B.A. Psychology

Online Psychology Degree

The School of Arts & Sciences' online psychology degree introduces you to the broad spectrum of theories used in understanding human behavior. The program provides a well-rounded education in the discipline, with the opportunity to tailor the curriculum to meet your individual needs.

Graduates are prepared for advanced study in psychology and related disciplines, as well as employment in professional entry-level positions in human service settings and mental health facilities. A psychology major is also an excellent way to prepare for a career in law, business, human resources management, advertising and sales.

Psychology courses explore:

  • Research methods
  • The psychology of learning
  • Individual differences and social processes
  • Biological bases of behaviors
  • Developmental psychology
  • Diversity
  • Forensic psychology
  • Military psychology
  • Industrial and organizational psychology
  • Interviewing and counseling

Psychology majors are encouraged to become involved in research and complete a field practicum or internship.

In addition to the theories and practices necessary to understand human behaviors, the online psychology degree program emphasizes leadership skills within Saint Leo University's core values and traditions.


Degree Requirements

Foundation Courses (12 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • ENG 121 Academic Writing I 3

    The techniques of effective writing, logical thinking and intelligent reading, with special emphasis on expository writing.

    Prerequisites: Passing grade in ENG 002 or satisfactory score on the English Placement Test

  • ENG 122 Academic Writing II 3

    A continuation of ENG 121. Expository writing based on analytical study of literary genres.

    Prerequisites: ENG 121

  • MAT 131 College Mathematics 3

    Topics include number theory, numeration systems, geometry, counting methods, probability, and statistics.

    Prerequisites: Complete MAT-131 or higher. Business majors must complete MAT-141

  • COM 140 Basic Computer Skills 3

    Required for all business majors. Students will use commercial software packages in the microcomputer laboratory to gain an advanced understanding of business functions of computers and to develop personal competency in practical applications of microcomputers for business. Provides business students with the specific knowledge and capabilities in various computer skills necessary to be effective in both business classes and the business world. Course fee may apply.

The Human Adventure (6 credits)

  • ECO 110HA Economics for Life 3

    With a focus on the fundamental economic problem of scarcity, this course will prepare students to be effective decision makers. The course focuses on the economic way of thinking that enables individuals to decide how to best allocate their time, to decide whether to spend their money or save it, and to understand the primary statistics used to measure the well-being of an economy. As a result of this course, students will acquire the critical thinking skills that are not only essential to making everyday choices but in making major life decisions such as choosing a career or choosing a life partner.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 2 - 2014.

    Prerequisites: Second semester freshman standing.

  • POL 110HA Revolution Now! Democracy in Troubled Times 3

    This course investigates the rise and spread of democracy. Democracy as a form of government and social movement will be traced from its ancient origins in Greece and Rome to the American and French Revolutions of the 18th Century, through its evolution and diffusion during the 19th and 20th Centuries to its position of global dominance at the beginning of the 21st Century. Democratic values, norms and behaviors will be examined through the use of historic video footage and core texts. Attention will be paid to governmental systems in the U.S., Western Europe, the BRIC countries, and our neighbors Canada and Mexico, as well as to the emerging democracies in the Middle East and Asia. Acquiring basic academic skills will be emphasized, as students are awakened to the significance of world historical events and the excitement of following current affairs.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 1 - 2014.

  • PSY 110HA Psychological Well Being: How to be Sane in an Insane World 3

    This course uses psychological approaches to physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. The scientific method will be used as a lens to view adjustment issues. Topics include personality and self-development, positive psychology, sex and gender, and relationships. Emphasis is on application via personal assessment and stress management techniques.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • SOC 110HA The McDonaldization of Society 3

    What can a fast-food chain teach us about society? Following George Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization, this course examines the pros and cons of living in a rationalized world where standardization, predictability, and control prevail. As students learn the sociological concepts of bureaucracy, consumer society, social structures, social change, and social interaction, they will develop their sociological imagination to reclaim a place for creativity, meaning, individuality, and free will in the late modern world.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

The Human Mosaic (3 credits)

  • ART 110HM Curves Ahead: Women Artists and the Female Form 3

    Through a women’s studies lens, we will examine women as patrons, critics, and viewers of art. Visual language and art terminology will be used to examine a variety of artworks made by women from an assortment of historic, social, political, and personal contexts. The course will examine how images of women by women have functioned in the ongoing construction of identity. This course seeks to illuminate women’s contributions to the visual cultures of their societies and to recognize the relevance of these contributions to today’s global community.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • HTY 110HM Native American History & Life: More Than Tipis & Tomahawks 3

