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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: PSYC526 Course ID: 4044 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course guides graduate level learners in in-depth study of classic and contemporary theories and treatment of abnormal human functioning. Students will undertake extensive investigation of cultural factors related to the expression and effective assessment of pathology. Pre-requisite: PSYC 525 Physiological Psychology

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Students completing this course will:

  1. Investigate classic and contemporary theories of abnormal behavior.
  2. Assess a broad range of adult psychopathology.
  3. Articulate the process of clinical diagnosis and use of the current edition of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
  4. Examine culture and gender influences on vulnerability to psychological disorders and response to treatments.
  5. Evaluate current trends and related issues in the field of psychopathology intervention and treatment.
  6. Apply to case studies key concepts in treatment plan development and intervention for clients.
  7. Critically analyze peer-reviewed publications from the body of literature focused on a chosen area of psychopathology.
  8. Demonstrate APA style and writing skills commensurate with graduate level studies.

General Assignment Requirements
Students engaging in graduate studies are held to rigorous standards. Graduate students are expected to exhibit advanced level critical thinking, ability to synthesize multiple sources of information, high caliber writing skills and academic integrity in all course activities. All paper assignments must follow the citation and reference rules established by the American Psychological Association (APA). With the occasional exception of necessary brief quotes of specific statistical research findings or terminology used to describe research models or psychological constructs, in which case the author and publication still must be properly source credited and the quoted materials must be used very sparingly (one or two sentences per assignment) and placed inside quotation marks, all written work must be paraphrased (summarized in the student’s own words) with proper source citations.

When reporting on what one reads in any published source, including the course text, providing the source(s) used is required. Failure to do so in both the body of and in a References list attached to the end of the assignment submission and to properly quote very sparingly used verbatim content constitutes plagiarism. Any instance of plagiarism, regardless of intent, will result in an assignment score of zero with no option for revision and resubmission for the first incident and course failure for any additional incidents. The website is an excellent, easy to understand resource for APA style formatting and source citation.

Scholarly material must be used for completion of paper (non-forum) assignments. Unless instructed to do so for specific assignments, students may not use commercial websites as the basis for completion of course work. Encyclopedia websites, such as Wikipedia or Encarta, dictionaries, and other article summary sites, blogs or opinion slanted news media outlets may not be used for any writing assignment.


FORUMS: Due week 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6

This course includes forums requiring participation in interactive dialogs about courserelevant topics. Forums are graded discussion with both general posting and topic specific requirements.


Includes a cover page, a thesis statement, and an APA formatted listing of 8-12 articles to be used in the Case Study Analysis. Each article entry should have include a brief summary of the article and some critical analysis about its findings (to be written in your own words—copying or paraphrasing the article abstract is not permitted). Each article must be evidence-based - meaning each is a report of findings arising from experimental research conducted by the article author[s] and not opinion articles or publications summarizing multiple research studies - peer-reviewed, and retrieved from the APUS online library. You must attach your bibliography document as well as PDFs of the articles you are reviewing in the assignment tab.

EXAMS: Due Weeks 4 and 8

This course includes two open-book, non-proctored, untimed essay examinations, a midterm exam covering the first four weeks of the course and a final exam covering Weeks 5 through 8.

* Both exams and complete instructions are located in the classroom Assignments screen.


This course includes a Case Study Analysis, an assignment that involves reading and conceptualizing a clinically based case, using information from the course text and published scholarly literature. The Case Study Analysis is completed in three phases which include (1) selection of a case (from the supplied list) and submission of a relevant area of interest from the scholarly literature for instructor review and approval (due by end of Week 1); an annotated bibliography (due by end of Week 3); and the final case analysis (due by end of Week 7).

Required reading materials for your course are provided in a course eReserve. Please click here (, enter your course number in the ‘Search for course eReserves’ box, click Go, and then select the course when it appears below the search box. Information included in LibAnswers ( provides download and print options for offline reading of Library ebooks.

Book Title:APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology: Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders (Vol. 1) (Ebook available through the APUS Online Library)
Publication Info:American Psychological Association
Author:American Psychological Association

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.