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Home » Graduate Program » Graduate Course Descriptions

Graduate Course Descriptions

Required Research Courses

56:830:510. Introduction to Psychological Science (3 credits)

This first-semester course has two components:  a classroom component and a laboratory component in which students work with their faculty adviser.  The classroom component provides an overview of research practices in psychological science, with particular emphasis on reading, understanding, and reviewing the psychological literature, and a review of research methods and statistical analysis. Students will gain research experience via an apprenticeship with a faculty member and will write a critical review of the literature related to their likely thesis research.

56:830:580. Research Methods (3 credits)

This first-semester course and Statistics and Research Design, given the following semester, form a two-semester sequence.  Research Methods covers designing, conducting, and analyzing research, including issues of ethics, informed consent, control groups, measurement, and data collection.  Topics may include basic research designs and statistical analyses, including experimental, quasi-experimental, survey, and archival research, and associated statistical, computer, and graphical techniques, with the goal of preparing students to design and carry out methodologically sound research projects.

56:830:650. Statistics & Research Design (3 credits)

This second-semester course is a continuation of Research Methods, and builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in that course. The focus is on the multivariate design issues students will confront in applied research settings. The course covers between-and within-subjects designs and mixed models, regression and covariance analysis, and other univariate and multivariate techniques, relying on computerized data analysis and graphical representation.

Core Content Courses:

Three (3) of these courses must be taken for completion of the M.A. degree.  All content courses will survey research in the relevant field of study but provide more depth than is available in undergraduate level courses.  Further, all core content courses will examine the research methods typically employed in the field of study. These courses are taught on a regular basis.

56: 830:626.  Graduate Developmental Psychology (3 credits)

An examination of life span developmental psychology with reference to classic theories (e.g., Piaget) and recent theoretical and experimental advances. An exploration of typical human development, including infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with emphasis on childhood social, emotional, and cognitive development.   This course counts towards the required 3 content courses.

56:830: 631.  Graduate Personality Psychology (3 credits)

Examines contemporary research in personality psychology, focusing on historical and modern perspectives ranging from Freudian theory to the Five Factor Model of Personality.  Both genetic and environmental influences on personality development will be considered as will the role of gender and culture in the development of personality.  Applications of personality psychology in the study of mental and physical health will be discussed.    This course counts towards the required 3 content courses.

56:830:635. Graduate Social Psychology (3 credits)

This course will review theory and research in social psychology. Content will be drawn from classic work, both theoretical and empirical, and contemporary perspectives. This course counts towards the required 3 content courses.

56: 830: 648 Graduate Health Psychology (3 credits)

This course focuses on understanding psychological processes that influence health, contribute to our happiness, and provide a sense of meaning in our lives.  Topics to be discussed include:  stress and coping, personality and health, health behaviors, the context and providers of health care, factors that promote happiness, strategies to improve happiness, and ways individuals create meaning in their lives.  The changing health care environment and the need to understand the role of individuals’ lifestyles in determining their health and well-being is emphasized.

56: 830: 640.  Graduate Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)

Familiarizes students with the different diagnoses, etiologies, and treatments of major forms of psychopathology. Uses the DSM-IV-TR classification system. Emphasizes the role of current research findings in understanding psychiatric disorders, and appropriate treatment of disorders.  This course counts towards the required 3 content courses.

56: 830: 662 Graduate Cognitive Psychology (3 credits)

Examines current theories and research methods in cognitive psychology and may cover topics including  pattern recognition, attention, multiple aspects of memory, language comprehension, decision-making, thinking, and problem solving.  Emphasis will be on understanding some of these topics in depth rather providing a broad survey of all.  This course counts towards the required 3 content courses.

56: 830: 675 Graduate Physiological Psychology (3 credits)

This course will explore recent advances in physiological psychology in an in-depth manner.  Topics to be addressed include memory and learning, language, vision, emotion, eating, substance abuse, autism, schizophrenia and affective disorders.  This course counts towards the required 3 content courses.

