Loyola University Maryland

Department of Psychology

Undergraduate Program Learning Aims

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Goal 1: Mastery of Theory and Content in Psychology

Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology. This will be demonstrated by students’ ability to:

Objectives:

  • Describe the nature of psychology as a discipline.
  • Use the concepts, language, and major theories of the discipline to account for psychological phenomena.
  • Explain major perspectives of psychology (e.g., behavioral, biological, cognitive, evolutionary, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural).
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding representing appropriate breadth and depth in selected content areas of psychology.

Goal 2: Research Methods in Psychology

Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and report findings. This will be demonstrated by students’ ability to:

Objectives:

  • Describe the basic characteristics of the scientific method as it applies to psychology.
  • Explain different research methods used by psychologists.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of conclusions derived from psychological research.
  • Design and conduct basic studies to address psychological questions using appropriate research methods.
  • Follow the most recent APA Code of Ethics in the treatment of human and nonhuman participants in the design, data collection, interpretation, and reporting of psychological research.
  • Generalize research conclusions appropriately based on the parameters of particular research methods.

Goal 3: Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology

Students will use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, a scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes. This will be demonstrated by students’ ability to:

Objectives:

  • Use critical and creative thinking effectively.

Goal 4: Application of Psychology

Students will understand and apply psychological principles to individual, social, and organizational issues. This will be demonstrated by students’ ability to:

Objectives:

  • Describe major applied areas of psychology (e.g., clinical, counseling, industrial/organizational, school, health).
  • Identify appropriate applications of psychology in solving problems.
  • Articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues and inform public policy.

Goal 5: Communication Skills

Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats. This will be demonstrated by students’ ability to:

Objectives:

  • Demonstrate effective writing skills in various formats (e.g., essays, technical papers, theoretical papers) and for various purposes (e.g., informing, defending, explaining, persuading).
  • Demonstrate effective oral communication skills in various formats and for various purposes (e.g., informing, defending, explaining, persuading).
  • Exhibit quantitative literacy.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills and/or collaborate effectively.

Goal 6: Core Values in Psychology

Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and recognize and understand the complexity of individual and societal diversity. This will be demonstrated by students’ ability to:

Objectives:

  • Recognize the necessity for ethical behavior in all aspects of the science and practice of psychology.
  • Demonstrate reasonable skepticism and intellectual curiosity about the causes of behavior.
  • Seek and evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims.
  • Tolerate ambiguity and realize that psychological explanations will often be complex and tentative.
  • Recognize and respect human diversity and understand that psychological explanations may vary across populations and contexts.
  • Understand how privilege, power, and oppression may affect prejudice, discrimination, and inequity.