Psychology is the systematic study of the behavior and experience (such as thoughts, desires and emotions) of humans and other animals.
Psychologists study the structure and function of the nervous system; basic processes such as sensation, perception and cognition; and complex phenomena such as personality dynamics, abnormal behaviors, and behaviors in social settings, the workplace and the environment.
The Psychology program offers an array of courses reflecting the breadth of the field. Courses such as Physiological, Social, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology form the traditional core of the discipline as these processes affect behaviors in all settings. Other courses, such as Theories of Counseling, Health Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Adult Development and Aging allow students to explore more specialized areas of interest. Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in psychology. There is no minor offered in psychology.
Program Overview & Concentrations
Three basic courses, required of all majors, provide a foundation for the understanding of psychology: PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology, PSYC 2241 Statistical Methods, and PSYC 3242 Experimental Psychology. Students must also select courses from two core areas of the discipline: Natural Science Core (Group 1) and Social Science Core (Group 2). Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members in seminars, tutorials and independent studies, which require students to be active, responsible participants while examining various theoretical, empirical, and applied topics. Seminars always involve regular class meetings and discussion; research tutorials are often more flexible with less structured class time and more independent investigation and inquiry. Field placements allow students to apply what they have learned in their courses and gain experience working in educational, social services, and other professional settings.
Psychology students are not required to pursue a concentration, but may choose to focus on a particular area of interest. The program offers the following concentrations:
Elementary certification (K-5) with Specialization (6-8): Students seeking teacher certification must meet both the requirements for graduation in Psychology and the state requirements for teacher certification.
Required PSYC courses:
- PSYC 3323 Developmental PSYC: Childhood & Adolescence (required Natural Science)
- PSYC 3391 Educational PSYC (replaces one PSYC elective)
- EDUC 1515 Diversity in Families, Schools & Communities (4 credits)
- EDUC 2241 Educating Students with Special Needs (4 credits)
- EDUC 3101 Introductory Fieldwork (2 credits) EDUC 4600 Intermediate Fieldwork (2 credits)
- EDUC 4990 Student Teaching (10 credits)
- EDUC 4991 Student Teaching Seminar (2 credits)
Required At Some Distance:
- EDUC 3105 Literacy Development (3 credits)
- EDUC 3200 Practices and Techniques of Teaching (4 credits)
- EDUC 4110 Methods of Teaching English Language Arts (2 credits)
- EDUC 4150 Methods of Teaching Elementary Math (2 credits)
- EDUC 4610 Curriculum & Methods in Elementary Education (3 credits)
- INTC 2610 Instructional Technology for K-12 Educators (4 credits)
This concentration provides a structured curriculum for those students who are interested in pursuing a research-focused graduate education in psychology or a closely related discipline. Students will develop their ability to read, comprehend and critically evaluate primary research articles. They will also receive systematic training which will enable them to conduct research projects independently. Students will be required to complete two courses focusing on statistical analysis techniques, one seminar course that heavily requires the reading of primary research articles, multiple research projects, and at least one formal experience in disseminating research findings to professional researchers. Completing this concentration would strengthen students’ graduate school applications and improve their chances of being accepted into competitive graduate programs. The structure of this concentration is flexible enough that students (including transfers) could complete it in two years; it is open to both B.A. and B.S. students
The following courses (16 credit minimum) will fulfill the requirements of the concentration:
PSYC 3641 Advanced Statistics (elective for BA, required for BS)
Two Research Courses from below (8 credits):
- PSYC 27xx Research Practicum (elective for BA/BS)
- PSYC 37xx Research Tutorial (can be senior seminar for BA/BS)
- PSYC 48xx Research-based independent study (elective for BA/BS)
- PSYC 4895 SIRE course in neuroscience (elective for BA/BS)
- PSYC 4899 SIRE course (elective for BA/BS)
PSYC 36XX Additional Senior Seminar (elective for BA, required for BS)
Completion of at least one of the following (0-4 credits):
- PSYC 4820 Project for Distinction (4 credits)
Author (or co-author) of Regional, National or International Conference Presentation
Author (or co-author) of Peer-Reviewed Publication
Forensic psychology is a rapidly growing field within psychology and criminal justice. Courses that comprise the concentration at Stockton University were selected so students will understand an overall relationship between psychological principles and criminal offending. The criminal offender is continually influenced by multiple systems within the psychosocial environment. By taking the courses in the forensic psychology concentration, students will synthesize selected components in criminal justice and psychology that will result in a better understanding of how developmental patterns result in criminal behavior. Students will develop insight into how criminals think relative to the choices they make. These courses are also designed to allow a student to continue easily studying forensic psychology in the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program at Stockton, to continue studying in a psychology master’s degree program in another institution of higher education, or to pursue a variety of career opportunities. Criminal Justice and Psychology majors may enroll in the Forensic Psychology concentration at any time.