    What do you know about Native Americans? When you think of Native Americans do you visualize scantily clad warriors with bows and arrows, or women sitting by tee pees wearing feathers and beads? Do all Native Americans live on reservations? Do all reservations have casinos? Focusing on the lives of Native peoples prior to European contact, their interactions with Europeans and Africans, their removal to reservations, and their contemporary experiences, this course addresses the many myths and misconceptions associated with Native American history and culture within the United States.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: HTY-110HM also offered as SSC-110HM

  • HUM 110HM Television and the American Family: Your Shows, My Shows 3

    This course explores six decades and three eras of American television as it pertains to the depiction of the American family. Beginning with the early years, which saw the family as a haven, students will learn how television influenced families and how families as a whole influenced television. The course then moves on to the conflict years of television families and then to the postmodern period, in which the concept of family has become fragmented and subject to debate and redefinition.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 1 - 2014.

  • SOC 110HM Building a Multiracial Society 3

    Are multiracial societies necessarily colorblind, and should they be? This course explores how colorblindness in multiracial societies can be analyzed through sociological theories and research methods. Students will read multiracial perspectives; analyze race and colorblindness in their everyday lives; and prepare themselves for entering a multiracial/global world, using their critical thinking skills to separate myth/ideal from data/evidence.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • IDS 210HM Once Upon a Time: Readings in Folklore and Culture 3

    This course enables students to explore cultures around the world through the lens of folklore. These stories have helped shape their originating cultures by preserving political ideologies, standards, ethics and belief systems. Students will read a variety of folklore (folktales, fairy tales, legends, myths, etc.) as a means to analyze the cultures from which they originated.

    *This course will be available starting Spring 1 - 2014.

    Prerequisites: ENG 121 - Academic Writing I

Science in a Changing World (6 credits)

  • SCI 110SC Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming 3

    This course presents the science behind the mechanisms that effect global climate change to enable critical analysis of the potential severity of rapid climate change on the atmosphere, the oceans and the biosphere. It includes an overview of chemistry, physics, ecology, the carbon cycle, solar system science, and how these tools will allow critical analysis of climate model forecasts and the effects of greenhouse gasses.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: MAT-003 or placement in MAT-128 or higher

  • SCI 115SC Is Evolution True? Your Inner Fish 3

    Are we humans just “souped-up” fish?! How did the human animal come to be what it is? What evidence of our evolution lies within our own bodies? How are we like fish? Worms? Even bacteria? Through paleontology (fossils), genetics, molecular biology, comparative embryology and comparative anatomy – we will reconstruct the history and examine the evidence for the building of human bodies through evolutionary adaptations. Is Evolution true? We will explore the evidence ranging from biogeography to geology, from molecular biology to physiology, so you can decide.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • SCI 210SC Energy and Its Impact on Global Society 3

    As an introduction to the physical principles behind energy use and its effects on our environment, this course examines different energy resources worldwide; explores the scientific principles of energy generation and investigates the environmental and economic consequences of its use.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: MAT-003 or placement in MAT-128 or higher

  • SCI 215SC Science in Science Fiction 3

    This course investigates the science behind popular science fiction literature and film. Students will sharpen their critical thinking skills to investigate science fiction plot devices to determine if they are compatible with fundamental principles in physics, chemistry, and biology. Is it possible to travel faster-than-light? Will suspended animation prolong our time in this universe? Science topics discussed include: motion, acceleration, time dilation, energy, characteristics of living things, cloning, evolution, Earth’s cycles, and climate. Students will also discuss the ethics of these new technologies in consideration of the university’s guiding core values.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2014.

    Prerequisites: MAT-003 or placement in MAT-128 or higher and ENG-121

The Creative Life (6 credits)

  • FAS 110CL Living the Theatre: Dramatic Skills for all Disciplines 3

    If “all the world is a stage,” then everyone can benefit from the skills learned in the theatre. Theatre is a collaborative art form that calls on people with a wide range of skills and abilities to work together to create something special. Through active participation, students will learn the basic principles of performance, design, and operations alongside readings from selected works of noted playwrights and theatre practitioners. By working and studying in such an environment, students learn the applicability of theatre practitioners’ skills to life in the theatre and beyond.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • HUM 110CL Giants of the Arts 3

