Undergradute Psychology Course Information

This page lists all undergraduate psychology courses. They are also listed in the University Catalog

Click on WWU ClassFinder to view the days, times, and openings for courses during the academic year.

Wait list policy: The Department reserves the right to manage wait lists for Psychology courses and give priority to students who have applied to graduate that quarter and who must take the course to satisfy graduation requirements. Students who are on the wait list for a course should not attend the first day of class for that course unless the course instructor notifies the student to attend.

PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology (5)

Examination of basic psychological processes utilizing results of research investigations: participation in at least two experiments or equivalent activities is expected.

PSY 116 - Human Sexuality (5)

This course examines human sexual behavior from biological, psychological, social, and cultural perspectives. Course content includes issues pertaining to sexual anatomy, the sexual response cycle, sexual orientation, sexuality across the lifespan, the reproductive process, variations in sexual behavior, sexual health, romantic relationship processes, and sexual violence.

PSY 117 - The Psychology of Identity (5)

This course examines the development of identity throughout the lifespan with consideration of gender, social class, ethnicity, culture, autobiographical memory, social roles, and self-presentation.

PSY 118 - The Psychology of Happiness and Well-Being (5)

In this course, students will address the question of what comprises happiness and a sense of well-being in life. In particular, students will be exposed to the scientific literature on happiness and well-being within the framework of philosophical perspectives on life. Students will compare and contrast the findings on happiness and well-being in the scientific literature with advice provided in the various popular sources of information (e.g. self-help books, self-help websites, magazines, popular self-help television programs).

PSY 119 - Psychology of Gender (4)

Basic concepts, foundations for sex roles; similarities and differences between the sexes; historical customs, personality theories, cultural, subcultural and cross-cultural perspectives.

PSY 210 – Cognition (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Provides an overview of the theories, methods, and practical applications of cognitive psychology. The higher mental processes, particularly the ways in which knowledge is acquired, stored, and used, will be emphasized. The course also examines how theories and findings from cognitive psychology can help us to understand mental activities in everyday life.

PSY 220 - Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

An overview of the biological bases of behavior. Basic concepts in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry will be used to understand the neural bases of normal and abnormal behavior.

PSY 230 - Lifespan Developmental Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

This class covers biological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that occur across different periods of life, as well as contexts of development (e.g., culture, school, families, peers). Topics include basic developmental tasks from infancy to old age and theories of development.

PSY 240 - Social Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Socialization (moral development, racial, ethnic and class differences), attitudes and attitude change, conformity, interpersonal attraction. Theories and methods of social psychology stressing applicability of social psychological research and knowledge to contemporary social problems.

PSY 250 - Introduction to Abnormal Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

An overview of the research on individuals within social contexts. Topics include stress and coping, social influence on behavior, the relationship between psychological and physical health and development adjustment issues.

PSY 274 - Psychology of Child Rearing (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Discipline at different developmental stages; parental influences on social and cognitive development; influences on parenting; a systems approach to understanding families; the changing American family.

PSY 301 - Overview of Research Methods (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: Declared Psychology pre-major status OR 15 credits toward the Behavioral Neuroscience (including Psy 101, 220, and CHEM 161) with a minimum of 5 credits at WWU and declared Behavioral Neuroscience pre-major status.

Introduction to research psychology. A variety of research methodologies will be explored. Students will also learn basic description of research data and how to write psychology papers.

PSY 302 - Research Methods and Statistical Analysis: Correlational Approaches (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 301 with a C- or better and declared Psychology major or declared Behavioral Neuroscience major

Introduction to correlational research methods in psychology and associated statistics. Review of correlational research methods, design of correlational studies, and development of research instruments such as questionnaires and behavioral observation forms. Methods of data analysis include graphs, bivariate and multivariate descriptive correlational statistics, sampling distributions of statistical inference regarding correlations, and introduction to the t and F tests. Nonparametric statistics such as chi square also will be discussed.

PSY 303 - Research Methods and Statistical Analysis: Experimental Approaches (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, and 302 each with a C- or better; or PSY 301 with a C- or better and declared Behavioral Neuroscience major

Continuation of statistical inferencing introduced in PSY 302 as it applies to the special cases of the general linear model. Two sample t-tests and ANOVA models will be introduced at the conceptual and computational level. Appropriate follow-up tests also will be covered. Computer data analysis will be utilized for problem sets and the individual project.

