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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2007-2008


Chair: Dr. Larry Christensen (251) 460-6371
Graduate Coordinator: Labbe'
Professors: Brown, Christensen, Labbe', Langhinrichsen-Rohling
Associate Professors: Anderson, Sinnott, Turner, Welsh, Rohling
Assistant Professors: Foster, Gordon, Jackson, Kline, Shelley-Tremblay, Yates
Department of Psychology web site
The objective of psychology, as a science, is to understand, explain, and predict the behavior of organisms. The Department of Psychology has developed and organized its course offerings to meet three major goals:
1. To provide a strong foundation for those students who plan to enter a graduate school of psychology after completing their undergraduate degree requirements.
2. To assist those students who are planning careers in psychology or in related fields by providing a flexible curriculum that can be designed to meet the career goals of individual students.
3. To meet the needs of those students who are taking psychology courses as part of their liberal arts education.
All first-time freshmen with less than 15 semester hours are required to successfully complete CAS 100: New Student Seminar.
A minimum of 36 semester hours in psychology including 30 hours from the undergraduate core and six hours of electives.
Topic Area Course Number Required
Basic PSY 120 or PSY 121,
PSY 220, PSY 310, PSY 320, PSY 412
All five
Experimental/Learning PSY 416, PSY 420, PSY 428, PSY 475 Any Two
Personality/Social and Abnormal
PSY 340, PSY 435, PSY 440 Any Two
Developmental PSY 350, PSY 356 Any One
Ten courses (30 hours)    
The remaining six hours of electives needed for a major may be taken from any courses not taken previously (excluding PSY 250).
Students who are preparing for graduate study are encouraged to take all courses listed in the undergraduate core and any additional courses recommended by their faculty advisor. Student research is encouraged by the faculty and students may obtain course credit for individual student research projects in PSY 494. Students pursuing a degree in Psychology also must have a minor in another discipline.
General Education Requirements for Psychology majors are specified on the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that Area IV is partially satisfied by the major requirements specified above.


