Academic Programs

Academic Units: Department of Psychology

Order your copy of the Undergraduate Catalog from the JMU Bookstore.

General Education

Interdisciplinary Programs

Academic Units

Link to JMU Homepage

Publisher: JMU Academic Affairs
MSC 8002, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

For more information, contact: JMU Catalog Office, ug-catalog@jmu.edu

Copyright © 2006 James Madison University. All rights reserved.
Privacy Statement

This site is best viewed in
Internet Explorer 6.0 or above at
1024 x 768 pixels.

Mission
The mission of the undergraduate program is to provide broad training in psychological principles and in research methodology as applied to the study of psychology. The program is designed to prepare psychology majors for professional and scientific graduate level training in psychology and related fields and/or for employment in bachelor’s degree level positions in fields such as human services and business. The program contributes significantly to the university’s general education program and also provides service courses for students in other academic programs. The program contributes to graduate education in psychology through close affiliation with the Department of Graduate Psychology. The faculty members in the department are committed to providing superlative teaching, engaging in significant scholarly activity, and providing broad service to the university, community and profession. We strive to maintain an environment that models and encourages open communication, collaboration, life-long learning and community involvement on the part of students, staff and faculty.
  Goals
  • To prepare students for graduate work by offering a rigorous background in psychology. Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed for professional or scientific training at the graduate level leading to possible careers in higher education, clinical psychology, school psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, research and other fields.
  • To prepare psychology majors wanting to use their bachelor’s degree to seek employment. Psychology majors develop the knowledge and skills that help them develop careers dealing with people including positions in research, business, and human services.
  • To provide general education and other courses for students in other academic programs.
Back to top of page Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
  • Psychology Club. This club is open to all students with an interest in psychology.
  • ABPsi. The JMU student circle of the Association of Black Psychologists is open to all students interested in promoting the field of psychology among all people.
  • Psi Chi. The local chapter of the national honor society in psychology is open to students with a strong interest in psychology and an exceptional academic record.
  • Peer Advising. These students serve as peer-consultants to psychology majors and minors. Students are trained during their junior year and serve as advisers during their senior year.
Back to top of page Special Admission Requirements
Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the psychology major. Students may enter JMU as “Psychology preparation students” and apply to become majors later. Spaces will be available each year. The exact number will be determined each year based on the ability of the department to provide a quality educational experience for its majors. Spaces available are influenced by factors such as the number of students who are graduating and the size of the faculty. Before applying to become a psychology major, all students must complete GPSYC 101 (General Psychology) and a mathematics course numbered 205 or above (Math 220 [Statistics] is recommended). Overall GPA is an important factor in acceptance decisions. Procedures for becoming a major are available on the department Web site.
Back to top of page Retention
All psychology courses taken must carry a grade of “C-” or better to apply to the major. A psychology course completed with a grade of “D” may be credited toward graduation requirements but may not be included in courses credited toward the psychology major.
Back to top of page Prerequisites
Psychology majors must complete GPSYC 101 and two statistics and research methodology courses (PSYC 210-211 or PSYC 212-213) before enrolling in courses numbered 330 and above. The prerequisite for PSYC 210 and PSYC 212 is any mathematics course numbered 205 or above. Non-psychology students may enroll in the 300- and 400-level courses only if they have fulfilled course prerequisites.
Back to top of page Registration and Assessment
During registration, psychology majors will be given priority for course selection. Graduating majors must participate in assessment activities. Assessment information helps the faculty modify the psychology curriculum to meet student needs.
Back to top of page Degree and Major Requirements
  Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Degree Requirements
Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education1
41
Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required)
0-14
Philosophy course(s) (in addition to General Education courses)
3
Major requirements (listed below)
44
Electives
18-32

120
Major Requirements2
Credit Hours
GPSYC 101. General Psychology
3
Methodology Core (choose one of the following sequences):3
8
PSYC 210. Psychological Measurement and Statistics and PSYC 211. Psychological Research Methods
PSYC 212. Psychological Research Design and PSYC 213. Data Analysis I & II
SS Content Core – Psychology as a Social Science (choose at least three of the following):
9
PSYC 330. Psychology of Personality
PSYC 335. Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 345. Social Psychology
PSYC 365. Developmental Psychology
NS Content Core – Psychology as a Natural Science (choose at least three of the following):
9
PSYC 375. Sensation and Perception
PSYC 380. Cognitive Psychology  
PSYC 385. Biopsychology
PSYC 390. Psychology of Learning  
PSYC 395. Comparative Animal Behavior
Upper Level Specialty Content Courses (choose at least one of the following):
3
PSYC 400. Advanced Topics4
PSYC 410. Industrial/Organizational Psychology  
PSYC 412. Psychology of Motivation
PSYC 420. Advanced Psychological Statistics  
PSYC 425. School Psychology
PSYC 427. Tests & Measurement  
PSYC 428. Educational Psychology
PSYC 430. Clinical Psychology  
PSYC 435. Community Psychology
PSYC 440. Counseling Psychology  
PSYC 450. Child Abuse and Neglect
PSYC 452. Child Psychopathology  
PSYC 460. Community Psychology within Developing Societies5
PSYC 465. Black/African Psychology5  
PSYC 475. Psychology of Adulthood
PSYC 480. Applied Behavior Analysis  
Psychology electives (at least three hours of these electives must be at the 400 level)
9
Capstone course: (choose one of the following):
3
PSYC 492. History of Psychology
PSYC 493. Laboratory in Psychology  
PSYC 495. Field Placement in Psychology
497. Senior Seminar in Psychology4
PSYC 499. Honors Thesis4
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 All psychology majors are required to complete at least one course that satisfies our sociocultural awareness requirement. Courses that meet this requirement appear in various sectors of the curriculum and can be used to meet other major requirements.
3 PSYC 210 and PSYC 211 are offered every semester; PSYC 212 is offered only during the fall semester; PSYC 213 is offered only during the spring semester.
4 Some sections of this course MAY meet the sociocultural awareness requirement depending on the content; when this course does meet the requirement it will be listed in the notes section of the course listing in e-campus.
5 Course meets sociocultural awareness requirement.
Back to top of page Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Degree Requirements
Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education1
41
Major requirements (listed below)
44
Cognate requirements2
9-11
Electives
18-32

