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Social and Behavioral Sciences Course Descriptions


Geo 211 World Geography I 3 credit hours

This course is a survey in general geography designed to describe the earth’s topography, political, and cultural divisions. (Alt FA)

Geo 212 World Geography II 3 credit hours

This course is a survey in general geography designed to describe the earth’s topography, political, and cultural divisions. (Alt SP)


*GER Approved Course

Pls 199 Independent Study 1-4 credit hours

This course number is used to designate a course that is not part of the regular curriculum. It is generally offered based on student interests and needs. (Arr)

*Pls 200 Introduction to Political Science 3 credit hours

A study of political science as a field of learning: the theories and functions of government; the principles of democratic government, especially the American experience; ideas of authoritarianism and totalitarianism; current governmental systems and problems. (SP)

*Pls 201 American Government 3 credit hours

A study of the values and principles of the American federal system of government, the role of public opinion, the media, voter participation, political parties and interest groups, the institutions of government, and selected issues of public policy. (FA)

Pls 207 Current Political Issues 3 credit hours

A study of political issues of topical interest, which are chosen by the class, as nuclear armaments, abortion, school prayer, capital punishment, welfare, and selected problems relating to the foreign policy of the United States.

*Pls 250 The Law and Social Issues 3 credit hours

The role of the legal system in dealing with many of the problems of contemporary society through the study of relevant court cases and selected readings.

Pls 302 History of Political Thought 3 credit hours

Major political theorists from ancient time to the 20th Century, from Plato to Rawls, with regard to their historical importance and the application of their thought to present political problems. (SP)

Pls 303 Comparative Government 3 credit hours

An introduction to the governmental systems of major industrialized nations as Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Japan, together with selected countries of topical interest as to their history, political institutions and culture, policies, administration and philosophy. (SP)

Pls 304 U.S. Foreign Policy 3 credit hours

Analysis of major philosophies and theories of U.S. foreign policy. The course investigates the problems and the dynamics of the roles that U.S. plays in the post-World War II and post-Cold War eras.

Pls 310 Public Administration 3 credit hours

This course is an introductory survey of concepts and practices relating to public administration in the United States. Topics covered will include the discipline and political context of governmental administration, organization theory, human resources management, intergovernmental relations, budgetary processes, and public service ethics. Prerequisite: None. (FA)

Pls 311 Ethics in Public Administration 3 credit hours

The relationship of ethical choices and the decisions of public administrators are examined. Ethical standards are discussed in light of organizational and public policies. (SP)

Pls 313 State and Local Government 3 credit hours

Formerly Pls 312 State Government. Fundamentals of local and state government structure from the perspective of public administration. Decision making, leadership, budgeting, reforms, and linkages with citizens are analyzed (SP)

Pls 330 Political Campaigns, Elections, and Public Opinion 3 credit hours

This course revolves around the nature of campaign politics, public opinion, political parties, role of public efficacy, mobilization, the press, and interest and advocacy groups. In addition, the course covers topics such as campaign finance reform, party affiliation and party identification, the paradoxes of public trust, and approval rating. This upper-division course serves all political science majors and non-majors. Prerequisite:Pls 199, Pls 200, Pls 201, Pls 207 or permission of instructor.

Pls 399 Independent Study 1-4 credit hours

This course number is used to designate a course that is not part of the regular curriculum. It is generally offered based on student interests and needs. (Arr)

Pls 400 International Relations 3 credit hours

Theories of the modern state system and national power as they relate to the international community and its organization. (SP)

Pls 402 American Political Thought 3 credit hours

American political writers from the colonial period to the present and the influences of Puritanism, individualism, conservatism, progressivism, and liberalism on American institutions and culture.

Pls 403 Public Policy 3 credit hours

Overview of the responsibilities, functions, decisions and activities in the determination of public policy. (FA)

Pls 405 Research Methods 3 credit hours

The methods of research are examined from a perspective of Public Administration. Topics include the development of a research hypothesis and design as well as the measuring of research variables. A research paper is required.

*Pls 411 American Constitutional Law 3 credit hours

Utilizing the case method of instruction, United States constitutional history, organization and powers of the federal government and the rights and immunities of citizens are studied. (SP)

Pls 415 Organization Theory in Public Administration 3 credit hours

The course focuses on understanding and analyzing structures, interactions, systems, effectiveness, and outcomes of human activities in organizational settings. Students will study classic and contemporary organizational theories. The course explores the problems that challenge specialists, supervisors, and managers. Prerequisites: Pls 201, Pls 303, Pls 313, Mgt 306 or permission of instructor.