PSY 310 - Sensation and Perception (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, and PSY 301 or declared Behavioral Neuroscience major and PSY 301

The basic principles involved in seeing, hearing, touch, taste, and smell will be presented. Ecological constraints on perceptual processes will be discussed in the context of illusions and other perceptual demonstrations as well as underlying physiological mechanisms.

PSY 311 - Human Memory (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 301

Reviews memory theories, empirical findings, and applications. Topics include encoding, storage, and retrieval from short- and long-term memory; implicit and explicit memory; autobiographical memory; eyewitness memory.

PSY 315 - Applied Cognition for User Experience Design (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210 and PSY 301; or declared User Experience Design Minor

Human cognition as it applies to design. Covers how cognitive phenomena lend support to effective interaction of people with digital technology. Focus is on using core principles of cognition to improve user experience with computer-based interfaces.

PSY 318 - Language, Brain, and Mind (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, and PSY 301

This course addresses fundamental issues regarding human  language; how the mind represents linguistic formation; how language is acquired by children; how language is processed by adults; the relationship between language and thought; and the use of brain imaging methods to examine how language is represented and processed.

PSY 319 - Cognitive Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220 and PSY 301 or declared Behavioral Neuroscience Major and PSY 301. Available to Sports Psychology students with instructor permission.

Discussion of the brain systems underlying human cognition, with a focus on how inferences about brain systems are drawn from neuropathological, neuroimaging, and behavioral studies.

PSY 320 - Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220; PSY 301 or comparable research course; instructor permission

Detailed examination of key areas of physiological psychology, emphasizing the anatomical, physiological, and neurochemical bases of behavior.

PSY 321 – Learning (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220 and PSY 301.

A survey of conditioning and learning.

PSY 322 – Motivation (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220 and PSY 301. Available to Sports Psychology students with instructor permission.

Theoretical and empirical study of human and other animal motivational process. Topics covered range from basic physiological drives to complex cognitive behaviors. Emphasis social sources of motivation from evolutionary and biological perspectives.

PSY 323 – Psychopharmacology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220; PSY 301 or comparable research course and instructor permission. Available to Sports Psychology students with instructor permission.

Introduction to behavioral pharmacology and the effects of therapeutic and recreational drugs on the function of the nervous system and behavior.

PSY 324 - Comparative Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210 or PSY 220; and PSY 301

A phylogenetic comparison of animal behavior, focusing on learning, motivation and sensory processes in selected species of animals.

PSY 327 - Cognitive Neuroscience Lab (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 220 and at least one of PSY 310, PSY 311, PSY 319, or PSY 320

Introduction to laboratory methods and techniques used in cognitive neuroscience. Concentration will be on large scale brain imaging of cognition using EEG. Students will collect and analyze data from participants undergoing a broad range of cognitive paradigms.

PSY 328 - Techniques in Behavioral Neuroscience (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 320 or PSY 323 or instructor permission

Introduction to laboratory methods and techniques used in behavioral neuroscience. Two hours lecture and four hours lab each week; students will be introduced to basic techniques in histology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, molecular biology, or behavioral analyses. May require live animal research. Repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits.

PSY 330 - Child Development (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

In-depth coverage of social and cognitive development in children and adolescents. Emphasis on the implications and practical applications of research findings in these areas.

PSY 331 - Adult Development and Aging (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

Examines developmental processes that occur in later life, with a focus on theory, research and practical issues. Topics include a) theoretical and methodological issues, b) biological changes and health issues, c) changes in memory and intelligence, d) personality across adulthood and e) death and dying.

PSY 332 - Adolescent Development (5)

Examines adolescent cognitive, social, physiological and intrapsychic development from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Emphasis on current research findings in this area. Students cannot get credit for both PSY 332 and 373.

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301. Available to Sports Psychology students with instuctor permission.

PSY 333 - Infant Development (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

Examines social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of infants and toddlers from diverse theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Emphasis on current research findings, application of research findings, and considering infant development in socio-cultural context.

PSY 340 - Environmental Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 301, plus one from PSY 210, 220, 230, 240, or 250

Theoretical, methodological, and empirical problems and issues relating to behavior in constructed and natural environments.

PSY 341 - Psychology and Culture (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240 and PSY 301. Available to Sports Psychology students with instructor permission.

Cultural and ecological factors and their effect on perception, thinking, language, intelligence, sexuality and other psychological variables. An examination of the “universality” of traditional Euro-American psychological theories.

