Why Psychology
   at Albright?

Majors and Minors


Outcomes and Goals

• Careers & Graduate School

Facilities, Equipment
   & Technology

Student Scholarship


Psi Chi

• Apply Online!

• Request Information

Find us on Facebook

header image


PSY 100
General Psychology

This course introduces students to the broad discipline of psychology, focusing on theories and research explaining behavior. Major areas include, but are not limited to, biopsychology, motivation, sensation, perception, learning, cognition, development, stress and health, personality and psychopathology. May be used by non-majors to fulfill the general studies foundations social science requirement.

200-Level Courses: PSY 100 or permission of the instructor is required to enter all 200-level courses (except for PSY 220, PSY 290, PSY 294).

PSY 200
Research Design and Analysis I 

This course covers the basic principles of research design and analysis in psychology, including the formulation, testing and evaluation of empirical questions. Students learn methodological and statistical techniques utilized in the research process. Specifically, the course focuses on experimental designs and statistical techniques including descriptive statistics and preliminary inferential techniques (i.e., probability theory, z-tests and t-tests). The final product of the class for each student is an independent research proposal. Computers are used extensively; students learn to use word processing for APA writing and a statistical software package (SPSS). Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. (Fulfills general studies foundations quantitative reasoning requirement.)

PSY 201
Research Design and Analysis II 

This course is a continuation of PSY 200. Advanced statistical techniques, including factorial analysis of variance and nonparametric statistics (i.e., correlation, regression, chi-square) are covered. Nonexperimental designs such as surveys, observational research, case studies and program evaluation are also covered. Each student is responsible for conducting the research proposed in PSY 200, including data collection, analysis, oral presentation and a written empirical report. Computers continue to be used, such that students enhance their APA writing, statistical analysis and PowerPoint presentation skills. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory.
Prerequisite: PSY 200

PSY 205
Biological Psychology
A study of the evolutionary basis of human and animal behavior. The biological foundations of emotions, motivation, sleep and dreaming, and memory are examined. The nature-nurture issue is discussed as well as the extent to which mind and emotions create stress, sickness and health. 

PSY 206
Social Psychology

The psychological study of human social interaction. Special consideration is given to the following topics: models of individual-society relationships; social cognition and attribution processes; social influence processes; prosocial and altruistic behavior; and antisocial behavior (models of human violence and social-cultural determinants of prejudice).

PSY 210
Health Psychology

This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the central concepts of adult health psychology, utilizing a biopsychosocial approach. The emphasis of the course is on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of illness as well as practical application and the ways in which information can and should be utilized in multidisciplinary care. Theory and content will be applied to specific acute and chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain and cancer. Prerequisite: PSY100 or PUH101

PSY 215
Positive Psychology

This course is designed to introduce the relatively new and emerging discipline of positive psychology. Rather than the more traditional focus of how individuals may experience difficulties with functioning due to psychopathology and other psychosocial stressors, positive psychology aims to determine what helps drive success and happiness. Theory will be applied from a cross-cultural perspective to increase understanding of specific emotions, cognitions, and behaviors that drive flourishing across a number of domains including work, relationships, and physical health.

PSY 220
Theories and Treatment of Addictive Behavior

This course is an overview of the major theories of addictive behaviors and their corresponding treatment approaches. The disease, cognitive, psychoanalytic, behavioral, multicultural, public health and prevention model explanations for the origins of addictions will be examined along with the applications of the various techniques used by each model in treatment.

PSY 230
Human Development
A normative, eclectic approach to the study of the individual from conception to senescence. A review of physical, sensorimotor, cognitive, emotional, personality, moral and social development through the life span.

PSY 240
Child Development
This course describes and examines the interrelationships among the physical, cognitive, social and emotional dimensions of human development from conception through adolescence.

PSY 250
Theories of Personality 

A review of the theoretical orientation to the study of personality as viewed by Freud, Jung, Adler, Horney, Fromm, Sullivan, Murray, Lewin, Allport, Maslow, Rogers and the existential psychologists.

PSY 265
Ecological Psychology
The objectives of this course are to understand the psychological origin and scope of current environmental problems and how they relate to our values, attitudes and behaviors; to study human experiences and behavior in their environmental, political and spiritual contexts; to question the human institutions and values that lead to environmental problems; and to explore the role of humans within the larger ecosystem.