120
Major Requirements3
Credit Hours
GPSYC 101. General Psychology
3
Methodology Core (choose one of the following sequences):4
8
PSYC 210. Psychological Measurement and Statistics and PSYC 211. Psychological Research Methods
PSYC 212. Psychological Research Design and PSYC 213. Data Analysis I & II
SS Content Core – Psychology as a Social Science (choose at least three of the following):
9
PSYC 330. Psychology of Personality
PSYC 335. Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 345. Social Psychology
PSYC 365. Developmental Psychology
NS Content Core – Psychology as a Natural Science (choose at least three of the following):
9
PSYC 375. Sensation and Perception
PSYC 380. Cognitive Psychology  
PSYC 385. Biopsychology
PSYC 390. Psychology of Learning  
PSYC 395. Comparative Animal Behavior
Upper Level Specialty Content Courses (choose at least one of the following):
3
PSYC 400. Advanced Topics5
PSYC 410. Industrial/Organizational Psychology  
PSYC 412. Psychology of Motivation
PSYC 420. Advanced Psychological Statistics  
PSYC 425. School Psychology
PSYC 427. Tests & Measurement  
PSYC 428. Educational Psychology
PSYC 430. Clinical Psychology  
PSYC 435. Community Psychology
PSYC 440. Counseling Psychology  
PSYC 450. Child Abuse and Neglect
PSYC 452. Child Psychopathology  
PSYC 460. Community Psychology within Developing Societies6
PSYC 465. Black/African Psychology6  
PSYC 475. Psychology of Adulthood
PSYC 480. Applied Behavior Analysis  
Psychology electives (at least three hours of these electives must be at the 400 level)
9
Capstone course: (choose one of the following):
3
PSYC 492. History of Psychology
PSYC 493. Laboratory in Psychology  
PSYC 495. Field Placement in Psychology
497. Senior Seminar in Psychology5
PSYC 499. Honors Thesis5
Cognate Requirements  
Quantitative Competency (in addition to General Education; can count toward B.S. degree, second major and/or minor requirements)
3
Any MATH course numbered 205 or above
Scientific Literacy (choose at least two of the following; in addition to General Education; can count toward B.S. degree, second major and/or minor requirements)
6-8
ANTH or GANTH – any course number
BIO or GBIO – any course number
CHEM – any course number
CS 139, 239, 240, 345 or 350
ECON or GECON – any course number
GSCI 101 or GSCI 121
POSC or GPOSC – any course number
SOCI or GSOCI – any course number
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 Includes courses required to satisfy university B.S. degree requirements in quantitative competency and scientific literacy.
3 All psychology majors are required to complete at least one course that satisfies our sociocultural awareness requirement. Courses that meet this requirement appear in various sectors of the curriculum and can be used to meet other major requirements.
4 PSYC 210 and PSYC 211 are offered every semester; PSYC 212 is offered only during the fall semester; PSYC 213 is offered only during the spring semester.
5 Some sections of this course MAY meet the sociocultural awareness requirement depending on the content; when this course does meet the requirement, it will be listed in the notes section of the course listing in e-campus.
6 Course meets sociocultural awareness requirement.
Back to top of page Concentration
Behavior Analysis Concentration
This optional concentration prepares students for employment with agencies that provide behavior analytic services and/or for pursuing a graduate degree in behavior analysis. This course sequence includes the course work requirements necessary to sit for the Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysis (BCABA®) national certification examination.
Required Courses
Credit Hours
PSYC 390. Psychology of Learning
3
PSYC 480. Applied Behavior Analysis
3
Choose one of the following:
3
PSYC 180. Introduction to Behavior Analysis1
PSYC 402. Independent Study: Readings – Behavior Analysis2
Choose one of the following:
3
PSYC 402. Independent Study: Research – Behavior Analysis2
PSYC 402. Independent Study: Practicum – Behavior Analysis2,3
Choose one of the following:
3-6
PSYC 493. Laboratory in Psychology2
PSYC 497. Senior Seminar in Psychology2
PSYC 499. Honors Thesis2

