Sep 18, 2019  
Rensselaer Catalog 2019-2020 
    
Rensselaer Catalog 2019-2020

Psychological Science


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The ability to understand and predict how people act and think is more important than ever in addressing many of the greatest challenges faced as a society. At the same time, the study of behavior and mind is undergoing a rapid transformation. New technologies are continually being developed across the behavioral, data, and brain sciences. Advances in cloud and wearable computing, massive open datasets, noninvasive brain imaging, and virtual reality offer powerful new tools for understanding and predicting human thought and behavior. Psychological science is the rapidly evolving discipline that seeks to understand behavior and mind using rigorous scientific methods. Psychological scientists are trained to understand how behavior and thought are influenced by neurophysiological, emotional, cognitive, developmental, social, and environmental factors. With the benefit of emerging technologies, they are gleaning important new insights into how people learn, think, perceive, act, express emotions, make decisions, and interact with others, and applying these discoveries to improve the way people live and work.

Looking ahead, some of the most exciting opportunities in psychological science will be available to students proficient in the use of cutting-edge research methods, data analysis techniques, and technology. In 2017, Rensselaer launched a new undergraduate program in psychological science to provide students with exceptionally strong training in these areas. The program is designed for technologically oriented students with interests in the scientific study of behavior and mind and its many applications.

Due to the flexibility permitted in course selection, individual curricula may vary considerably within the framework of basic Institute degree requirements. Students are encouraged to supplement basic requirements in science and mathematics whenever feasible in order to take full advantage of Rensselaer’s education opportunities. A minimum of 124 credit hours is required to complete this curriculum.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in research through RPI’s Undergraduate Research Program. Students may earn course credit or funding for their research project.

Outcomes of the Undergraduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to demonstrate:

  • the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in focused areas of psychology.
  • an ability to apply basic research methods in psychology, including aspects of research design, data analysis, and data interpretation.
  • an ability to apply psychological principles to personal, interpersonal, and organizational issues of cognitive, emotional, and occupational areas of psychological interest. 

 

First Year


Fall


  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4

(See footnotes 3 and 4 below)

Spring


  • Science Core Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • PSYC 2/4000 Core Content Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)

Second Year


Fall


  • Science Core Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • PSYC 2/4000 Core Content Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4

Spring


  • PSYC 2/4000 Core Content Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • Psychology Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 2 below)
  • Science Core Elective Credit Hours: 4

Third Year


The Arch Summer Semester*


For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, The Arch Summer courses would be taken during the fall semester. For listing of the exception process go to: http://info.rpi.edu/arch/students/#ExceptionProcess

  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4
     

Fall OR Spring


  • PSYC 2/4000 Core Content Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • HASS Core Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4

Fourth Year


Fall


  • Psychology Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 2 below)
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4 
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4  

Spring


  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4 
  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4  

Choose one:

  • PSYC 4XXX Advanced Seminar in Psychology Credit Hours: 4
    Or
  • Undergraduate Research Project Credit Hours: 4
    Or
  • Honors Thesis Credit Hours: 4

Footnotes


  1. Students must take any four of the following courses:
    • COGS 4330 - Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
    • COGS 4360 - Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSYC 2730 Social Psychology
    • PSYC 4330 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
    • PSYC 4360 - Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PSYC 4370 Cognitive Psychology
    • PSYC 4410 Sensation and Perception
    • PSYC 4450 Learning
  2. Students must take 2 courses (8 credits) of PSYC electives at either the 2000 or 4000 level. These 8 credits will be applied toward the HASS Core.
  3. Students should take an Inquiry course during their first year. For a listing of HASS Inquiry courses go to: https://info.rpi.edu/hass-inquiry.
  4. Students should take a HASS communication-intensive course during their first three semesters. 

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