College Catalog: 2013-2014

School of Social Science and Human Services (SSHS): Psychology (B.A.)

Four Year Plan

Website: School of Social Science and Human Services

About the Major

Psychology seeks to understand human cognition, emotion, experience, and behavior. The Psychology Program at Ramapo College educates students in both the science and profession of psychology. It teaches psychology in a liberal arts context that makes clear the interconnections between psychology and other disciplines and promotes critical reasoning skills.

The program nurtures learning by immersing students in a variety of theoretical orientations, research methodologies, and human diversity issues. Students also gain hands-on experience in the practice of psychology through fieldwork or through an independent research project. Students are trained to appropriately apply their psychological knowledge to issues in the world and to become discriminating readers of social and behavioral research. Students who are interested in graduate school are encouraged to participate in independent research under the guidance of a faculty member.

To attain these goals, the program requires that students complete three basic courses: Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, and Data Analysis in Psychology. The remaining requirements are structured around a number of courses that are grouped into six categories. Students are required to take at least one course from each of these categories. This structure allows some flexibility and choice, yet insures that each student will be exposed to content in the areas of social, developmental, cognitive/neuroscience, and personality/abnormal psychology. Majors also take a course that presents a cultural or historical perspective on the discipline and an elective course in psychology.

Students gain hands-on, applied experience in psychology through a fieldwork course or an independent research course. In fieldwork courses students generally work in a mental health or educational agency in the community such as a school for special children. In the fieldwork setting, students are required to act in a professional manner and abide by ethical guidelines; in the independent research course students design and implement a piece of original research under the close guidance of a faculty member in psychology. The final psychology requirement is a 400-level seminar in the senior year: Advanced Topics in Psychology. Examples of these include “Black Issues in Psychology,” “Eye Witness Memory,” “Child Abuse,” and “Cults”.

Psychology is an appropriate major for a student seeking a career in any one of the human-service professions and for a student planning graduate work in psychology. Graduates may find opportunities for employment in a variety of settings such as
community mental health centers, counseling services, substance-abuse programs, geriatric facilities, probation services, and schools for special education. Other opportunities lie in the fields of advertising, consulting, consumer research, criminal justice, education, environmental policy, evaluation research, human factors engineering, marketing, personnel, and product planning.

The psychology major is offered by the School of Social Science and Human Services leading to a B.A. degree. A psychology minor is available.

Requirements of the Major
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers only apply to General Education Requirements NOT School Core or Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (six courses):  three writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: First Year Seminar, Critical Reading and Writing (formerly College English), and Readings in the Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Minor
  1. At least 1/2 of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A school core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
  • Subject & Course # – Title & Course Description
  • Required Courses (5 courses):
  • Three Psychology courses (each selected from a different category)**
  • One additional course selected from psychology categories or psychology electives**
  • **Categories and electives are listed under Requirements of the Major