Online Bachelor’s in Psychology CurriculumOnline Bachelor’s in Psychology CurriculumOnline Bachelor’s in Psychology Curriculum

A bachelor’s in psychology program curriculum teaches students the broad theoretical issues of contemporary psychology which are later applied in a student practicum. Undergraduate-level psychology courses equip students with the knowledge and skills required for critical thinking, evaluating human cognition, and understanding the connection between biological systems and human behavior.

Maryville University Online BA in Psychology Curriculum

The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at Maryville University aims to provide students with a strong foundation in the broad theoretical issues of contemporary psychology along with applied, career-related experiences.

Coursework is designed to adhere to recommendations by the American Psychological Association which emphasizes a broad foundation including courses in experimental methodology, critical thinking, human development, and the biological, social, and clinical aspects of behavior.

The 128-credit curriculum includes general education courses (39 credits), psychology major core courses (24 credits), a social science research sequence (15 credits) and general electives (50 credits).

Learn more about Maryville’s Online BA in Psychology course offerings here:

Core Psychology Courses

  • An introductory survey of psychology. Psychology as a field is very broad, and we will be examining most of the major sub-areas that comprise psychology, including the development of psychology as a science, learning and memory, biological foundations of behavior, sensation and perception, human development, motivation and emotions, cognition, abnormal psychology, and social psychology. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and understanding the scientific methods used in the discipline.

  • This course explores the importance of scientific critical thinking and ethics as they relate to advancing scientific knowledge, understanding, and application of knowledge in the Social Sciences. Students will develop a firm theoretical and scientific background related to scientific critical thinking and values in the Social Sciences to become critical thinkers within their disciplines.

  • A knowledge of normal growth and development is essential to professional practice in many disciplines. This course explores the process of human development, particularly in Western cultures. A holistic life-span approach is used to promote an understanding of the biophysical, cognitive, affective, social, and spiritual functioning of healthy individuals.

  • This course covers the domains of psychopathology as it is represented in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Students will examine the nature, course, symptoms, consequences, and treatment of abnormal behavior. Current empirically-based treatments and evidenced-based practices will be reviewed.

  • Social psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, relate to one another, and ultimately create meaning. It involves understanding how people affect, and are affected by, others around them. This course introduces you to the theory, empirical findings, and research methods of social psychology. You will develop the ability to analyze social situations that you encounter in your everyday lives through the application of theory and methods in social psychology.

  • This course is intended to introduce and familiarize students with the concept of multicultural psychology. The course will address issues of human diversity theory and research that are emphasized by the American Psychological Association, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and SES. The course will also encompass issues related to identity, oppression, bias, acculturation, and workplace diversity, as well as research methodologies utilized to promote greater understanding.

  • This course covers the fundamentals of human cognition including processes such as perception, attention, memory, language, problem solving, and decision-making. The course will begin with a general discussion of cognition and its neural bases. The course will be divided into three sections: a) cognitive neuroscience, perception, and attention, b) theories of memory and knowledge representation, c) language, problem solving, and decision-making.

  • This course surveys the connection between biological systems and human behavior. Topics range from sleep and dreams to drugs, stress and health, memory, emotion, and psychological disorders. Primary attention is given to different parts of the brain, neurotransmitters, hormones, etc. Emphasis is given to the interaction of nature and nurture, neural flexibility (neuroplasticity), and prospects for individual change.

Social Science Research Sequence

  • This course examines the process of scientific research in the social and behavioral sciences and the fundamental role research methodology plays in our understanding of human behavior and social affairs. Students explore the principles, ethics, and methods of social science research (correlational research, observational and survey methods, experimental and quasi-experimental design, variable control, secondary data analysis, and interpretation of results). Students formulate an original research question, develop hypotheses related to that question, and create a proper and detailed methodological strategy for investigation. Students learn how to synthesize existing research literature into a research proposal and develop an understanding of the formal writing processes used by social science researchers.

  • This course introduces students to both descriptive and inferential statistics. The following concepts and techniques are included: measures of central tendency and variability; sampling distributions; interval estimation; hypothesis testing (t-test, ANOVA); correlation and regression; chi square tests. Statistical software projects are required. Prerequisite: MATH 102 or 115 or higher

  • This course is the culminating, capstone experience in the social science curriculum. Students will review and discuss their course of study and its application beyond graduation. Students will work with a social science faculty member conducting and completing a research project exploring an area of interest in the student’s field of study. This will include data collection, analysis, a written paper adhering to APA standards, and a presentation. Note: A passing grade cannot be achieved without completion of the research project. Note: This course replaces SOSC-481 and SOSC-482 (no longer offered)

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Undergraduate programs and certificates are designed to be taken at a part-time pace. Please speak to your advisor for more details.

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Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities Gained With a Bachelor’s in Psychology

Psychology courses typically cover the following areas:

  • Critical thinking from a scientific perspective. Critical thinking is the ability to assess claims and make objective judgments based on well-supported, non-emotional reasons. It involves applying logical principles, rigorous standards of evidence, and a thorough reasoning process. Critical thinking is important in psychology because it allows for an objective conclusion without the risk of acting on a false premise. Through development of intellectual empathy, students can learn the art of suspending judgment through critical thinking.
  • Biological stressors and human behavior. Physiological or biological stress is a person’s response to a stressor, such as a change in environment. Stress symptoms can affect both the mental and physical health of humans, and can also manifest as a change in behavior. Stress left unmanaged can lead to several behavioral problems, including social withdrawal, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, and a change in eating habits.
  • Descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics use numerical calculations from graphs or tables to provide descriptions of a population or groups of people. Inferential statistics use data taken from population samples to make inferences or predictions about a particular group of people.
  • Fundamentals of human cognition. Cognitive psychology is the scientific investigation of all human mental abilities, including perception, learning, memory recall, thought, reason, and understanding. Students may learn the concepts behind methods to evaluate the cognitive abilities of patients.
  • Multicultural psychology. Multicultural psychology is the study of how humans behave when people from multiple cultural groups interact. It includes aspects such as racial identity development, multicultural competence, and acculturation, as well as racial prejudice and stereotyping.

Common Courses for Bachelor’s in Psychology Students

These are some of the common psychology courses offered for this type of undergraduate degree:

Multicultural Psychology: This course addresses the issues of human diversity theory outlined by the American Psychological Association, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and language. The course also covers issues related to identity, oppression, prejudice, acculturation, and workplace diversity. Students may learn to use research methodologies to promote greater understanding and empathy.

Human Cognition: This course covers a general discussion of cognition and its neural basis. In this course, students can master the fundamentals of human cognition, including perception, attention, memory, language, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Critical Thinking in Social Science: Students can gain an understanding of the importance of scientific critical thinking and ethics in advancing scientific knowledge and understanding, and the application of that knowledge in social sciences. Students may also become critical thinkers by developing solid theoretical and scientific knowledge of critical thinking and values.

Understanding Statistical Inference: Students are introduced to descriptive and inferential statistics in this course and may be required to complete statistical software projects. Concepts and techniques discussed include sampling distributions, measures of central tendency and variability, interval estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, and chi-square tests.

Biological Psychology: Students may learn the connection between biological systems and human behavior. This course includes topics such as memory, emotion, stress and health, sleep and dreams, and psychological disorders. Instruction is given on the different parts of the brain, hormones, and the role of neurotransmitters. Other aspects studied include neural flexibility, the interaction between nature and nurture, and prospects for individual change.

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