Skip Navigation

University Bulletin: Undergraduate Programs The George Washington University  



Professors L.A. Rothblat, R.A. Peterson, P. Wirtz, C.K. Sigelman, L.R. Offermann, P.J. Poppen (Chair), E. Hirshman (Research), M.C. Zea, P. Barratt, G. Howe

Associate Professors L. Brandt, C.A. Rohrbeck, S. Dopkins, S.D. Molock, J.M. Ganiban, D.P. Costanza, E. Davis, P.J. Moore, J.W. Philbeck, C. Gee, H.N. Le, A.N. Zucker, S. Lambert, M.H. Sohn

Assistant Professors C. Beil (Research), D.E. Schell, M. Stock, S. Shomstein, T.L. Dodge, L.A. Phillips, G.K. Wu

Adjunct Professor K. Ross-Kidder

Professorial Lecturer S. Forssell

Lecturers P.J. Woodruff, J. Vajda

Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology—The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Prerequisite course—Psyc 1001.

3. Required courses in related areas:

(a) Stat 1053 or equivalent. Students are encouraged to take a second statistics course to meet the general curriculum requirement in quantitative and/or logical reasoning.

(b) 6 credit hours from one of the following departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, or Sociology; an additional 3 credit hours from a different one of these departments or from American Studies, Geography, or Philosophy.

4. Required courses in the major—three survey courses (two chosen from Psyc 2011, 2012, 2013 and one from Psyc 2014, 2015); Psyc 2101 and 3106; one course designated as cognitive/biological and two courses designated as social/developmental/clinical (lists of designated courses are available at; and three additional courses numbered above Psyc 2101. If a grade lower than C– is received for Psyc 2101 or 3106, the course must be repeated; credit for the repetition will not count toward degree requirements. Only 3 credits of Psyc 4191 can be applied toward the major.

Special Honors—To qualify for graduation with Special Honors the student must fulfill the general requirements stated under University Regulations, submit an application to the Psychology Department before the beginning of the student’s senior year, take an honors seminar (Psyc 4197) and a graduate-level seminar, and complete an independent study project (Psyc 4191 or 4198) with distinction. The grade-point average in psychology required for graduation with Special Honors is 3.5.

Combined Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology/Master of Arts in the field of art therapy—Students interested in this dual degree program should consult the director of the Art Therapy Program early in the junior year.

Minor in psychology—18 credit hours are required, including Psyc 1001; three survey courses (two chosen from Psyc 2011, 2012, 2013 and one from Psyc 2014, 2015); and at least two additional psychology courses numbered higher than Psyc 2015 but excluding Psyc 4191 and 4198. Students considering graduate study in psychology are advised to take Psyc 3106, a distribution of courses from the categories listed under the major above, Psyc 4196, and an elementary course in statistics.

With permission, a limited number of graduate courses in the department may be taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree. See the Graduate Programs Bulletin for course listings.

Departmental prerequisite: Psyc 1001 is prerequisite to all psychology courses.