PSY 271
Organizational Psychology
Focus in this course is on the study of the principles of human behavior in organizational settings. Emphasis is on the practical applications of topics such as training, group/team dynamics, leadership, decision making, communications, organization cultures and structures from a human resource professional perspective.

PSY 290
Human Behavior and Diversity Issues
This course examines the variety of ways in which one can construe issues of diversity. An introduction to issues including racial identity and affirmative action is provided. Students are exposed to models of understanding diversity from psychological, political, economic and industrial perspective. The contents of this course compel students to conduct a personal examination of their own belief systems as they critically explore the dynamics of race, ethnicity, culture and gender in American society. Students are challenged to broaden their perceptions of differences and increase their cultural knowledge and sensitivity.

PSY 291
Cross-cultural Psychology
We will focus on the critical and comparative study of culture on human cognition and behavior. Psychological diversity, cross-cultural interactions as a function of globalization, and the establishment of psychological universals will be explored. The utility of western psychological concepts, theories, and assessment instruments to explain human behavior and thought in different cultures and indigenous psychologies will be criticized constructively. You will be introduced to different perspectives, fundamentally different views of the world, and asked to draw connections between commonly held concepts and the assumptions that underlie them. This will involve learning about the traditions and values of other cultures, which may require you to role-play and entertain foreign ideas. We will also discuss cross-cultural research and evaluate scientific principles from different worldviews.  General Studies Connections-Global

PSY 294
Drugs, Addictions and Society
This course is an overview of the complex interdependence of alcohol, other drug and addictive behavior issues presented in both an individual and a cultural context.  The major theoretical perspectives of addictive behavior will be examined as well as the psychological and social approaches to understanding and treating addictive behaviors among various groups found around the world. The global impact of addictive behavior, drug trade and drug laws on society will also be examined.   Pre-requisite:  ENG101  GENERAL STUDIES CONNECTIONS

PSY 305
Behavioral Neuroscience
This course focuses on the biological mechanisms that mediate behavior. Students will become familiar with the anatomy of the nervous system as well as the different research methodologies employed. The relationship between nervous system and topics such as motivation, learning, sensation, psychopharmacology and abnormal behavior is examined. Prerequisites: PSY 205 OR BIO 151

PSY 306
Advanced Topics in Psychology
This course offers special topics of current interest in psychology. The topic and course description are available in the department at least one month before registration. The student is to select this course only if there is a sincere interest in pursuing the topic at an advanced level. There are lectures and exams, but a major component is a term paper or similar scholarly project based on current literature. This course is an excellent basis for senior internships, independent research or departmental honors. This course may be taken more than once if the topics are different. It counts toward the psychology major, but permission of the department is needed for the specific topic to count in psychobiology or any co-major. The title of the topic will appear on the transcript.
Prerequisite: Individual topics will have different prerequisites.

PSY 310
Health Behavior Changes
Although most individuals know which behaviors are associated with greater longevity and health, many find it difficult to initiate and maintain such behaviors in the long term. This course is designed to build upon PSY 210 (Health Psychology) by providing an in depth examination of theories and treatment models of health behavior change. Topics will include motivation, attribution theory, risk perception, stage models, theory of planned behavior, social cognition models, and behavioral theory. Application of these models will be discussed in the context of the individual, patient-provider relationships as well as the role of media and technology in the context of population-targeted interventions. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 319
Evolutionary Psychology
This course examines the hypothesis that the behavior, physiology and psychology of modern human beings have been shaped by our ancestral past.  The goal of the course is to review different human traits as evolved adaptations.  An emphasis is placed on human mating strategies and sex differences.  This course explores specific topics relating to mate choice, biological differences between the sexes, attraction, human reproduction, breeding patterns across species, jealousy and infidelity, physical markers of fitness, selection, inclusive fitness, and social order and interaction.
Prerequisite: PSY 100 and junior standing or permission of instructor