15-18
1 Cannot be taken by students who have completed PSYC 390 or PSYC 480.
2 Only certain sections will qualify; consult with the concentration coordinator before enrolling.
3 This course will count toward the experience requirements for the Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysis (BCABA®) national certification examination.
With the assistance of their faculty advisers, students majoring in psychology select their area courses and psychology electives to meet their own individual needs and goals. Within the structure of the program, students may choose the courses of greatest interest to them.
Back to top of page Recommended Schedule for Majors
The following program sample is intended as a guide. Courses must be taken in the sequence outlined; however, the semester during which a particular course is taken depends on a number of factors including readiness to take MATH 220, the semester the psychology major is started and other majors or minors the student is completing.

Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their psychology academic adviser to plan their personal course schedule. Because of course sequencing requirements, even with the most compressed program, a minimum of five semesters (or four semesters and summer school) is required to complete the psychology major.

First Year
First Semester
Credit Hours
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics1
3
GPSYC 101. General Psychology
3
General Education courses
9

15
 
First Year
Second Semester
Credit Hours
General Education, B.A./B.S. degree requirement, B.S. Psychology Cognate, and/or minor program courses
15

15
 
Second Year
First Semester
Credit Hours
PSYC 210. Psychological Measurement and Statistics or PSYC 212. Psychological Research Design and Data
Analysis I2
4
General Education, B.A./B.S. degree requirement B.S. Psychology Cognate, minor program, and/or psychology elective courses
12

16
 
Second Year
Second Semester
Credit Hours
PSYC 211. Psychological Research Methods3 or PSYC 213. Psychological Research Design and Data Analysis II4
4
General Education, B.A./B.S. degree requirement B.S. Psychology Cognate, minor program, and/or psychology elective courses
12

16
 
Third Year
Credit Hours
SS content core courses
9
NS content core courses
9
Minor program courses or electives
12

30
 
Fourth Year
Credit Hours
Psychology Upper level Specialty Content Course
3
Psychology 400 level elective
3
Psychology capstone course
3
Psychology, minor program or elective courses
21

30
1 A preliminary math course may be suggested after placement examinations. If suggested, the preliminary course should be taken first semester and MATH 220 second semester. Other 200-level mathematics courses may be substituted for Math 220. Any MATH course numbered 205 or above is an acceptable prerequisite for the Psychology Major.
2 Any MATH course numbered 205 or above is a prerequisite for PSYC 210 and PSYC 212. Math 220 is recommended.
3 PSYC 210 is a prerequisite for PSYC 211.
4 PSYC 212 is a prerequisite for PSYC 213.
Back to top of page Courses for Future Graduate Students
Many JMU psychology students plan to pursue advanced study at the graduate level after earning their bachelor’s degrees. The following courses are recommended for those students who intend to apply to graduate school.
  • Participate in an experiential learning, such as:
    • PSYC 290. Directed Studies in Psychology
    • PSYC 402. Independent Study in Psychology
    • PSYC 495. Field Placement in Psychology
    • PSYC 499. Honors Thesis
  • Taking an advanced statistics courses is highly recommended. Consider the following:
    • MATH 321. Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design
    • MATH 322. Applied Linear Regression
    • MATH 324. Applied Nonparametric Statistics
    • MATH 325. Survey of Sampling Methods
    • MATH 327. Categorial Data Analysis
  • A minor or a selection of courses from other departments that complements the psychology major for the professional field you are pursuing might be very helpful. Discuss your professional goals with your faculty adviser and ask for recommendations. Consider taking courses that emphasize writing skills, quantitative skills, critical thinking and analysis, and/or oral communication.
Students interested in applying to graduate school in psychology should discuss the necessary preparation with their adviser early in their academic program. Students are encouraged to visit the department’s Peer Advising Office in Johnston Hall where materials are available about career and graduate school opportunities.
Back to top of page Other Psychology Programs
Accelerated Graduate Experiences
With special permission, seniors with outstanding academic records may take up to 9 credit hours of graduate courses. These courses cannot count towards their undergraduate degree. Successful completion of graduate courses does not guarantee admission to any graduate program; however, completion of graduate courses can be excellent preparation for future graduate school experiences.
Graduate Programs
The Department of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University offers the following graduate degree programs:
Master of Arts
Counseling Psychology, Psychological Sciences, School Psychology
Master of Education
School Counseling, College Student Personnel Administration
Educational Specialist
Counseling Psychology, School Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
Assessment and Measurement
Doctor of Psychology
Combined/Integrated Program in Clinical and School Psychology
Inquiries concerning any of these graduate programs should be directed to the respective program director.
  • Counseling Psychology
  • Psychological Sciences
  • School Psychology
  • Combined Integrated Program in Clinical and School Psychology
  • Mrs. Susan Rippy
  • Phone: (540) 568-6439
  • E-mail: rippysr@jmu.edu
  • Doctoral Program in Assessment and Measurement
  • Dr. Donna Sundre
  • Phone: (540) 568-3483
  • E-mail: sundredl@jmu.edu