Pls 440 Public Administration and Politics of Developing Countries 3 credit hours

Formerly Pls 430 The Third World in the 20th Century. A survey of political and administrative systems in selected states in developing regions. The course examines the impact of pre-independence administrative systems on the present and future of developing countries in Africa Asia, and Latin America. Theoretical foundation and case studies are included. (SP)

Pls 495 Political Science Internship 1-9 credit hours

Formerly Pls 425-427. Legal, administrative, legislative and special research internships are available to students with superior grade point averages on the recommendation of the department. (Arr)

Pls 499 Political Science Seminar 3 credit hours

This capstone course ties together the structure and activities of the political science major. Students complete a major research project and present their findings at an open forum.


*GER Approved Course

*Psy 102 Human Potential Seminar 3 credit hours

A psychology of self-actualization course designed to help students identify personal values, strengths and goals; to encourage personal growth; and to enhance respect of human dignity and diversity. The course emphasizes personal responsibility, goal setting and awareness of career/educational interests. (FA, SP)

*Psy 105 Introduction to Psychology 3 credit hours

A survey of the main fields of psychology: the history and methods of psychology, the nervous and endocrine systems, sensation, perception, consciousness, learning, memory, higher cognitive processes, developmental psychology, motivation, emotion, stress, personality theory, sexuality, intelligence, psychological testing, abnormal psychology, psychotherapy, social psychology, and applied psychology. (FA, SP)

Psy 199 Independent Study 1-4 credit hours

This course number is used to designate a course that is not part of the regular curriculum. It is generally offered based on student interests and needs. (Arr)

*Psy 201 Women and Psychology 3 credit hours

This course places women at the center of psychological inquiry by focusing on the developmental and social psychology of women. It encourages integration of ideas, feelings, and behaviors. Prerequisite: Sophomore status or permission of instructor. (as needed)

*Psy 230 Women and Men: Their Relationships 3 credit hours

This course examines gender roles in contemporary society, focusing on how these roles affect relationships; it encourages student exploration of the psychological and social issues pertinent to development of relationships. Prerequisite: Sophomore status or permission of instructor. (SP)

Psy 250 Applied Behavior Analysis 3 credit hours

This is an introduction to the application of basic behavior principles to human behavior. Basic principles of reinforcement punishment, extinction, and stimulus control as they relate to normal behavior, behavior disorders, education, industrial settings, and child rearing will be discussed. Students must complete a class project using the principles learned in the class. Prerequisite: Psy 105. (SP)

*Psy 260 Social Psychology 3 credit hours

Conformity, mass communication, propaganda, persuasion, social cognition, self-justification, human aggression, prejudice, liking, loving, interpersonal sensitivity, and social psychology as a science. Prerequisite: Sophomore status. (FA, INT)

Psy 270 Experimental Psychology 3 credit hours

An in-depth survey of the fields of experimental psychology: physiological, sensation, perception, learning, memory, language, and cognition. Prerequisite: Psy 105. (FA)

*Psy 300 Developmental Psychology 3 credit hours

A study of human growth and development from conception to death. The course deals with physical, social, emotional, intellectual, moral and personality development at all age levels, and the respective theories; the effects of heredity and environment on the developmental process. Prerequisite: Psy 105 or permission of instructor. (FA, SP)

Psy 303 Introduction to Counseling 3 credit hours

An introduction to the theories and practices of contemporary personal, marriage, academic, and vocational counseling. Emphasis is placed on facilitative responses, listening, and other helping skills. Includes taped counseling interviews, case studies, and role-playing. Prerequisites: Psy 102, 105, or equivalent; junior status. (FA)

Psy 350 Abnormal Psychology 3 credit hours

Abnormal psychopathology, including mental disorders, their treatment, models accounting for psychopathology, and community health programs.

