Psychology (PSY)

The Psychology Department offers a BA degree and a minor in Psychology.

Educational Goal

The Psychology Department aspires to thoroughly involve its students in the science of psychology, teaching them fundamental critical thinking and analysis skills, providing them with research experience.

Learning Outcomes for Students Earning the BA in Psychology

Knowledge Base

  1. Knows and understands core questions in psychology
  2. Knows and understands major theoretical approaches in psychology
  3. Knows and understands how major research designs address different questions and hypotheses
  4. Knows and understands empirical findings of psychology

Critical Thinking

  1. Possess ability to formulate psychological problems or questions
  2. Possesses ability to determine the degree to which an explanation is supported by reasoning and empirical evidence
  3. Possesses ability to envision alternative explanations and to determine what evidence is needed to choose between them
  4. Possesses ability to synthesize empirical evidence and psychological concepts
  5. Possesses attitude of thinking that includes persistence, open-mindedness, tolerance for ambiguity, and intellectual curiosity

Research Skills

  1. Possesses ability to locate psychological research information
  2. Possesses ability to design and conduct research
  3. Possesses ability to use statistical techniques to analyze information
  4. Possesses ability to evaluate statistical information and quality of research

Communication Skills

  1. Possesses effective oral communication skills
  2. Possesses effective written communication skills
  3. Possesses ability to use professional (APA) writing conventions

Research Ethics

  1. Understands and appreciates ethical issues in research related to research participants
  2. Understands and appreciates ethical issues in research related to integrity of researcher

Application

  1. Possesses ability to apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues
  2. Recognizes relevance of psychology to everyday life
  3. Appreciates importance of psychological science to answering fundamental questions

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

We actively promote the view of psychology as a research science to our students, and endeavor to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they will need to be effective and successful in graduate education or psychology-related careers. Effectiveness is assessed using both student evaluations of every course and exit surveys of majors. These assessments indicate good intellectual experiences in our courses and confirm that our emphasis on research is effective.

More specifically, the exit survey results, based on a 5 point scale ranging from very dissatisfied (1) to very satisfied (5), were as follows:

2011

2012 2013
Overall satisfaction with major

4.4

4.4

 4.2
Satisfaction with classes

4.3

4.3

 4.3
Satisfaction with learning

4.4

4.4

 4.4
Satisfaction with professors

4.4

4.3

 4.4
Satisfaction with research opportunities

4.1

3.9

 4.0
Satisfaction with course advising

3.7

3.4

 3.7

We also asked exit survey questions about specific aspects of learning reflecting our learning outcome goals using the following scale (1 = Learned nothing, 5 = Learned a lot)

2011

2012 2013
Learning of major concepts, theories, and empirical findings

4.2

4.3

 4.4
Research methods

4.3

4.5

 4.4
Critical thinking

4.3

4.4

 4.2
Application of materials

4.3

4.2

 4.4
Technical skills

4.0

4.2

 4.0
Communication skills

4.1

4.2

 3.9
Sociocultural and international diversity

3.6

4.0

 3.9
Ethics

4.2

 4.2