Dr. Kate Warner, Head
Room 2104, Converse Hall
The Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy provides programs of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. At the undergraduate level, the department offers B.A. and B.S. degrees with a major in psychology. Psychology is an exciting and popular undergraduate major and minor at Valdosta State University. Undergraduate psychology training assists in preparing students for a number of career alternatives in government, business, industry, etc., that do not require more advanced training. It also assists in preparing students for professional or graduate school in psychology, law, physical or occupational therapy, social work, business, education, and other areas. At the graduate level, the department offers the M.S. degree in Psychology in Clinical/Counseling and Industrial/Organizational. Graduates are prepared to perform services in mental health settings, businesses, community colleges, government, or industries that require graduate training in psychology at the subdoctoral level. The department also offers programs leading to the M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees in School Counseling. Information concerning these programs, their admission requirements, continuing education, and other services offered by the department can be obtained by contacting the department.
Department Mission Statement
The Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy serves the citizens of the region and state by offering instruction, research, and services designed to advance the understanding of behavioral and cognitive processes and to improve the quality of life. The principle function of the department is to prepare students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to pursue careers within the discipline and affiliated areas. A related purpose is to provide courses for programs in education, nursing, and other disciplines. At the baccalaureate level, students develop basic skills in scientific research and knowledge of psychological nomenclature and concepts, and they are introduced to the diverse applications of psychology. The graduate programs prepare students to apply skills in schools, mental health agencies, government, industry, and other settings. Training at the graduate level is designed to prepare qualified, responsible professionals who may provide assessment, consulting, counseling, and other services to the citizens of the region.
Grade Point Average Requirements
The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology and the Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology introduce students to psychology as a scientific discipline, with content and methods able to improve the human condition. Students entering the university may declare a major in psychology upon completion of 30 credit hours and a 2.5 cumulative GPA. In order to remain a psychology major, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all course work undertaken. If a student’s GPA falls below 2.5, the student will have one semester (fall or spring) to restore it to a 2.5. If the overall GPA remains below a 2.5 for two consecutive semesters, the student will be required to select another major. Any student who fails to select another major will automatically be transferred to an undeclared major status.
Students who enter the university as transfer students who wish to declare a major in psychology must have an overall GPA of at least 2.5. Upon acceptance as a psychology major, a student must maintain a 2.5 GPA in all coursework undertaken. Students changing majors from another program within the university must also have at least a 2.5 overall GPA to transfer to the psychology major, and they will be subject to the same requirements described above. A minimum of “C” must be earned in a PSYC course for it to count in the major. No PSYC course may be repeated more than three times before the student will be removed from the program.
Selected Educational Outcomes
The student learning outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees are the goals in the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines (2013):
Goal 1: Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems.
Goal 2: The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods.
Goal 3: The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity.
Goal 4: Students should demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills.
Goal 5: The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation.
Examples of Outcome Assessments
The department assesses the extent to which program requirements create the desired outcomes by a variety of techniques. Examples of these assessments (and related educational outcomes) include the following:
- Student research reports will be assessed by individual faculty members using appropriate criteria.
- Students will be assessed on various measures during their senior year.
- Students will assess academic advising.
PSYC 1101. Introduction to General Psychology. 3 Hours.
A general survey course designed to introduce the student to fundamental methods and content of contemporary psychology. PSYC 1101 is required all of Psychology majors.
PSYC 1101H. Introduction to General Psychology Honors. 3 Hours.
PSYC 2103. Introduction to Human Development. 3 Hours.
The study of human development across the lifespan, with emphasis on normal growth and achievements in physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains.
PSYC 2998. Entry into Psychology Major. 0 Hours.
Graded "Satisfactory" or "Unsatisfactory". A required non-credit course for all incoming psychology majors pursing a VSU-recommended course of study. The course must be successfully completed prior to admission to the psychology major. A grade of "S" is awarded with a GPA of 2.5, based on 30 earned hours of Core Requirements, including successful completion ("C" or better) of ENGL 1101, 1102, MATH 1111, and PSYC 2500.
PSYC 3000. Psychology as a Career. 1 Hour.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. Open to all students considering psychology as a major and career. An exploration of psychology as a major and a career.
PSYC 3110. Educational Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. Theory, methodology, and application of psychological principles to issues of teaching and learning with children and youth in schools or other formal learning environments.
PSYC 3120. Psychoeducational Aspects of Early Childhood. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101 or PSYC 2103 and ECED 2999 or SPEC 2999, or approval of instructor. Application of psychological principles, theories, and methodologies to issues of physical, cognitive, affective, and social development of the young child in school settings, especially ages three through eight. Successful completion of 20 hours of field experience required.
PSYC 3130. Educational Psychology for Teachers of Adults. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101 or acceptance to the WED degree program in the College of Education. Application of psychological principles, theories, and methodologies to issues of teaching and learning for adults.
PSYC 3200. Child Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. The findings and applications of child psychology in the context of developments in physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains.
PSYC 3210. Adolescent and Young Adult Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. The findings and applications of adolescent and young adult psychology in the context of developments in physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains.
PSYC 3220. Adult Psychology and Gerontology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. The findings and applications of middle-age and older adult psychology in the context of developments in physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains.
PSYC 3300. Introduction to Behavior Modification. 3 Hours.
Concepts of human capacity to learn new behaviors that lead to improved coping in changing circumstances. Emphasis is on procedures associated with classical and operant conditioning. A field-based behavior modification experiment is required of all students.
