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Jerome Frieman, Acting Head

University Distinguished Professor Shanteau; Professors Barnett, Downey, Frieman, Harris, Kiefer, and Uhlarik; Associate Professors Brannon, Fullagar, and Knight; Assistant Professors Cain, Loschky, and Saucier; Emeriti: Professors Cowan, Mitchell, Perkins, Phares, Rappoport, Rohles, Samelson, and Thompson.


Fax: 785-532-5401

E-mail: psych@k-state.edu


Psychology major

The psychology major provides students with a broad liberal arts education and an understanding of how psychologists study behavior and what psychologists have learned about behavior. The knowledge and skills students obtain are useful in a wide variety of employment settings and careers. Additional course work and experiences are available for students preparing for advanced study at the graduate level and for students interested in careers in social services and in human resources. The minimum requirements for completing a major in psychology are small enough that some students are able to complete the requirements of a second major in the College of Arts and Sciences or a second degree in another college in four years.

Psychology is both an academic discipline and a profession. To be a professional psychologist, one must receive advanced training. Our undergraduate program in psychology does not train people to become professional psychologists; however, we do offer students the opportunity to earn academic credit for participating in research and for supervised field experiences in social service agencies, industry, and government settings. Thus, students can gain experience working with professional psychologists.

Entrance requirements

To become a psychology major, a student must:

A. Present evidence of having earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 (on a 4 point scale) based on a minimum of 15 credit hours earned at Kansas State University and sophomore standing (a minimum of at least 30 total credit hours, including transfer hours);


B. Present evidence of 60 or more transfer credit hours from another accredited institution with a GPA of at least 2.50.

To graduate from Kansas State University with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in psychology, a student must fulfill the university, college, and departmental requirements, and have cumulative GPAs of at least 2.5 in both (a) all psychology courses undertaken at Kansas State University and (b) all course work undertaken at Kansas State University.

Psychology majors may enroll in any classes offered by the Department of Psychology for which they have the prerequisites.

Students interested in majoring in psychology who have not yet satisfied one of the two standards described above will be designated as pre-psychology majors. Pre-psychology majors can enroll in any course offered by the Department of Psychology except the following:

PSYCH 350Experimental Methods in Psychology
PSYCH 460Cognitive Psychology
PSYCH 475Principles of Learning
PSYCH 480Fundamentals of Perception and Sensation
PSYCH 605Advanced Social Psychology
PSYCH 620Psychology of Personality
Requirements for the major

In addition to the general requirements for a BA or BS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences the undergraduate major in psychology consists of the following set of required courses:

PSYCH 110General Psychology3
PSYCH 200Junior Seminar in Psychology1
STAT 330Elementary Statistics for Social Sciences3
PSYCH 350Experimental Methods in Psychology5
Two courses from:
PSYCH 460Cognitive Psychology3
PSYCH 470Psychobiology3
PSYCH 475Principles of Learning3
PSYCH 480Fundamentals of Perception and Sensation3
One course from:
PSYCH 605Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYCH 620Psychology of Personality3
Psychology electives12

The Department of Psychology offers a 1-hour Freshman Seminar (PSYCH 100). This course is not required; however, it is highly recommended for freshman students coming directly from high school.

Psychological technician option

Opportunities are growing for psychological technicians who have BA or BS degrees in psychology. Such a person usually works in an applied setting and carries out duties that are supportive of the PhD psychologist. The clinical psychological technician often assists in such activities as testing, behavior change, community organization, agency management (budgets, referrals, scheduling), research, data collection and statistical analysis, etc. Technicians and paraprofessionals are playing an increasingly prominent role in clinics, hospitals, industrial and governmental agencies, and research settings.

The psychological technician option provides students with background knowledge and limited training in the skills most likely to be needed by a psychological technician and with supervised experience in an applied setting. Furthermore, the student is expected to take additional courses in relevant areas from other departments in the university.

The requirements for the psychological technician option reflect the goals stated above. All students in the option must satisfy the requirements for the psychology major. In addition, the following courses must also be completed:

PSYCH 505Abnormal Psychology3
PSYCH 559Psychological Testing3
PSYCH 585Basic Concepts in Clinical Psychology3
PSYCH 586Laboratory in Clinical Concepts2
PSYCH 587Field Placement1-6
Four other courses relevant to the mental health field from psychology, sociology, anthropology, social work, education, and human ecology.

