Active Learning Opportunities


academics psychology
Psychology serves so many vital purposes and offers a broad range of diverse career opportunities. Quincy University's program will prepare you to achieve excellence in whatever path you choose.

Psychology faculty members each pursue a distinctive area of research or practice. All are committed to the individualized education that's reflected in Quincy's small class sizes. That commitment gives you an edge in choosing your career path, winning an internship, and taking the next step after graduation.

Our Psychology program offers a bachelor of arts degree and a minor. As a Psychology major, you can choose from two degree tracks: one designed for those planning for graduate education and another focused on preparation for careers requiring only the bachelor's degree. Both tracks emphasize strong core preparation in such areas as developmental psychology, social psychology, learning, and cognition. Both also challenge students to become critical thinkers, proficient communicators, and skillful team contributors.

Outside the Classroom
You can begin to investigate the possibilities opened by your Psychology education through Quincy's Psychology Club. This student organization sponsors speakers and social events, and members participate in community research. QU also sponsors a chapter of Psy Chi national communication honor society to recognize excellence in the field and to collaborate on projects of the Psychology Club.

Contact Us

For more information about the Psychology program, feel free to contact:

Dr. Wendy Beller
Chair of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences
217-228-5432 ext. 3030
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


PSY 100     Introduction to Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
Basic introduction to the major areas of psychology with an emphasis on learning, perception, motivation, emotion, personality, abnormal behavior, psychotherapy, thinking, child development, and the brain and behavior. Fulfills the general education requirement in social science. An entrance requirement for psychology majors. [S6 900]

PSY 227     Social Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
A discussion of the areas on the border between psychology and sociology related to social cognition, social influence, and social relations. Topics include areas such as attitude change, attribution theory, person perception, conformity, persuasion, prejudice, attraction, altruism, aggression and prejudice. Prerequisite: PSY 100.  (Same as SOC 227) [S8 900]

PSY 228     Applied Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
The course explores psychology’s contribution to a variety of areas of modern life. These include psychology’s involvement in the fields of health, exercise and sport, consumer behavior, conflict resolution and peace, religious experience, media influence, environmental behavior, and law. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 236     Child Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
This first course in the development sequence covers development from conception to adolescence. Both a theoretical and applied approach are emphasized. Special areas of coverage include: pre-natal development and teratogenic factors; birth and maturation; and physical, perceptual, intellectual, psychosocial, and moral development. This course is designed for both majors and nonmajors. [S6 903]

PSY 246  Adolescent Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
This course is the second in the development sequence following the content and themes provided in Child Psychology. Emphasis will be on the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, emotional, sexual, moral identity patterns of the early, middle, and later adolescent periods.  The approach to this course will be based on an integrative model, linking the individual aspects of growth and development with such contextual factors as family, peers, and school. Although the focus of this course will be on healthy, adaptive development, a section on adolescent psychopathology will be included.  

PSY 270-9  Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics of current interest depending upon demand and staff.

PSY 300 Sensation and Perception
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines how humans internally represent the external world through the synthetic process of sensory perception that involves the interaction of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms. The study of anatomy, physiology, perceptual limitations, and illusions will repeatedly demonstrate that our internal representations of the external world are not as accurate as most people assume. Topics include psychophysics, signal detection theory, vision, hearing, and other sensory systems. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 311     Personality Theory
Credit Hours: 3
This beginning course in the clinical sequence explains personality functioning from perspectives of Freudian psychoanalysis, biophysiology, humanism, and behaviorism. Emphasis is also placed on the formation and development of personality orientations and disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 312     Psychopathology
Credit Hours: 3
This second course in the clinical sequence lays the groundwork for an understanding of the psychopathological syndromes defined in DSM IV. Thorough and eclectic coverage of the causes and the personality dynamics associated with the syndromes is also presented. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 315    Fundamentals of Counseling
Credit Hours: 3
An introduction to the principles of counseling covering diagnosis, intervention strategies, and counseling skill development, with an emphasis on the interpersonal dimensions of the counseling interview. Professional ethics, case records, and report writing will also be covered. Prerequisite: PSY 311 or consent of instructor. (Same as HMS 315)