    Giants of the Arts will define those artists who, through the test of time, have been recognized as true masters; whose works advanced their art form(s), who become a significant influence within their field(s), and who continue to influence contemporary artists today. Students will examine how these artists used the components of their art form(s), why these artists are considered “great,” what their greatest contributions are to our society, and how these artists affect our artists today. Students will also consider the qualities of “masterful” creative endeavors and contemplate how the artists’ gifts to our world improve and deepen our lives.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • MUS 110CL Spirituals to Rock and Roll: The Story of How American Popular Music Conquered the World 3

    In this course students will explore the development of American popular music beginning with its roots in African American slave music, continuing through minstrelsy, vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, American Musical Theatre, Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Alternative, and Hip Hop. Students will practice critical listening skills as they are exposed to many genres of popular music, and will explore the social, economic, and philosophical paradigms that gave rise to each genre in the American experience of music.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature 3

    A study of representations of love and desire in literature and their various manifestations in different time periods and cultures. Students will learn and apply basic tools of literary analysis while considering larger questions about the nature of love and desire.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

  • ENG 215CL Monsters and the Monstrous in Literature 3

    Through reading about the monster and/or the monstrous in literature, students will question what it means to be human and understand how cultures create fictional monsters as ways to define what it means to be civilized.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

  • ENG 220CL On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative 3

    Trailblazers, pathfinders, adventurers, and even reluctant anti-heroes: When questers of any sort—whether willingly or unwillingly—take the road less traveled, why are we compulsively drawn to their tales? In this course, prepare to voyage alongside the brainchildren of global storytellers from diverse eras on literal, metaphorical, and psychological journeys. By engaging narratives in differing genres, including some in translation, and using a variety of learning strategies, such as close reading, students will both explore and consider the ubiquitous themes of overcoming adversity and transformation in characters who undertake roundtrip journeys from their familiar, ordinary worlds to unfamiliar, extraordinary destinations.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

  • ENG 225CL Writing Wild: Exploring the Four Genres 3

    Students in this course will explore the four main genres of creative writing—poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama. Using their senses and memories as the primary media, students will learn first to discover and then to map their own creative aesthetics from the wild landscapes of their subconscious and conscious, using imagistic writing.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

    Prerequisites: ENG 122 - Academic Writing II

The Reflective and Spiritual Life: Philosophy (3 credits)

  • PHI 110RS Encountering the Real: Faith and Philosophical Enquiry 3

    This course examines definitions, assumptions, and arguments central to religious existence via the lens of several key classical and contemporary philosophers. Students will develop and refine their ability to think impartially and objectively about personal religious commitments, understand alternative religious points of view, and formulate and defend informed arguments and objections with respect to the subject matter. Topics include faith and reason, arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, and responses to religious diversity.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • PHI 210RS Thinking and Doing Ethics 3

    The purpose of this course is to draw on a rich set of proposals concerning right action and good character that have been developed over two millennia and across various cultures in order to stimulate deliberation and mindful action. The course will emphasize comprehension of the right and the good through active deliberation about cases. It will also provide participants with the option to reflect on the right and the good in their personal experience with past or concurrent service or service learning activities.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

The Reflective and Spiritual Life: Religion (6 credits)

  • REL 110RS The Emergence of Christianity: Examination of Foundational Christian Texts 3

    The New Testament record of the development of Christianity from a sect within Judaism to becoming a world religion. This course will examine the foundational texts of Christian Scripture with attention to historical context, the intentions of the authors and the way the texts were edited.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • REL 123 Christian Spiritual Vision 3

    This course involves an introduction to the field of theology as an academic discipline with a body of writing, methods, and interpretations. It is concerned with how to successfully study theology, including basic library research methodology and critical thinking. Students will build a basic understanding of the whole of theology through an introduction of its parts: Old Testament and New Testament literature, Who is Jesus?, What is the Church?, Grace and the Sacraments, Christian Morality, Social Justice, Judaism and the Church, the Islamic religion and the Church, and Catholic theology in a global context.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

  • REL 210RS Many are Called, but Who is Chosen? Christian Understandings of Salvation 3

    Where do people go when they die? Who goes where? Must Christians believe in Hell? This course will enable students to evaluate the Judeo-Christian tradition concerning the question of salvation from the Old Testament to contemporary theologians. Readings will focus on Scripture and select Christian theologians.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 1 - 2013.

