Psychology Courses at Ashford University

Embrace critical thinking and gain knowledge that can make you a versatile asset to employers with these undergraduate and graduate level psychology courses. From the exploration of mental health and disorders, to the impact of psychological principles on modern organizations, these classes will immerse you in a complete study of human behavior. This list includes courses required to complete Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Psychology, among other behavioral science degree programs.


Psychology Class Descriptions and Credit Information

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course is a survey of selected topics in psychology, including research methods, physiological psychology, sensation, perception, consciousness, learning, memory, motivation, gender roles, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, and social psychology.

PSY 104 Child & Adolescent Development

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course provides a basic introduction to the nature of human growth and development as it occurs from conception through adolescence. Students are provided the opportunity to explore the “what,” “how,” and “when” of physical motor, cognitive, socio-emotional, moral aesthetic, and language development. Exploration is emphasized through activities that allow students to understand and appreciate both typical and atypical development within the context of the family and society and to recognize the impact of individual, cultural and linguistic differences on development.

PSY 202 Adult Development & Life Assessment

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course presents adult development theory and links theoretical concepts of life and learning through a process of psychometric assessment and reflection. Both classical and contemporary adult development theories are examined. These theories then provide the paradigm for self-analysis and life learning, including a plan for personal, professional and academic learning.

PSY 203 Psychology of Human Sexuality

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines various perspectives on sexuality, such as its biological, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions. Topics examined include but are not limited to: male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology of sexual responding; sexual development, behavior, and identity over the life span; and variations in typical and atypical sexual behavior and expression. Emphasis is placed on the human sexual experience as a vehicle for self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-acceptance.

PSY 301 Social Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Students explore how the thoughts, feelings and behavior of individuals are influenced by other human beings in a variety of social situations. This course also entails a survey and critical analysis of the various methods used by researchers in social psychology. Topics include: social cognition, aggression, prejudice, interpersonal attraction, altruistic behavior, conformity, group influences, and conflict resolution.

PSY 302 Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines the influence of an organization upon the individual, as well as ways an individual can influence an organization. Topics include recruiting, personnel selection, organizational climate, group problem solving, and conflict resolution.

PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

The course entails a study of the diagnosis, causes, treatment, and prevention of psychological disorders. Problems with the reliability and validity of the American Psychiatric Association system for diagnosing psychological disorders will be discussed, and various alternative systems will be introduced.

PSY 304 Lifespan Development

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course consists of the application of the methods and principles of several fields of psychology to an extensive study of human growth development in the child, adolescent, and adult.

PSY 307 The Journey of Adulthood

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course presents process-oriented, multi-disciplinary views, principles, research findings, and perspectives across the adulthood continuum: early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. Students gain an understanding of developmental changes occurring in the realms of biology, anatomy, and social and cultural contexts in which aging occurs.

PSY 317 Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course explores cognitive functioning in later life including biological, socioeconomic, environmental, cognitive adaptation, and life history factors influencing cognitive function as an individual progresses along a developmental continuum. The major psychological constructs of self concept, socialization, and thinking processes are presented. Etiology, interventions, education, and support systems are discussed.

PSY 323 Perception, Learning, & Cognition

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Students will study research and theory about mental processes that go between experience and the human mind. Students will gather and interpret data for several simple experiments that demonstrate classic research findings in perception, learning, and cognition. Perception entails the mental processes involved in the organization and interpretation of sensory experience. Learning entails relatively permanent changes in behavior that result from experience. Cognition explains how the mind processes information, how we encode, store, and retrieve memories, and how we use information to form beliefs, make decisions, and solve problems.

PSY 325 Statistics for the Behavioral & Social Sciences

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Descriptive and inferential statistics are investigated and multiple techniques for statistical analysis are introduced in this course. Formulas for presenting and evaluating data are explored in accordance with generally accepted protocol for statistical analysis.

PSY 326 Research Methods

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Research Methods is an introduction to the foundations of research methodology, design and analysis. Basic principles of qualitative and quantitative research are explored and evaluated. Understanding the results of statistical analysis as it applies to research is a focus of this curriculum.

