Registration Information

Please read the content below, and contact your adviser if you need additional assistance.

Spring 2020 Offerings

PSYC 200, Section 1. Orientation to the Psychology Major (1 credit hour).The course content will include an exploration of major requirements, experiential learning opportunities within the major, survey of sub-disciplines in psychology, an introduction to APA-style, an introduction to psychological ethics, strategies for discerning between credible and non-credible information, identifying logical fallacies, introduction to use of library resources, professional (e.g., student/professor) etiquette, campus learning support resources, and effective learning and studying strategies. This course is only available for students who have not yet completed the two-semester methodology sequence. Offered by Professor Kimberly DuVall (duvallkd@jmu.edu).

PSYC 200, Section 1.  Preparing for a Job with a Psychology Major (1 credit hour).  This course will focus on the skills psychology majors can develop to prepare themselves for a variety of careers. Students will discuss what types of jobs will be available to them upon graduation with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Topics will include resume-building, cover letter writing, interviewing, and leveraging undergraduate experiences when applying for a job.  Offered by Dr. Kevin Apple (applekj@jmu.edu).

PSYC 200, Section 3. Psyc of Well Being (3 credit hours).This course will introduce students to the field of positive psychology which is the scientific study of what makes life pleasant, engaging, and meaningful. Students will learn about topics such as happiness, mindfulness, optimism, stress management, gratitude, interpersonal relationships, and life meaning. Special emphasis will be placed on how to implement strategies for well-being in everyday life. Offered by Dr. Jaime Kurtz (kurtzjl@jmu.edu).

PSYC 200, Section 201. Preparing for Graduate School in Psychology.(Second Block, 1 credit). This course will guide students through the graduate school selection and application process. Students will discuss various career opportunities across sub-disciplines in psychology as well as appropriate preparation and graduate paths to pursue such opportunities. Topics will include participating in research and fieldwork experiences, preparing for and taking the GREs, selecting appropriate programs, and applying to graduate schools (including letters of recommendation, interviews, and writing curriculum vitae and personal statements). Offered by Dr. Jessica Irons (ironsjg@jmu.edu).

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.

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

View Research and Service Learning Opportunities

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 Fall semester fulfill this requirement:

  • PSYC 220. Psychology and Culture
  • PSYC 325. Counseling Psychology
  • PSYC 497, Senior Seminar:  Women and Mental Health
  • PSYC 497, Senior Seminar:  Environment, Health and Behavior
  • PSYC 497, Senior Seminar:  Political Psychology

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. Overrides are routinely given for these courses, if space is available, for students who are completing their final semester of coursework for graduation. Email ugpsyc@jmu.edu if you are having trouble registering for your final semester coursework. 

PSYC 492, Sections 1 and 2.  History of Psychology. The history of psychology as reflected through the individuals, theories and experimental investigation of the discipline. Special emphasis is placed upon relating the current state of psychology to its historical development.  This course is offered by Dr. Suzie Baker (bakersc@jmu.edu).

PSYC 493, Laboratory in Psychology.  This Psyc 493 Laboratory in Psychology experience is focused on motivational theory and research and how it can be applied to educational settings to improve students’ motivation, achievement, and well-being. First, you will engage in in-depth reading and discussion of contemporary motivational theory and research, and consider how well current theory and research is being applied to improve education.  We will also benefit and draw from your prior experiences in other motivational coursework or research that you have already participated in (e.g., Psyc402s/Psyc497s), as well as from other motivational projects already being conducted on campus (e.g., through JMU’s Motivational Research Institute). Second, you will develop a list of potential research questions of what should be done next to advance our understanding of motivational dynamics. Third, your research questions will then be turned into formal research proposals that outline specific methodology and statistical tools on how to validly test your ideas.  During this step, you will review and learn the necessary methodological or statistical tools that you will need to successfully propose, conduct, and analyze your project. Fourth, as a group, we will formally seek IRB approval and conduct one or more of the proposed research ideas of our class as time and resources permit. Finally, you will communicate your findings in multiple formats (e.g, JMU's Undergraduate Psychology Research Symposium).  Email Dr. Kenn Barron (barronke@jmu.edu) for more information about this capstone course.

PSYC 497, Section 1, 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 is being offered by Dr. Pam Gibson (gibsonpr@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 2. Environment, Health and Behavior. This course will examine the effects of toxins on the nervous system, inequities in exposure patterns that place particular populations at higher risk for harm, toxicant-induced illnesses that receive psychological diagnoses (e.g., endometriosis), attitudes toward environmental quality, and the emerging fields of ecopsychology and ecotherapy. Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the psychology major. This course is offered by Dr. Pam Gibson (gibsonpr@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 3, Psychology of Language. It is difficult to imagine a world without language and all the communication and creation that it affords us through the ways we speak, write, sign, and signal. Language is a tool that is central to nearly all aspects of our everyday lives. This capstone will be an entryway to the science of psycholinguistics; that is, the psychological study of how people use and comprehend language. We will primarily focus our reading, discussion, and learning on the study of reading processing and comprehension along with written language; but we will also explore pragmatics and nonverbal/paralinguistic language, sign language, bilingualism/multilingualism, and topics related to spoken language as well. This course is offered by Dr. Sri Siddhi Upadhyay (upadhyay@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 4, Existential Psychology. This course introduces students to an emerging discipline known as existential psychology.  Throughout the class, students will focus 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.  This course is offered by Dr. Lindsey Harvell-Bowman (harve2la@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 5, 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 (savillbk@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 6, Law and Neuroscience. Neuroscientific evidence, in the form of brain scans and neuropsychological testing for brain damage, is increasingly used in the courtroom. In this course, you will critically review this scientific literature and its relevance for important legal questions such as criminal responsibility. This course is offered by Dr. Bernice Marcopulos (marcopba@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 7, Political Psychology. This course will focus on psychological research and theories that increase our understanding of political ideology, participation, and decision making.This material considers how the person, the situation, and society shape our political thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.The social justice implications of political psychology will be highlighted throughout the course.Students will apply a psychological lens to past and current political affairs.Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the psychology major.This course is offered by Dr. Kala Melchiori (melchikj@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Section 8. Motivation in Education. This senior seminar capstone experience investigates classic and contemporary motivational theory and how it can be applied to educational settings to improve academic motivation, achievement, and student well-being. This course is offered by Dr. Kenn Barron (barronke@jmu.edu).

PSYC 497, Sections 9 and 10. 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 (evanswf@jmu.edu).

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, student 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 is offered by Dr. Daniel D. Holt (Holtdd@jmu.edu).