2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Psychology - Bachelor of Arts (30 Credits)

(30 credits plus 13 credits of experiential learning)

The psychology major provides a rigorous, exciting and complex exploration of the science of behavior and mental processes. The scientific study of psychology covers many topics including individual development, cognition and memory, personality, abnormal behavior, and group, social and cultural processes as well as techniques for working with people. Students benefit from an understanding of the methodology of psychology via laboratory and other courses and also from experiential learning in internships. These internships provide students with knowledge and skills about how psychology is applied in therapeutic and research settings. Students in Lesley’s psychology major will be prepared for graduate study in psychology or for a career in the many diverse applied areas of the field.

To successfully meet the requirements of the Psychology major, students will:

  • demonstrate familiarity with major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings and historical trends in psychology.
  • understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis and interpretation.
  • respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  • understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues.
  • be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.

Academic & Professional Standards of the Psychology Major

The Division of Psychology & Applied Therapies understands the commitment to self-awareness and self-management that comes with development as a helping professional.  Students’ capacity to engage with empathic understanding of self and other is of great importance for successful completion of the internship courses and many other aspects of the program.  Due to the applied nature of our graduates’ work in the field, students’ understanding of areas for growth and their own commitment to work on both personal challenges and professional competencies is essential to moving forward in the major.  

Division pedagogy is substantially based on students’ attendance and participation with the course materials, in activities that require consistent collaboration with others, which itself is based in the ability to take other’s perspectives and present one’s own opinions respectfully. 

Below are listed other specific competencies and professional behaviors that students will be assessed on as they progress through their program of study.  Students will be given feedback when issues arise related to these competencies and allowed an opportunity to improve on suggested areas in order to assist them to successfully complete their chosen major.  Students failing to reach benchmarked academic standards and professional competencies over time will enter the Division’s academic review process.  For more specific descriptions of these competencies and the academic review process, please see Division Manual.

Professional standards competencies

A student’s ability to function effectively within the context of helping relationships will be continually assessed by the faculty. Among the competencies that will be evaluated, in accordance with a student’s experience, are:

  • Appropriate work comportment including: attendance; punctuality; sound judgment; quality of work; ability to take initiative; attitude, knowledge or application of agency policy;
  • Understanding of, and sensitivity to, the power dynamic in the worker/client relationship and the impact of class, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, race, religion/spirituality, and sexual orientation;
  • Awareness of how one’s own biases will affect one’s understanding of and regard for another;
  • Capacity to be a participant and observer in one’s helping relationships with others;
  • Recognition of and ability to deal with issues relating to how one’s own feelings may impact work with clients, agency personnel, and supervisors;
  • Ability to interview/converse with clients in order to assess their social and emotional needs;
  • Ability to use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills;
  • The ability to maintain appropriate and ethically required boundaries, which includes but is not limited to dual relationships, sexual conduct with clients or staff and sexual harassment;
  • The appropriate use of self-disclosures;
  • Awareness of the scope and limits of one’s expertise, including but not limited to identification as interns;
  • Understanding of an ability to adapt treatment plans to meet the needs of diverse clinical populations;
  • Understanding of and ability to discuss ethical issues as they arise.

Degree Requirements

I. Required Courses (21 Credits):

CPSYC 1101Introduction to Psychology


CPSYC 1401Lifespan Development


CPSYC 2403Theories of Personality


CPSYC 3405Understanding Psychological Diagnoses


CPSYC 3441Elements of Statistics in Psychology


CSOCS 3444Research Methods in the Social Sciences


CPSYC 4907Psychology Capstone


There is a minimum grade requirement of "C" in both CSOCS 3444 and CPSYC 4907 to complete the major.
Recommended General Education outcomes course, CMATH 1522 Introduction to Statistics, should be taken prior to CSOCS 3444 Research Methods in the Social Sciences.

II. Lab Courses (3 Credits):

Choose ONE.
CPSYC 2431Social Psychology


CPSYC 2433Cognitive Psychology


CPSYC 2435Psychology of Learning and Behavior Change


III. Additional CPSYC Courses (6 Credits):

Take TWO additional CPSYC courses.

IV. Required Internship Sequence Coursework (13 Credits):

CPSYC 1551Foundations and Systems in the Helping Professions


CPSYC 2551Concepts & Skills in Professional Practice


CPSYC 3901Psychology Internship and Seminar I


All of the above internship courses have a minimum grade requirement of "C" to complete the major.