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.

Fall 2019

Mass Emotions in Politics

PSYC 387 – 01 |ART: Advanced Research Topics | 41882

Violet Cheung

MW 12:20 PM – 2:05 PM

While the role of mass emotions in visceral politics seems obvious, the specific ways that emotions shape political discourse are not well-understood. A case in point is Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary film Fahrenheit 911, which accused President George W. Bush of relying on fear tactics to garner public support for the invasion of Iraq. Any researcher versed in emotion theories would posit anger as the most salient emotion with regard to rallying the public behind military action. In this course, students will start by learning major emotion theories, especially the differences between the dimensional and discrete approaches. Students will then read research articles to learn the roles of specific emotions in a variety of political topics, from the wars in the Middle East to the ongoing cyberwar with China, from the Patriot Act to the migrant crisis. At the end of the course, students will write a term paper to propose an education program. Specifically, they will design ways to profile voters social media accounts, identify emotional voters, and design an education program to promote emotional awareness.


Emotional Intelligence

PSYC 387 – 02 |ART: Advanced Research Topics | 41883

Davina Chan

TR 8:00 – 9:45 AM

This course will examine research on emotional intelligence, methods for developing emotional intelligence, and controversies within the field.  It will begin with a discussion of the various components of emotional intelligence, including the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions, successfully motivate oneself to achieve one’s goals, perceive other people’s emotions accurately, and use emotions to navigate social relationships effectively.  We will then turn to look assessment of emotional intelligence, as well as assessment of the effectiveness of techniques and programs aimed at enhancing emotional intelligence in academic, work, and clinical settings.  Material will be taken from cognitive neuroscience, as well as social and clinical psychology, and will include topics ranging from brain imaging studies on truth wizards, optimists, and effects of mindfulness, to evidence-based therapeutic techniques for cultivating positive emotions and transforming negative emotions.  The course fulfills the advanced research methods requirement in the Psychology major.

Prerequisites: Psychological Statistics and Research Design


Cognitive Neurotherapies

PSYC 388 – 01 |ARM: Advanced Research Methods | 41884

David Ziegler

TR 4:35 PM – 6:20 PM

This course will critically examine research on the effectiveness of different therapeutic approaches for several human neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative illnesses – such as autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and PTSD – that result from dysfunction in key brain systems. We will also discuss the use of these interventions for cognitive enhancement in healthy young adults. Therapies will include pharmaceutical agents, brain stimulation, cognitive training, lifestyle modifications (e.g., exercise and diet), and integrative practices (e.g., mind-body approaches). Students will learn about the design and conduct of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to evaluate the efficacy of interventions and will have an opportunity to conduct their own research project by analyzing publicly available data from one of several large-scale clinical trials of cognitive interventions.


How Technology Shapes Thought

PSYC 388 – 02 |ARM: Advanced Research Methods | 41885

Indre Viskontas

TR 9:55 AM – 11:40 AM

Socrates famously predicted that a new invention would turn our brains into mush: writing. The fear that technology will change how we think is not new. But the amount of time we now spend interacting with devices like cell phones, computers, and video games is unprecedented. What is the effect of ubiquitous technology on our brains? Is Google slowly destroying our memory? Have our attention spans been decimated by scrolling through Facebook feeds and Twitter? What does science say about the relative impact on kids of smartphones, with their constant text, Instagram, and Snapchat interruptions?  By outsourcing menial mental tasks like navigating through a city or remembering facts, are we sacrificing our brain’s potential? Or are we leaving ourselves more time for deep thinking and creativity, human traits that arguably can’t be beat by artificial intelligence? In this class, we will survey the findings in this emerging field of research, and use the internet to collect and interpret data relevant to the topic at hand. 

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

Loading..., 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