1001 General Psychology (3) Staff
  Fundamental principles underlying human behavior. (Fall and spring)
2011 Abnormal Psychology (3) Rohrbeck, Woodruff, Le, Schell, Molock
  Causes, diagnosis, treatment, and theories of various types of maladjustments and mental disorders. (Fall and spring)
2012 Social Psychology (3) Dodge, Stock
  Social foundations of behavior: cognition, motivation, role behavior, communication, small-group processes, and attitudes. (Fall and spring)
2013 Developmental Psychology (3) Ganiban, Gee, Sigelman
  Introduction to the study of human development; theory and research concerning changes in physical, cognitive, and social functioning and influences on the developing individual. (Fall and spring)
2014 Cognitive Psychology (3) Philbeck, Sohn
  Introduction to the study of cognition; review of data and theories on the topics of perception, attention, memory, language, reasoning, and decision making.
2015 Biological Psychology (3) Wu
  Introduction to the biological basis of behavior; review of data and empirical methods on the topics of neural structure and function, brain damage, neuro-anatomy, genes, hormones and their influence on behavior.
2101 Psychology Research Methods (3) Moore, Zucker, Phillips
  Survey of research designs (e.g., case studies, correlational designs, experiments), methods (e.g., questionnaires, observations), and measurement issues (e.g., reliability and validity). Prerequisite or corequisite: Stat 1053. (Fall and spring)
2144 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3) Offermann
  Psychological concepts and methods applied to problems of personnel management, employee motivation and productivity, supervisory leadership, and organizational development. (Fall and spring)
2160 Group Dynamics (3) Offermann
  Relationship of the individual to groups, collectivities, and larger social systems. Theory, research, and applications of group and organizational processes. (Fall and spring)
3106 Principles and Methods of Psychology (4) Dopkins, Philbeck
  Lecture (3 hours), laboratory (3 hours). An experimental approach to understanding behavior; individual and class experiments performed. Laboratory fee. (Fall and spring)
3108 Humanistic Psychology (3) Schell
  Critical examination of humanistic psychology. Emphasis on role of consciousness in human behavior. Philosophic foundations, existential, phenomenological, and transpersonal psychology. (Fall)
3110 Perception and Understanding in Children (3) Staff
  Concepts and research in the area of developmental psychology; emphasis on the growth and development of thinking, perceiving, and symbolic activity. (Spring)
3112 Psychology of Adolescence (3) Ross-Kidder, Gee
  Psychological characteristics and problems peculiar to adolescence, with emphasis on application of psychology to solution of such problems. Prerequisite: Psyc 2013. (Fall or spring)
3114 Adult Development and Aging (3) Sigelman
  Psychological aging and development during the adult years, with an emphasis on theories of adult development and research on changes in cognitive functioning and social adjustment in early, middle, and later adulthood. Prerequisite: Psyc 2013.
3115 Developmental Psychopathology (3) Ganiban
  The origins of child psychopathology, including developmental perspectives and the potential contributions of child-, family-, and community-based characteristics to the emergence of psychopathology. The development of specific childhood disorders.
3118 Neuropsychology (3) Rothblat
  Analysis of neural processes underlying behavior. Basic structure and functions of the nervous system, with emphasis on sensory processes, learning and memory, motivation, and emotion. (Fall and spring)
3121 Memory and Cognition (3) Philbeck, Sohn
  An examination of the psychological processes underlying human memory and cognition. Topics cover theoretical and experimental issues involving a range of cognitive function from attention and pattern recognition to learning and memory. (Fall and spring)
3122 Cognitive Neuroscience (3) Shomstein
  How the structure and functions of the brain are related to cognitive processes and their associated behaviors. The biological bases of behavior and mental activity. Research and case studies by cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and linguists, focusing on how the brain affects pattern recognition, attention, short-term and long-term memory processes, and language.
3124 Visual Perception (3) Philbeck
  An overview of human perception, ranging from the detection of simple stimuli to the identification of objects and events. Perceptions of color, motion, and spatial layout. Research methodology, biological foundations, and theoretical issues.
3125 Cross-Cultural Psychology (3) Molock
  Introduction to the theory, methods, and research of cross-cultural psychology, with emphasis on immigrants and ethnic minorities in the United States and on other cultures. Prerequisite: Psyc 2012 or 2013. (Spring)
3128 Health Psychology (3) Phillips
  Current research in the area of health psychology, with special attention to psychological factors related to health and illness, psychological intervention with medical patients, and psychological approaches to illness prevention and health promotion. (Fall and spring)
