In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of psychology, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
- Articulate the major theoretical, historical, and conceptual ideas that underpin the psychology discipline.
- Describe the major theories in psychology and their influence on different content areas of psychology such as learning and cognition, individual differences, biological bases of behavior, and developmental changes in behavior.
- Use the methodologies of psychological research to design and implement research and analyze, interpret, and report data.
- Critically evaluate psychological research and apply that data to contemporary issues.
- Identify individual differences in behavior that may be related to ethnicity, gender, and culture.
- Evaluate how behavior is influenced by internal, environmental, and social factors.
American Public University is part of American Public University System, a regionally accredited university offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.
Students come to our university from across the globe with varying educational backgrounds and diverse educational and career goals. Choose the category below that best describes you:
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Human Life Span Development
This course is a survey of human development across the life span. Course content includes terminology, principles, and theories related to genetic and environmental influences on physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.
Introduction to Psychology
The course introduces students to the art and science of Psychology. Course emphasis is on applying the "science of human behavior" to a variety of settings: vocational, personal, academic, and clinical. Course content introduces the history of psychology, major theories of personality and learning, current research and developmental issues. The course has a holistic approach and integrates the biological basis of behavior, social factors, learning and the unique coping styles of the individual to understand human behavior.
Professional Careers and Education in Psychology
This course provides an overview of psychology as a profession and academic discipline. It focuses on the broad discipline of psychology and its subspecialty areas within the discipline, career opportunities available in the field and educational requirements for field entry, effective job and graduate program preparation strategies, and practical issues confronting psychologists and professionals in related occupations.
This course provides a broad overview of theories of personality. Course content includes psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives, and examines contributions of major theorists from each school, key theoretical points from each perspective, critiques of the value (and the limitations) of each theory.
Research Methods in Psychology
This course focuses on laboratory and field research methods applied in the study of human behavior. Course content emphasizes the development of sound methods of hypothesis testing, data interpretation and formal research report writing, the review of empirical, peer-reviewed literature, the critique and interpretation of applied research and the ethical responsibilities and codes of conduct related to psychological research
Learning and Cognition
This course examines basic learning processes within the context of classical, instrumental, and operant learning situations. Course content focuses on classical conditioning, instrumental learning, principles of reinforcement, punishment and avoidance conditioning, stimulus generalization and discrimination, retention and forgetting, nature and functioning of memory, and learning and performance of motor skills.
This course provides an introduction to the study of how humans organize and interpret stimulation arising from their environments. Course content includes a review of theory, methodology, and research findings. Illustrative case studies will be explored, particularly with regard to disorders of perception.
History and Systems of Psychology
This course examines the major antecedents of modern psychological theories and methodology. Course content focuses on the history of psychology as a field of scientific inquiry, including an overview of development of schools of thought, prominent figures, and key theories. (Prerequisite: PSYC101).
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Psychology(PSYC101)
This course surveys anatomical structures and functioning as the biological bases for human functioning and psychological states. Topics investigated include sensory processing, movement, emotional expression, sleep, learning, memory, language, reproduction and psychopathology
Pre Reqs: Human Life Span Development(CHFD342)
This course surveys syndromes of psychopathology, by reviewing etiology, symptomatology, and treatment. Psychological, neurobiological, and genetic approaches to understanding mental disorders are considered. Topics also include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, personality disorders, memory disorders, and childhood disorders.
Pre Reqs: Introduction to Psychology(PSYC101)
Statistics for Social Science
This course is designed to provide a basic survey of the application, empirical use and interpretation of a variety of statistics methods used in the social sciences. A key objective of the course is the instruction in best statistical practice through the use, exploration and analysis of empirical data. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and interpreting the meaning of statistics. The practical aspects of statistics are emphasized and students are instructed in the use of the standard statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) which is widely used in the social sciences and the in labor force. NOTE: Students must have access to required software: SPSS (Statistics Package for the Social Sciences); see Course Materials for current version requirement. APUS does not supply this software
Introduction to Child Development
This course addresses the research and theory of child development from conception through the end of childhood. Topics include the child’s emotional, perceptual, and intellectual development, with attention to the social, cultural, and biological context in which children develop. Practical applications of theory and research will be emphasized.