Prerequisite: Psy 105. (FA)

*Psy 360 Psychology of Addictions 3 credit hours

An overview of the analysis of current thinking about the nature, scope, causes, identification, and consequences of various types of addictions- nicotine, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, gambling, etc. Treatment issues and the use of self-help groups are covered. Prerequisite: Psy 105 or permission of instructor. (SP, SU)

Psy 365 Personality Theory 3 credit hours

An examination of the most prominent personality theories in terms of their origins, their influence upon contemporary psychological thought, and their relevance to psychology as a human science. Prerequisites: Psy 105; junior status with at least 9 credit hours in psychology. (FA)

Psy 370 Topics in Psychology 3 credit hours

Various topics in psychology will be taught on a rotating basis, in response to student/faculty needs and interests. These topics include, but are not limited to: Health Psychology, Sports Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Psychopharmacology, Human Genetics, Cognitive Rehabilitation, Environmental Psychology, and Psychology of Religion. Prerequisite: Psy 105. (FA, SP)

Psy 380 Biopsychology 3 credit hours

An overview of the structure and function of the human nervous system as it is involved in human processes such as memory, emotions, learning, and psychopathology. Also covered are the effects of brain damage on behavior. Prerequisite: Psy 105 or permission of instructor. (SP)

Psy 399 Independent Study 1-4 credit hours

This course number is used to designate a course that is not part of the regular curriculum. It is generally offered based on student interests and needs. (Arr)

Psy 405 Research Methods 3 credit hours

An introduction to the scientific method and the various types of research. Students will develop research proposals. Prerequisites: Psy 105 or equivalent; Mth 250; junior status with at least 12 credit hours in psychology. (SP)

Psy 406 History and Systems of Psychology 3 credit hours

Begins with the origins of psychology in philosophy and covers the various schools of psychology, development of experimental psychology, influence of psychoanalysis upon psychology, and trends in humanistic psychology. Recommended: Psy 105, junior/senior status. (SP)

Psy 410 Psychological Testing 3 credit hours

An introduction to psychological testing including basic statistical considerations, ability and achievement tests, intelligence and personality tests. Prerequisites: Mth 250, Psy 105, 270. (as needed)

Psy 490 Senior Research Project 3 credit hours

Formerly Psy 420. This course is the culmination and the practical application of materials from statistics and research methods courses. Under supervision, the student begins and completes a research project – including a proposal, pilot study, and/or a full research project, data analysis, and a complete report in accordance with current APA style manual. (Strongly recommended for students planning graduate work.) Prerequisites: Psy 105, 270, 405, Mth 250 and permission of instructor. (SP)

Psy 495 Field Experience 3 credit hours

Formerly Psy 482. Supervised work experience with no classroom instruction. Prerequisites: Psy 105, 365, junior/senior status; Psy 303 recommended. (Arr)

Psy 499 Psychology Seminar 3 credit hours

Formerly Psy 452. Readings and discussions designed to help senior psychology majors synthesize their studies in the field. Prerequisite: Senior status; Psy 365 recommended. (SP)


*GER Approved Course

*SW 280 Introduction to Social Work 3 credit hours

Introduces the student to the social work profession and its value, skill, and knowledge bases. (FA, SP)

*SW 301 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I 3 credit hours

Presents a social systems framework with a focus on individual and family systems. Emphasizes integration of social and behavioral theories. Prerequisites: SW 280, *Psy 105, *Soc 204, *Bio 100. (*One of three may be taken as a co-requisite with advisor permission.). (FA)

*SW 302 Human Behavior in the Social Environment II 3 credit hours

A continuation of SW 301. Focus is on human behavior in the social environment with an emphasis on groups, organizations, and communities from a social systems perspective. Prerequisites: SW 301, admission to program. (SP)

SW 304 Social Work Practice I 3 credit hours

Introduction to knowledge, principles, values, and skills for generalist social work practice. Prerequisites: SW 301, admission to program. (SP)

SW 305 Field Practicum I/Seminar 3 credit hours

A generalist base for social work practice that involves on-site field agency practicum, and a weekly seminar that focuses on continuing skill building for generalist social work practice. Integrates classroom learning with learning taking place during the field practicum. Prerequisite: SW 304. (FA)

SW 306 Social Work Practice II 3 credit hours

Practice II continues the development of knowledge, values, and skills for generalist social work practice, with the focus at the group level. Prerequisite: SW 304, Senior status, Admission to field. (FA)

SW 308 Social Work Practice III 3 credit hours

This course continues the development of knowledge, values, and skills for generalist social work practice. The focus, however, is on generalist practice at organizational and community levels using a social systems approach. Prerequisite: SW 304. (FA)

SW 309 Social Work in Criminal Justice 3 credit hours

An investigation of criminal behavior, sanctions and rehabilitation of offenders. Implication for social work practice with the criminal justice system is discussed. (SP)