PSY 316     Research Methods & Statistics I
Credit Hours: 3
First course in a two-course research methods sequence. Focuses on descriptive statistics and
nonexperimental research techniques, correlation and linear regression. Research methods discussed include observational, correlational, and survey research. Students are required to perform data gathering exercises and write research reports. Prerequisite: MAT 124 or 125 or consent of instructor and PSY 100.

PSY 317     Research Methods & Statistics II
Credit Hours: 3
Continuation of Psychology Research Methods I. Focuses on experimental methodologies and inferential statistical analysis. Various simple and factorial experimental designs are discussed and statistical techniques for hypothesis testing are introduced. Nonparametric and parametric statistical techniques including analysis of variance and post hoc tests are covered. Prerequisite: PSY 316 with grade of “C” or better.

PSY 321    Cognition
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines major areas within the broad scope of cognitive psychology from theoretical and applied approaches. Students will learn how information from the environment is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used in order to respond appropriately to that information. Topics include attention, short and long term memory, categorization, imagery, and language. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 322     Appraisal of Individuals/Psychological Testing
Credit Hours: 3
Theory and principles of measurement and evaluation of psychological variables and individual differences. Course develops understanding of technical aspects of test construction, administration, and interpretation. Prerequisite: PSY 100. (Same as HMS 322)

PSY 324    Learning
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines major theories of learning and the behaviors they explain. To enhance student learning, students will be asked to apply the theories they learn to real-world learning situations Additionally, students will gain a deeper understanding of the underlying principles regulating learning by training virtual rats. Topics include classical and instrumental conditioning, schedules and types of reinforcement, observational and incidental learning, and shaping. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 328     Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
An introduction to the application of psychology to the world of work for all majors. Topics include quality of work life and productivity, career development, personnel selection, supervision, human factors (in human-machine systems), managing diversity, interpersonal competence, and stress management in the work place.

PSY 332     Physiological Psychology
Credit Hours: 3
A course concerned with the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurochemical bases of learning, memory, perception, motivation, psychopathology, and the contribution of genetic factors to behavior. Prerequisite: PSY 100.

PSY 340     Psychology of Women and Gender
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides male and female students with an introduction to the major topics in psychology as they specifically apply to women and gender. Topics covered include the nature, causes, and effects of male-female differences, and psychological issues which specifically relate to women and gender such as pregnancy, mothering, sexual harassment, and rape. Women’s role in our society will also be investigated.

PSY 342     Psychology of Human Sexuality
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides an introduction to the major issues in the psychology of human sexuality, including sexual anatomy and physiology, love, interpersonal communication, sexual behavior patterns, reproduction, and social issues associated with human sexuality. (Same as HMS 342)

PSY 350 Neuropsychology
Credit Hours: 3
This course focuses on the question: What is the relationship between the brain and behavior? To understand this question, the anatomy and physiology of the brain will be examined with particular emphasis on the division of labor among various brain regions. Various functions will be examined including language, learning and memory, sensation, motor control, disorders of the nervous system, and the neural basis of psychological disorders. Students will also be given the opportunity for hands-on learning with laboratory experiences using animal brains and computer simulations of nerve function. Prerequisite: PSY 100 and recommended BIO 111.

PSY 370-9 Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics and problems of current interest to the advanced student depending upon demand and staff.

PSY 380     Psychology and Law
Credit Hours: 3
This course examines a growing body of psychological research related to legal processes. Topics include areas such as accuracy of eyewitness memory, problems in jury selection and jury comprehension, lie detector accuracy, psychological expert testimony, the dynamics of jury trial, repressed memories, and the insanity defense.