  • REL 223 World Religions: East and West 3

    Roman Catholicism’s Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) affirmed the innate dignity of all persons, espoused global solidarity, and recognized God’s presence and universal saving designs (a religious sense, truth, holiness and ethical conduct) in other religions and, thus, emphasized discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Through such an ecumenical lens, this course offers a study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and provides an introduction to Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism and Bahai. The course will not only introduce students to the world’s major religions via consideration of their respective founders, seminal figures, sacred texts, central teachings, core beliefs, ethic and values system and history but, also, by examining how each of the religions, respectively, view the human condition; human inclination towards transcendence; and ethical responsibilities/tasks. Offered annually.

    *This course will be available starting Fall 2 - 2013.

Psychology Core (39 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • PSY intro *: (3 Credits)3
    • PSY 121 Introduction to Psychology

      A survey of the major areas in psychology. Principal topics covered are: physiological bases of behavior, personality, mental disorders and treatment, social influences and other basic issues. The course introduces students to the broad spectrum of theories used in understanding human behavior.

      Prerequisites: SSC 101

    • PSY 161 Fundamentals of Psychology **

      This introductory course in psychology is designed for students who are majoring in psychology and represents a survey of the core areas in psychology including the physiological bases of behavior, cognition and learning, motivation and emotion, personality and social influences, and mental disorders and their treatment among other major areas of the field. Students are exposed to the broad spectrum of theories used in understanding human behavior and mental processes and learn foundational knowledge necessary for students to excel in the psychology major.

      Prerequisites: Declared major in psychology.

  • PSY 201 The Psychology Major: Academic and Professional Issues 3

    This course is a required three-credit course that was designed to be completed during the freshman or sophomore year. The course addresses the practical skills and knowledge needed by majors to successfully complete their psychology degree. Course content includes such topics as the scientific inquiry process in psychology, introduction to internet and literature searches, American Psychological Association writing format, introduction to software used by psychologists, preparing the resume, and conducting a successful job search or application process to graduate school.

    Prerequisites: PSY 121

  • PSY 205 Research Methods I 3

    The first of two courses in understanding research methods in psychology and the statistical techniques that are used to analyze psychological data. The course will focus on ethical research practice, reviewing the psychological literature, basic non-experimental research designs (observation, relational research), and descriptive and correlational statistical analyses. Students will gain experience in reading, researching, proposing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting scientific research.

    Prerequisites: Prerequisite:PSY 121, MAT 128 or MAT 131 completed or taken concurrently

  • PSY 305 Research Methods II 3

    A continued examination of research methods in psychology, with emphasis on experimental design and inferential statistical analysis. Students will enhance their experience in researching, reading, proposing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting scientific research.

    Prerequisites: PSY 205

  • PSY 496 Comprehensive Psychology Examination 0

    Final comprehensive written examination for students majoring in psychology. Examination is administered in the PSY 499: Senior Seminar in Psychology course. Test fee. Offered annually.

    Prerequisites: PSY 499

  • PSY 499 Senior Seminar in Psychology 3

    Designed as the capstone course in psychology, this course is a review of the evolution of the history and major systems of psychology including behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, psychoanalysis, and the humanistic and cognitive movements. The course develops in students a basic understanding of the development of psychology as an independent discipline. It helps students to develop an historical context that will help them to better understand the diverse people, ideas, and schools of thought that have shaped psychology through the ages.

    Prerequisites: Senior standing in Psychology with a minimum of six Psychology courses including PSY 305. Corequisite: PSY 496.

  • Learning Domain (take one course) : (3 Credits)3
    • PSY 412 Cognitive Psychology

      An examination of higher-level thought processes including such topics as attention and perception, memory, language, reasoning, concept formation, and problem solving. Theories of cognitive functions are examined with an emphasis on research findings and methodologies.

      Prerequisites: PSY 305 completed or taken concurrently

    • PSY 422 Psychology of Learning

      The structure and function of the central nervous system as related to emotion, motivation, learning, and theory of brain functions. Offered in alternate years.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

  • Individual Differences and Social Processes Domain (take one course) : (3 Credits)3
    • PSY 328 Social Psychology

      A study of the perceptions, attitudes, personality, motivations, relationships, and behavior of the individual as a function of social situations. THe course emphasizes theory, research, and application. It is a course that is highly desirable for students in Social Work, Education, Pre-Law, Pre-Med, Pre-Nursing, Public Administration, Marketing, and Management.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121 and PSY 205

    • PSY 427 Personality Theory

      A review of the major historical and contemporary personality theories that attempt to explain and describe human behavior. Offered annually.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121, and junior standing

  • Biological Bases of Behavior Domain (take one course) : (3 Credits)3
    • PSY 322 Physiological Psychology

      The structure and function of the central nervous system as related to emotion, motivation, learning, and theory of brain functions.