PSY 321
Close Relationships
This course is designed to provide an overview of the field of relationship science. The course will primarily use a social psychological perspective to promote an understanding of close relationships. Various theoretical perspectives will be explored, including attachment theory, interdependence theory, evolutionary, and social cognitive approaches. Topics covered include relational needs; conflict; attraction; jealousy; communication; friendship; love; relationship development, maintenance and trajectories; and individual differences in relationship styles.
Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 330
Human Sexuality
This course examines the psychological and biological theories and research in human sexuality. This course will explore topics relating to sexual behavior, sex differences, sexual arousal and anatomy, gender issues, attraction and love, sexual deviations and problems, sexually transmitted diseases/infections, contraception, sexual victimization, and social and legal sex issues. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 340
Cognitive Psychology
The goal of this course is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the major theories, research methods, and findings in cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychologists ask questions about perception, attention, learning, memory, language, decision making, and other mental processes. We will explore the different ways in which cognitive psychologists study these mental processes and their psychobiosocial correlates, and learn to interpret their results. Also, since all of these processes are extremely relevant to your daily life, what you learn should help you understand and improve your own everyday thought processes. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 345
Language Development
This course introduces students to the area of language development. Focus is on the structure of language and linguistic theories in order to understand the task the child faces when acquiring language. Competing hypotheses about how children become fluent speakers of their language are examined. Additional topics to be considered include abnormal language development, bilingualism, animal communication and deafness.
Prerequisite: PSY 200 and PSY 230 or 240

PSY 346
Social Development
What are the beginnings of our understanding and feelings about ourselves and others?  How do our early relationships influence our later development?  This course will introduce students to social development from birth through early adolescence. We will begin with the major theories of social development, and progress to specific topics (e.g., temperament, attachment, moral development, gender development, friendship, and theory of mind).  Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 350
Animal Behavior and Cognition
An evolutionary approach to the study of human and animal behavior with emphasis on animal minds, including perception, attention, conditioning, representation, concept and rule learning, tool use, communication, self-awareness, awareness of the other, ecological significance, and adaptive function. The methods, research and theories of comparative psychologists, ethologists, and sociobiologists are discussed in relation to reproductive strategies, social behavior, aggression, and especially cognition. Includes discussion of the evolution of behavior as determined by selection pressures in the organism's environment, the role of genetics and the environment in the development of behavior, and the pros and cons of ethological method of studying behavior in a natural environment versus a laboratory setting. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 355
This course introduces students to the study of motivational theories of human behavior from several psychological perspectives including physiological, evolutionary, behavioral, cognitive, and social viewpoints. A variety of topics will be covered such as examining motivational incentives, emotion, physiological needs and the motivation for hunger, sleep, and sex, and the basic and applied principles of learning and conditioning as it relates to motivation. Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 360
Sensation and Perception
The goal of this course is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the major theories, research methods, and empirical findings in sensation and perception.  Perception deals with the physical and mental processes that are involved in experiencing the physical world and making sense of our senses.  How do you see color? Or taste food? Or hear sound? Or feel pain?  We will explore the different ways in which psychologists study these mental processes (and others), learn the anatomical, physiological and neural underpinnings of these phenomena, and learn to interpret experimental results in this field. Perceptual processes make up our most basic interactions with the world, and they are therefore the base on which all other mental processes rest.  Prerequisite: PSY 200 or permission

PSY 377
Epigenetics and Behavior 

In this course, students will explore the growing field of epigenetics, with specific applications to human behavior, including a focus on how nature and nurture interact throughout the lifespan. Students will learn how altering DNA expression without altering the sequence of DNA can affect a variety of outcomes, such as mental health disorders, neurodevelopment, cancer, and many aspects of brain functioning. Students should leave this class with a full understanding of how epigenetics is applied to not just the academic world, but also how it applies to everyday life. This will be accomplished through in person discussions, online forums, and presenting primary peer reviewed research. Prerequisites: PSY 205 OR BIO 203

PSY 390
Adult Psychopathology and Behavior Disorders
This course focuses on a biopsychosocial approach to the classification, etiology and treatment of abnormal behavior patterns in adults. In addition, research and treatment strategies are explored within the context of clinical, counseling, school and forensic psychology settings. Emphasis is on adult psychopathology including anxiety disorders, affective disorders, schizophrenic disorders, personality disorders and substance abuse disorders.
Prerequisite: PSY 201

PSY 391
Child Psychopathology and Behavior Disorders
This course focuses on a biopsychosocial approach to the classification, etiology and treatment of abnormal behavior patterns in infants, children and adolescents. In addition, research and treatment strategies are explored within the context of clinical, counseling, school and forensic settings. The examples of exceptionalities emphasized include anxiety disorders, affective disorders, attention disorders, communication disorders, mental retardation, autism, schizophrenia, substance abuse disorders, conduct disorders and eating disorders. Behavior disorders affecting both individual development and relationships in the child's home, school, and other social settings are examined critically.
Prerequisites: PSY 200 and PSY 230 or 240