Foundation course requirements (Note: PSYC 1100 and CRIM 1100 are prerequisites to these courses):
- CRIM 2114 Theories of Criminality
- PSYC 2211 Abnormal Psychology
- CRIM/PSYC 3120 Forensic Psychology
Electives (two of the following courses):
- CRIM 2111 Juvenile Justice
- CRIM 2327 Introduction to Victimology
- CRIM 2610 Introduction to Forensic Science
- CRIM 3625 Sex and Violence
- PSYC 3145 Sex Crimes
- PSYC 3646 Forensic Behavior Analysis
- PSYC 3648 The Criminal Brain
- PSYC 3618 The Psychology of Child Witnesses
This concentration provides students with a framework to develop a general understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of clinical populations, the structure and functioning of the mental health system, and the basic skills necessary for interacting professionally in human service contexts.
Foundation course requirements:
- PSYC 1100 Introduction to Psychology
- PSYC 2211 Abnormal Psychology
- PSYC 3392 Theories of Counseling
Electives (four of the following courses):
- PSYC 3145 Sex Crimes
- PSYC 3323 Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence
- PSYC 3324 Psychology of Learning
- PSYC 3355 Clinical Neuropsychology
- PSYC 3398 Theories of Counseling II
- PSYC 3605 Psychology of Eating Disorders
- PSYC 3616 Aging and Mental Health
- PSYC 3619 Psychology of Group Therapy
- PSYC 3626 Couples and Family Therapy
- PSYC 3635 Positive Psychology
- PSYC 3646 Forensic Behavior Analysis
- PSYC 3648 The Criminal Brain
- PSYC 3900 Field Placement*
- GAH 3616 Memoirs of Mental Illness
- GIS 3319 Addictions
* The field placement (PSYC 3900) can take the place of TWO electives if approved by the faculty member sponsoring the PSYC 3900 course. Students should be aware that they may need to secure their own placement.
Each semester, members of the Psychology Program conduct research on a variety of human behaviors. We use an online system for laboratory scheduling, called SONA. Through SONA, researchers post participation opportunities and timeslots, participants can browse and sign up for studies, and instructors can view their students' progress toward obtaining extra or required credit in their courses. To use our SONA system as a participant, researcher, and/or instructor, please view the relevant information below.
If you are a student and wish to conduct a research project but do not know where to begin, please contact the faculty member of your choice.
- Thank you for your interest in research participation. Research participation makes an important contribution to our knowledge of human behavior. It can be a valuable learning experience for students by providing an insider's view of the research process, and may spark your interest in becoming a student researcher.
- Points are awarded to students through our online scheduling system, SONA, in exchange for participation in psychological research.
- Students enrolled in Introduction to Psychology and Experimental Psychology arerequired to earn a minimum of two participation points. Professors of other PSYC courses may also require research participation or offer it as extra credit, at their discretion. Ask your professor if you are unsure.
- There are several opportunities for participation each semester. These opportunities are added throughout the semester , but decline in the last few weeks of the semester. Students are advised to complete your requirement as quickly as possible. If you wait until the last minute and find that there are no available opportunities, you will not be excused from this requirement.
- An alternate, written assignment option is available during the last two weeks of the semester, only. It is only open to Introduction to Psychology and Experimental Psychology students who have not completed their two point research participation requirement. The alternate assignment consists of reading a chapter in a reserved book at the library and answering questions. The alternate assignment requires approximately the same effort as participation in a study.
- The decision to participate in a study or complete the alternate assignment is entirely yours. It will not affect your current or future standing with your professors, the Psychology Program, or Stockton University.
