Psychology (Major, Minor)

Psychology Department

Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Chair
Sean Coyne, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

Women's College

The Psychology Department of the School of Arts, Sciences and Business offers a Major in Psychology, and Minors in Psychology and in Forensic Psychology through the Women’s College. Psychology as a science (STEM program) studies mental processes as well as human and animal behavior. While the roots of psychology are in philosophy and the humanities, contemporary developments strongly support grounding the discipline in scientific thought and in empirical practice. These scientific roots place objective methods of data collection, critical thinking, analysis and theory construction at the core of the curriculum. The goal is to apply these understandings across settings to advance science and improve the quality of human life. Our curriculum, grounded in the traditional liberal arts and the value of social responsibility, is consistent with the scientist-practitioner model. Our students learn to think critically and to be critical consumers of the scientific literature. They learn to use the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), take laboratory courses (such as Learning and Motivation), learn about the common and abnormal functioning of personality with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and competence, explore the social and biological bases of behavior, are required to use APA Style, and demonstrate their ability to express themselves both orally and in writing. As a Capstone experience, students complete an individualized practicum where they apply knowledge and skills they have gained under supervision. Licensed psychologists teach clinical courses in the Psychology Program of Study.

Program Objectives

The Psychology Program of Study curriculum goals are consistent with the American Psychological Associations Guidelines for the Undergraduate Major in Psychology: Goal 1 Knowledge base; Goal 2 Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking; Goal 3 Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World; Goal 4 Communication; and Goal 5 Professional Development.

Integral to the Psychology Major is the psychology practicum placement where students apply knowledge and skills in field settings integrating theory, research and practice. The Practicum has evolved to include placements of national prominence in which students demonstrate mastery of psychological principles in clinical psychology, school psychology, biopsychology, animal research, clinical/psychiatric research, and guidance and counseling. Students have placements working with diverse patient populations and across all age groups.

The Psychology Program of Study prepares students for a range of career paths, including graduate school, medical school, or entry-level positions that use psychological skills and knowledge. Students can use the principles of psychology in clinical or research settings, or in the fields of education and training. Psychology complements many other courses of study, especially education, business, art and music, political science, women's studies, biology, pharmacy, criminology and communications. Understanding human behavior and scientific processes of measurement and analysis provides students with a portable skill set.

The Minor in Forensic Psychology assists students in developing counseling and communication skills to prepare them to interface with diverse populations, including victims and offenders. Graduates with this Minor will be prepared to succeed in an occupation involving interaction with people, including policymaking, community action, social research and social services.

Graduates of the Program are employed in psychology-related careers and in a variety of human service, education, research and business organizations, including Sheppard Pratt Hospital, the Baltimore County Department of Health, Crisis Intervention Centers, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Americorps, Booz Allen Hamilton, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology fulfills the General Education Requirement in Social Science. PSY-375 Sex and Gender, SOC/PSY-271Psychology/Sociology of Gender Roles, PSY-209 Social Psychology, and PSY-371 Honors Women and Her Symbols fulfill the General Education Requirement in Gender Studies. PSY-208 Multicultural Psychology and PSY-427 Psychology Study Abroad: Women Surviving Trauma and Building Peace fulfill both the General Education in Cross-Cultural Studies and Gender Studies. Students with a 3.0 Grade Point Average in Psychology who are in the top 35% of the class may become active members of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. These students typically pursue an independent study project.

Psychology Majors and Minors and students choosing Psychology as a concentration for Liberal Studies must complete all courses for the Major/Minor with a grade of C or higher.

A student must have abilities and skills in five areas for PSY 306, PSY 406, PSY 409, PSY 461, and PSY 462: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas, but a student should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

  1. Observation: The student must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by the functional use of all the other senses.
  2. Communication: The student must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.
  3. Motor: Student must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The student must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks.
  4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to problem-solve, calculate, reason, analyze, record and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships. Students must be able to tolerate physically, mentally and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.

Students who may not meet the technical standards are encouraged to contact the NDMU Director of Accessibility and Health Promotion to discuss and identify what accommodations, if any, would need to made in order that the student might be able to meet the standards.

