PSYCHOLOGY | Expand Your Insight


The demand for professionals who understand human actions and interactions is endless. Baker’s psychology program gives you the foundation for a variety of careers including counseling, social work, real estate, and public affairs. Using the research methodology learned in your course work, you will be able to apply theoretical principles by conducting research in classes, both independently and alongside an experienced member of the faculty.

PERFECT FIRST STEP

Because more than 60% of our psychology graduates pursue advanced degrees, we focus on preparing each student for success in a more difficult classroom setting. We accomplish this through internships and independent research opportunities.

LEARN HANDS ON

We encourage students to engage in as many real-world experiences as possible, allowing them to earn practical experience while developing the skills and knowledge needed in a variety of fields. Among the places our students have interned are the Red Cross, suicide-prevention hotlines, and United Way administrative offices.

WORK INDEPENDENTLY

At Baker you will have the unique opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate and present it at conferences. Baker psychology students routinely win awards for their research at these conferences.

LEAVE PREPARED

Our students leave Baker well prepared for their next step after graduating. Baker seniors taking the ETS Major Field Test—the psychology comprehensive exam—score in the top 80th to 90th percentile.

LAUREN | Psychology Major, Class of 2014

Lauren came to Baker wanting to major in journalism and write for Time magazine. But after one research methods class, she knew she wanted to pursue research psychology. While at Baker, Lauren was the first American selected to a prestigious research fellowship with Huntercombe Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is now working toward her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at George Mason and is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.

CAREERS

Our psychology majors have gone on to the following careers:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Social Work
  • Advertising
  • Teaching

%

of graduates are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diploma.

Course Descriptions

R: course can be repeated for credit; P/NC: course graded on a pass/no credit basis

Courses required for these programs are listed in the current catalog.

PY 111 – General Psychology

Every semester
This course is an overview of the wide variety of subject areas that comprise the study of behavior. Schools of thought and empirical research findings are presented in the approach to understanding physiology, sensation and perception, learning, memory, development, personality, stress, abnormal behavior, therapy, and social interactions. (3 credit hours)

PY 168 – Human Sexuality

Spring semester, odd years
This course reviews the developmental, physiological, emotional, and psychological aspects of human sexuality. Students will gain knowledge of the facets of human sexuality and relate the topic to themselves and others through reflective thinking. (3 credit hours)

PY 234 – Psychopathology

Fall semester, every year
This survey course utilizes a multi-dimensional approach to help students understand how biological, psychological, socio-cultural, and even political forces contribute to psychological disorders. Students will learn the diagnostic criteria for the major mental disorders and review research on their causes, course, and treatment. This course provides a foundation for students interested in learning more about mental health and/or pursuing a career in the helping professions. Prerequisite: PY 111. (3 credit hours)

PY 236 – Social Psychology

Spring semester, every year
This course is intended to provide an introduction to the field of social psychology. Research in this field examines the influence of the social context on the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals. One unique aspect of social psychology is the connection between what students learn in the classroom and the situations and circumstances they encounter in their daily lives. Prerequisite: PY 111. (3 credit hours)

PY 238 – Psychology of Personality

Fall semester, even years
Each of the main contemporary theories of personality is discussed in this course and relevant research relating to each one is examined. Main theories include psychoanalytic, trait, humanistic, behavioral, social learning, and cognitive. Application of personality theories to historical and modern persons is integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: PY 111. (3 credit hours)

PY 243 – Human Development

Every semester
This course examines changes in human behavior over the entire life span from conception to death. Topics are presented in chronological order and cover developmental changes in physical, cognitive, and social domains. Traditional theories are integrated with current findings of developmental researchers. Prerequisite: PY 111. (3 credit hours)

PY 251 – Research Design and Analysis I

Fall semester, every year
This is the first of a two-course sequence designed to integrate the research methods used in psychology with the statistical techniques used to evaluate data obtained using these methods. This first course focuses on the nature of science, the fundamentals of scientific research, common research strategies and mechanics, ethical considerations, measurement techniques, correlational methods, and descriptive statistics. The inferential process will also be introduced in the context of classic experimental design. As a result of laboratory exercises and writing assignments, students are expected to develop the ability to analyze data and communicate research findings using the appropriate written format. Prerequisite: PY 111 and an ACT math score of 22 or higher, or MA 090 with a C- or higher. (4 credit hours)

PY 252 – Research Design and Analysis II

Spring semester, every year
A continuation of PY 251, this course emphasizes statistical inference and classic experimental design. One-, two- and multi-group designs are addressed along with their appropriate statistical analyses. Other topics include single-subject designs, quasi-experiments, surveys, and dealing with categorical data. As a result of laboratory exercises and written assignments, students are expected to develop the ability to analyze data mathematically and communicate research findings using the appropriate format. Prerequisite: PY 251 with a grade of C- or higher. (4 credit hours)

PY 258 – Industrial and Organizational Psychology

This course helps students to understand the factors that influence human behavior in organizational settings. An emphasis is placed on a scientific analysis of individual processes, group processes, and organizational structure and design. Topics addressed include research methodology, personnel evaluation and hiring, motivation, communication, decision making, group processes, and leadership. Prerequisite: PY 111. (3 credit hours)

PY 346 – Behavioral Neuroscience

This course examines the biological aspects of human behavior. It provides students with a basic overview of neuroanatomy, synaptic transmission, and chemical components of the nervous system. These biological factors are subsequently applied to behavioral associations. In addition to regular class meetings, students meet for scheduled lab sessions. Prerequisite: PY 252 with a grade of C- or higher or permission of the instructor. (4 credit hours)

