of Psychology

Juli S. Wade, Chairperson 

As a science, psychology is concerned with theories, principles, facts and methods as they relate to understanding, predicting and influencing human behavior: how people perceive; how people learn and forget; how people think, fear, hate, and love; how people develop their individualities or personalities; and how people interpret and respond to social conditions. Psychology is both a biological and social science; it relates behavior to physiological and environmental conditions, including social factors.

As a profession, psychology involves the use of the theories, principles, facts and methods of its science to assist individuals and groups in arriving at better solutions to psychological problems on which they seek consultation.

Courses in psychology provide cultural background, supplement the training of students in many other fields concerned with people, and sometimes become the area of major study for those who plan occupations emphasizing human relations. The student who plans a career in psychology, as such, will find graduate education a necessity. The undergraduate program emphasizes the scientific method and theories of behavior. The student is advised to obtain preparation in supporting subjects such as mathematics, philosophy of science, other biological and social sciences, foreign language, and literature.

Graduate program descriptions are available from the departmental Web site at: www.psychology.msu.edu.


Undergraduate Programs


Psychology - Bachelor of Arts

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Psychology major is met by completing one of the following courses:  Psychology 401, 402, 405, 409, 410, 411, 413, 424, 440, 441, 455, 475 or 493.  Those courses are referenced in item 3. e. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following required major courses (31 or 32 credits):
                   
    a. All of the following courses:    
      PSY 101 Introductory Psychology 4
      PSY 295 Data Analysis in Psychological Research 3
      PSY 395 Research Design and Measurement in Psychological Research 3
    b. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 200 Cognitive Psychology 3
      PSY 209 Brain and Behavior 3
    c. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 235 Social Psychology 3
      PSY 236 Personality   3
      PSY 244 Developmental Psychology: Infancy Through Childhood 3
    d. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 255 Industrial and Organizational Psychology 3
      PSY 270 Community Psychology 3
      PSY 280 Abnormal Psychology 3
    e. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 401 Expertise and Skill (W) 3
      PSY 402 Sensation and Perception (W) 3
      PSY 405 History of Modern Psychology (W) 3
      PSY 409 Psychobiology of Behavioral Development (W) 3
      PSY 410 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (W) 3
      PSY 411 Hormones and Behavior (W) 3
      PSY 413 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience (W) 4
      PSY 424 Child and Family Psychopathology (W) 3
      PSY 440 Attitudes and Social Cognition (W) 3
      PSY 441 Interpersonal Behavior and Groups (W) 3
      PSY 455 Organizational Research Techniques (W) 3
      PSY 475 Personality Theories (W) 3
      PSY 493 Issues in Psychology (W) 3
    f. Electives in Psychology     9

 


Psychology - Bachelor of Science

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

    Students who are enrolled in the Psychology major leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in the Department of Psychology may complete an alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that totals 8 credits and consists of the following courses: (a) one course in Biological Science; (b) one course in Chemistry or one course in Physics (numbered 181B or higher); and (c) laboratory experience in biological or physical science totaling 2 credits. Courses taken for the alternative track may not be counted toward the College of Social Science NATURAL SCIENCE REQUIREMENT.

    The completion of Mathematics 124 or 132. It may satisfy the University mathematics requirement or the College of Social Science NATURAL SCIENCE REQUIREMENT, but not both.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Psychology major is met by completing one of the following courses:  Psychology 401, 402, 405, 409, 410, 411, 413, 424, 440, 441, 455, 475 or 493. Those courses are referenced in item 3. e. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.

    The completion of the science and mathematics courses referenced in item 4. below may also be used to satisfy the College of Social Science NATURAL SCIENCE REQUIREMENT (referenced in section II. C. under the heading Graduation Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees in the College statement.)
  3. The following requirements for the major (31 or 32 credits):
                   
