Psychology Degree

What comes to mind when you think of a psychology degree? Many people think of dreams. Many think of psychological disorders and their treatment. Psychology is about these things, true, but it is also about so much more!

Psychologists are employed in the military, analyzing the best methods for training personnel; in government, evaluating the effectiveness of programs designed to prevent child abuse, alcoholism and other social problems; in industry, consulting on the most effective methods of leadership, management and job design; in education, studying the behavior of teachers and students in real-world settings to improve teaching techniques; in sports and recreation, planning programs that encourage healthy mental development in athletes. Psychologists are everywhere and do almost everything. Psychology students at Graceland are encouraged to create their own unique niche in this diverse and fascinating field. Solid research training is a hallmark of the program.

BA Degree — Psychology Major

In addition to the essential education requirements, majors in Psychology must complete a concentration of 34 or more semester hours in Psychology and 6-7 semester hours of supporting courses.

Support courses:

  • MATH1380 Introduction to Statistics 3 s.h.
  • BIOL1400 Unity of Life or
         BIOL2300 Anatomy and Physiology I 3-4 s.h.


Psychology Minor

A minor in Psychology consists of 18 semester hours in psychology including PSYC1300, 9 s.h. from psychology core listed above, and 6 additional semester hours of psychology electives. (Sociology majors may substitute SOCI3440 for PSYC3320.)

Teacher Certification in Psychology

ONLY FOR NON-PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS WHO WANT A SECONDARY PSYCHOLOGY ENDORSEMENT (5-12): Non-Psychology Majors desiring a secondary Psychology endorsement (5-12) in Iowa must complete the Secondary Education Program (with SOSC3390 Methods of Teaching Social Studies as the appropriate methods course), a major in a secondary teaching field, and 24 s.h. in Psychology including the following courses:

Or a student may take 30 s.h. in the broad area of Social Sciences to include 15 s.h. in Psychology including the following courses:

  • PSYC1300 Introductory Psychology 3 s.h.
  • PSYC3320 Research Methods One 3 s.h.
  • SOCI/PSYC3310 Social Psychology or
    PSYC3340 Personality or
         PSYC3350 History and Systems or
         PSYC3500 Principles or Learning 3 s.h.
  • Psychology Electives 6 s.h.


Courses for Psychology

BIOL1400 Unity of Life (3-0) 3 s.h.
A study of the key characteristics of life that unite all living organisms, including humans. Emphasis will be placed on comparing how humans and other organisms fulfill basic life needs. Will not count for credit in the Biology major or minor. Goal 1A, ELO6 Science - Equality, ELO6 Science - Equality and Peace

BIOL2300 Anatomy and Physiology I (2-2) 3 s.h.
The study of structure and function of the human body on the cellular, tissue, organ, and organ-system level. All organ systems are discussed. Emphasis is on the anatomy of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. Laboratory includes both gross and microscopic structure and function. (One year each of high school biology and chemistry or the equivalent strongly recommended.) Additional fee required. Goal 1A

MATH1380 Introduction to Statistics 3 s.h.
Data analysis and measures of central tendency, dispersion, and correlation. Introduction to probability. Estimation and hypothesis testing. Bivariate regression. Elementary ANOVA. Introduction to nonparametric techniques. Prerequisite: 1 year high school algebra. Goal 3A, ELO6 Math

PSYC1300 Introductory Psychology 3 s.h.
An introductory survey of psychological methods and thoughts as they relate to human experience and behavior. Topics include the role of the central nervous system in mediating behavior, learning and memory, states of awareness, motivation and emotion, personality, psychological disorders, and therapy. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - Innovation

PSYC2000 Individual Study Goal 1C 1-3 s.h.

PSYC2250 Developmental Psychology 3 s.h.
The study of human development over the entire lifespan. Focus is on the interaction of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional aspects of development. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C, ELO5 Social Science - Equality, ELO5 Social Science - Equality and Peace

PSYC2400 Frontiers in Neuroscience (also BIOL2400) 1 s.h.
This course will explore historical and recent exploration in the field of neuroscience. Specifically, research will be presented related to cellular mechanisms of action in neuroscience, the use of animals in neuroscience, disease states related to neuroscience, drug discovery in neuroscience, and psychological medications in neuroscience.

PSYC3000 Individual Study Goal 1C 1-3 s.h.

