Psychology

http://psychology.wvu.edu/

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Sciences

Students may not earn both a B.A. and a B.S. in Psychology.

Nature of the Program

Psychology is the science of behavior.  Courses in this discipline convey the principles, methods, and theories that are necessary for a better understanding of human and animal behaviors.  Students who choose this subject as their major are expected to fulfill certain requirements, but the program is structured to allow considerable flexibility.  Studying psychology at WVU allows students to work toward a liberal arts degree rather than a specialized degree that prepares students for a specific type of job.  Typically, individuals tailor their schedules according to the career paths they choose, and these decisions generally fall into three categories: pursuit of graduate studies, pursuit of a career applying principles of psychology to human problems, or pursuit of a career in a non-related field.

Students who earn a degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences must complete the University requirements, the College requirements for their specific degree program, and their major requirements.

Minors

All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; view a list of all available minors and their requirements here. Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.

Certificate of Global Engagement

Students in the Eberly College, regardless of their major, can earn a Certificate of Global Engagement. Completion of the Certificate demonstrates the student’s knowledge of diverse cultures, as well as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds.  Students will be required to apply their knowledge of contemporary issues and global social contexts to their course work and their broader citizenship.  For details regarding Certificate requirements, please visit the Eberly College page.

Honors Program

The Department of Psychology honors program is designed to provide special enrichment, attention, and recognition for exceptional psychology majors.  Admission to the program requires completion of nine hours of psychology, a psychology GPA of 3.5, and an overall GPA of 3.4.  Graduation with departmental honors in psychology requires the same GPAs and completion of an honors thesis (three to six hours of PSYC 498).  Information about the program is available in the department’s student records office or from the director of undergraduate training.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major. 
Students coming from another major can be admitted once they meet milestones set by the department:
  • completion of PSYC 101, with a grade of C- or higher,
  • MATH 124 or higher in progress if they intend to pursue the B.A,,
  • or, MATH 126 or higher in progress if they intend to pursue the B.S.,
  • and an overall GPA of 2.00.
 

Benchmark Expectations

Students should have completed PSYC 101, with a C- or better, and MATH 126 by the end of the second semester in the program.   PSYC 202, or PSYC 203 and PSYC 204, with a C- in PSYC 203 by the end of the 4th semester.  PSYC 301 and PSYC 302 by the end of the 6th semester. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 in the major and overall.  All majors must attend Group Advising sessions with a Psychology adviser each semester. Students who fail to meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

For specific information on the following programs please see the links to the right:

  • Psychology B.A.
  • Psychology B.S.

Major Learning Goals

psychology

Upon successful completion of the B.A. or B.S. degree, Psychology majors will be able to:

  1. Describe the central principles, facts, concepts, and theories of major areas of psychology (i.e., Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical, Developmental) including: Theory, Content, and Research Methods. Students will also be able to describe advanced principles.
  2. Apply scientific principles of psychology to analyze and solve basic and applied problems.
  3. Create, evaluate, and revise text (oral, written) that effectively communicates information using APA format.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking, information and technology literacy, and communication skills, areas specifically identified by the American Psychological Association.
  5. Apply psychological content and skills to career goals and develop meaningful professional direction. 

Psychology Minor

MINOR CODE - U074

A minimum grade of C- or better is required for PSYC 101 .  An overall GPA of 2.0 across courses applied toward the minor is required.  Courses taken as P/F do not count toward the total 18 hours of coursework. 

Core Courses
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (C- or higher)3
PSYC 304Critical Thinking in Psychology3
Electives:12
Select 12 additional PSYC credits, including 6 at the 300-400 level (in addition to PSYC 304). PSYC 490, 491 and 495 may not be applied to the Psychology minor.
Total Hours18

Courses

PSYC 101. Introduction to Psychology. 3 Hours.

Survey of general psychology.

PSYC 191. First-Year Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

Engages students in active learning strategies that enable effective transition to college life at WVU. Students will explore school, college and university programs, policies and services relevant to academic success. Provides active learning activities that enable effective transition to the academic environment. Students examine school, college and university programs, policies and services.

PSYC 201. Psychology as a Profession. 1 Hour.

PR: PSYC 101. Orientation to opportunities for experience, employment, and graduate and professional training in psychology.

PSYC 202. Research Methods in Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101 and (STAT 201 or STAT 211). Research methods in experimental, developmental, clinical, and community-social psychology in the laboratory and the natural environment.

