Department Detail

Psychology and Counseling

Our psychology programs provide students with an in-depth understanding of human behavior, stressing its complexity, development, and integration. We are committed to a broad interdisciplinary study of humanity.

We offer state of the art training experiences in school and mental health counseling. In addition to our CACREP accredited school counseling programs, we offer the only CACREP accredited Mental Health Counseling (MHC) program in NEPA, and one of only two programs in a five state area!

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The Department of Psychology and Counseling provides students with an in-depth understanding of human behavior, stressing its complexity, development, and integration.

Specifically, the objectives of the Psychology and Counseling Department are

  1. A basic understanding of major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in Psychology
  2. A working knowledge of the principles of research design, critical thinking abilities, and application of the scientific approach to problems related to behavior and mental processes
  3. Demonstrate of an awareness and application of the ethical dimensions both in research and practice

Because psychology is an empirically-based discipline, the scientific nature of psychology is emphasized in both general and specialized courses. The Psychology curriculum is designed to meet the diverse needs of students. For the Psychology major, this includes an integrated sequence of learning experiences that prepare the student for multiple career options after graduation, which may include mental health and social service settings, personnel resources, marketing research, and other related fields. 

In view of the importance of advanced degrees in psychology, a thorough preparation for graduate work is also emphasized.


The 48-credit General Psychology Track develops a broad-based understanding of human behavior for varied reasons (not necessarily involving clinical applications). Students complete 30 credits of required psychology classes and select an additional 18 elective credits in order to explore or emphasize their particular interests in the discipline.

The 48-credit Clinical Track involves preparation for professional careers in clinical psychology and related areas. The Clinical Track is available for those majors who desire employment in the field immediately after graduation and/or who seek to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology or related areas. Special guidelines are provided in the Student Handbook, which is available from the department. The track requires that the student maintains at least a 3.00 QPA in Psychology and completion of a four-course sequence (Psychology 431 or 432, 433, 434, and 451A), along with other recommended courses.

The Industrial Organizational (I/O) Track is a 60-credit interdisciplinary program in cooperation with the Business and Managerial Science Department. This track offers students a blend of psychology and business training and is designed for those who wish to directly enter the corporate world after graduation or to further pursue graduate study in industrial/organizational psychology. The track requires that the student maintains at least a 3.00 QPA in Psychology. In addition to the 30 hours of Psychology core courses, students are required to complete four Psychology courses (Psychology 425, 345, 318, and one of the following: 451B, 350, 310) and three Business courses (341, 422, and 221, or 424). Additionally, students must complete two Psychology electives from: Psychology 317, 319, 415, 438, 440, 451B, or 350 or 310*, and one Business elective from: Business 200, 252, 255, 344, 380.
*Only one course from among 451B or 350 or 310* can be used to fulfill this requirement.

Honors Research is another important alternative in our curriculum. Students who are interested in pursuit of graduate study in psychology are particularly advised of the importance of honors research in facilitating advanced study. Honors research in Psychology requires the maintenance of a QPA of 3.25 in Psychology and 3.00 overall. Honors research in Psychology involves completion of Psychology 452 and/or Psychology H478 along with presentation of the results of this research. Psychology H478 is part of the University Honors Program. Students are encouraged to take Psychology 310, Research Apprenticeship, early in their coursework (e.g., sophomore year). Further details regarding Honors Research are available in the Student Handbook.

Experiential learning opportunities are integrated with classroom-based instruction at every opportunity. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of formal and informal field experiences. Supervised internships in local agencies, leading to undergraduate credit, ordinarily are open only to those students who are majoring in Psychology.

Courses in the Psychology Department also frequently provide knowledge and tool skills for students in other programs concerned with human behavior and development. Concentrations in Psychology also may be combined with other areas, such as education, pre-law, biology, social work, and special education. While not offered as a specific program track, the department offers a number of courses related to various aspects of health psychology, a growing area in the field of psychology. See the Student Handbook for a listing of these courses.

General Requirements - All Students

PSYC 211, General Psychology, as part of the general liberal arts curriculum, fulfills the Social Sciences requirement and is a prerequisite of all other psychology courses. It is hoped that study in Psychology will aid the student in acquiring selfknowledge and gaining understanding of the scientific nature of the field. PSYC 211 attempts to enhance student skills in critical thinking, information literacy, computer/ technology utilization skills, and awareness of diversity issues.

Curriculum Requirements - Majors and Minors


The student who majors in Psychology is required to complete a total of 48 credits in Psychology (60 credits in the I/O program track, including credits from Psychology and Business). The core sequence of courses required of all Psychology Majors includes the following courses:

PSYC 211 General Psychology 3
PSYC 251 Developmental Psychology 3
PSYC 214 Child Development 3
PSYC 270 Psychological Applications of Statistics 3
PSYC 314 Physiological Psychology
PSYC 325 Sensation and Perception
PSYC 315 Contemporary Approaches to Learning 3
PSYC 410 Social Psychology 3
PSYC 421 Experimental Psychology I 3
PSYC 422 Experimental Psychology II 3
PSYC 450 Personality Psychology 3
PSYC 490 Senior Seminar 3

Psychology majors may consider scheduling MATH 155, Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, as their Liberal Arts Core math requirement and Biology 130, Anatomy and Physiology, as their Liberal Arts Core science requirement. Students must earn a total of 120 credits across the major, core, and electives in order to be awarded the baccalaureate degree.


Students in other majors who wish to minor in Psychology must complete 18 credits offered by the department. The student should consult with the Psychology Department chairperson so that an organized, coherent set of courses can be planned and special areas of interest can be coordinated.

Students in other majors who wish to minor in Counseling and Development must complete 18 credits offered by the department. At least 12 of the 18 credits (4 courses) must be in Counseling (COUN). All minors are required to take COUN 201: Introduction to Counseling and Development (prerequisite for other counseling courses*) and COUN 301: Helping Skills in Counseling and Development (*no prerequisite). Six of the 18 credits (2 courses) may be in Psychology (PSYC). PSYC 211: General Psychology is a prerequisite for other psychology courses.

The following courses are approved for the Counseling and Development minor:
Select at least four Counseling courses:

COUN 201 Introduction to Counseling and Development (required; prerequisite for other counseling courses*)
COUN 301 Helping Skills in Counseling and Development (required; *no prerequisite)
COUN 302 Multiculturalism and Diversity in Counseling and Development
COUN 401 Career in Counseling and Development
COUN 402 Group Work in Counseling and Development

Select up to two Psychology courses:

PSYC 211 General Psychology (prerequisite for other psychology courses)
PSYC 251 Developmental Psychology
PSYC 270 Psychological Applications of Statistics
PSYC 317 Psychology of Assessment


The Psychology Department is housed in the McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies. Facilities available in the department include: psychology laboratory with psychophysiological equipment, biofeedback, experimental psychology equipment, computerized online data acquisition equipment, counseling laboratory facilities with one-way mirrors, videotaping and editing equipment, digital video, and CD-ROM authoring capabilities. State-of-the-art computer laboratory facilities support student research, writing and presentation work (e.g., statistics, online data acquisition, Internet access, desktop presentation software, and web authoring software).

Accelerated Programs

Highly motivated, qualified students may begin graduate study in Psychology or Counseling in the senior year of the baccalaureate program, through cooperation with the Graduate Psychology and Graduate Counseling program tracks in the department. Qualified students may earn up to twelve graduate credits which can be counted toward the undergraduate degree requirements. See the department Student Handbook for further details.

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