All of these courses can be applied either as general electives or as psychology electives.

The laboratory in clinical psychology should be taken either after completion of or concurrently with Psychological Testing and Basic Concepts in Clinical Psychology. Following successful completion of the laboratory course and with the approval of the psychological technician supervisory committee, students can gain supervised experience in an applied setting. Arrangements for the field experience will be worked out individually with each student regarding the location of the agency and the total number of academic credit hours to be earned (PSYCH 587 Field Placement).

Psychology courses

PSYCH 100. Freshman Seminar. (1) I. An orientation and introduction to the field of psychology for freshman psychology majors only. Additional emphasis on the means by which psychological principles can be used to adapt to college life.

University General Education coursePSYCH 110. General Psychology. (3) I, II, S. An introductory survey of the general content areas of psychology, including methods, data, and principles.

University General Education coursePSYCH 115. General Psychology (Honors). (4) I, II. An introductory survey of the general content areas of psychology, including methods, data, and principles.

PSYCH 200. Junior Seminar in Psychology. (1) I. Discussion of professional, research, and educational methods and objectives in psychology. Acquaints psychology majors with psychology as a profession, and with the various options available to them at various levels of training. Should be taken during first semester of junior year. Pr.: Junior standing.

University General Education coursePSYCH 202. Drugs and Behavior. (2) I, S. Effects of drugs on human performance, cognition, and physiological processes will be discussed and the empirical evidence surveyed and critically evaluated in relation to both use and abuse of drugs in society. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

University General Education coursePSYCH 280. Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence. (3) I, II. Survey of behavioral development from birth through adolescence. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 290. Innovative Studies in Psychology. (1-6) I, II. Topics selected in consultation with the instructor. To be used for interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to psychological topics. Pr.: Consent of instructor.

PSYCH 350. Experimental Methods in Psychology. (5) I, II. Laboratory investigation of learning, motivation, social-personality processes, and perception and sensation. Includes three hours rec. and four hours lab a week. Pr.: PSYCH 110. (Psychology majors only.)

University General Education coursePSYCH 399. Honors Seminar in Psychology. (3) II. Selected topics. Open to nonmajors in the honors program.

PSYCH 400. Practicum in Teaching Psychology. (1-4) I, II. Supervised experience in presentation of psychological concepts in various classes. May be taken only with approval of the instructor of a general psychology class under whose supervision the student will obtain this experience. Pr.: Nine hours of psychology including PSYCH 110; junior standing; consent of instructor.

PSYCH 425. Problem Solving and Decision Making. (3) II. Provides both the psychological background and practical aids to help solve problems in everyday decision making. Skills to be covered include creativity, methods of problem solving, memory aids, decision-making tools, avoiding biases of judgment, etc. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 430. Forensic Psychology. (3) I. Survey of psychological principles and facts in areas such as perception, cognition, neuropsychology, social psychology, personality, and decision making, as they apply to forensic psychology. Topics include: polygraph (lie detection), eyewitness testimony, jury decision making, and profiling. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 450. Applications of Memory. (3) II. Examination of the applications of memory in such diverse areas as courtroom testimony, expert performance, mnemonic procedures, and advertising. Relevant theories and research in each area are examined. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 460. Cognitive Psychology. (3) I, II. A survey of the manner in which people extract and use relevant information from their environment as a basis for behavior. Topics may include memory storage and retrieval, attention, imagery, mnemonic devices, decision making, and other cognitive processes. Pr.: PSYCH 350. (Psychology majors only.)

PSYCH 470. Psychobiology. (3) I, II. Behavior from a biological point of view. Topics include: behavioral neuroscience techniques, sensory coding, food and water intake, sexual behavior, sleep and waking, memory, and learning. Pr.: BIOL 198, PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 475. Principles of Learning. (3) I, II. Introduction to the principles of learning and their relevance to the understanding of the behavior of animals and humans. Pr.: PSYCH 350. (Psychology majors only.)

PSYCH 480. Fundamentals of Perception and Sensation. (3) I, II. Empirical and theoretical approaches to phenomena of sensation and perception. Pr.: PSYCH 350. (Psychology majors only.)

