Enrollment Priorities:

These procedures will be in place during registration:

  • If you are enrolled in, or have received credit for, Psyc 492, 495, 497, or 499C, then you may not enroll in Psyc 497 or Psyc 492.
  • If you are enrolled in, or have received credit for, two specialty content courses, then you may not enroll in another one.
  • If you are enrolled in, or have received credit for, three social science content core courses, then you may not enroll in another one.
  • If you are enrolled in, or have received credit for, three natural science content core courses, then you may not enroll in another one.
  • If you received a D, D-, or D+ in any of these courses, reach out to your faculty advisor for assistance with enrollment.

Information about declaring the Psychology Major

View Catalog description of Psychology courses.

View the list of courses that can satisfy BS or BA degree requirements.

Spring 2024 Registration Dates and Assistance

Spring Registration begins November 7, 2023.

Check the Student Center on MyMadison for your exact enrollment appointment date and time.

Enrollment details and tips from the Registrar are available online.

Information about the waitlist is available online. Most Psychology courses are reserved for Admitted Psychology Majors only. If a class is closed, please add yourself to the waitlist on MyMadison.

Course Notes

Psyc 250. Introduction to Abnormal Psychology. This course is not recommended for Psychology Majors. Psychology majors interested in this content should take Psyc 335, Abnormal Psychology. Credit cannot be earned for Psyc 335 by students who have previously taken Psyc 250. Psyc 250 is a course designed for non-psychology students who need a brief exposure to this content for their non-psychology academic program.

Psyc 400, Section 1. Special Topics – Attention and Mindfulness. Through the pervasive myth of multitasking and the constant immersion in information-saturated environments, human beings have found themselves anxious, overwhelmed, and unable to carry out their goals. Considering a range of disciplinary perspectives, this course will explore the reasons for this situation and possibilities for regaining the ability to navigate these environments and follow through with goals. In addition to learning the mechanisms behind attention and distraction, students will apply the theory and findings to their own experience. Prerequisite: 1 Social Science Content Core and 1 Natural Science Content Core class.

Psyc 400, Section 2. Special Topics – Thanatology- Death & Dying/Life & Living. This course will survey various topics about death and dying as well as the meaning of life and living. The content will include psychological research related to death, the process of dying, and the stages of grief. Successful completion of the requirements for this course will result in fulfilling the “Upper-Level Specialty Content” requirement, as well as the Sociocultural Awareness requirement in the Psychology major. Prerequisite: 1 Social Science Content Core and 1 Natural Science Content Core class.

Sociocultural Awareness Courses

Psychology Majors are required to complete at least one "Sociocultural Awareness" course as part of their academic program. The following courses being offered during the Spring semester fulfill this requirement:

  • Psyc 220. Psychology and Culture
  • Psyc 325. Counseling Psychology
  • Psyc 400. Topics: Thanatology – Death & Dying/Life & Living
  • Psyc 497, Section 2. Work-Life Integration
  • Psyc 497, Section 11. Women and Mental Health

Capstone Courses

The prerequisites for all capstone courses are two courses from the Social Science Content core and two courses from the Natural Science Content core. Email ugpsyc@jmu.edu if you are having trouble registering for your final semester coursework.

Psyc 492, Section 1 & Section 2. History of Psychology. This course will examine the history of psychology by looking at people, theories, and historical events that have influenced the development of psychology. We will pay special attention to how Psychology’s history is reflected in current topics in the discipline, and will also look at where Psychology as a field is headed in the future. This course will be offered online; we will use an online format for group discussion and for student-led activities such as leading discussion and presenting on relevant topics. This course is offered by Dr. Suzanne Baker.

Psyc 497, Section 1. Work-Life Integration. This course will focus on how the dynamics among work, family, and individual responsibilities and goals relate to mental and physical health, public policy, family functioning, and discrimination, among other topics. This class will highlight historical changes in family structure, international variation in work/life integration issues, socioeconomic influences, and ideas for solving problems related to work/life integration. Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the Psychology Major. This course is offered by Dr. Tracy Zinn.

Psyc 497, Section 2. Health Behavior Change.  This course will include exploration of empirical and theoretical work related to health behavior change with particular focus on health-risk behaviors. Behavior change will be considered at individual, group, and epidemiological levels and across demographic characteristics most relevant to health. This course is offered by Dr. Jessica Irons.