PY 358 – Cognitive Psychology

Spring semester, odd years
This course examines human thought processes within a cognitive framework. General topics include an overview of information-processing stages, the representation and organization of knowledge, and the performance of complex cognitive skills. The practical application of cognitive psychology to daily activities is emphasized throughout the course. In addition to regular class meetings, students meet for scheduled lab sessions. Pre-requisite: PY 252 with a grade of C- or higher. (4 credit hours)

PY 371 – Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Fall semester, every year
In this seminar, students will discuss contemporary psychological research and theoretical writings. Emphasis will be placed on critical analysis, integration, and application of psychological theories and findings to current societal issues. Students will investigate specific topics of interest in-depth, and write and orally defend a position paper. Prerequisite: PY 252 with a grade of C- or higher. (3 credit hours)

PY 374 – Learning and Behavior

Spring semester, even years
This course focuses on basic principles and theoretical issues associated with both classical and operant conditioning. Subject areas covered include a brief history of behavior theory, generalization and discrimination, schedules of reinforcement, classical/operant interactions, and biological constraints on behavior. Some applications of behavior theory are also discussed. In addition to regular class meetings, students meet for scheduled lab sessions. Prerequisite: PY 252 with a grade of C- or higher. (4 credit hours)

PY 382 – Health Psychology

Spring semester, even years
This course reviews the field devoted to understanding how psychological factors relate to physical illness and health. It also overviews how psychologists contribute to the treatment and prevention of physical illness. Topics covered include: health promotion and maintenance, prevention and treatment of illness, and the etiology and correlates of health, illness, and dysfunction. Prerequisite: Six credit hours in Psychology or permission of the instructor. (3 credit hours)

PY 386 – Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Spring semester, every year
This course provides an orientation to the professional application of clinical and counseling psychology. The historical and empirical foundations of the profession are reviewed, as well as its current issues and trends. It focuses on basic helping skills; contemporary and traditional theories; the processes of assessment, diagnosis, and psychotherapy; and issues of diversity, such as culture, race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation. Prerequisite: PY 234 or permission of the instructor. (4 credit hours)

PY 451 – Research Methods Application

Fall semester, every year
Under close supervision of the instructor and frequent consultation, each student conceptualizes, designs, implements, and reports upon an original research study in his or her own interest area in psychology. The process includes data collection and analysis, as well as the submission of an APA-style manuscript and a conference-style oral presentation of the project. Advanced research topics are addressed throughout the course, as are classic and/or recent studies in the field of psychology. Prerequisite: PY 252 with a grade of B or higher or permission of the instructor. R (4 credit hours)

PY 468 – Testing and Measurement

Spring semester, odd years
This course addresses the major aspects of psychological testing. It covers the basic statistical and psychometric principles that are imperative in the development of reliable and valid testing instruments. The various types of available tests and their applications are covered, as well as the issues that shape the future of psychological testing. Prerequisite: PY 252 with a grade of C- or higher. (3 credit hours)

PY 471 – History and Systems

Fall semester, every year
This seminar traces the history of psychology from its development out of philosophy and physiology to its culmination in the various systems and schools of thought in psychology. Comparisons and contrasts among these schools of thought are the focus of most class discussion. Prerequisites: PY 252 and senior status as a Psychology major or permission of the instructor. Co-requisite: PY 472. (3 credit hours)

PY 472 – Psychology Portfolio Lab

Fall semester, every year
This laboratory experience is offered in conjunction with PY 471 and is focused on the development of the Psychology major individual portfolio (a component of the program assessment sequence). Co-requisite: PY 471. (1 credit hour)

PY 490 – Learning Assistantship in Psychology

Qualified Psychology majors who serve as learning assistants help the primary instructor with the design and implementation of a given psychology course. The students’ responsibilities may include the development of testing materials, the preparation of demonstrations and small-group lectures, tutoring, and student evaluation. Prerequisites: PY 111 and permission of the instructor. R (1-3 credit hours)

Scholarships

The Department of Behavioral and Health Sciences gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Psychology
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Exercise Science
  • Benjamin A. Gessner Award
  • Thomas G. Manson and Frances B. Manson Scholarship
  • Robert L. Miller Scholarship

STUDENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

DIALOGOS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."
Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."
BOOK Program
Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.
BOOK Program
Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.

FACULTY

Rand Ziegler

Dr. Rand Ziegler

Professor of Psychology, Chair of the Department of Behavioral & Health Sciences | rand.ziegler@bakerU.edu

It’s probably not often you hear someone say it was their passion for “rat labs” that drew them to a profession, but Dr. Rand Ziegler said that very thing. He has always been interested in studying behaviors and believes working in the department and the students he has have changed his life. When not studying rat labs, Dr. Ziegler enjoys poetry writing and art history, and he has taught a scuba diving certification course the past few years during Baker interterm.

B.A. Dickinson College, M.A. & Ph.D. West Virginia University
Expertise: behavior analysis, general experimental psychology
Office: Mabee Hall 402 | 785.594.7880

Sara Crump

Dr. Sara Crump

Associate Professor of Psychology | sara.crump@bakerU.edu
B.S. University of Washington, Ph.D. University of California at Santa Barbara
Office: Mabee Hall 204 | 785.594.8319

Robyn Long

Dr. Robyn Long

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Director of Study Abroad | robyn.long@bakerU.edu

B.S. Baker University; M.Ed., Ph.D. University of Georgia
Office: Mabee Hall 206 | 785.594.8437

Tony BrownDr. Tony Brown

Professor of Psychology | tony.brown@bakerU.edu

Office: Mabee Hall 205 | 913.344.1255

CONTACT US

Jill Franklin
Department Assistant 
Behavioral & Health Sciences
Mabee Hall
785.594.8470
jill.franklin@bakerU.edu