*SW 310 Social Issues in Diversity 3 credit hours

Formerly Soc 310 Minority Relations. An in-depth investigation of several groups with minority status and their patterns of interaction in the U.S.: Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, women as a minority group, religions minorities and the gay and lesbian population. Emphasis on social work knowledge, values and practice skills with members of diverse populations. (as needed)

SW 312 Death and Dying 3 credit hours

The study of death and dying in American society; changes in attitudes and norms, future trends; services to clients and families. Prerequisite: Sophomore status. (Alt FA)

SW 313 Social Work and Aging 3 credit hours

Social aspects of aging, including changing role definitions of the elderly and the special problems of growing old in today’s society; services to the elderly population. Economic and social justice issues and implication for social work practice are discussed. (Alt FA)

SW 325 Contemporary Issues in Social Work 3 credit hours

This course is a topics course elective within the Social Work Program. The course is structured into four distinct modules. Based on student input, the modules reflect the interest areas of the students and provide an overview of such projects. The modules will include healthcare/managed care, sexuality, mental health, and children’s issues. (SP)

SW 326 Women at Risk 3 credit hours

The design of this course is to evaluate the differences of experiences between women of different cultural, geographic, socio-economic class, religious and developmental histories. The ability to determine the inherent risk of women as a group as well as among themselves will be explored. Students will be expected to analyze the potential risk of women from a cultural, developmental and historical perspective in multiple areas of the human experience; individual, family and communities roles/perspectives, employment, health, socio-economic and political arenas. (FA)

SW 400 Child Abuse and Neglect 3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to child abuse and neglect from a social work perspective. Social workers in all professional work settings must know how to identify child maltreatment and domestic violence. Students will learn the family dynamics and indicators of maltreatment and effective interventions on the micro and macro level. Additionally, students will learn the extent of the problem, effects on children, treatment issues, the social worker’s role in a multidisciplinary team approach, and how to advocate for individuals and families. (FA)

SW 401 Social Welfare Policy 3 credit hours

Includes current issues and problems of social welfare policy and programs within a historical context. Prerequisites: SW 280, *Pls 201, *Eco 201 (*may be co-requisite with advisor permission.). (SP)

SW 403 Child Abuse Interventions 3 credit hours

Students will learn about various practice skills and treatment interventions related to social work with abused/neglected children and their families. Students will have several opportunities to develop their own skills through a variety of teaching methods. (SP)

SW 405 Research Methods 3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to the logic and the techniques of research in social science. The emphasis will be on measurement, sampling techniques, research design and data analysis. Prerequisites: Junior or senior status. (FA)

SW 406 Field Practicum II/Seminar 6 credit hours

On-site field agency practicum integrating generalist social work knowledge, values and skills. Classroom seminar provides an opportunity for all seminar practicum students to integrate learning with practice experience. Prerequisites: Must be senior status; SW 305. (SP)

SW 410 Research and Statistics 3 credit hours

In this course, the student will have the opportunity to conduct the research outlined in the proposal developed in Research Methods. Students will be introduced to and expected to demonstrate competence with the Statistical Program for the Social Sciences (SPSS). As a part of this continued process, the student will learn to collect the data, analyze the data collected, write up the findings and present the findings to interested constituents/stakeholders. Prerequisites: Junior or senior status; SW 405. (SP)


*GER Approved Course

*Soc 204 Principles of Sociology 3 credit hours

An introduction to the major concepts and principles relating to the study of society, social institutions and social interaction. (FA, SP)

Soc 306 Juvenile Delinquency 3 credit hours

An analysis of the nature, causes, extent, and prevention of juvenile delinquency. Prerequisite: Sophomore status. (FA)

*Soc 325 Medical Sociology 3 credit hours

The place of medicine and medical practice in modern society; attitudes toward health, illness and medical care; roles of patients and health personnel. Prerequisite: Sophomore status. (as needed)


*GER Approved Course

*WS 302 Contemporary Woman 3 credit hours

This course explores many of the issues and theories that are necessary to an understanding of women’s status roles and experiences today; it challenges students to envision alternatives to present systems of inequality. Prerequisite: Sophomore status. (SP)

WS 499 Seminar in Women’s Studies 3 credit hours

Formerly WS 400. This course provides the capstone experience for students declaring a minor in Women’s Studies. It encourages the integration of the interdisciplinary courses and challenges students to acquire a new understanding of women’s diverse experiences. Prerequisite: Completion of fifteen credit hours in courses approved for Women’s Studies. (SP)