Course Advising

Academic Planning

Use these resources to develop your academic plan and stay on track to graduate.

Advanced Research Courses

As part of the Psychology program, students are required to complete an advanced research course (4 units): either Advanced Research Topics (PSYC 387) or Advanced Research Methods (PSYC 388).  In general, ARM courses differ from ART courses in that students in ARM courses work with actual data, whereas students in ART courses focus on understanding different theoretical perspectives.  These courses provide students with a culminating learning experience that requires integration and application of knowledge they received from past foundational courses.

PSYC 387: Advanced Research Topics

Advanced research topics in psychology (ART) focuses on a critical analysis of primary research readings in one topic area.  Students will examine theories, conduct literature reviews, and engage in active discussions about a specialized topic in psychological research. After taking this course, students should be able to read, understand, and critique primary literature in the topic area and should be able to apply theoretical perspectives to address complex, topic-related issues. The specific topic will depend on the expertise and interests of the instructor and will be highlighted on the class schedule each semester.

PSYC 388: Advanced Research Methods

Advanced Research Methods in psychology (ARM) includes a review of the scientific approach, research design and measurement, and research ethics involved in research in a specific content area. ARM courses differ from ART courses in that students in ARM courses work with actual data.  Each course section interacts with data differently depending on the expertise and interests of the instructor. Some focus on quantitative data collection and analysis, others do secondary data analysis, and some use qualitative data. The research focus will depend on the expertise of the instructor and will be highlighted on the class schedule each semester. See individual section descriptions for details.


Myths and Mysteries of the Brain

PSYC 387 – 01 |ART: Advanced Research Topics | 21577

Indre Viskontas

MW 10:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Popular beliefs abound about how our brains work, and we’re all experts when it comes to our own minds. Or are we? Do we only use 10 percent of our brains? Does drinking alcohol kill brain cells? Can puzzles like Sudoku keep mature brains young? Neuroscience research shows us that we’re not very good at understanding our own brains. This course will explore the neuroscience of everyday life through brain myths and mysteries, replacing false conceptions with scientific findings and the great lessons we can draw from them.  You will learn how neuroscience lends its insights to a surprisingly diverse array of profound questions: What is consciousness? Why do we sometimes hold onto false beliefs? How do we make decisions? What is the true promise of neuroplasticity? Learn where neuroscience has conquered the human mind – and what uncharted territory remains.  This course is a discussion-based seminar focused on popular (mis) interpretations of neuroscience and psychology and the original scientific research that calls them into question. It fulfills the advanced research methods requirement in the Psychology major.


Neuropsychology of Aging

PSYC 387 – 02 |ART: Advanced Research Topics | 21578

David Ziegler

TR 8:00 – 9:45 AM

This seminar will critically examine the literature related to the psychology and neurobiology of healthy aging and neurodegenerative diseases. We will begin the semester by discussing research on the brain changes that occur during the course of healthy aging and the cognitive and psychological correlates of these neural changes. Specific emphasis will be placed on declines in attention and cognitive control, long-term memory, and emotional memory. We will then juxtapose these findings with research on the etiology and symptomatology of several neurodegenerative diseases.  Emphasis will again be placed on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of the diseases, including loss of memory function and emotional processing in Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia and impulse control disorders in Parkinson’s disease. We will then end the semester by delving into emerging research on novel treatments and interventions designed to remediate cognitive decline. We will discuss how societal factors contribute to health disparities that place some older adults at higher risk of cognitive decline and how these factors might impact the availability and effectiveness of treatments. Throughout the semester, we will consider methodological issues that are central to research on aging and neurodegenerative disease, including evaluation of common neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, EEG, MEG, and PET), neuropsychological assessments, and issues related to the design and conduct of randomized clinical trials of cognitive interventions.


Social Influence

PSYC 388 – 01 |ARM: Advanced Research Methods | 21579

Saera Khan

TR 9:55 – 11:40 AM

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed General Psychology, Psychological Statistics, and Psychological Research Design and Social Psychology.

In this advanced research methods class, we will focus on the content area of current social psychology. Students are expected to have an understanding of statistics and research methods. The purpose of this advanced course is to give students the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice. We will analyze studies based on social psychology research, design our own studies, and then collect and analyze the data from these studies. The assignments in this class are designed to strengthen and cement the research and critical thinking skills that you have developed in your coursework in psychology.


Clinical Research In Mental Illness

PSYC 388 – 02 |ARM: Advanced Research Methods | 21580

Jeremy Doughan

TR 6:30 – 8:15 PM

This course will critically examine clinical research on the diagnosis, assessment, effectiveness of
different therapeutic approaches to mental illness (i.e., treatments). The goal is to evaluate current
research protocols, as well as understand how interventions have impacted mental health science.
Research reviews will consist of psychopharmacological treatments, psychotherapies, and alternative
biological treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, TMS and ECT. Students will learn to evaluate
research designs involved with mental illness and analyze several clinical datasets.

Diversity Course - Major Requirement

Psychology majors are required to take a diversity course in the Psychology major. Please be advised that the Psychology Diversity requirement in the Psychology program and the Cultural Diversity requirement in the core curriculum are different and separate requirements and cannot be completed by taking the same course. The Psychology Diversity course offerings differ from semester to semester. The following courses can be taken to satisfy this requirement:

Offered regularly (every year)
PSYC 305 Psychology of Ethnic Groups in the United States
PSYC 307 Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSYC 317 Asian American Psychology
PSYC 331 Psychology of Sexuality

Offered intermittently (every two years)
PSYC 316 African American Psychology
PSYC 335 Psychology of Gender
PSYC 350: Latino American Psychology

Offered rarely
PSYC 301 Diversity Issues in Psychology
PSYC 302 Psychology of Prejudice

Psychology Practicum - Service Learning

The Psychology Practicum (PSYC 396), a course offered by the Department of Psychology every semester (4 units) and during the 12-week summer session (for 2, 3, or 4 units of credit), provides an opportunity for service learning in a variety of community settings relevant to psychology (e.g., hospitals, mental health and residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, school classrooms, homeless shelters, preschool and daycare centers, research labs, and locally based non-profit organizations). Each student volunteers without pay for a predetermined number of hours (25 hours per one unit of course credit) in an agency and experiences the application of psychology in the real world. Students meet weekly over the course of the semester/session with the instructor to discuss course readings and share their experiences in the fieldwork settings. Psychology Practicum is a psychology elective course (when taken for four units), fulfills the practicum requirement in the Child and Youth Studies Minor (when taken for four units in a child/youth-oriented placement) and also fulfills the university service learning requirement. Service learning is a graduation requirement that may be fulfilled through courses in other departments as well as through the Psychology Practicum course.

Prerequisite Course: PSYC 313 Abnormal Psychology