Programs of Study

Required Courses for a Major in Psychology

          PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
          PSY-205 Theories of Personality (3)
          MAT-215 Basic Statistics (Strongly recommended to be taken in the first year) (3)
          PSY-210 Research Methods (4) 
          PSY-420 History and Systems of Psychology (3) 
          PSY-461 Practicum (4)

Upper Level Research Course: One of the following (4)

          PSY-340 Quantitative Methods (4)
          PSY-380 Qualitative Methods (4)
          PSY-409 Psychometrics (4)

Outcomes Course: One of the following 

          PSY-411 Special Topics (3)
          PSY-406 Advanced Therapeutic Techniques (4)
          PSY-463 Independent Research (individual data collection project) (3)

Biological Bases (choose one)

          PSY-220 Introduction to Neuroscience (3) 
          PSY-212 Cognition (3)
          PSY-223 Biopsychology (3)
          PSY-323 Sensation and Perception (4)

Behavioral Bases (choose one)

          PSY-325 Learning and Motivation (4)
          PSY-343/BIO-343 Animal Behavior (4)

Developmental Bases (choose one)

          PSY-203 Child and Adolescent Development (3)
          PSY-233 Human Growth and Development (3)
          PSY-304 Adulthood and Aging (3)

Social Bases (choose one)

          PSY-260 Positive Psychology (3)
          PSY-209 Social Psychology (3)
          PSY-208 Multicultural Psychology (3)
          PSY-271-H Gender Roles (3)
          PSY-375 Sex and Gender (3)

Applied (choose one)

          PSY-306 Theories and Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy (4)
          PSY-207 Psychopathology (3)
          PSY-390 Career Counseling (3)
          PSY-451 Addiction Treatment Delivery
          PSY-452 Medical Aspects of Chemical Dependency

Two additional courses at the 200-level or above (6-8) 
One of these courses must be at the 300- or 400-level (a second practicum does not fulfill this requirement).

Required Courses for a Minor in Psychology

          PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
          PSY-205 Theories of Personality (3)
          PSY-210 Research Methods (4)

(or an acceptable course from the student's major discipline as determined by the psychology department chair)
Five additional psychology electives, at least one chosen from each category, and at least two from the 300-level* (12-15)
*PSY 461 and 462 are not open to Psychology Minors.

Required Courses for a Minor in Forensic Psychology

PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology (3)
CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance (3)
PSY-205 Theories of Personality (3)
PSY-207 Psychopathology (3)
PSY-210 Research Methods (4)
PSY-306 Theories and Techniques of Counseling (4)
PSY-409 Psychometrics (4)

Options for Psychology Majors

The Behavioral Neuroscience Major

This interdisciplinary program is designed to serve students interested in the biological basis of behavior, with primary emphasis on brain-behavior relationships. (See separate Catalog section under behavioral neuroscience). It provides a core of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Neuroscience courses. Students interested in this Program should contact the Department Chair in their first year to facilitate graduation within four years.

Four-Year Plan

Below is a sample Program of Study for the Psychology Major. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor. It is recommended that students complete MAT- 215 and PSY-210 by their sophomore year.

Fall Spring 
First year      
PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology 4 100/200-level Psychology 3
NDMU-100 First Year Seminar 3 MAT-215 Basic Statistics 3
General Education 9 General Education/Electives 9
[16 credits] [15 credits]  
Second year      
PSY-205 3-4 200-level PSY course 3-4
PSY-210 Research Methods  4 Upper Level Research Course 4
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 6
[16-17 credits]   [13-14 credits]  
Third year      
PSY courses 6-7 300-level PSY course 3-4
PSY 463 or PSY 464 3 300-level PSY course 3-4
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 9
[15-16 credits]   [15-17 credits]
Fourth year      
PSY-420 History and Systems 3 PSY-406 or PSY-464 3
400-level PSY course 3-4 PSY-406 or PSY-464 3
General Elective 6-7 PSY-461/PSY-462 Practicum  4
[13-14 credits] General Education/Electives 6
  [16 credits]