IntroductionPsychology is the systematic study of the behavior and experience (such as thoughts, desires and emotions) of humans and other animals. It is a multidimensional discipline within which a variety of specialties have developed. Psychologists study the structure and function of the nervous system; basic processes such as sensation, perception and cognition; and complex phenomena such as personality dynamics, abnormal behaviors, and behaviors in social settings, the workplace and the environment. The program offers an array of courses reflecting the breadth of the field. Courses such as Physiological, Social, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology form the traditional core of the discipline as these processes affect behaviors in all settings. Other courses, such as Theories of Counseling, Health Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Adult Development and Aging allow students to explore more specialized areas of interest. Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in psychology. There is no minor offered in psychology.
Program OrganizationThree basic courses, required of all majors, provide a foundation for the understanding of psychology: PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology, PSYC 2241 Statistical Methods, and PSYC 3242 Experimental Psychology. Students must also select courses from two core areas of the discipline: Natural Science Core (Group 1) and Social Science Core (Group 2). Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members in seminars, tutorials and independent studies, which require students to be active, responsible participants while examining various theoretical, empirical, and applied topics. Seminars always involve regular class meetings and discussion; research tutorials are often more flexible with less structured class time and more independent investigation and inquiry. Field placements allow students to apply what they have learned.
Admission to the ProgramAny Stockton student with an interest in psychology may seek a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in psychology. All students should declare their major and obtain a psychology faculty preceptor as early as possible, but no later than the beginning of their junior year to help ensure that they can meet all program requirements in a timely fashion.
Graduation RequirementsAll psychology majors are expected to have passed PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology and PSYC 2241 Statistical Methods by the end of their sophomore year or no later than one year following their declaration as psychology majors. (Statistics courses from other disciplines such as Math and Computer Science and Information Systems are generally not acceptable substitutes for the program’s statistics course; nor are 3 credit statistics courses from other colleges.) PSYC 3242 Experimental Psychology should be completed prior to the senior year since it is a prerequisite to some advanced courses in the program. Additional requirements are listed below. In addition to fulfilling requirements for either the B.A. or B.S., students must satisfy all other College-wide requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE
The B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree in psychology requires a minimum of 64 credits of program and cognate courses and an additional 64 credits in General Studies and courses at-some-distance from the major. A minimum of 40 credit hours must be in psychology. In addition to the three foundation courses listed above, B.A. candidates must take three of the following nine courses, choosing at least one course from each group.
Group 1: Natural Science Core
PSYC 2215 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 3324 Learning: Theory and Research
PSYC 3331 Physiological Psychology
PSYC 3332 Perception
PSYC 3323 Childhood and Adolescence: Developmental Science
Group 2: Social Science Core
PSYC 2211 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 2301 Social Psychology
PSYC 3302 Personality
PSYC 3322 Lifespan Development
Three additional psychology electives and at least one PSYC seminar (3600 Level) or research tutorial (3700 Level) complete the required course work for the B.A. degree.
The B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Psychology also requires 24 credits of cognate courses (or additional psychology courses). Cognates are courses from other programs which are related to the major in some way. Those from other Social and Behavioral Sciences programs include: ANTH, CRIM, ECON, GERO, SOCY, SOWK and POLS. Disciplines outside of Social and Behavioral Sciences such as EDUC, MATH, CSIS, BIOL, CHEM, PHIL, MGMT, MKTG, PUBH and SPAD may sometimes, but not automatically, be counted as cognates. They must be selected after careful consultation with the student’s preceptor and based upon the student’s particular interests and career aspirations.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE
The B.S. degree in psychology requires a minimum of 80 credits of program and cognate courses, of which at least 40 credits must be in psychology, as well as at least 48 credit hours in fulfillment of the College’s General Studies requirements. Since the B.S. requirements are more specific and extensive than those for the B.A., it is strongly suggested that B.S. students begin planning with their preceptors by the beginning of the sophomore year. In addition to the three foundation courses required of all psychology majors, B.S. students must complete four core courses, two each from the Natural Sciences Core and the Social Sciences Core, listed above under the B.A. requirements. They must also complete the following:
PSYC 3661 Psychology: History and
PSYC 3641 Advanced Statistics
Any 3600 or 3700 course (seminar/tutorial)
Required Cognates for the B.S.
