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Undergraduate Psychology Major Learning Goals and Outcomes

Department of Psychology: Learning Goals and Outcomes

The UIS Psychology Department has established the following 16 undergraduate learning goals for psychology majors, based upon faculty review of the APA Task Force recommendations (see below) and current curriculum.

Upon successful completion of the program, psychology majors should be able to:

  • describe the nature and historical development of psychology as a social science
  • explain the behavioral, biological, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives within psychology
  • demonstrate knowledge in selected content and applied areas of psychology (e.g., biological bases of behavior, clinical and counseling, cognition and learning, developmental, educational, or social)
  • demonstrate an understanding of the APA Code of Ethics and describe relevant ethical issues within selected content areas
  • describe different research methods used by psychologists
  • recognize the proper application of descriptive and basic inferential statistical techniques for quantitative reasoning purposes
  • use computers to conduct information searches and data analyses
  • demonstrate informational competence by formulating a research topic, conducting a literature search, selecting valid and appropriate sources, and accurately summarizing selected literature
  • differentiate between ethical and unethical uses of information
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research reports
  • demonstrate critical thinking about psychological information
  • explain how psychological knowledge and techniques can be used to address personal and social issues
  • demonstrate tolerance for ambiguity and an appreciation for the psychological complexities of real-life problems
  • demonstrate effective writing and oral communication skills
  • recognize the importance of human diversity markers and explain their relevance to the science and practice of psychology
  • use knowledge of psychology and psychology-related careers to clarify and enhance personal career choices.

American Psychological Association: Learning Goals and Outcomes

This document provides details for 10 suggested goals and related learning outcomes for the undergraduate psychology major. These Undergraduate Psychology Learning Goals and Outcomes represent what the Task Force considers to be reasonable departmental expectations for the psychology major in United States’ institutions of higher education. The 10 goals are grouped into two major categories:

  • (I) Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with the Science and Application of Psychology. This category represents activities that provide hallmarks of psychology education. Responsibility for development in and assessment of these areas rests primarily with the psychology faculty in coursework or psychology advising, and
  • (II) Knowledge, Skills, and Values Consistent with Liberal Arts Education that are Further Developed in Psychology.

Please click here to download the entire document. (pdf)

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