PSY 394
Introduction to Counseling
This course introduces students to the process of counseling and psychotherapy. Clinical methods are explored through theory and application. Students actively learn various counseling techniques using the mediums of role-playing, peer critiques, videotaping and discussions. Ethical considerations are emphasized. The primary goals of this course are to provide the student with a deeper understanding of the work of clinical and counseling psychologists and to facilitate the acquisition of practical skills that can be used in the helping professions.
Prerequisites: PSY 230 or 240 and PSY 390 or 391

PSY 395
Psychological Assessment
This course introduces students to the methods of assessment/testing that psychologists use for children, adolescents and adults. This course explores issues of test construction, administration and neuropsychological tests. Issues of validity, reliability, cultural relevance and ethics are examined. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 and PSY 230 or 240 and  PSY 390 or 391

PSY 396
Advanced Lab in Social, Clinical, Health or Developmental Psychology
This course provides students with an opportunity to work in depth on a semester-long research project in the field of social, clinical, health or developmental psychology. Students will explore advanced methods and data analytic techniques. This course is designed to provide a bridge between students’ initial learning of statistics and research methods in PSY 200/201 and their participation in more advanced research via independent studies, ACREs, or senior theses. Prerequisite: PSY 201 or permission

PSY 397
Advanced Lab in Cognitive, Biological or Evolutionary Psychology
This course provides students with an opportunity to work in depth on a semester-long research project in the field of biological, cognitive, or evolutionary psychology. Students will explore advanced methods and data analytic techniques. This course is designed to provide a bridge between students’ initial learning of statistics and research methods in PSY 200/201 and their participation in more advanced research via independent studies, ACREs, or senior theses. Prerequisite: PSY 201 or permission

PSY 400
Independent Research in Psychology/Psychobiology
Students design and conduct a research project. Prior to beginning this course, students must have a research proposal approved by the Psychology Department faculty. The proposal must be based on a thorough literature review, use APA style, meet all APA ethical guidelines and be a realistic test of a major hypothesis. Data collection and analysis will be under faculty supervision. Results will be presented to a forum of psychology students and faculty. Selected papers will be submitted for presentation at professional meetings or for publication.
Prerequisites: PSY 201 and permission of instructor

PSY 401A
Field Work in Psychology/Clinical and Counseling Interests
A practicum in which students spend 10 or more hours per week doing an internship in a hospital, school or social service agency. Students meet two class hours each week with an adviser to discuss assigned readings, problems/questions and applications involving the internship placement. A major paper on a topic related to the particular placement is also required. Admission in this course is by permission of the instructor, and is open to juniors and seniors. Contact Professor Brenda Ingram-Wallace for details.
Prerequisites: PSY 230 or 240; 390 or 391 and permission of the instructor; 394 and 395 preferred

PSY 401B
Field Work in Psychology/Business and Human Resources Interests

In this practicum students spend 10 or more hours per week doing an internship at business or human resources sites. A major paper on a topic related to the particular placement is also required. This course is open to juniors and seniors.
Prerequisites: PSY 270, 271 or permission of the internship coordinator

PSY 405
Psychobiology: Seminar on Selected Topics 
Individual seminars focus on psychobiological and/or sociobiological approaches to understanding human and/or animal behavior. Evolutionary, ecological and physiological analyses of social behavior and applications to human evolution, mental states and health are considered. Examples of these seminars include health psychology, consciousness, neuropsychology, ecopsychology, sociobiology of animal behavior and primatology. Prerequisite: PSY 201

PSY 406
Psychology: Seminar on Selected Topics 
These seminars focus on contemporary issues and perspectives in psychology. Examples of topics include human sexuality and the psychology of gender; close relationships; violence, identity and morality; theories of personality; and current topics. Prerequisite: PSY 201

PSY 407
Applied Psychology: Seminar on Selected Topics 
In these seminars, the applications of psychological principles and theories in business-industry, private-clinical practice, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and schools are explored. Examples of these seminars include clinical psychology, minority mental health issues, psychology of the African-American experience, human resource issues in business and industry, and special topics in child psychopathology. Prerequisite: PSY 201

Special Courses

Independent Study: May be taken at 200-, 300- or 400-level.
Internship: May be taken at 200-, 300- or 400- level.
Permission of the department is required for any of the above.