Psychology is a science concerned with the study of behavior, brain organization and mental processes. It is a broad field that intersects with many disciplines, including the biological and social sciences.
Psychologists can be found in such settings as clinics, industry, hospitals, human service agencies, and schools. These professionals function as researchers, therapists, and counselors; consultants to a variety of business enterprises, including conservation, education and government; and behavioral scientists in the broad sense.
The Psychology Department at Muskingum University is committed to maintaining a strong academic curriculum shaped by the mission of our University and the standards of a quality undergraduate psychology program as articulated by the American Psychological Association. Within this framework, the curriculum of the Department of Psychology program has been developed to introduce our students to the study of brain, mind and behavior as a scientific, scholarly discipline with applications to a variety of settings in clinical, counseling, educational, industrial, business, legal, and social settings. The Department endorses the challenge of the APA of “synthesizing the natural and social science aspects of the discipline by requiring students to take courses in both knowledge areas.” The Department believes strongly in educating the “whole person” so in addition to fostering intellectual development, hands-on physical experiences like lab exercises, internships and practica, and social interactive experiences like seminars and group learning projects, are pervasive aspects of the psychology curriculum. The Department also provides courses and services (e.g., field experiences in the department lab school) to support the General Education requirements and other majors.
Program Learning Goals
The Department has selected as its program goals, those five articulated by the APA (2007) for undergraduate programs in Psychology as they relate to the science of Psychology.
The five goals are:
- Students should show familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
- Students should understand and apply basic research methods in psychology including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
- Students should respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
- Students should understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social and organizational issues.
- Students should be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinning of psychology as a discipline.
The Psychology Department
Muskingum’s psychology department has outstanding facilities for both human and animal research. These facilities include individual research rooms, the Center for Child Development, which serves both pre-school and school-age children, animal colony rooms, a surgery suite, various observation rooms with sound systems and one-way mirrors, a teaching laboratory with networked computer workstations, as well as seminar rooms and classrooms. The department has equipment for study and research in all the major areas of psychological inquiry.
In addition, the department offers students the opportunity to gain experience outside the classroom. Departmental affiliations enable students to design internships and practica in substance abuse centers, hospitals, laboratories, mental health clinics, programs for individuals with special needs, as well as the department’s child development programs and departmental laboratories. Psychology majors work closely with department faculty and are encouraged to become active in research as they prepare to enter professions that make use of their newly acquired skills or as they make plans to enter graduate programs in a variety of disciplines.