PSY 330 Theories of Personality

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course reviews the basic concepts and principles of the major theories of personality. It also assesses the scientific worth and validity of these theories and includes case studies that show how these theories are applied to the treatment of psychological disorders. Detailed descriptions of healthy and unhealthy personality types will be stressed. Students will be challenged to evaluate their personality, as it relates to the theory being presented.

PSY 331 Psychology of Learning

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Learning is the relatively permanent change in behavior and mental processes resulting from experience. This course consists of the application of learning theory and research in a wide range of settings where learning takes place.

PSY 344 Issues & Trends in Adult Development

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course provides an interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary issues and trends in adult development as well as emerging research areas. Topics include intergenerational conflicts, changing role dynamics, volunteerism, self-esteem in adulthood, resilience and vulnerability, maintaining and enhancing cognitive vitality in adulthood, adult employment trends including multiple career changes, coping with “boomerang children,” grandparents raising grandchildren, and the growth of lifelong learning.

PSY 350 Physiological Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Students study the anatomy and physiology of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, and endocrine system. Study of the biological systems promotes better understanding of mind-body relationships important to hunger, thirst, sex, sleep, emotion, learning, and memory. Students also examine medical theories, assessment, and treatments of psychological disorders including new imaging technologies and drug therapy.

PSY 352 Cognitive Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Cognitive psychology takes a scientific approach to understanding the fundamental mental processes involved in everyday cognition. This course covers the topics of perception, attention, memory, and language by examining both classic and contemporary cognitive psychology methods and experimental results.

PSY 361 Health Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Students explore the mind/body relationship as it pertains to health, stress, and the person’s response to medical treatment. This course includes a review of anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system, and other organ systems. Students explore new strategies of applied psychology for sustaining health, managing stress, and recovering successfully from disease, injury, and medical treatment.

PSY 380 Counseling & Behavior Change

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course is designed for students entering into human service fields. Students compare and contrast behavior change theories and models, determine client needs, apply motivational strategies and counseling skills, and evaluate moral and ethical issues. Cultural competency and cultural sensitivity concepts are also discussed.

PSY 495 Adult Development Capstone

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course is a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, and concepts gained from the study of adult development A substantive paper is developed which requires students to critically analyze their experiences and integrate knowledge gained throughout the program.

PSY 496 Applied Project

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course provides a synthesis of the major ideas, perspectives, theories, and concepts gained from the study of psychology. A substantive simulated research project is created, providing students the opportunity to integrate key learning and knowledge gained from throughout the degree program.

PSY 600 Introduction to Graduate Study in Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course provides an introduction to graduate study at Ashford University in the field of psychology. Students will explore psychology as a science and profession. They will examine professional roles and organizations, ethics and professional standards, theoretical perspectives, and contemporary practical applications of psychology to real-world situations.

PSY 605 Developmental Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course will cover developmental and contextual experiences of humans across the lifespan. Emphasis will be placed on issues and questions that have dominated the field over time and continue to provide impetus for research. Interactions will focus on articles that describe and illustrate current theories and trends. Students will read selected research articles and self-select additional readings related to weekly topics and personal interest. These topics include theoretical trends and foundations in research, policy and ethics, health and wellness, human developmental context, and end-of-life issues.

PSY 610 Applied Social Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course provides a comprehensive examination of the science of social psychology as well as how it is applied to manage and aid the understanding of contemporary social issues. Topics include social quandaries encountered in the fields of mental and physical health, the workplace, the education system, and the legal system. Students will study seminal theories and research that informs the practical application of social psychology to real-life situations. Students will also apply social psychology theory and research to explain current social issues.

PSY 615 Personality Theories

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course provides an overview of the basic concepts and principles of the major theories of personality. Students will assess the scientific worth and validity of these theories based on case studies that show how these theories are applied to the treatment of psychological disorders and how personality assessments are applied in different settings. Detailed descriptions of healthy and unhealthy personality types will be stressed, and students will be challenged to evaluate various assessment tools as they relate to the respective theories being presented.