 

Elective Courses:

The following courses are taught on an occasional basis:

56: 830: 677 Evolutionary Psychology (3 credits)

Why do people think, act and feel the way they do? These questions have occupied psychologists since the birth of the field. More recently, researchers in a number fields (including psychology, biology, genetics, neuroscience, psychiatry, and physiology) have examined whether or not the same evolutionary forces that selected for our anatomy and physiology also shaped our basic psychological traits. In this course, we will examine many facets of human behavior through an evolutionary lens, asking such questions as whether or not our basic emotional and intuitive responses to the environment and to other human beings can be explained as adaptations that maximized the reproductive potential of our ancestors over the course of evolutionary history. Some specific topics of discussion include: mutation, kin selection, inclusive fitness, altruism, parental investment, short-term and long-term mating strategies, mate guarding tactics, attractiveness, gender differences in sexual expression, sexual coercion, gender differences in empathizing, gender differences in systematizing, depression, post-partum depression, evolutionary purposes of art and other distinctly human pleasures.

56:830:620 Program Evaluation (3 credits)

A survey of methods of program evaluation, including targeted research, primary and secondary prevention, meliorative programs, the assessment of pilot programs, evaluation of training and educational programs, and the study of broad policy issues. Consideration is given to the assessment and reporting of results, including the use of objective/quantitative measure and qualitative assessment of goals that depend on descriptive performance criteria. The iterative process of evaluation, triangulation methods, and meta-analysis are emphasized.

56:830:625. Industrial Psychology (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the field of industrial/organizational psychology, covering fundamental theory and research in personnel and organizations. Topics may include psychology of industrial and human relations; job analysis and design; worker morale, motivation, and efficiency; groupwork; organizational conflict; workplace diversity; leadership and top management teams; training and development; organizational culture and change.

56:830:638. Survey Research Methods (3 credits)

This course teaches how to do several different types of survey research. It covers topics such as:  the purposes of survey research, modes of data collection, reliability and validity in measurement, questionnaire construction, interviewing and questionnaire administration, sampling, methods of minimizing and correcting for nonresponse, survey data coding and analysis, and the reporting of survey research results. Students are guided through the design of open-ended and closed-ended questions or a small scale survey research project.

56:830:660.  Human Factors  (3 credits)

This course focuses on the person as a factor in the design and operation of complex systems.  Emphasis will be placed on both the theoretical analysis of the “model human operator,” and on real-world applications of cognitive theories in such domains as the design of displays, the sequencing of complex tasks, the use of “virtual reality” aids, and the minimizing of human error.  Students will complete short projects to demonstrate relevant methodologies.

56:830:674, 675. Special Topics (3 credits, 3 credits)

Selected problems in psychology reflecting the specific research interests of individual faculty.

56:830:701. Research in Psychology (3 credits)

Students conduct original research in psychology under the supervision of a faculty member.

56:830:702. Teaching in Psychology (3 credits)

Students teach in psychology classes under the supervision of a faculty member and participate in a seminar on pedagogy in order to prepare them to serve as TAs in future semesters.”

56:830:800. Matriculation continued (0 credits)

According to Graduate School policies, all students in degree programs must maintain status in the school by registering each fall and spring semester. Continuous registration may be accomplished by enrolling in standard course offerings (typically at least 3 credits), including research courses, or by enrolling in this course of 0 credits.

56:830:830. Additional Content Courses

Some undergraduate courses may be cross-listed at the 600 level for graduate students, who are expected to perform additional academic work to satisfy graduate requirements.

Thesis Track Research Courses:

56:830:590. Independent Study:  Thesis Proposal (3 credits)

This Independent Study course is designed to assist students in developing their thesis proposal through an apprenticeship experience with a faculty member.  Students are expected to meet weekly with their adviser, who will provide expert guidance on the proposal. Admission to this class and the grade assigned for this class is determined by the faculty advisor in consultation with a committee including the graduate director (see Degree Requirements).

56:830:690. Independent Study:  Thesis Research (3 credits)

This independent study course is designed to assist students in completing their thesis research. Students are expected to meet weekly with their adviser, who will provide expert guidance on data collection, analysis, and write-up (in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the Rutgers-Camden Thesis Style Guide). Admission to this class and the grade assigned for this class is determined by the faculty advisor in consultation with a committee including the graduate director (see Degree Requirements).