PSYC3250 Professional Seminar 1 s.h.
Examination of professional issues and careers in psychology, including discussion of graduate school and presentations by professional psychologists. Prerequisite: Psychology major. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3280 Psychology and Law 3 s.h.
An examination of the legal system - both criminal and civil - through the use of psychological concepts, methods, and research findings. Prerequisite: PSYC1300 or instructor consent. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3300 Sensation and Perception 3 s.h.
Consideration of how humans receive and interpret information from their environment through receptor systems and brain mechanisms. Including theories of perception, biology of sensory and perceptual systems, and practical applications of findings from research. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC3310 Social Psychology (Also SOCI3310) 3 s.h.
The study of how people think, feel, and behave in social situations. Attention given to research and application to social perception, interaction, and influence. Prerequisite: SOCI1300 or PSYC1300 (grade of C or better). Goal 1C

PSYC3320 Research Methods One 3 s.h.
Scientific rationale applied to behavioral research with emphasis on experimental design. Students design research, analyze and interpret data, and learn to write in scientific journal style. Prerequisites: MATH1380 and PSYC1300. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3330 Biopsychology 3 s.h.
Examination of the biological substrates of behavior. Topics include synaptic transmission and patterns of neural activity, sleep and arousal, learning and memory, and motivation and emotion. Prerequisites: PSYC1300 and one of the following: BIOL1300, BIOL1400, BIOL2300. Goal 1C

PSYC3340 Personality 3 s.h.
A study of personality from dispositional, psychodynamic, humanistic, and behavioral perspectives and of the application of personality perspectives to current issues. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC3350 History and Systems 3 s.h.
A historical analysis of systematic foundations in psychology. Includes Structuralism, Functionalism, Behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, and Psychoanalysis. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC3370 Cross Cultural Psychology 3 s.h.
Study of psychological theories and empirical findings relating to variations in cultures. Goal 4, ELO4 Global Learning - World Citizenship, ELO4 Global Learning - Equality and Peace

PSYC3380 Abnormal Psychology 3 s.h.
A study of the disorders outlined in the current diagnostic statistical manual. Emphasis will be on etiology, symptoms, and methods of treatment. Prerequisite: Five semester hours in Psychology. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3390 Cognitive Psychology 3 s.h.
Research and theory in areas of cognitive psychology, including attention; memory acquisition, storage, and retrieval; language comprehension; and problem solving. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC3440 Psychology of the Workplace 3 s.h.
Psychological theory applied to problems of work: workplace design; group behavior; labor-management relations; leadership; employee selection and retention; psychological evaluation of workers. Goal 1C

PSYC3470 Psychological Tests and Measurements 3 s.h.
Assessment information applied to decision making in education and psychology. Tests of processes and skills will be reviewed as well as the technical aspects of measurement. Credit not allowed for this course and EDUC3630. Goal 1C

+ PSYC3500 Principles of Learning 3 s.h.
Explores a variety of theories of learning. Considers both conceptual and applied aspects of learning. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC3520 Research Methods Two 3 s.h.
Development and implementation of an original research project. Prerequisite: PSYC3320, psychology major. Goal 1C

PSYC3900 Topics in Psychology 1 – 3 s.h.
In-depth study of topics in the field of psychology. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

PSYC4000 Individual Study Goal 1C 1-3 s.h.

PSYC4360 Senior Internship 3 s.h.
Practical application of knowledge, theory and skills in a professional setting. Prerequisite: Senior standing, psychology major, instructor’s consent. Goal 1C

PSYC4430 Theory and Practice of Counseling 3 s.h.
A course designed to explore characteristics of counselors, characteristics of clients, basic counseling techniques, and current theories of counseling. Prerequisite: PSYC1300. Goal 1C

SOSC3390 Methods of Teaching Social Studies 3 s.h.
Discussions of the general and specific objectives of social studies in the secondary school system, the materials and resources available, techniques in teaching the social studies, types of curricula, and methods of evaluation. Prerequisites:  admittance into Teacher Education, unless part of an approved Liberal Studies Program.

SOCI3440 Research Methods 3 s.h.
A survey of the principles and practices of social research, including data analysis, research ethics, and the design and implementation of surveys, in-depth interviews, content analysis, participant observation, experiments, and field studies. Prerequisite: MATH1380.

+ Denotes an alternate year course.