PSYC 203. Research Methods & Analysis 1. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101 and (MATH 126 or higher, or a satisfactory ACT/SAT math score, or satisfactory math placement exam performance). Research methods and data analysis utilizing descriptive and correlational designs in developmental, experimental, clinical, and social psychology in the laboratory and the natural environment.

PSYC 204. Research Methods & Analysis 2. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 203 with a grade of C- or higher. Research methods and data analysis utilizing experimental and quasi-experimental designs in developmental, experimental, clinical, and social psychology in the laboratory and the natural environment.

PSYC 231. Leadership and Human Relations. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Concentrates on principles of psychology that can be applied to improving relations with others as well as being a more effective leader. Pragmatic orientation includes using the principles to solve problems in relationships, in small organizations, and in large systems.

PSYC 232. Sex Roles and Behavior. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Relates sex-typed behavior to physiological, social, and cultural processes. Current social concerns such as rape and abortion legislation, child care, and expanded career options for both sexes are examined from a psychological perspective.

PSYC 233. Psychology of Cinema. 3 Hours.

This course examines film from a psychological perspective. Areas of focus include the art and science of film production, and the impact of cinema on the individual and society. Analysis of psychological themes is emphasized.

PSYC 234. Drugs and Behavior. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Behavioral, neurochemical, pharmacological, historical, legal, social, and clinical aspects of commonly used and abused psychoactive drugs.

PSYC 241. Introduction to Human Development. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Survey of human psychological development across the life span with emphasis on change in biological, cognitive, and social-emotional processes. Special attention given to theoretical, conceptual, methodological, and practical issues.

PSYC 251. Introduction to Social Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Examination of social interaction and behavior from a psychological perspective. Topics include: attraction, social perception and cognition, attitudes and attitude change, social influence and group process, prosocial behavior and aggression, cultural influence, and prejudice.

PSYC 281. Introduction to Abnormal Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Introduction to major categories of behavior disorders; etiology, prevention and treatment.

PSYC 293A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

PSYC 298A-D. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in the Honors Program and consent of the Honors Director. Independent reading, study, or research.

PSYC 301. Biological Foundations of Behavior. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101 and (PSYC 202 or PSYC 204). Introduction to animal behavior. Survey of fundamental concepts (evolution, genetics, adaptation, and learning) and research methods in understanding animal behavior including primate species. Includes laboratory exercises and demonstrations.

PSYC 302. Behavior Principles. 4 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101 and (PSYC 202 or PSYC 204). Principles of behavior and learning and the significance of these principles for psychological theory and application; laboratory exercises and demonstrations.

PSYC 304. Critical Thinking in Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101 with a minimum grade of C-. This course teaches critical thinking skills in psychology, which include the ability to recognize patterns; to solve problems in practical, creative, or scientific ways; to engage in psychological reasoning; and to adopt different perspectives when evaluating ideas or issues.

PSYC 331. History and Systems of Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 203 or PSYC 204 or PSYC 231 or PSYC 232 or PSYC 241 or PSYC 251 or PSYC 293 and at least junior or senior standing. A survey of psychology from its origins in philosophy, biology, and physics through the early major schools of psychological thought to modern perspectives on the science of behavior and its applications to human affairs.

PSYC 332. Multiculturalism in Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Theoretical and empirical issues in multicultural psychology. Topics include psychological processes and impact of bias, discrimination, racism, and privilege, as well as awareness, sensitivity, and tolerance in cross-cultural interactions.

PSYC 342. Prenatal and Infant Development. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 241 and junior or senior standing. Behavior and development from conception to two years. Includes behavioral genetics and hazards of prenatal development, as well as sensory motor, cognitive, language, and socioemotional behavior during infancy.

PSYC 343. Child and Adolescent Development. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 241 and junior or senior standing. Theory and research on major psychological processes in childhood and adolescence; maturation, personality, socialization, sensory, and cognitive development.

PSYC 345. Adulthood and Aging. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 241 and junior or senior standing. Psychological issues in the study of adulthood, with an emphasis on the characteristics of older adults. Topics include the psychosocial and biological context of aging, cognitive and personality changes from early to late adulthood, psychopathology in later life, dementia, issues in caregiving, and death and dying.

PSYC 350. Topics in Social Psychology. 3 Hours.

Social factors that determine human behavior, survey of research in selected areas of social psychology and their implications for social phenomena.

PSYC 351. Topics in Social Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 251 and junior or senior standing. Social factors that determine human behavior, survey of research in selected areas of social psychology and their implications for social phenomena.