PSY 430     History, Systems and Contemporary Issues
Credit Hours: 3
The historical development and current status of various theoretical systems (functionalism, behaviorism, humanistic, etc.) are reviewed. Attention is also given to the nonwestern approaches to Psychology. The course also examines theoretical and practical issues that are currently being debated in the continuing development of Psychology as a science. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the past, present, and future of the field that will prepare them for graduate study and a professional role in Psychology. Prerequisite: 12 semester hours in Psychology.

PSY 470-9  Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics of current interest to the advanced student depending upon demand and staff.

PSY 490    Professional Development Seminar
Credit Hours: 3
This course, designed to be taken during the Psychology major’s junior year, assists students in the conceptual integration of their program of study, the examination of contemporary issues in psychology, and the exploration of future professional options. The course also assists students in pursuing research interests related to their PSY 497 or 498 capstone experience. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

PSY 497     Seminar/Practicum
Credit Hours: 3
This course is designed to provide a 150 hour applied field experience for majors at a Human Services institution or agency. Each student experience is presented and discussed at a seminar. A major report is required. Senior standing only. Valuable for any major pursuing graduate work or an entry level position in psychology. Graded on an A/F scale.

PSY 498     Experimental Psychology Practicum
Credit Hours: 3
This course is designed to develop and to advance the student’s in-depth knowledge of experimental psychological research and to integrate these experiences with past coursework. The course will involve the design and implementation of an experiment based on comprehensive, previous knowledge. Valuable for anyone pursuing graduate work in psychology. Graded on A/F scale. Prerequisite: PSY 317.


Program Requirements


  • General requirements for the baccalaureate degree.
  • PSY 100 (fulfills general education requirement in Social Sciences).
  • 36 hours of coursework in Psychology, 200-400 level.
  • Required Psychology courses: PSY 236 or 246, PSY 311, 316, 317, 326, and 490; one course selected from PSY 300, 332 or 342; PSY 497 or 498.
  • A grade of "C" or higher is required in PSY 316.
  • Required support course: SOC 227.
  • A student can receive a grade lower than "C" in no more than one of the required Psychology courses listed in #4 and may earn only one grade of "D" in any Psychology course.

General and Special Programs:

All psychology courses are taught from a traditional point of view emphasizing historical trends and the fundamentals of the science. The psychology curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience for future graduate school admission, and psychology- related occupations.

The program provides the undergraduate preparation necessary to pursue further training in any of the thirty-plus specialties such as clinical, cognitive, comparative, consumer, counseling, developmental, environmental, evaluation and measurement, exercise and sport, health, industrial/organizational, physiological, rehabilitation, school, social, and occupational therapy.

For those students considering graduate study in Psychology, the following courses are highly recommended for preparation for the Graduate Record Examination, Advanced Test in Psychology: PSY 300, 311, 332, and 430.

Suggested courses for the tools requirement are COM 101, MIS 210, and MAT 125.

Requirements for a Minor:
For a minor in Psychology a student must complete 21 hours in Psychology, including PSY 100 and two courses selected from PSY 227, 236, 246, 300, 311, 316, 317, 326, 332, or 490. An additional 12 hours in Psychology are required.

Special Program:
Membership in the National Psychology Honor Society, Chi, is available to students who meet the criteria for membership.

Active Learning Opportunities

You'll put your classroom expertise to work in one of the required Psychology practicums—either in a research setting or a service-oriented environment. You may choose to explore the roles at a hospital, a social service agency, a school, or a criminal justice office. Previous placements include:
  • Transitions of Western Illinois
  • Cornerstone Foundation for Families
  • Recovery Resources
  • St. Louis Children's Hospital
  • Department of Child and Family Services
  • Geriatric Extended Care Facilities
  • Early Childhood Development Center

Many of our students have turned their practica into full-time jobs after graduation. Graduate schools have also been impressed by the skills our students have developed through this hands-on experience.

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