    a. All of the following courses:    
      PSY 101 Introductory Psychology 4
      PSY 295 Data Analysis in Psychological Research 3
      PSY 395 Research Design and Measurement in Psychological Research 3
    b. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 200 Cognitive Psychology 3
      PSY 209 Brain and Behavior 3
    c. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 235 Social Psychology 3
      PSY 236 Personality   3
      PSY 244 Developmental Psychology: Infancy Through Childhood 3
    d. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 255 Industrial and Organizational Psychology 3
      PSY 270 Community Psychology 3
      PSY 280 Abnormal Psychology 3
    e. One of the following courses:  
      PSY 401 Expertise and Skill (W) 3
      PSY 402 Sensation and Perception (W) 3
      PSY 405 History of Modern Psychology (W) 3
      PSY 409 Psychobiology of Behavioral Development (W) 3
      PSY 410 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (W) 3
      PSY 411 Hormones and Behavior (W) 3
      PSY 413 Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience (W) 4
      PSY 424 Child and Family Psychopathology (W) 3
      PSY 440 Attitudes and Social Cognition (W) 3
      PSY 441 Interpersonal Behavior and Groups (W) 3
      PSY 455 Organizational Research Techniques (W) 3
      PSY 475 Personality Theories (W) 3
      PSY 493 Issues in Psychology (W) 3
    f. Electives in Psychology     9
  4. Other Required Courses (15 credits):
    Fifteen additional credits in science and mathematics from the College of Natural Science beyond the courses used to satisfy the University mathematics and alternative track requirements, and including at  least one course selected from the following areas:
    Animal Behavior          
    ZOL 313 Animal Behavior     3
    ZOL 355 Ecology         3
    ZOL 415 Ecological Aspects of Animal Behavior (W) 3
    Genetics            
    ZOL 141 Introductory Human Genetics 3
    ZOL 341 Fundamental Genetics 4
    ZOL 445 Evolution (W)       3
    Neuroscience            
    ZOL 402 Neurobiology     3
    ZOL 430 Neuroendocrine Aspects of Behavior 3
    Physiology            
    PSL 250 Introductory Physiology 4
    PSL 431 Human Physiology I   3

Honors Opportunities

Several courses are especially suitable for students pursuing honors programs in psychology. Periodically an honors section of a regularly scheduled course may be offered. Qualified students may also seek to take any course in the department with an H–option by making advance arrangement with the instructor.

 


Teacher Certification Options

A psychology disciplinary minor is available for teacher certification.

Students who elect the psychology disciplinary minor must contact the Department of Psychology.

For additional information, refer to the statement on TEACHER CERTIFICATION in the Department of Teacher Education section of this catalog.

 


Graduate Study

The primary objective of doctoral programs in the Department of Psychology is to develop psychologists who are creative scholars. At the same time, students must develop the basic skills of their particular specialty and be well prepared for job entry duties and responsibilities through carefully supervised experience in research, teaching, and consulting. Relevant learning experiences are arranged in agencies such as industries, clinics, hospitals, schools, and government offices as needed by the individual student on-campus.

Our graduate programs include: behavioral neuroscience, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, clinical, ecological/community, organizational, and social/personality psychology.  Students in these programs may also participate in advanced graduate training through a concentration in Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science (QMES).

A fully online master's program in Program Evaluation and graduate certificate are available. See http://progeval.msu.edu.

Students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs in the Department of Psychology may elect an Interdepartmental Specialization in Cognitive Science. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Cognitive Science. For additional information, contact the Department of Psychology.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Psychology may elect specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood.


Psychology - Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy

Students are accepted for graduate study in psychology only if judged by a departmental committee to be qualified to complete a doctoral degree, and programs of study are planned with this goal in mind; the master's sequence is generally developed as an integral part of the doctoral program with special attention given to the plans and needs of each student. Additional details are given under the doctoral program as outlined below. There is no terminal master's program.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Factors given major consideration for admission to the graduate program at the first–year level include (1) an approved bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university, (2) a junior–senior undergraduate grade–point average of 3.20 or better in academic studies, (3) undergraduate courses in experimental psychology and statistics, (4) satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test and Subject Test in Psychology, and (5) approval by a departmental committee. The same factors are considered for entrance at an advanced level, plus a record of scholarly achievements in the graduate study of psychology. That an applicant has achieved the above is not sufficient for admission. The number of applicants with superior qualifications exceeds the number of students that can be accommodated.

The department is especially interested in quality students and generally accepts them regardless of their undergraduate majors provided that they have adequate background for graduate study in psychology. Students meeting only the requirements for admission to provisional status are not generally accepted.

Students planning to apply for admission to graduate work in psychology should correspond with the department by October in order to meet the January 5 application deadline. This will allow time for tests and other formalities which must be completed before admission. Completed applications must be received by January 5 for consideration for the subsequent fall semester. Only rarely are new students admitted for semesters other than fall semester.