      Prerequisites: Prerequisite:PSY 121

    • PSY 432 Psychology of Motivation

      A review of the major theories that attempt to explain motivated behavior from a physiological, cognitive, social, environmental, and/or learning point of view. Offered as needed.

      Prerequisites: PSY 205

    • PSY 433 Sensation and Perception

      A study of sensory and perceptual phenomena, including all basic sensory systems and such topics as pain perceptions, illusions, and hallucinations, sensory deprivation, color vision and color blindness, deafness, sensory-motor development, and altered states of consciousness. Offered in alternate years.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

  • Developmental Domain (take one course) : (3 Credits)3
    • PSY 325 Developmental Psychology

      A survey of the major areas in human development with an equal emphasis placed on child, adolescent, and adult development. Examines developmental changes over the course of development and the processes underlying these changes. All major areas are reviewed, including biological, cognitive, language, personality, emotional, moral, social, and career development.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

    • PSY 332 Psychology of Aging

      The purpose of this course is to provide an orientation to aging processes in adulthood and later life. Students will be introduced to basic theoretical models, research methods, and current information on the psychology of adulthood and aging and shown how these concepts can be applied to understanding and helping older adults. An emphasis is placed on strategies for successful aging.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

    • PSY 334 Child and Adolescent Development

      A survey of the major areas in human development with an emphasis placed on child and adolescent development. The course examines developmental changes from conception to adolescence and the processes underlying these changes. All major areas are reviewed, including biological, cognitive, language, personality, emotional, moral, and social development.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

  • Diversity Domain (take one course) : (3 Credits)3
    • SSC 322 Race and Ethnicity in American Culture

      An analysis of the historical development of the principal racial and ethnic groups in American society, with emphasis on minorities, such as African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. Offered fall semester.

      Prerequisites: SOC 121 (R,T)

    • PSY 339 Social and Cultural Foundations of Behavior

      This course explores social and cultural issues in psychology as they relate to the application of psychological theories and principles to diverse groups. Special attention is given to racial/ethnic minority issues and cultural diversity, a key component of which is developing an understanding of personal cultural development and how this pattern of development influences perceptions of interactions with others and general human behavior.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

  • Applied Domain (take one course) : (3 Credits)3
    • PSY 327 Abnormal Psychology

      This course offers a review of the historical and current scientific approaches to the study of abnormal behavior, emphasizing theories of causation, symptomatology, and treatment. Emphasis is on the DSM classification.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

    • PSY 330 Forensic Psychology

      Forensic psychology is the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. This course will introduce students to the specialty area of forensic psychology. Particular emphasis will be on the applied aspects of the field.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

    • PSY 331 Interviewing and Counseling Skills

      This course provides students with a basic framework of skills in the area of interpersonal communication for use in clinical settings and in a wide spectrum of human service settings.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121 and sophomore standing

    • PSY 336 Military Psychology

      This course provides a survey of the major areas in military psychology. Principal topics covered are leadership training, persuasion and propaganda, human factors engineering, selection, classification and assignment, optimizing human performance under adverse conditions, ethnic diversity and gender issues, clinical and consulting activities, and careers in military psychology. The course introduces the student to the application of psychological principles, theories, and methods to the military environment. Offered as needed.

      Prerequisites: PSY 336

    • PSY 338 Industrial and Organizational Psychology

      This course examines both sides of industrial and organizational psychology to include an overview of legal issues in employee selection, job analysis, research design, selection tools, performance evaluation, designing and evaluating training, employee motivation and satisfaction, as well as leadership and other organizational development issues.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

    • PSY 305 Research Methods II

      A continued examination of research methods in psychology, with emphasis on experimental design and inferential statistical analysis. Students will enhance their experience in researching, reading, proposing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting scientific research.

      Prerequisites: PSY 205

    • PSY 423 Educational Psychology

      Understanding the applications of psychological principles to the educational process. Offered as needed.

      Prerequisites: PSY 121

  • Two upper-level (300- or 400-level) psychology courses (6 credits)

Electives (39 Credits)

Total Credits 120

  1. * Either PSY 121 or PSY 161 may satisfy a LINK requirement
  2. ** Preferred