PSY 342 - Social Cognition (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 240, and PSY 301

Survey of theory and research investigating the cognitive processes that underlie social judgment and behavior.

PSY 343 - Social Processes (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240 and PSY 301

Examination of selected topics related to formation and functioning of groups, as well as intergroup relations.

PSY 344 - Psychology and the Law (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240 and PSY 301

An examination of current issues in psychology and the law with an emphasis on the application of social psychological theories and research to the understanding of human behavior in a legal context.

PSY 345 - Evolutionary Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: One course from PSY 210, 220, 230, or 240; and PSY 301 with C- or better

The application of evolutionary theory to understanding the characteristics of human functioning including emotion, thinking, and action.

PSY 346 - Stereotyping, Prejudice, & Discrimination (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240 and PSY 301

This course will examine issues of and related to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination from a social psychological perspective with an emphasis on racism and sexism.

PSY 351 - Abnormal Psychology and Interventions (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 250 and PSY 301

Human behavior patterns culturally labeled as abnormalities, or as mental illness; their etiology, incidence, treatment and social attitudes toward such patterns. Historical review of the concepts used to explain such behavior and the research relating to the treatment of mental disorders.

PSY 354 - Abnormal Child Psychology and Interventions (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230, PSY 250, and PSY 301

Child behavior patterns culturally labled as abnormalities, or as mental illness; their etiology, incidence, treatment, and social attitudes toward such patterns. Historical review of the concepts used to explain such behavior and the research relating to the treatment of child mental disorders.

PSY 359 - Introduction to School and Community Counseling (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 250 and PSY 301; declared Psychology Major

Overview of professional counseling in schools, colleges and communities. Includes counselor roles, ethics, counseling theories and techniques, training and licensing, counseling minorities, outreach, use of paraprofessionals, and research.

PSY 370 - Psychology and the Arts (3)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101

Concepts from a wide variety of areas in psychology are used to analyze issues in art. Specific works of art--which may include literature, music, and visual arts--are considered through class discussion and written essay.

PSY 375 - Health Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 101 and PSY 301. Available to Sports Psychology students with instructor permission.

The course examines health psychology with a focus on theory, research, and practical issues. Topics include (a) health behavior and prevention, (b) stress and coping, (c) the treatment setting, and (d) management of chronic and terminal illness.

PSY 376 - Psychology of Romantic Relationships (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 240, PSY 250 and PSY 301

An overview of the psychology of romantic relationships. Topics bridge social and abnormal psychology and include attraction, relationship formation, maintenance, dissolution, and theoretical approaches to the clinical treatment of couples’ issues.

PSY 377 - Positive Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 301 or instructor permission. Available to Sports Psychology students with instructor permission.

This course is a survey of the science of positive psychology which explores the study of human strengths and virtues. The focus of the course is on the unique characteristics of the human experience that contribute to the physical/psychological health and well-being.

PSY 378 - Personality Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 301, or permission from instructor

This course examines the functional issues and questions addressed by the field of personality psychology, considering evidence from several major theoretical approaches to personality (e.g., trait, social-cognitive, motivational, developmental, narrative) and situating personality within biological, social, and cultural contexts.

PSY 397S - Cognitive Development (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

An introduction to central issues in cognitive development. Covers theoretical frameworks for studying cognitive development (e.g., Piaget, information processing), as well as specific topics in the study of cognitive development (e.g, language, memory, and social cognition).

PSY 397T - Socio-Emotional Development (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 230 and PSY 301

An introduction to central issues in socio-emotional development. Covers theoretical frameworks for studying socio-emotional development (e.g., Erikson, socio-cultural), as well as specific topics in the study of socio-emotional development (e.g., attachment, self).

PSY 410 - Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: For PSY Majors: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 310, PSY 318, PSY 319, PSY 320, or PSY 322, all with a C- or better. For Behavioral Neuroscience Majors: PSY 303 and one of PSY 310, PSY 318, PSY 319, PSY 320, or PSY 322, all with C- or better.

In-depth coverage of major issues and methods in the study of cognitive neuroscience. Library and laboratory or field research.

PSY 411 - Seminar in Cognition (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 310, PSY 311, PSY 315, PSY 319, or PSY 320, all with C- or better

In-depth coverage of selected topics in memory, cognition, and higher order cognitive processiong. Library and laboratory or field research.

