All Programs


Psychology Courses

PSYC  101 - General Psychology (4)

This course introduces the methods, facts, and theories of modern psychology. Survey of learning, motivation, development, personality, abnormal and social behavior. Offered every semester.

PSYC  195 - First-Year Seminar (4)

First Year Seminars are designed and taught by faculty who have a special passion for the topic. All FYSeminars are small classes (16 students) that count toward the university Core. Many FYSeminars include enrichment activities such as excursions into the city or guest speakers. FYSeminars are only open to students in their first or second semester at USF, and students may only take one FYS, in either Fall or Spring. For a detailed description of this course, and other FYSeminars this semester, go to this webpage by cutting and pasting the link:

PSYC  260 - Psychological Statistics (4)

The rationale and methods of statistical inference through two-way analysis of variance and correlation. Offered every semester.

PSYC  265 - Research Design (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 260 and RHET 203. Lecture/laboratory course emphasizing various methods of psychological research. Includes research report writing, application of statistics, and computer usage. Offered every semester.

PSYC  265 - Laboratory (0)

PSYC  270 - Biological Psychology (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. An introduction to the biological correlates of behavior. Offered every semester.

PSYC  301 - Diversity Issues in Psychology (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. This course will address the issues of diversity as explored in the discipline of psychology. The focus will depend on the expertise and interests of the faculty member. Details are available from the Department of Psychology whenever the course is offered. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  302 - Psychology of Prejudice (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. This course examines the psychology of prejudice with a particular focus on the effects of interpersonal discrimination. We examine the fundamentals of how and why we are prejudiced against each other, as well as search for ways to decrease prejudice. Stereotypes and prejudice regarding groups defined in terms of their sex, ethnic background, religious or cultural beliefs, sexual orientation, race, national origin, social class, age and groups defined by multiple combinations of these factors are considered. We focus on understanding prejudice with the goal of social justice for all people regardless of their group membership. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  305 - Psychology of Ethnic Groups in the United States (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or permission of instructor. Study of major mental health and related social issues facing individuals from different cultural groups. Attention will be focused on four major ethnic groups in North America: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, and American Indians. Offered every year.

PSYC  307 - Cross-Cultural Psychology (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or permission of instructor. This course increases understanding of the similarities and differences among cultures through experimental evidence, group experience, and class discussion. Offered every year.

PSYC  310 - Social Psychology (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or SOC 150. The study of individual motives, cognitions, attitudes; the role of the individual in groups and society; behavior as influenced by social forces. Offered every semester. Cross-listed with SOC 321.

PSYC  312 - Child Development (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. Psychological development from birth to adolescence, emphasizing current theory and research. Topics may include perception, cognition, social understanding, language acquisition, attachment, gender role development. Offered every semester.

PSYC  313 - Abnormal Psychology (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 270. For NURS and ESS majors, the alternative pre-requisities of BIOL 113/114 and BIOL 115/116 can be substituted for PSYC 270. An intensive study of abnormal behavior, emphasizing definitions, etiologies, symptoms, dynamics, and treatment. Offered every semester.

PSYC  316 - African American Psychology (4)

This course provides an introduction to the field of African American psychology. Basic issues addressed include major psychological and related social issues facing American individuals of African descent. Topics covered include current theories of African American ethnic identity formation, educational achievement of African Americans in the U.S., physical and mental health, clinical research and interventions with African American adolescents and adults, and psychosocial impact of media, violence and environmental stress. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 with a "C" or better.

PSYC  317 - Asian American Psychology (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. Comprehensive survey of current psychological issues facing the Asian American community. Topics include family issues, acculturation, ethnic identity, psychopathology, and culturally-responsive treatment strategies. Offered every year.

PSYC  318 - Theories of Personality (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. A review of approaches currently supported in contemporary psychology so as to understand normal human personality in terms of theory, assessment, application, and relevant research. Offered every year.

PSYC  319 - Cognitive Psychology (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and either PSYC 270 or BIOL 105. An overview of theories of learning, memory, and cognition with an emphasis on human information processing. Offered every year.

PSYC  321 - Clinical Psychology (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 270 and PSYC 313. Introduction to the profession of clinical psychology. Career paths, psychodiagnosis, psychotherapy, and community mental health. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  322 - Health Psychology (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 270 or equivalent recommended. This course addresses the ways in which an individual's psychology may influence his or her adjustment to illness; and the prevention of illness through health-promoting practices. Offered every year.

PSYC  323 - Interviewing (2 - 4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. Interviewing in business and human service settings, including screening, selection, and evaluation. General communication skills (verbal and nonverbal) are emphasized, not psychotherapeutic techniques. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  324 - Forensic Psychology (4)

This course covers mental illness and its relation to crime. Criminal justice topics from the psychological perspective include the not guilty by reason of insanity defense, risk assessments of dangerousness, sex offender recidivism risk, and mental health defenses. Other areas where mental illness and the law intersect will also be covered.

PSYC  325 - Family Psychology (4)

This course addresses psychological perspectives on family systems. Course topics include historical perspectives of family, the intersection of family and identity, development of family roles, rules and patterns, family theory, and family therapy. All topics will incorporate discussions of ethics, research, diversity, and application.

PSYC  326 - Learning and Memory (4)

An overview of research on learning and memory, including consideration of cognitive theories, behavioral evidence, and neuroscientific evidence.