PSYCH 490. Honors Tutorial in Psychology. (1-3) I, II. Individual directed research and study of a topic in psychology, normally as a preliminary to writing a senior honors thesis. May be repeated once to a total of 3 hours. Pr.: Sophomore standing, membership in the honors program of the College of Arts and Sciences, and permission of instructor.

PSYCH 499. Senior Honors Thesis. (2) I, II, S. Open only to seniors in the arts and sciences honors program.

PSYCH 505. Abnormal Psychology. (3) I, II, S. An introductory study of behavior pathologies, with emphasis on their etiology and treatment. Pr.: Junior standing; PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 510. Introduction to Behavior Modification. (3) II. Study of the principles of behavior modification and applications to human behavior. Emphasis on the learning principles and research in behavior modification. Pr.: PSYCH 505.

PSYCH 518. Introduction to Health Psychology. (3) II. Psychosocial factors relevant to general health maintenance, recovery from disease or injury, and the achievement of health. Topics include stress-management techniques, personality characteristics associated with disease, cognitive-emotional effects of diet and exercise, and theories of pain and pain management. Concepts of preven- tion and behavioral medicine are also included. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 520. Life Span Personality Development. (3) I, II, S. Theories and research in the development of personality from infancy through old age. Origins of personality in heredity and early experience, socialization practices, life crises and choices at various stages throughout life, and problems of aging. Pr.: PSYCH 110; sophomore standing.

PSYCH 530. Psychology of Mass Communications. (3) II. The psychological effects of mass communication on behavior and thought, including advertising, stereotyping of women and minorities, effects on children, violence and sex in the media, effects of news on behavior, and the promotion of prosocial behavior through the media. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 535. Social Psychology. (3) I, II. Psychology of the individual in society. Survey of empirical studies and theoretical models of social perception, attitudes, and social behavior (e.g., attribution, ethnic and gender prejudice, conformity). Relationship of these topics to personal and media influence, social mores, and social systems is also included. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 540. Psychology of Women. (3) II. Investigation of psychological processes of women. A developmental sequence with emphasis on major life events for women. Female physiology, early socialization into sex roles, friendship, achievement motivation, sexuality, marriage, childbearing, work, and mental health. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 543. Women's Mental Health Issues. (3) II. Investigates prevalent women's mental health issues such as incidence of depression/anxiety, eating disorders, sexuality, relationship concerns. Also covers the efficacy of traditional treatment modalities and newer therapies that target women's unique mental health needs such as feminist or nonsexist therapies. Pr.: PSYCH 505.

PSYCH 545. Consumer Psychology. (3) I. Survey of psychological principles and facts in perception, learning, attitude formation, personality, etc., as they apply to behavior of consumers. Pr.: PSYCH 110 and junior standing.

PSYCH 550. Group Dynamics. (3) II. Interaction in small groups: interpersonal sensitivity, communication, decision making, development of group structure and norms. May be organized as laboratory “process” group and require some flexibility in scheduling. Pr.: Six hours in psychology.

PSYCH 557. The Psychology of Ethnic Humor. (3) S, and on sufficient demand. Reviews the structure, dynamics, and social functions of ethnic humor. Pr.: PSYCH 110 or SOCIO 211.

PSYCH 558. Varieties of Consciousness. (3) I, S. Traditional and contemporary approaches of both Western science and Eastern metaphysics to study of ordinary mind consciousness, unusual states of awareness, and efforts to expand the powers of mind. Topics include sleep, dreaming, biofeedback, meditation, psychoactive drugs, brain area dominance, and other factors influencing relationships. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 559. Psychological Testing. (3) II. Principles of psychological testing in industrial, clinical/counseling, and research environments. Topics include technical issues such as reliability, validity, norming, selection, placement, discrimination, etc. Also covers procedures for selecting, administering, and interpreting psychological tests. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 560. Industrial Psychology. (3) I, S. Survey of human behavior and psychological principles in an industrial/personnel context. Topics include: recruiting, selecting, and training personnel; evaluating their job performance; conducting job analyses; and implementing compensation strategies. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 561. Laboratory in Industrial Psychology I. (2) I. Supervised experience in personnel psychology including classifications, analysis, and evaluation of jobs. Pr.: PSYCH 560 or conc. enrollment.