PSY 620 Learning & Cognition

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course introduces students to multiple dimensions of learning and cognition, which range from the basic processes underlying learning to the contexts that promote self-regulation and metacognition. As the foundation of cognitive psychology, learning and cognition encompasses many topics including attention, memory, categorization, problem solving, epistemology, language acquisition, and recognition of diversity. During the course, students will study a broad range of content through an eclectic collection of peer-reviewed articles focusing on the different aspects of learning and cognition. This course highlights main findings, established facts, and skills in learning and cognition that are applicable to a wide range of contexts.

PSY 625 Biological Bases of Behavior

Credits
3 Credits
Description

In this course students will explore the detailed anatomy and physiology of the brain, including cellular physiology, synaptic transmission, and clinical neuroanatomy. Theories that focus on the relationship between brain function and behavior will be reviewed, and students will illustrate their understanding of important brain networks, including those involved in sensation/perception, language, memory, movement, and emotions. Through a review of the history of behavioral neuroscience, students will learn about the relationship between symptom presentation and underlying theories of neuroanatomy/neurophysiology as well as how these concepts have evolved over time. Students will also become familiar with important research methods used in neuroscience by analyzing current concepts in brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. For the final assignment in the course, students will design a grant proposal that focuses on a particular disorder/syndrome in the area of neurophysiology.

PSY 630 Psychopharmacology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

Students will examine the activity of drugs, both therapeutic and recreational, on the body with an emphasis on the brain. Theories of the biological basis of psychiatric disorders will be explored as a basis for examining the professional standards behind therapeutic drug use. The history of drug use, research methods and ethical concerns will be examined.

PSY 635 Research Design & Methods

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course reviews the basic concepts of common quantitative research methods and introduces research design using qualitative and mixed methods. In the review of quantitative methods, emphasis will be placed on experimental research designs. Students will be challenged to select appropriate research designs and methodologies for various research questions. The course will culminate in a detailed research proposal on topics chosen by the students.

PSY 640 Psychological Testing & Assessment

Credits
3 Credits
Description

The course includes an overview of individual and group approaches to testing in psychology. Students will review psychological assessments utilized to evaluate personality, intelligence, achievement, and career-related interests and skills in a variety of work settings. The course will provide students with opportunities to analyze psychometric methodologies typically employed in the development and validation of psychological and educational tests. Students will apply knowledge of psychological measurement principles to testing and assessment data with an emphasis on ethical and professional interpretation. Issues and challenges related to testing and assessment with diverse populations will be integrated into the course.

PSY 645 Psychopathology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course introduces students to objective and phenomenological understandings of psychological symptoms and disorders. Students will draw from various theoretical and historical perspectives to build their understanding of diagnostic and treatment methods for psychological disorders and develop their appreciation for evidence-based practices. Additionally, students will be encouraged to conceptualize psychopathology from a socioculturally sensitive standpoint through the examination of culture-related syndromes. Diagnostic manuals and handbooks will be discussed and used throughout the course.

PSY 650 Introduction to Clinical & Counseling Psychology

Credits
3 Credits
Description

This course examines similarities and differences in clinical and counseling psychology, with an emphasis on professional roles and activities. Students will gain greater awareness of their attitudes toward various ethical and professional issues, psychotherapy modalities, theoretical orientations, and clinical interventions through case studies. Evidenced-based practices and psychotherapy integration will also be covered during the course.

PSY 699 Master of Arts in Psychology Capstone

Credits
3 Credits
Description

The capstone course is the culminating educational experience for the Master of Arts in Psychology. In this course, students will integrate and apply what they have learned throughout the program to meet competencies as outlined in the program learning outcomes. Students will be exposed to a holistic view of psychology as a discipline, and they will be encouraged to think critically about the broader themes that link various subfields of psychology. Students will reflect on the experience of the program as a whole and will consider how the program’s themes apply to a variety of civic and professional settings. The capstone affords students a final opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills they will need to succeed after graduation.