Requirements for the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Psychology

To meet individual needs, every student has a guidance committee with the student's advisor as chairperson. The committee develops a program of studies in consultation with the student. In the doctoral program, a comprehensive examination is required.

There is no general language requirement. Where acquaintance with a foreign language is necessary for advancing the special interest of a particular student, the guidance committee may impose foreign language requirements.

Psychology graduate students may participate in advanced graduate training through a concentration in Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science (QMES).  Students selecting this concentration must complete two prerequisite courses, three advanced training courses, and one student-developed project under the supervision of two members of the Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science faculty.  For additional information on specific requirements, refer to the Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science Web site at www.psychology.msu.edu/GraduateProgram/Quant.htm.

Clinical psychology graduate students also participate in two concentrations: Multiculturalism and Diversity in Clinical Psychology (Psychology 828, 853, 854, 855, 952, 954, and 3 credits of Psychology 994) and Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (Psychology 818, 828, 853, 854, 855, 952, and 954).


Transfer Credits

For Law College students who have been admitted to the dual J.D. - M.A. program with Michigan State University - College of Law, a maximum of 9 credits from Michigan State University - College of Law may be transferred to the M.A. program with a major in psychology. A grade of 2.0 in a Law course will transfer to MSU as a passing grade. Students will be assessed at the Law College tuition rate with a graduate assistantship covering only the MSU cost of in-state tuition.

 


Program Evaluation - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation prepares students for evaluation careers in diverse settings including government, education, social services, and evaluation consulting firms. It emphasizes professional development in history, theory, and standards of evaluation practice; evaluation methods; effective interpersonal and communication skills; and management of evaluation activities. Students will obtain direct practice experience under the supervision of program faculty.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation, applicants must have:

  1. a bachelor’s degree from a recognized educational institution.
  2. an academic record equivalent to at least 3.00 (B) in undergraduate course work in their junior and senior year.
  3. at least 12 undergraduate credits in a social science such as anthropology, sociology, or psychology.
  4. submitted three letters of recommendation and a personal statement about their academic and professional goals and experience.
  5. submitted Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores if they are an international student.
Admission to the program is selective and meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. The applicant’s overall record is considered, including the student’s personal statement, recommendations, academic transcripts, and other documentation as required.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Program Evaluation

The Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation is available only online and only under Plan B (non-thesis). A total of 37 credits are required for the degree.
               
1. Students must complete 37 credits from the following courses:  
  PSY 880 Foundations of Evaluation Practice 3
  PSY 881 Evaluation Design 3
  PSY 882 Evaluation Data Collection Methods 3
  PSY 883 Statistics for Evaluators I 3
  PSY 884 Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation Methods 3
  PSY 885 Communicating and Reporting 3
  PSY 886 Evaluation Practicum Preparation 1
  PSY 887 Statistics for Evaluators II 3
  PSY 888 Evaluation Management 3
  PSY 889 Evaluation Practicum 12
2. Completion of a final oral examination or evaluation.  


Program Evaluation - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation prepares students for evaluation careers in diverse settings including government, education, social services, and evaluation consulting firms. It emphasizes professional development in history, theory, and standards of evaluation practice, evaluation methods, and evaluation practice skills.

Admission

To be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation, applicants must have:

  1. an academic record equivalent to at least 3.00 (B) in undergraduate course work in their junior and senior year. This requirement is waived for students currently pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree program at MSU.
  2. submitted three letters of recommendation and a personal statement about their academic and professional goals and experience. This requirement is waived for students currently pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree program at MSU. Students currently pursuing a graduate degree at MSU should submit a letter from their program adviser or chairperson indicating that the student is in good standing and they agree the certificate is an appropriate adjunct training opportunity.
Admission to the program is selective and meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. The applicant’s overall record is considered, including the student’s personal statement, recommendations, academic transcripts, and other documentation as required.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation

The Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation is available only online. A total of 12 credits are required for the certificate.
1.   The following course (3 credits):
PSY 880 Foundations of Evaluation Practice 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
PSY 881 Evaluation Design 3
PSY 884 Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation Methods 3
3. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
PSY 881 Evaluation Design 3
PSY 882 Evaluation Data Collection Methods 3
PSY 883 Statistics for Evaluators I 3
PSY 884 Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation Methods 3
PSY 885 Communicating and Reporting 3
PSY 887 Statistics for Evaluators II 3
PSY 888 Evaluation Management 3
Courses used to fulfill requirement 1. above may not be used to fulfill this requirement.