BIOL 1200 Cells and Molecules (and required co-requisite, BIOL 1205 Cells and Molecules Lab)
BIOL 1100 Organisms and Evolution (and accompanying lab)
MATH 2215 Calculus I
Additional cognate electives are to be selected in the manner described above under B.A. requirements.
Graduation with DistinctionBoth B.A. and B.S. students may apply to graduate with distinction in psychology. Students who have completed at least 24 credits of PSYC course work and obtain at least a 3.2 GPA in Stockton PSYC courses are strongly encouraged to seek distinction. In addition to meeting the grade requirements, students must conduct a senior thesis that is judged by the program faculty. During the semester prior to that in which it is completed, students must decide upon a general topic of investigation, obtain a faculty sponsor and prepare a brief research prospectus/proposal, which the sponsor will submit to the program faculty for approval. The student and the faculty sponsor agree upon the specific activities and requirements necessary to complete the thesis. At the conclusion of the project, which is done as a 4-credit independent study (PSYC 4820 Senior Thesis for Distinction), students submit a final paper (at least 10 days prior to the end of the semester), and orally present their thesis in a short meeting with the program faculty. The psychology faculty confer distinction on those students who meet the College’s criteria and whose senior theses are judged academically excellent.
Career OpportunitiesSince the major emphasis of psychology is the study of behavior, a wide variety of career options are open to students with a baccalaureate degree in this discipline. Psychology is a useful undergraduate major for medicine, teaching, business, law and other fields involving human interaction. Psychology graduates may proceed to further study at the graduate level in psychology or related fields such as social work, counseling and guidance, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, etc. They may also choose to work with groups that have psychological problems (e.g., persons with mental retardation, the juvenile delinquent, substance abusers), assume positions as research assistants for psychologists and related professionals, teach (if they obtain certification) or begin careers in business and corporate settings. To ensure proper planning, students interested in careers in psychology should consult with psychology faculty, the Psychology program Web page, and the Psychology Handbook as well as the Office of Career Services. Students interested in pursuing teaching certification must consult the Office of Teacher Education for curricular worksheets that list the state requirements and should attend an informational workshop where those requirements are explained in detail.
Special OpportunitiesStockton’s psychology faculty support field placements in Psychology in a variety of settings including social service agencies, general hospitals, an on-campus rehabilitation hospital, schools, nursing homes and various businesses. A partial listing of sites is available on the program’s Web page, and through individual faculty sponsors. Psychology students also participate in the Washington Internship Program and have worked at settings including the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Council on Aging.
Psychology students are encouraged to explore various minors, tracks and certificate programs in which program faculty members participate. These offerings include the Gerontology (GERO) certificate; the Women’s Studies, Jewish Studies and Africana Studies minors; and the Forensic Psychology track. Further information on the Forensic Psychology track appears in the chapter on Criminal Justice in this Bulletin.
The program has an active Psychology Club as well as a chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. The club, in collaboration with program faculty, sponsors “PSYC Club”, an informative computer conference with messages and discussion about courses, careers, graduate school, conferences and other special opportunities for undergraduates in psychology. All majors are urged to join the conference. Psi Chi membership is open to students who have completed at least one semester of full time course work at Stockton including 9 credit hours in psychology, registered as a psychology major, and maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.2 and a PSYC GPA of at least 3.0 for work completed at Richard Stockton College.
Students who elect to complete a senior thesis as well as others doing research in the program are encouraged to apply for the Stockton Board of Trustees Fellowships for Distinguished Students Program. Additionally, psychology students enrolled in the Gerontology Certificate Program, or those wishing to specialize in health related issues of psychology, are encouraged to apply for Southshore Foundation Scholarships in Health Education.