1. Get a participant account.
To become a research participant, you will need to obtain a participant account with our online system for laboratory scheduling, called SONA. Follow this link to SONA or go to: http://stockton.sona-systems.com/ Once in the SONA scheduling site, and click on the link on the “Request Account” on the right side of the screen. Complete the required information. Once you request a new account, your User ID and password will be sent to you in an e-mail. Then, ou can log in and check your account status, sign up for studies, change your e-mail, phone number, and password.
2. Browse available studies frequently and sign up to participate by following these instructions.
Follow this link to SONA or go to: http://stockton.sona-systems.com/, and log in to the system with your UserID and Password. You will be able to browse the available studies for participation. New studies are posted throughout the semester, but available timeslots start to decline by the last 3 weeks of the semester and your opportunity to participate will end on the last day of classes. So, browse available studies frequently, and sign-up as early as possible.
Once you have chosen a study and a timeslot, you will also receive a notification e-mail and an email reminder the day before your session is scheduled. If you wish to cancel, most studies default to 24hr. cancellation deadline, but researchers can change this at their discretion. You can cancel through your participant account. If you have missed the cancellation deadline for your session, contact the researcher listed for the study. If you feel uncomfortable or wish to discontinue a participation session, you may do so at any time without penalty and this will not affect your future or current relationship with the researcher, Psychology Program, or University.
3. Receiving participation points: You do not need to notify your instructors about your participation.
After your participation in a study, the researcher will grant you participation points in the online scheduling system. Points are compiled into a report for each course/instructor. The report includes your name and the number of points you've earned. The report never includes the name of the studies in which you participated or any other information about your points. Your instructors can view this throughout the semester.
If you are faculty member or student at Stockton University and have an interest in using our SONA system as a researcher, please send your request with your name and email address to email@example.com
All PSYC faculty members are automatically provided a researcher account. Faculty and students who are not affiliated with the Psychology Program will be considered upon request.
Student researchers must also send the name of the faculty member with whom they are working..
For information about lab spaces, usage, and our participant pool, please refer to:
If you are faculty member at Stockton University and have an interest in using our SONA system to grant participation points for extra or required credit in your courses, please send your request with your name, the name of your course, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
All PSYC courses are added, automatically, each semester. Faculty who are not affiliated with the Psychology Program will be considered upon request.
Students will not be granted an Instructor account. This includes teaching assistants, research assistants, and tutors.
Coming Soon! In the meantime, please make direct inquiry to our Psychology Program faculty members.
Project for Distinction
A project for distinction is a two-semester professional research project conducted by a student seeking to graduate with distinction in Psychology. Distinction requires the majority approval of full-time faculty members of the Psychology Program. Students must register for 0-8 credits in an independent study titled, “Research Project for Distinction”. The credits may be divided across two semesters, where appropriate (e.g., atypically large or time consuming projects).
Students must have a minimum G.P.A. of 3.2 in PSYC courses. Students must also have completed or be enrolled in PSYC 3242, Experimental Psychology.
Relatively few students graduate with program distinction
Increase Competitiveness of Graduate School Applications
Many graduate schools require a record of independent scholarship
Gain Experience Conducting Research
Integrate knowledge from multiple domains
Learn in depth about a topic of interest to you
Understand all aspects of the research process
Demonstrate Research Skills
Comprehend published research articles
Critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of past research
Generate research hypotheses
Develop research design skills
Collect primary data / Utilize secondary data
Write a complete research paper using the APA style
Orally present research in public
Prepare a manuscript for journal submission
Interact closely with faculty
Interact with members of the field at conferences
When to Begin.A student may begin a project for distinction any time during or after they complete Experimental Psychology. Some experience as a research assistant to a faculty member prior to beginning a project for distinction is recommended, but not required. The project should begin early during their junior year to be of greatest benefit to students who are applying to graduate school and desire experience with conference presentations and manuscript submission. Most students begin their project in their first semester of senior year and complete it in their last semester of their senior year. An earlier start would be more beneficial to the students
Deadline to Complete. Projects for distinction papers must be complete and submitted to to all Psychology Program faculty no later than one week prior to the oral defense. The oral defense is presented during the annual Psi Chi conference scheduled during the last week of April in the Spring semester. Fall oral defenses must be scheduled during the last two weeks of the Fall semester. The deadline for approval by the Psychology Program faculty for a student to graduate with program distinction is the last day of exam week in the last semester of the student's senior year. Late papers will not be considered for distinction, except in extreme circumstances beyond the control of the student.