This course is an overview of the biological, psychological, cultural, and behavioral aspects of human sexuality and family life. The overall theme of the course focuses on attitudes and responsible sexual behavior. Key topics include how culture, society, and history have impacted our understanding of human sexuality.
Child and Adolescent Development
This course is a study of theories, research and practical interventions concerning the psychological development of the child from conception to puberty. Course content focuses on biological, intellectual, emotional and social development, and the dynamics of family, peer, school and other environmental influences.
This course is an examination of physical, cognitive, emotional and social development in the first 3 years of life. Course topics include developmental milestones, abnormal development and disease, parenting, family dynamics and appropriate care practices and environments from infancy through 36 months of age.
Introduction to Social Psychology
This course introduces students to historical and contemporary theories of social psychology, key theorists’ contributions to the field of and practical applications of theoretical concepts in the real world of the individual functioning in group settings. The focus of study includes social judgments and decisions, attitudes and perception, social influence, attraction, aggression, altruism and group pressure and their influences on human behavior, cognition and emotion, along with exposure to the methods of social scientists who study group influence on human behavior in the field.
Psychology of Addiction & Substance Abuse
This course focuses on the role of drugs in society, licit and illicit substances, the use and abuse of medical drugs, and the state of the field in terms of prevention and treatment for substance abuse and dependence.
This course is an in-depth study of the developmental processes from the transition to adulthood through old age. Course content examines the ways adults construct meaning, including intellectual, moral, and personality development. Gender and culture are highlighted, and particular emphasis is placed on understanding the influence of context on adult development.
Psychology of Terrorism
This course is an introduction to historic and contemporary terrorist groups and their motives and strategies. The psychological and social impact on individuals, communities and global societies of the achievement of terrorist goals as well as recruitment methods, the influence terrorist groups exert on their members and factors influencing the establishment and dissolution of terrorist groups will be examined.
Psychology of Disaster
This course focuses on the psychological and physiological human response to natural and man-made disasters. Using clinical research and case histories, students will examine normal and abnormal psychological reactions, the recovery process and principles of mental health care for victims of mass disasters. Differences between natural and man-made disasters are examined and factors that mitigate post-traumatic effects are reviewed. Psychological aspects of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) disasters are also considered.
Psychology of Combat
This course is a study of acute and chronic behavioral response to battle. Students will review, analyze, and evaluate the range of psychological responses to combat, from "normal" reactions to variations of "Combat Stress Reaction." Case studies from combat action will provide material for application and synthesis of the concepts presented in the course. Topics include the U.S. military approach to psychiatric management of combat, POW experiences, mental adaptation for future warfare, and stress associated with other forms of conflict, such as peacekeeping.
Students will examine human behavior in a sport and exercise setting. They will understand that enhancing individual performance is a primary objective of sport psychology. Students will learn how to create a psychological skills training program, which incorporates theories of anxiety reduction, imagery training, and self-efficacy. Current theoretical perspectives of personality factors in exercise and sport, why people exercise, what motivates an individual, exercise/sport adherence, stress, anxiety, and arousal, and the psychological effects of exercise and sport will be investigated. Students will learn the key features of effective goal-setting, and apply this understanding to their own professional development.
Foundations of Online Learning
This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to learning theory, the tools available in the online classroom and campus, and online research. Identification of personal learning style allows students to improve their study/learning techniques and prepares them to succeed in college level courses. Students will be introduced to formatting and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on written communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.
Senior Seminar in Psychology
This is a capstone course that explores both contemporary issues in psychology and events of particular historical importance to the discipline. Course content will include professional ethics, recent career trends, cross-cultural competency and other selected topics dictated by current events in field. Students will integrate knowledge acquired in previous courses into critical analyses of research, theories and principles that have influenced past and contemporary thought in psychological science. This is a capstone course to be taken after all other Psychology courses have been satisfactorily completed. Student must have SENIOR standing to register.
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.