PSYC  327 - Organizational and Group Processes (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or permission of instructor. An introduction to the psychology of group behavior including work behavior, emphasizing personnel decisions, training and career development, job satisfaction, supervision and leadership, the work environment, and research methods in psychology. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  328 - Child Psychopathology (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 312. The dynamics of maladjustment and psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Origins, treatment, and preventive measures. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  331 - Psychology of Sexuality (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. A general survey of the sociological, psychological and physiological factors related to sexual behavior. The course examines theoretical issues and empirical findings from scientific sources. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  333 - Forum on Contemporary Issues in Psychology (1)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or permission of instructor. This course is designed to promote interaction, dialogue, and understanding among students through study of specific contemporary topics in psychology. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  334 - Generation to Generation (2)

Prerequisite: PSY - 101 or permission of instructor. This course promotes interaction, understanding and appreciation between students from different generations. The class will be comprised of students from the University of San Francisco (USF) and older adult students from the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at USF. The course will examine how stereotyping and prejudice affect the self-concept and attitudes towards other groups (including age, religion, ethnicity, etc.). This will be done through dialog, readings, experiential classroom activities, and two field trips. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  335 - Psychology of Gender (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. This course reviews the social-psychological research literature, including the impact of biological and environmental factors on sex differences. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  336 - History and Systems (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and Junior standing. This course surveys the development of modern psychological thought from an historical perspective. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  339 - Adulthood and Aging (4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. This course examines psychological change in adulthood and old age. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  344 - Motivation and Emotion (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 270. Theoretical and empirical review of the psychological and physiological bases of human motivation, as well as a systematic review of the field of emotion with an emphasis on major theories and current research approaches. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  350 - Perspectives in Psychology (2 - 4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101. This course covers a variety of areas, the focus depending on the expertise of the instructor. Historical perspective and empirical research are stressed. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  351 - Human Neuropsychology (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 and PSYC 270. This course introduces the student to the neural bases of mental functioning. It emphasizes both lower-order functions such as motor control and attention, and higher-order functions such as memory and emotion. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  355 - Positive Psychology (SL) (4)

Building on the foundation of humanistic psychology, positive psychology will offer students the opportunity to study, explore, and experience the conditions that allow individuals and communities to thrive and maximize their human potential. How do people experience and promote happiness and other positive emotional states like mindfulness, flow, compassion, gratitude, and love? What values, virtues, and talents are prized by individuals and communities and how are they lived in practice? The course will explore the historical foundations and contemporary understanding of positive psychology as well as offer opportunities for applied learning. Class time will concentrate on readings, discussion, and applied exercises.

PSYC  369 - Child Maltreatment (4)

An advanced seminar introducing the student to the field of child abuse and neglect. Explores the definition, epidemiology, etiology, treatment, and prevention of child maltreatment.

PSYC  387 - ART: Advanced Research Topics (4)

Advanced study of research in psychology, emphasizing the development of psychological theories. This course will focus heavily on extensive readings and active discussion about research. The specific focus will depend on the expertise of the instructor and will be highlighted on the class schedule each semester. Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 260, PSYC 265; for specific sections, there may be additional content-specific prerequisites (e.g., an ART in the area of social psychology research may require completion of PSYC 310).

PSYC  388 - Advanced Research Methods (4)

Advanced study of research methods in psychology, including a review of the scientific approach, research design and measurement, and research ethics. The research focus will depend on the expertise of the instructor and will be highlighted on the class schedule each semester. Regular topics include: Sibling Relationships, Social Psychology of Aging, Sensation and Perception, Social Influence, Foster Children, Dreams and Mediation, Community Health, Acculturation, Applied Social Psychology, Changing Misconceptions, and Measurement: Peace and Conflict. Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 260, RHET 203 and PSYC 265, plus additional prerequisites per Class Schedule.

PSYC  392 - Advanced Topics Seminar in Psychology (4)

Prerequisite: Junior standing and permission of instructor. A seminar designed to explore in-depth issues in an area of psychology. Emphasis will be on the latest trends and theories in psychology and reflect the interests of the instructor. Junior or Senior standing required. Offered intermittently.

PSYC  396 - Psychology Practicum (SL) (1 - 4)

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 and Junior standing. Service Learning in a variety of community settings relevant to psychology (e.g., hospitals, mental health and youth guidance centers, old age homes, pre-school and day care centers, and other public service organizations). All Practicum units must be done in one semester, unless by permission of the instructor. Offered every semester.

PSYC  399 - Directed Reading and Research; Independent Study (1 - 8)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 260, RHET 203, PSYC 265 and Junior standing. Psychology majors initiate and complete a significant reading and research project under the direct supervision of faculty. Permission to take this course must be obtained in writing from the instructor, department chair, and dean. Offered every semester.

PSYC  498 - Thesis Development Seminar (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 260, RHET 203, PSYC 265 and PSYC 388. Limited to students pursuing an Honors in Psychology; admission is by application letter or approval of instructor. In this seminar students prepare a research proposal, including an IRB application, a literature review, and a detailed description of how the independent and dependent variables will be measured. Students will also critique the proposals of class members. Offered Spring semester.

PSYC  499 - Honors Thesis Seminar (4)

Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 260, RHET 203, PSYC 265, PSYC 388 and PSYC 498. Limited to students pursuing an Honors in Psychology. In this seminar students execute the research proposal developed in PSYC 498, including data gathering and analysis, as well as preparation of a written thesis and poster suitable for oral presentation. This course is completed in addition to the 48 units required for the psychology major. Offered Fall semester.