PSYC 3400. Abnormal Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. The nature and etiology of the various forms of behavior disorder, mental deficiency, and other deviations.
PSYC 3450. Theories of Personality. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. Introduction to the nature, study, and conceptualization of personality. Historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives of personality will be critically examined, and applications will be discussed.
PSYC 3460. Families and Larger Systems. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. An introduction to the basic principles of family systems theory and how the family therapy field is linked to the larger social context.
PSYC 3500. Statistical Methods in Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: Grade of "S" in PSYC 2998. Univariate and bivariate statistical methods for research in the behavioral sciences.
PSYC 3600. Experimental Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3500 with grade of "C" or better. An introduction to scientific/experimental research methods used in the study of behavior.
PSYC 3670. Introduction to School Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1101 and PSYC 3500 or its equivalent. A general survey of school psychology designed to introduce fundamental methods and content of contemporary practice of psychology in school systems.
PSYC 3680. Psychology of Motivation. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 with a grade of "C" or better. Explores selection and avoidance behaviors in theoretical, systemic, and biological context. The impact of motivation principles on human and animal decision making and survival will be examined.
PSYC 3700. Rehabilitation Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. The study of adults with disabilities and the vocational rehabilitation process, including program characteristics, outcomes, independent living, and community integration.
PSYC 3710. Social Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. The study of how one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by others. Theoretical and practical applications are discussed.
PSYC 3800. Industrial/Organizational Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. Theory and application of psychological principles to industrial and organizational settings.
PSYC 3850. Psychology and Law. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. An introduction to the intersection between the legal and mental health systems. Emphasis is placed on how psychologists interact with, and operate within, the legal system.
PSYC 3900. Tests and Measurements. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3500. Principles, techniques, and theory underlying construction and use of tests for educational and psychological measurement.
PSYC 3950. Applied Topics in Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. Examination of topical and applied issues in psychology, including contemporary attitudes, knowledge, and research. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit.
PSYC 4000. Cognitive Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600. A survey of the cognitive process- es, including topics on attention, memory, language, ima- gery, problem solving, intelligence, and neurocognition. Data collection required.
PSYC 4025. Human Memory. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 with a grade of "C" or better. An overview of the scientific approach to the study of human memory, including short/working and long-term memory, memory encoding and retrieval, a survey of the different models of memory, as well as survey of the neuropsychology of memory.
PSYC 4030. Psychology of Religion. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 with a grade of "C" or better. Students will develop an understanding of how the different religious philosophies, belief systems and traditions of the world influence psychological functioning and conversely, how psychological functioning influences religion.
PSYC 4050. Psychology of Learning. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 with grade of "C" or better. An in- troduction to the basic principles of human and animal learning, memory, and problem solving.
PSYC 4100. Physiological Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600. An introduction to the structure and function of the human nervous system and its relation to behavior.
PSYC 4150. Sensation and Perception. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600. An overview of the physiology of the senses and how sensory information is integrated so perception can occur. Laboratory experiments included.
PSYC 4170. Drugs, Health, & Behavior. 3 Hours.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1101 and senior standing or permission of instructor. Introduction to the principles of psychopharmacology with a focus on recreational substances and drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric and behavioral disorders.
PSYC 4400. Psychology of Gifted and Talented. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 with a grade of "C" or better or SPEC 3000. Exploration of the psychological nature and needs of gifted and talented individuals, including characteristics, identification, family, underachievement, twice/multi-exceptional, gender, diversity, curriculum and instructional strategies, assessment, and evaluation.
PSYC 4450. Treatment of Addictions. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1101. Coverage of the impact chemical dependency may have on individuals, families, and American society. Diagnosis of substance abuse, models of treatment, and treatment planning will be key elements of the course.
PSYC 4500. Special Topics in Psychology. 1-3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 and Senior standing. Exploration of issues of topical importance in psychology are explored. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit in the major.
PSYC 4600. Psychology of Sex. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3600 with a grade of "C" or better. A survey course examining contemporary knowledge and attitudes toward human sexuality relying on theoretical and empirical research. Emphasis is placed on the analysis and synthesis of research on sexuality in the context of current social and cultural influences.
PSYC 4800. Introduction to Clinical Practices. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: PSYC 3400 and either PSYC 3600 or 3900. An overview of the clinical activities involved in the provi- sion of mental health services. Diagnostic and therapeutic practices are presented along with current clinical issues.
PSYC 4850. Directed Study in Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor and Head of the Depart- ment. Individualized study of an existing course not offered during the particular semester needed.
PSYC 4870. Workshop in Applied Psychology. 1-3 Hours.
Prerequisite: Approval of advisor and Head of the Department An intensive study of a topic relevant to applied psychology services provision. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit.
PSYC 4900. History of Psychology. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: Senior standing and PSYC 3600. Traces the origins of psychology from philosophy and physiology and its development into the science psychology is today.
PSYC 4950. Senior Seminar. 3 Hours.
Prerequisite: Senior standing and PSYC 3600. Students will explore the diverse career options, debate various contro- versial issues, and discuss other select topics of current concern in the field of psychology.
PSYC 4991. Senior Thesis I. 1 Hour.
Prerequisite: "B" or better in PSYC 3500 and PSYC 3600, con- sent of instructor and junior standing. A multi-semester course during which the student will develop, conduct, and write up a novel psychological study.
PSYC 4992. Senior Thesis II. 1 Hour.
Prerequisite: "B" or better in PSYC 3500 and PSYC 3600, consent of the instructor and junior standing. A multi-semester course during which the student will develop, conduct and write up a novel psychological study.