North Central College - Naperville, IL

Psychology Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

PSY 100 Psychology: Science of Behavior (3.00)
An examination of the basic concepts, processes, theories, and empirical findings concerning the behavior of organisms. Consideration is given to the following topics: physiological and developmental basis of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, states of consciousness, learning and memory, and motivation and emotion, as well as personality, intellectual functioning, psychopathology, and social influences on behavior. Core: Social Science.

PSY 120 Psychology of Personal Adjustment (2.00)
A survey of various theories of personality and development and their practical implications for effective coping with the demands of everyday life. Students are encouraged to differentiate empirically supported theories from the pop psychology that pervades modern media. Topics include stress and coping, identity development and self-assessment, interpersonal relationships, social influence, self-esteem, career development, and behavior change. This course does not count toward a major in psychology.

PSY 200 Evolutionary Psychology (3.00)
This course focuses on the evolution of behavioral and cognitive processes that relate to the adaptation of organisms to challenges of survival and successful reproduction. While the primary emphasis is on humans, consideration of such adaptations in non-human species provides a broader context for considering human evolutionary psychology. Topics for consideration include gender differences in sex and mating; parental investment and parent-offspring conflict; altruism and aggression; food preferences and habitat selection; and the potential integrative influence of evolutionary theory across the field of psychology.

PSY 205 Educational Psychology (3.00)
The application of various psychological concepts, theories, and experimental findings to an understanding of human behavior in an instructional setting. Group discussions of actual case studies on problems in teaching and education are conducted. The course is required by all states for prospective public school teachers.

PSY 210 Child Development (3.00)
Theory and research from the field of child development are studied in order to better understand the child's physical, language, cognitive, social, and emotional development from birth to adolescence. Core: Social Science.

PSY 220 Psychology of Adolescence (3.00)
This course focuses on the developmental tasks of adolescence, such as forming an identity and developing mature relations with peers, family, and possible mates. Theory and research in the area of adolescent psychology are examined. Core: Social Science.

PSY 230 Adulthood and Aging (3.00)
The focus of this course is on the developmental tasks of adulthood, beginning with the transition from adolescence to young adulthood and ending with the issues faced by the oldest members of our society. Discussion of theories and research related to identity, adult relationships, sexuality, careers and retirement, health and wellness, the biological processes underlying aging, and the pursuit of successful aging. Core: Social Science.

PSY 240 Social Psychology (3.00)
An examination of the theories and research regarding human social behavior. Discussed in this area are social perception, self-perception, attitudes, social influence, attraction, altruism, aggression, group effects, and environmental psychology. Core: Social Science.

PSY 250 Statistics (3.00)
A course stressing the methods, concepts, and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data. The course stresses descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing, and why as well as when to use various statistical methods. A working knowledge of basic algebraic techniques is necessary. Only one of PSY 250 and BUS/ECN 241 may be taken for credit. Core: Mathematics.

PSY 255 Research Design and Experimentation (3.75)
The activities involved in obtaining, accumulating, and organizing scientific knowledge through experimentation are stressed in this course. The concepts, logic, and methods which serve as a basis for designing and conducting scientific research are presented in lecture and laboratory periods, and are practiced in laboratory exercises and in individual projects.

PSY 270 Industrial Psychology (3.00)
This course explores the relationship between individuals and their jobs. Topics include psychological theory and research related to job-design, selection, training, assessment, and career development.

PSY 280 Drugs and Behavior (3.00)
An examination of drug effects on behavior, with emphasis on topics such as the neurophysiology of drug action, drug use versus drug abuse, physical versus psychological dependence, and the legal and social implications of drug use. A range of classes of psychoactive drugs is considered, including stimulants, depressants, alcohol, opiates, hallucinogens, and psychotherapeutic drugs.

PSY 282 Stress and Coping (3.00)
This course surveys theories and research about stress and coping. Specific topics include the physiology of stress, psychoneuroimmunology, effects of stress on mental health and behavior, coping styles, and stress management.

PSY 295 Research Practicum (0.50-3.00)
Students work in collaboration with faculty on ongoing research. Activities vary according to project needs and student background, but may include recruitment of participants, data collection, data coding and entry, literature review, statistical analysis, etc. This course is graded pass/no pass. Repeatable up to three times or three credit hours.

PSY 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Internships supplement classroom instruction by providing valuable professional experiences and allowing students to apply psychological theories and concepts to broader social issues and systems. Internships represent a valuable way to try out career options, gain important experiences (skills), and make yourself distinctive in applying for jobs or graduate programs. This internship experience is designed to assist you in exploring career options within a specific area of psychology and thinking about this experience in a structured manner. You are expected to complete the required hours and critically reflect on this experience though writing assignments.