PSY 420 - Seminar in Behavioral Neuroscience (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: For PSY Majors: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 310, PSY 319, PSY 320, PSY 321, PSY 322, PSY 323, or PSY 324, all with a C- or better

A detailed examination of brain-behavior relations and the neural bases of behavior, based upon review and discussion of current literature in a variety of areas. Library and/or laboratory work.

PSY 421 - Seminar in Learning (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: ForR PSY MAJORS: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, and PSY 321, all with a C- or better. For Behavioral Neuroscience Majors: PSY 303 and PSY 321, all with a C- or better.

In-depth study of major theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of learning. Laboratory and field research exercises.

PSY 422 - Seminar in Motivation (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: For PSY Majors: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, and PSY 320 or PSY 322, all with a C- or better. For Behavioral Neuroscience Majors: PSY 303; and PSY 320 or PSY 322, all with a C- or better.

In-depth coverage of determinants of behavior in humans and other animals. Students will examine primary research and will conduct research. Activities will also include class discussion, presentations, and a major integration paper.

PSY 424 - Seminar in Comparative Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: For PSY Majors: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, and PSY 324, all with C- or better. For Behavioral Neuroscience Majors: PSY 303 and PSY 324, all with C- or better.

In-depth study of animal behavior where different species in different ecological niches is a major variable. Emphasis on the genetic determinants of behavior differences. Students will examine primary research and will conduct research. Activities will also include class discussion, presentations, and a major integration paper.

PSY 428 - Advanced Techniques in Behavioral Neuroscience (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 303 and PSY 328 permission of instructor

Laboratory based study of integrated neural systems underlying behavior, based on advanced techniques in histology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, molecular biology, or behavioral analyses. Two hours lecture and four hours lab each week; may require live animal research. Repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits.

PSY 430 - Seminar in Developmental Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 330, PSY 331, PSY 332, or PSY 397S/T, all with C- or better.

In-depth study of central themes of human development. Contemporary research questions addressed in professional literature and field investigations.

PSY 440 - Seminar in Environmental Psychology (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303, and PSY 340, all with C- or better

In-depth study of major issues and methods in the study of psychosocial adaptations to and of the physical environment. Library and laboratory or field research.

PSY 441 - Seminar in Cross-Cultural Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 341, PSY 342, PSY 343, PSY 344, PSY 345, or PSY 346, all with C- or better

In-depth study of contemporary issues, perspectives, and methods used in the study of how cultural and ethnic factors affect psychological processes. A basic examination of current topics that are receiving significant attention. Library and/or laboratory and field research.

PSY 442 - Seminar in Social Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 341, PSY 342, PSY 343, PSY 344, PSY 345, PSY 346, all with C- or better

In-depth study of social psychological theory and research to explain patterns of thought and behavior.

PSY 451 - Seminar in Abnormal Psychology (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, PSY 220, PSY 230, PSY 240, PSY 250, PSY 303; and one of PSY 351 or 354, all with C- or better

Advanced study in major issues and research methods in abnormal psychology. Focus on research design and protocols with clinical populations.

PSY 470 - Psychological Issues in Substance Use (5)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 250 and PSY 351, or current enrollment in the graduate Mental Health or School Counseling Programs

This class provides advanced information about psychological issues in substance use. In addition to surveying the most common substances of abuse and their effects, this course also addresses etiological theories, assessment and diagnosis, treatment, issues pertinent to diverse groups of individuals, and current controversies in the field. There is a substantial off-campus, service learning component to this course that may require evening or weekend availability.

PSY 471 - Honors Thesis Seminar (2)

Prerequisites & Notes: Instructor permission

In-depth investigation of a selected topic in psychology culminating in an honors thesis. Should be taken the quarter before the thesis is begun and while it is in progress. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr. S/U grading.

PSY 478 - Understanding Healing Process Across Cultures (3)

Prerequisites & Notes: Psy 301 or equivalent; junior status

The course will overview systems of healing as they are utilized globally, identify common and uncommon elements of healing, and relate these to psychotherapeutic processes. 

PSY 481 - Seminar in History and Systems of Psychology (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: PSY 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, and PSY 302, all with a C- or better; plus completion of 45 credits in psychology

An historical perspective of the development of psychological systems and theories and their impact on contemporary psychology.

PSY 482 - Seminar in Psychological Theory (4)

Prerequisites & Notes: C- or better in: PSY 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, and PSY 302, all with a C- or better; plus completion of 45 credits in psychology.

A seminar examining the philosophical assumptions of science in general and psychology in particular.

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