A minimum of 21 semester hours in Psychology, including PSY 120 or PSY 121, PSY 220 and 15 semester hours of electives (twelve of those must be in courses numbered 300 or above).
The Master of Science degree program in Psychology is designed to provide individuals with knowledge of current theories, principles, and methods of experimental and applied psychology in preparation for future work toward a doctoral degree, employment under supervision in an applied setting, employment in a research setting or employment in a junior college teaching position.
The student is given an opportunity to apply for a concentration in either of the following areas of study:
1. General/Experimental Psychology
2. Applied Psychology
An individualized course of study will be developed by the student and an advisor so as to fulfill the student's career objectives and, at the same time, meet all requirements for the M.S. degree in Psychology.
Students are admitted Fall Semester only. Applications to the Psychology Graduate Program should be completed by March 1 for admission the following Fall. Applications completed after March 1 will be considered only if there are still openings available. Please note that the Psychology Graduate Program is a competitive program with a limited capacity and admits students to begin in the Fall Semester only.
In addition to the Graduate School application form and required supporting documentation, the Department of Psychology requires submission of a Psychology Department application form, statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. Applicants will be asked to indicate whether they are applying for the general/experimental or the applied concentration. Applicants should contact the Department of Psychology for guidelines on submission of these materials.
The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria for admission (see Categories of Admission).
In addition to meeting graduate school requirements for regular admission (see Categories of Admission), applicants to the psychology graduate program must meet the following criteria:
1. Completion of at least 21 semester hours of psychology courses on the undergraduate level including at least one statistics course and one course in experimental methods/research design. In addition, the following courses are highly recommended: abnormal psychology, biological psychology, learning, personality, social psychology, developmental psychology, and history/systems of psychology.
2. Summed score of 1000 or better on the verbal and quantitative subtests of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
3. Submission of a score on the GRE Subject Test in Psychology is recommended, especially for applicants for graduate assistantships.
Applicants who do not meet all requirements for regular admission but who show evidence of promise as a graduate student may, in exceptional cases, be considered for provisional admission if space is available in the program. The graduate admissions committee will consider provisional admission on an individual basis. Students admitted provisionally may be required to make up deficiencies in their undergraduate course work without graduate credit in addition to completing the normal degree requirements listed below.
Provisional students may apply for regular standing after satisfactory completion of the first nine semester hours of recommended graduate course work in psychology. Students must also remove any undergraduate deficiencies before being approved for change of status. Students in provisional standing who receive a grade lower than "B" in any graduate or undergraduate psychology course will be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for academic dismissal.
Applicants for non-degree status in psychology are considered only in exceptional cases and will normally be admitted only if they meet regular admission standards. That is, they must have a 3.0 GPA overall and in psychology, a score of 1000 or better on the verbal plus quantitative subtests of the Graduate Record Examination, and must have completed the required undergraduate course work. Following admission, non-degree students must have permission of the department chair and director of graduate studies of the college for each course they wish to enroll in. Enrollment will be approved on a space-available basis with preference being given to degree students. Non-degree students must satisfy the same prerequisites and corequisites as degree students.
All graduate students will be evaluated each semester to determine if they are making satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements. Students will be given written reports, including specific deficits, if they are not making satisfactory progress. Such students will have one semester to remedy the specific deficits listed or will be subject to dismissal from the program.
Each year the Psychology Department recommends qualified applicants to the Dean of Graduate School for graduate assistantships. Applicants must be students in Regular Standing. The graduate admission committee strongly recommends that applicants for assistantships submit scores from the GRE Subject Test in Psychology as part of their application materials.
Application forms for graduate assistantships may be obtained by writing the Psychology Department, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688-0002 or by calling the secretary of the Psychology Department at (251) 460-6371. The deadline for receipt of completed assistantship applications is March 1.
The core courses in Part A are required of all students in the Master's Program in Psychology regardless of concentration. The core courses in Part B are required of all students in the Master's Program in Psychology regardless of concentration but may be waived if the student has sufficient undergraduate background in the subject matter. Any waivers must be approved by the Graduate Committee. In addition to these core courses, all students are required to complete either a major project in psychology (PSY 598, minimum of three hours required) or a thesis (PSY 599, minimum of six hours required). Further guidelines for completion of theses and major projects are available in the Department of Psychology.
Core Courses (Research Methodology) - Part A
PSY 500 2 hrs PSY 501 3 hrs
PSY 502 3 hrs PSY 506 3 hrs
PSY 552 3 hrs PSY 510 3 hrs
Core Courses - Part B
One of the following:      
PSY 514* 3 hrs PSY 516* 3 hrs
One of the following:      
PSY 520* 3 hrs PSY 522* 3 hrs

Total Hours Required 17 hours

Research Experience      
PSY 598 min of 3 hrs    
PSY 599 min of 6 hrs    
*Dual listed with 400-level courses.
Applied Concentration
In addition to the graduate core curriculum, students admitted to the applied concentration are required to complete all courses in Group A below for a total of at least 27 hours. In addition, students in the applied concentration must complete either a major project in psychology (minimum of three hours required) or a thesis (minimum of six hours required). Satisfactory completion of PSY 530 with a minimum grade of "B" is required before a student is allowed to enroll in any practicum course.
Group A - Required Applied Courses
PSY 530 3 hrs PSY 532 3 hrs
PSY 540 3 hrs PSY 542 3 hrs
PSY 544 3 hrs PSY 550 3 hrs
PSY 556 6 hrs PSY 554 3 hrs
Group B - Elective Courses
PSY 503 3 hrs PSY 524 3 hrs
PSY 556 1-4 hrs PSY 558 (elect) 3-6 hrs
PSY 570 3 hrs PSY 572 3 hrs
PSY 590 3 hrs    

Note: In addition to the specific courses listed above, other 500-level or dual-listed (400/500) psychology courses and graduate courses in other departments (e.g. CED) may be taken for elective credit with prior approval of the student's graduate advisor and the Graduate Committee.

General/Experimental Concentration
Students admitted to the general/experimental concentration will develop an individualized program of study in consultation with their graduate advisor. The program of study must be approved by the Psychology Graduate Committee and must include the graduate core curriculum and other courses (typically 12 to 15 hours) culminating in completion and oral defense of a thesis based on original research. A minimum of 36 hours of graduate courses are required.
College of Arts and Sciences

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