PSY 310 Cultural Psychology (3.00)
The course considers what we mean by culture, and how taking culture into account affects our knowledge of basic psychology in areas like human development, the self-concept, gender expectations, as well as our understanding of mental illness. The courses focuses on both psychological and anthropological approaches to studying culture and the pros and cons of different approaches. Same as: SOA 310. ACR: Intercultural.

PSY 320 Personality (3.00)
The structure, development, expressions, and measurements of the normal personality. The course considers major personality theories, methods of psychotherapy and counseling, ideal models of human living, and the mature personality.

PSY 324 Abnormal Psychology (3.00)
The focus of this course is on understanding the causes, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of psychological disorders in adults (including such diverse problems as adult depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia). Issues such as diagnostic interviewing, stigma, and cultural relativity are also discussed.

PSY 325 Psychopathology of the Child (3.00)
The focus of this course is on understanding the causes, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of psychological disorders in children and adolescents (including such diverse problems as childhood depression, ADHD, eating disorders, and autism). Particular emphasis is placed on treatment modalities that are specific to problems in childhood, such as parent training, play therapy, and family therapy.

PSY 330 Community Psychology (3.00)
Community psychology presents a complementary perspective to traditional clinical psychology. Community psychologists focus on preventing mental disorders before they occur and more generally on promoting mental health. They often address these goals by studying, designing, and implementing programs and policies that build communities (schools, neighborhoods, the larger society, etc.) which are more conducive to good mental health. Topics discussed include prevention, program evaluation, creation of settings, psychological conceptions of the enviroment, social support, community organization and development, empowerment and social action, mutual help, participant research, social justice, social policy, and ethics of community intervention. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

PSY 340 Learning (3.75)
This course surveys theories of learning from an historical perspective. In addition, developments in methodology and applications of learning are discussed (e.g., behavior modification and programmed instruction). A weekly lab is included.

PSY 345 Cognitive Psychology (3.75)
An examination of how humans acquire, store, retrieve, and use knowledge. The course emphasizes an information processing approach to cognition and deals with such topics as perception, selective attention, memory, imagery, problem-solving, reasoning, artificial intelligence, and decision-making. A weekly laboratory is included.

PSY 350 Clinical Psychology (3.00)
This course provides an empirical overview of the various assessment techniques, treatment modalities, and ethical and controversial issues in the field of clinical psychology. Students gain exposure to practical skills used by clinicians in various therapeutic settings. Special consideration is given to helping students practice various counseling techniques, develop self-awareness, and apply theories of psychotherapy to their own lives via role plays and experiential exercises.

PSY 360 Psychological Assessment (3.00)
This course examines theory, construction, evaluation, and interpretation of psychological tests. Special emphasis will be placed on the ethical and appropriate use of tests and the intersection between testing and contemporary society. Special topics include testing in the areas of intelligence, personality, attitudes, interests, and abilities.

PSY 370 Biological Psychology (3.75)
An examination of the manner in which genetic, neural, biochemical, and endocrine factors contribute to behavior and mental processes. Special attention is given to biological contributions to behavioral development, sensory processes, sexual and aggressive behavior, motivation, sleep, emotion, and psychopathology. Laboratory activities include exposure to a variety of methods related to biopsychology, dissections of the ruminant brain and the eye, and activities related to sensory and motor processes.

PSY 380 History of Psychology (3.00)
An examination of the major factors providing the roots for psychology as well as the significant persons and theories which shaped its subsequent development as the scientific approach to the study of behavior and mental processes.

PSY 385 Health Psychology (3.00)
This course will study how biological, psychological, behavioral, and social factors influence health and illness. Specific topics will include psychological contributors to illness, behavior change, stress management/coping, disease prevention, weight control, coping with chronic illness, and the healthcare delivery system.

PSY 390 Seminar (1.00-3.00)
Seminar courses are offered on a variable time schedule and focus on a variety of topics of current or recurrent interest in psychology. The topics chosen depend upon faculty and student interest and are publicized in the course schedule for the terms during which the seminar is offered. Repeatable with different topics.

PSY 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Internships supplement classroom instruction by providing professional experiences and allowing students to apply psychological theories and concepts to broader social issues and systems. This internship experience is designed to assist you in exploring career options and to link this experience to important issues and trends in the psychology literature. You are expected to complete the required hours, critically reflect on this experience, and write a literature review/hypothesis paper directly related to this experience. Instructor consent required.

PSY 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PSY 490 Seminar (3.00)
An in-depth study of a specific topic or issue in psychology. Students are expected to read and discuss original sources and current literature in psychology.

PSY 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Internships supplement classroom instruction by providing professional experiences and allowing students to apply psychological theories and concepts to broader social issues and systems. This internship experience is designed to assist you in exploring career options and to link this experience to important issues and trends in the psychology literature. You are expected to complete the required hours, critically reflect on this experience, and write a literature review/hypothesis paper directly related to this experience. Instructor consent required.

PSY 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Prerequisite: PSY 255. Instructor consent required.