Spring 2022 Registration Information

Enrollment Priorities:

These procedures will be in place during early 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.

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.

Course Notes

Psyc 105. Orientation to the Major. This course will provide psychology majors with knowledge and tools to get the most out of the major. Topics include an introduction to the psychology major at JMU, strategies for discerning between credible and non-credible information, professional (e.g., student/professor) communication and campus learning support resources. This course is only available for students who have not yet completed the two-semester methodology sequence.  Prerequisite: Declared Psychology Major and Psyc 101. (1 credit hour.) Also offered Winter Session.

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. Special Topics – Thanatology- Death & Dying/Life & Living. Thiscourse 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” requirement in the Psychology major. Course completion will also provide 3 credit hours toward the JMU graduation requirement of 120 credit hours. Prerequisite: 1 Social Science Content Core and 1 Natural Science Content Core class.

Psyc 400. Special Topics – Applications of Psychological Science. This course will focus on the systematic application of psychological science and psychological principles to examine and understand emergence and maintenance of and potential intervention for prevailing social issues (e.g., gun control and access, cannabis legalization, environmental racism, and healthcare access). Empirical sources, theoretical content, and popular media will be used in conjunction with knowledge and skills garnered as psychology majors to engage in the process of applying psychological science to further understanding of social issues. This course is offered by Dr. Jessica Irons (ironsjg@jmu.edu). 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 Fall semester fulfill this requirement:

  • Psyc 220. Psychology and Culture
  • Psyc 310. Women and Gender
  • Psyc 325. Counseling Psychology
  • Psyc 400. Topics: Thanatology – Death & Dying/Life & Living
  • Psyc 410. Psychology of the Workplace
  • Psyc 497. Senior Seminar: Women and Mental Health
  • Psyc 497. Senior Seminar: Environment, Health and Behavior

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 497, Section 1 & Section 2. 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 3. 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 4. 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 5. Evolutionary Psychology. This course will explore the theories and methods used when studying human behavior through the lens of evolution by natural selection. Behaviors studied will include mating, group behavior, parenting, cognition, brain size, and others. This course is offered by Dr. Melanie Shoup-Knox (shoupml@jmu.edu).

Psyc 497, Section 6 & 7. Sleep & Circadian Rhythms. For most humans, sleep is an activity that occupies approximately one-third of their lives. Despite this prominent position among human behaviors, most know little about what happens during sleep and the significance of sleep for psychological and physiological functioning. This course will survey the contemporary scientific literature on the science of sleep, emphasizing normal functioning, mechanisms involved in sleep and wake, the methods of investigation using human and animal approaches, and basic understanding of sleep disorders. Additionally, students will gain familiarity with the science of biological rhythms, aka chronobiology, and how these two disciplines overlap. Students will be familiar with sleep assessment to include basic scoring from polysomnographic recordings and will evaluate several sleep and chronobiology articles. This seminar is heavily discussion based and students should expect teaching and writing opportunities. Offered by Dr. Jeff Dyche (dychejs@jmu.edu).

Psyc 497, Section 8. Passion for Activities. 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 9. Psychology of 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 (tricead@jmu.edu).

Psyc 497, Section 10. 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 (tricead@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).

Psyc 497, Section 13. Sport and Performance Psychology. This course focuses on theoretical, research, and applied issues in sport and performance psychology. The emphasis of the course will be on gaining an understanding of the relationship between psychological variables and performance in sport and other performance domains (e.g., performing arts, military) by exploring selected readings and research studies in sport and performance psychology. This course is offered by Parker Leap (leapwp@jmu.edu) .