3129 Theories of Personality (3) Staff
  Survey of personality theories; emphasis on their application to problems of individuals. (Fall and spring)
3131 Psychological Tests (3) Ross-Kidder
  Survey of psychological tests and their more common uses in business, industry, government, law, medicine, and education. Material fee. (Fall and spring)
3132 Social and Personality Development (3) Ross-Kidder, Sigelman
  Examination of personal, emotional, and social development from infancy to adolescence and influences on that development.
3150 Psychology of Sex Differences (3) Poppen
  Relevant biological, psychological, and sociological influences on males and females in the development of sex differences; hormonal differences, gender identity, differential socialization of sons and daughters, masculinity/femininity, cultural evaluation of male and female roles. Survey of relevant psychological theory. Emphasis on empirical research and hypothesis testing. (Spring)
3151 Theory and Practice of Women’s Leadership (3) Offermann
  Same as WLP 2151.
3152 Women and Psychology (3) Zucker
  The psychology of women from a variety of perspectives (e.g., biological, cultural, social constructivist). Ways in which mainstream psychology is gendered; various feminist approaches to studying issues of gender in psychology. Same as WStu 3152. (Fall)
3153 Social Psychology of Learning and Motivation (3) Staff
  Classic and contemporary theories describing the effect of social influence on motivation and learning, with application to achievement settings.
3154 Psychology of Crime and Violence (3) Staff
  Examination of many psychological aspects of criminal behavior; personality of criminals and of psychological processes affecting behavior. (Fall and spring)
3156 Psychology of Attitudes and Public Opinion (3) Poppen
  Psychology of opinion formation, measurement of opinion, social determinants of attitudes, psychological processes in propaganda, bases of receptivity to propaganda, psychological warfare.
3170 Clinical Psychology (3) Rohrbeck, Gee
  An exploration of the history, functions, and concerns of the clinical psychologist. Assessment, treatment, community approaches, ethics. Prerequisite: Psyc 2011.
3172 Psychopathology and the Media (3) Le
  How abnormal behaviors and mental disorders are portrayed in film and the media, including analysis of the accuracy of these portrayals, focusing on symptomatology, etiology, and treatment of adult psychopathology.
3173 Community Psychology (3) Lambert
  The origins and current practice of community psychology, and comparison of community psychological approaches with traditional clinical perspectives. The role of psychology in addressing social issues facing communities; methods for research and intervention targeting communities.
3188 Attitudes Toward Death and Dying (3) Woodruff
  Exploration of the many different aspects, attitudes, and experiences associated with the process of death and dying. (Fall and spring)
3945 The Psychological Study of Spirituality (3) Schell
  The complex interrelationship between psychology and spirituality: health and wellness; development of a spiritual life; psychological factors involved in spirituality; therapy and multicultural issues. Same as Rel 3945. (Spring)
4191 Independent Research (1 to 3) Staff
  Open to qualified students by permission; arrangements must be made with the sponsoring faculty member prior to registration. A list of participating faculty members and their research specialties is available from the Department. May be repeated three times for credit. Prerequisite: Psyc 2101.
4192 Field Experience (3) Staff
  Senior psychology majors spend a minimum of six hours a week in a local mental health, rehabilitation, school, or community setting. Students must have weekly blocks of time available. (Fall and spring)
4193 Seminar in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3) Offermann
  Selected specialized topics in the field of psychology and work behavior, such as human ability and personality, decisions and risk behavior, organizational change, and leadership. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Psyc 2144 or permission of instructor.
4196 History and Systems of Psychology (3) Staff
  A survey and integration of the major viewpoints and concepts of psychology. Recommended for students planning graduate study. (Fall and spring)
4197 Honors Seminar (3) Staff
  Selected topics in psychology that change each semester. Intended primarily for students in the Special Honors program in psychology. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Psyc 2101. (Fall and spring)
4198 Current Research Issues (3) Staff
  Conducted as a seminar. Recent experiments in psychology, including those performed by members of the class; emphasis on student participation. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: Psyc 2101.
4199 Current Topics in Psychology (3) Staff
  Topics vary. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.

The George Washington University

© 2013 University Bulletin
The George Washington University All rights reserved.

Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.