PSYCH 562. Laboratory in Industrial Psychology II. (2) II. Additional supervised experience in personnel psychology including interviewing, EEOC regulations, training, and performance appraisal. Pr.: PSYCH 561.

PSYCH 563. Gender Issues in the Workplace. (3) I. Psychological experiences of women and men in the world of work, with emphasis on traditional and nontraditional sex-role behavior, sexual discrimination and harassment, and relevant socialization experiences. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 564. Psychology of Organizations. (3) II. Relationships between individuals, groups, and organizations. How organizational factors contribute to individual behavior, and how individuals affect groups and organizational functioning. Emphasis is on such traditional topics as work motivation, job satisfaction and other attitudes, leadership, communication, socialization, and organization and job design. Pr.: PSYCH 110.

PSYCH 580. Psychology of Sexual Behavior. (3) I, II. Study of psychological determinants and consequences of human sexual behavior; roles of personality, attitudinal and emotional factors will be emphasized. Pr.: PSYCH 110, sophomore standing.

PSYCH 585. Basic Concepts in Clinical Psychology. (3) I. Critical analysis of the profession. Review of theoretical and empirical bases of such areas as intelligence and its measurement, personality and diagnosis, psychotherapy, and other modes of behavioral change. Pr.: PSYCH 110, 505, and 3 additional hours of psychology.

PSYCH 586. Laboratory in Clinical Concepts. (2) I. May be taken only in conjunction with PSYCH 585. Supervised practice in, demonstration of, and orientation to selected psychological techniques and practices. Pr.: Conc. enrollment in PSYCH 585.

PSYCH 587. Field Placement. (1-6) I, II, S. Supervised field experience in an agency or institutional setting in the application of psychological techniques to individuals, groups, or organizations. Regular supervision emphasizes relationship between theory and application and the evaluation of outcomes. Pr.: PSYCH 585 and 586, or 560; 561 and 562 and consent of psychological technician training committee.

PSYCH 599. Problems in Psychology. (Var.) I, II, S. Investigation of selected problems. Pr.: PSYCH 110 and consent of instructor.

PSYCH 605. Advanced Social Psychology. (3) II. An advanced look at some of the core topics in social psychology (e.g., the self, social influence, personal relationships, prejudice and discrimination, group processes) with a strong emphasis on applying the theory in these areas to current social problems and students' daily lives. Pr.: PSYCH 350. (Psychology majors only.)

PSYCH 620. Psychology of Personality. (3) I. Discussion of different approaches to the study of personality. Pr.: PSYCH 350. (Psychology majors only.)

PSYCH 625. Engineering Psychology. (3) I. The role of behavioral factors in the design and operation of machines and equipment. Pr.: PSYCH 110, STAT 330, or STAT707.

PSYCH 630. Human Neuropsychology. (3) II. Study of brain-behavior relationships in humans. Brief review of human neuroanatomy followed by a major emphasis on brain function in learning, memory, language, and other cognitive behaviors. Also includes an examination of behavioral alterations following brain damage. Pr.: BIOL 198 and PSYCH 110, or consent of instructor.

PSYCH 650. Psychology of Language. (3) I. Experimental study of language, including sentence comprehension and memory, language acquisition and development, speech perception, and effects of context, perception, reasoning, and linguistic structure on processing of language. Pr.: PSYCH 110 and junior standing.

PSYCH 715. Psychology of Aging. (3) II. The psychological aspects of human aging. An analysis of the contributions of experimental, developmental, and personality-social psychology to the study of aging. The psychopathology of aging and psychological intervention strategies are also covered. Pr.: PSYCH 110 or DAS315 and junior standing.

PSYCH 775. History of Current Trends. (3) II. A review of the contributions of individuals and intellectual movements to the development of modern psychology. A survey of theoretical systems currently of influence. Pr.: PSYCH 110 and 9 additional hours of psychology; senior standing.

PSYCH 790. Topics in Psychology. (Var.) I, II, S. Pr.: PSYCH 110 and consent of instructor.

PSYCH 799. Problems in Psychology. (Var.) I, II, S. Pr.: PSYCH 110 and consent of instructor.

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