Refer to this resource for a detailed list of tasks and timeline.
Students may conduct experiments, observational studies (e.g., correlations), surveys, archival research, or qualitative research (e.g., interviews). The research method and design is determined by the student and their faculty mentor as an appropriate method for testing the hypothesis. Regardless of the chosen methods, research projects must include data and analysis of that data. Data can be collcted in-person (e.g., laboratory, classroom, community), online, or through archived or other data banks.
The Psychology Program faculty would like for students to pursue areas of research that are of interest to the student. Decide your general area of interest. This can be something broad, such as your favorite PSYC course. It can also be more specific, such as something you learned in a class or read that you thought was interesting or sparked an idea, or based on your personal observations in your daily life. Project for distinction can also be an extension of a project from Experimental Psychology or an independent study.
Meet with the faculty member of your choice to discuss a research project that is best for you. Each faculty member has a different approach toward projects for distinction. Some faculty may require that you develop your idea independently, some have preferences for topics, some have working hypotheses, and some require that you simply join their ongoing research program where the hypothesis and methods are set. Faculty members will also direct you to others who may be a better fit for your interests and ideas.
Additional Information & Resources
Stockton’s Psychology faculty support field placements in Psychology in a variety of settings including social service agencies, general hospitals, an on-campus rehabilitation hospital, schools, nursing homes and various businesses. A partial listing of sites is available on the program’s web page, and through individual faculty sponsors. Psychology students also participate in the Washington Internship Program and have worked at settings including the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Council on Aging. (see also Guidelines for offering Field Placements as Independent Studies)
Psychology students are encouraged to explore various minors and concentrations in which program faculty members participate. These offerings include minors housed in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, such as the Gerontology (GERO) minor, the Behavioral Neuroscience (BHNS) minor and the Childhood Studies (CHST) minor; those in General Studies, such as the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, Jewish Studies minor and Africana Studies minor; and the Forensic Psychology concentration, open to both Psychology majors and Criminal Justice majors, the Education concentration and the Mental Health concentration.
The program has an active Psychology Club as well as a chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. In collaboration with program faculty, the Psychology Club meets regularly for discussion about courses, careers, graduate school, conferences and other special opportunities for undergraduates in psychology. All majors are urged to join the conference. Psi Chi membership is open to students who have completed at least one semester of full time course work at Stockton (including 9 credit hours in psychology), registered as a Psychology major, and maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.2 and a PSYC GPA of at least 3.0 for work completed at Stockton University. Each year Psi Chi and Psychology Club sponsor an undergraduate research conference showcasing student-faculty research collaborations, student independent projects, a keynote speaker, and a Distinguished Alumni Award.
Students who elect to complete a senior thesis as well as others doing research in the program are encouraged to apply for the Stockton Board of Trustees Fellowships for Distinguished Students Program. Additionally, Psychology students enrolled in the Gerontology Certificate Program, or those wishing to specialize in health-related issues of Psychology, are encouraged to apply for Southshore Foundation Scholarships in Health Education.
Since the major emphasis of psychology is the study of behavior, a wide variety of career options are open to students with a baccalaureate degree in this discipline. Psychology is a useful undergraduate major for medicine, teaching, business, law and other fields involving human interaction. Psychology graduates may proceed to further study at the graduate level in psychology or related fields such as social work, counseling and guidance, marriage and family therapy, occupational therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, etc. They may also choose to work with groups that have psychological problems (e.g., persons with mental retardation, the juvenile delinquent, substance abusers), assume positions as research assistants for psychologists and related professionals, teach (if they obtain certification) or begin careers in business and corporate settings. To ensure proper planning, students interested in careers in psychology should consult with psychology faculty and the Psychology Handbook as well as the Office of Career Services. Students interested in pursuing teaching certification must consult the Office of Teacher Education for curricular worksheets that list the state requirements and should attend an informational workshop where those requirements are explained in detail.