PSYC 362. Psychological Assessment. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204 and at least junior standing. Psychometric theory and development of psychological assessment instruments. Includes behavioral, personality, intellectual, neuropsychological, forensic, achievement, and aptitude assessment.

PSYC 363. Personality Theory. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204 and at least junior standing. Theoretical and empirical readings in a survey of major perspectives in personality theory, including dynamic, cognitive, humanistic, and behavioral.

PSYC 364. Psychology of Adjustment. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204 or PSYC 231 or PSYC 232 or PSYC 241 or PSYC 251 or PSYC 293 and at least junior standing. Dynamic principles of human personality adjustment.

PSYC 365. Forensic Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101 and junior or senior standing. Surveys role of psychology in the legal system. Issues addressed include: insanity, child custody, sexual abuse, police fitness, eye witness and jury selection.

PSYC 367. Introduction to Clinical Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204 and junior or senior standing. Surveys field of clinical psychology, including its development, important issues regarding the training and practice of clinical psychologists, some of the politics of the profession, and future directions for the field.

PSYC 368. Ethics and Practice in Behavior Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 101. Introduction to ethical guidelines and practice issues in Applied Behavior Analysis. Covers the Behavior Analysis Certification Board Compliance Code, client intake and identification of the problem, behavioral assessment, and fundamental elements of behavior change.

PSYC 370. Emotions and Mood. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204. Theories, concepts and methodologies pertaining to emotions and mood. Topics also include development and socialization of emotions, and outcomes.

PSYC 379. Community Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 203 or PSYC 204 or PSYC 231 or PSYC 232 or PSYC 241 or PSYC 251 and at least junior standing. Applications of learning principles to community programs. Topics may include education, youth violence, drug abuse, behavioral safety, and organizational behavior management.

PSYC 382. Exceptional Children. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 241 and junior or senior standing. Exceptional mental retardation or advancement; organic disabilities having behavioral consequences, such as cerebral palsy or deafness; and behavior disorders.

PSYC 393A. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

PSYC 401. Psychology Capstone Experience. 1 Hour.

PR: PSYC 101 and PSYC 201 and STAT 211 and senior standing. Experience in coursework, research, or service that integrates knowledge gained as a major in psychology. To be taken concurrently with capstone experience, details of which are to be determined in consultation with advisor.

PSYC 411. Applying to Graduate School. 1 Hour.

PR: Senior psychology major. Designed to guide students through the process of applying to graduate school in psychology. Students will investigate graduate training alternatives, select potential graduate programs, complete application packages, and prepare for interviews. (Course will be graded on a pass/fail basis.).

PSYC 423. Cognition and Memory. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204 and junior or senior standing. Theoretical and empirical issues in cognitive psychology. Topics include mechanisms and theories of attention, memory, language, and conceptual processes.

PSYC 424. Learning and Behavior Theory. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 302 and junior or senior standing. Advanced course in empirical and theoretical issues in the psychology of learning.

PSYC 425. Perception. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204 and junior or senior standing. Survey of the structure and function of human sensory systems (primarily visual and auditory), perceptual issues and theories.

PSYC 426. Physiological Psychology. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 301 and junior or senior standing. Advanced study of the physiological mechanisms of behavior. Topics include neural and endocrine mechanisms of behavior and issues, methods, and findings in behavioral neuroscience.

PSYC 427. Psychobiology of Sleep. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 202 or PSYC 204. Empirical topics including physiology, development, assessment, circadian rhythmicity, pharmacology, sleep disorders and consequences of poor or disordered sleep.

PSYC 474. Applied Behavior Analysis. 3 Hours.

PR: PSYC 302 and junior or senior standing. The application of basic learning principles to changes in socially significant human behavior.

PSYC 490A. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

PSYC 491A. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experimental learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

PSYC 492A-Z. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

PSYC 493A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

PSYC 495A. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regularly scheduled courses.

PSYC 497. Research. 1-6 Hours.

Independent research projects.