Psyc 497, Section 3. Addictive Behaviors. This is a capstone course designed to provide students an opportunity to apply the skills, knowledge, and experiences they have learned in the psychology degree to a focused topic: the initiation, maintenance, prevention, and treatment of addictive behaviors. This course is offered by Dr. Monica Reis-Bergan.

Psyc 497, Section 4. Passion for Activities. Although the topic of passion has been discussed for centuries, the scientific study of this psychological phenomenon is only about 15 years old. The purpose of this class is twofold: (a) to introduce students to the scientific study of passion for activities and (b) to show students how to make evidence-based decisions to increase passion in their lives. This course is offered by Dr. Bryan Saville.

Psyc 497, Section 5 & Section 6. Leadership and Service. Leadership and Service will study the experience of leadership and service from a psychological perspective. The course will assist students with identifying their personal leadership skills and styles as well as how to adapt these to various situations related to service in the community. The course will enable students to integrate concepts of service learning into leadership development. Emphasis will also be on developing an effective leadership approach to service learning. 40-hours of service-learning will be required. This course is offered by Dr. Bill Evans.

Psyc 497, Section 7 & Section 9. Psychology of and in Film. This course will look at the topic of movies from a broad range of psychological perspectives. First we will examine how we choose movies, relying on theory and research from the areas of personality, social psychology, and emotion, Then we will utilize learning, sensation and perception, and cognition to understand how we experience a movie; and finally we will see how movies influence us in the long run, relying on the social influence, developmental, and clinical literature. We will also watch a number of classic movies, including M (1931), 8 ½ (1963), and Jaws (1975). This course is offered by Dr. Ashton Trice.

Psyc 497, Section 8. Psychology of Boredom. Boredom is a common emotion: seven out of eight adults report experiencing it on a weekly basis. It is most commonly associated with middle school, repetitive work, and being in an airport. While it may be a symptom of depression, boredom also give rise to creative expression. In this course we will examine boredom’s impact on work, education, mental health, public health compliance, and aging, through reading, discussion, and both library and empirical research. This course is offered by Dr. Ashton Trice.

Psyc 497, Section 10. Existential Psychology. This course introduces students to an emerging discipline within the field of social psychology known as existential psychology. Many topics once thought to be in the domain of existential philosophy – such as fear of death, the search for meaning and authenticity of life – are now widely studied using experimental methods. Through discussion, readings, and the capstone project, students will bring in knowledge from all areas of psychology, specifically their psychology courses they have taken thus far. This provides a rich bed of content to draw from in class discussions. The course focuses on various theories and empirical research investigating how concerns about basic issues of the human condition, such as death, meaning, isolation, identity, control, and freedom influence a wide array of human behaviors. Furthermore, this course provides an in-depth understanding of existential issues within the field of social psychology along with the experimental techniques used to study their effect on the human experience. Offered by Dr. Eliza Stucker-Rosovsky

Psyc 497, Section 11. Women and Mental Health. This course will address concepts relating to women’s mental health. Special attention will be given to socio-cultural phenomena, and a respect for women’s experiences will be maintained at all times. Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the Psychology Major. This course will be taught by Devon Howell. 

Psyc 497, Section 12. Choice Behavior. Choice Behavior will survey modern ideas in choice behavior, with attention to the historical origins of this work, its development as a specialty within psychology, and its impact on our everyday lives. With a focus on psychology, students will learn to rely on empirical information to understand situations under which choice behavior is often irrational – yet predictable. Students will also learn to apply their understanding of the various factors that influence choice behavior to everyday contexts. This course will be taught by Charles Nastos.

Psyc 497, Section 13. Neuroscience of Memory. Our memories shape how we describe and understand ourselves and they can alter our personality, emotions, and cognition. In short, memory is central to our everyday experiences. The purpose of this course is to explore memory, particularly memory dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease, from the perspective of neuroscience. We will base class discussions around empirical articles and other literature which examine different types of memory, how we quantify memories, and the effect disruptions of memory have on our brain and behavior. In addition, this course will focus on integrating information from other psychology courses with the neuroscience perspective presented in the course. You will be required to integrate information from courses such as research methods, biopsychology cognition, learning, social, and others, likely including courses outside of psychology. Because many of you will have different backgrounds, you will each be able to contribute unique information to our discussions. This course will be taught by Dr. Casey Imperio.

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