Faculty

Chair

  • Kevin T. Larkin - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
    Clinical Health Psychology, Applied Psychophysiology, Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine

Professors

  • Christina Duncan - Ph.D. (Lousiana State University)
    Behavioral Pediatrics, Chronic Illness, Adherence
  • Barry A. Edelstein - Ph.D. (University of Memphis)
    Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology. Clinical Gero-psychology, Anxiety and Medical Decision Making in Older Adults
  • Katherine Karraker - Ph.D. (Michigan State University)
    Associate Provost for Graduate Academic Affairs. Adults’ Perceptions of Infants, Infant Social Development, Infant Stress and Coping, Infant Temperament, Infant Assessment
  • Kennon A. Lattal - Ph.D. (University of Alabama)
    Centennial Professor. Experimental Analysis of Behavior, History and Philosophy of Psychology, Human-Pet Interactions
  • Cheryl B. McNeil - Ph.D. (University of Florida)
    Disruptive Behavior Disorders of Children, Child Behavior Therapy, Parent-Child Interactions
  • Daniel W. McNeil - Ph.D. (University of Alabama)
    Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service. Experimental Psychopathology, Behavioral Dentistry and Behavioral Medicine, Pain and Anxiety
  • Tracy L. Morris - Ph.D. (University of Mississippi)
    Eberly Distinguished Professor for Outstanding Teaching and Associate Dean for Research, Graduate Studies, and Outreach. Developmental Psychopathology, Social Anxiety, Peer Relationships
  • Melanie C. Page - Ph.D. (Arizona State University)
    Assistant Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activity. Quantitative/Developmental Psychology
  • Michael Perone - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
    Associate Dean for Faculty. Positive and Negative Reinforcement, Animal and Human Operant Behavior, Research Methodology
  • JoNell Strough - Ph.D. (University of Utah)
    Life-Span Development, Decision Making, Everyday Problem Solving, Gender Development

Associate Professors

  • Karen Anderson - Ph.D. (University of Florida)
    Behavioral Pharmacology, Self-Control and Impulsivity
  • Amy Fiske - Ph.D. (University of Southern California)
    Late Life Depression and Suicide
  • Amy Gentzler - Ph.D. (Kent State University)
    Emotion Regulation and Coping in Children, Positive Psychology
  • Amy Herschell - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Dissemination of Evidence-Based Treatments
  • Elisa Krackow - Ph.D. (Binghamton University-SUNY)
    Children and Adults as Witnesses, Developmental Psychopathology
  • Aaron Metzger - Ph.D. (University of Rochester)
    Adolescent Social-Cognitive Development, Civic Engagement, Adolescent-Parent Communication
  • Hawley Montgomery-Downs - Ph.D. (University of Connecticut)
    Sleep, Sleep Disorders, Developmental Psychobiology
  • Julie Hicks Patrick - Ph.D. (University of Akron)
    Decision Making, Family Processes in Mid- and Late-Life
  • Natalie Shook - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    Social Psychology, Attitudes and Emotion, Cognitive Bias
  • Claire St. Peter - Ph.D. (University of Florida)
    Applied Behavior Analysis, Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior, School-Based Interventions
  • Constance (Connie) Toffle - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Teaching of Psychology, Curriculum Desgin

Assistant Professors

  • Melissa Blank - Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Behavioral Neuroscience, Tobacco Use, Tobacco-Related Health Risks, Genetics of Substance Use
  • Regina Carroll - Ph.D. (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
    Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Kathryn Kestner - (Western Michigan University)
    Behavior Analysis
  • Steven Kinsey - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    Behavioral Neuroscience, Stress and Inflammation
  • Elizabeth Levelle - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Teaching of Psychology, Academic Advising
  • Kris Martens - Ph.D. (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)
    Behavioral Neuroscience, Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Shari Steinman - Ph.D. (University of Virginia)
    Cognitive Bias in Anxieity Disorders, Treatment of Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  • Sharon Tenenholz - Ph.D. (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Teaching of Psychology, Curriculum Design, Academic Advising
  • Nicholas Turiano - Ph.D. (Purdue University)
    Personality, Health, and Aging
  • Cole Vonder Haar - Ph.D. (University of Southern Illinois - Carbondale)
    Behavioral Dysfunction and Traumatic Brain Injury, Behavioral Neuroscience

Professors Emeriti

  • Stanley H. Cohen - Ph.D.
  • Philip Comer - Ph.D.
  • William J. Fremouw - Ph.D.
  • Robert Hawkins - Ph.D.
  • B. Kent Parker - Ph.D.
  • Hayne W. Reese - Ph.D.

Clinical instructor

  • Stephanie McWilliams - MA (Columbia University)
    Youth Mentorship; Sport and Exercise Psychology, Health Psychology, Behavior Change and Weight Management

Adjunct assistant professors

  • Martin Boone - Ph.D. (Oklahoma State University)
  • Kimberly Foley - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
  • Keegan Kowcheck - MA (West Virginia University)
  • Kara Samaj - MA (West Virginia University)