James Madison University

Spring 2019 Registration Information

Registration Dates and Assistance:

Special Topics. The following special topics courses will be offered during Spring . Descriptions of each of the courses listed are available near the bottom of this page:

  • Psyc 200, Section 1.  Orientation to the Psychology Major
  • Psyc 200, Section 8101. Preparing for a Job in Psychology

Regarding Psyc 210 (starting the major)


  • Psyc 210 (Psychological Measurement and Statistics) is for students fully admitted to the major. If you have decided that you want to pursue a Psychology major, you should complete the online application before the end of Fall classes. Information about applying for admission to the psychology major. Applicants will be reviewed at the end of the Fall term and notified over the winter break about their application status.

Sociocultural Awareness Courses


Psychology Majors are required to complete at least one “Sociocultural Awareness” course as part of their academic program. The following courses being offered during the Spring semester fulfill this requirement:

  • Psyc 220. Psychology and Culture
  • Psyc 325. Counseling Psychology
  • Psyc 497, Section 1. Senior Seminar: Women and Mental Health
  • Psyc 497, Section 2. Senior Seminar: Environment, Health, & Behavior
  • Psyc 497, Section 5. Senior Seminar: Early Development Across Cultures

Capstone Courses


Capstone Courses. The prerequisites for all capstone courses are two courses from the Social Science Content core and two courses from the Natural Science Content core. Email ugpsyc@jmu.edu if you are having trouble registering for your final semester coursework. 

Senior Seminar topics change every semester. Descriptions of each of the courses listed are available near the bottom of this page.  Note, some of the senior seminars also meet the Department’s sociocultural awareness requirement.

  • Psyc 497, Section 1:  Women and Mental Health (sociocultural awareness course)
  • Psyc 497, Section 2:  Environment, Health, and Behavior (sociocultural awareness course)
  • Psyc 497, Sections 3 and 4:  Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
  • Psyc 497, Section 5:  Early Development Across Cultures (sociocultural awareness course)
  • Psyc 497, Section 6:  Evolutionary Psychology
  • Psyc 497, Section 7:  Psychology of Film
  • Psyc 497, Section 8: Law and Neuroscience
  • Psyc 497, Sections 9 and 10:  Leadership and Service
  • Psyc 497, Section 11:  Motivation in Education
  • Psyc 497, Section 12: Passion for Activities

Special Topics Classes & Course Notes


Psyc 200, Section 1.  Orientation to the Psychology Major (1 credit hour). The course content will include an exploration of major requirements, experiential learning opportunities within the major, survey of sub-disciplines in psychology, an introduction to APA-style, an introduction to psychological ethics, strategies for discerning between credible and non-credible information, identifying logical fallacies, introduction to use of library resources, professional (e.g., student/professor) etiquette, campus learning support resources, and effective learning and studying strategies. This course is only available for students who have not yet completed the two-semester methodology sequence.  Offered by Kimberly DuVall (duvallkd@jmu.edu).

Psyc 200. Section 8101.  Preparing for a Job in Psychology. (First Block, 1 credit). This course will focus on the skills psychology majors can develop to prepare themselves for a variety of careers.  Students will discuss what types of jobs will be available to them upon graduation with an undergraduate degree in psychology. Topics will include resume-building, cover letter writing, interviewing, and leveraging undergraduate experiences when applying for a job. Offered by Kevin Apple (applekj@jmu.edu).

Psyc 250. Introduction to Abnormal Psychology. This course is not for Psychology Majors. Psychology Majors interested in this content should take Psyc 335, Abnormal Psychology. Credit cannot be earned for Psyc 335 by students who have previously taken Psyc 250. Psyc 250 is a course designed for non-psychology students who need a brief exposure to this content for their non-psychology academic program.

A list of research and service learning opportunities available during Spring  for Psyc 202, 203, 402, or 403 credit is available.

Senior Seminars (Psyc 497)


Please register for no more than ONE senior seminar during the first round of registration.  Our goal is to ensure that all graduating seniors can complete required coursework.  If your preferred capstone is closed, we recommend registering for a section that fits your schedule even if it is not your preferred topic/time.  We also recommend that students use the Waiting List (coupled with the Swap feature) for any capstones that are closed. 

Early Development Across Cultures. The purpose of this course is to explore cultural similarities and variations in how children develop and assumptions about what is “best” for healthy development.  We will base class discussions around empirical articles that examine physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development in different cultures around the world.  Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the Psychology Major. This course is offered by Dr. Krisztina Jakobsen (jakobskv@jmu.edu).

Environment, Health and Behavior. This course will examine the effects of toxins on the nervous system, inequities in exposure patterns that place particular populations at higher risk for harm, toxicant-induced illnesses that receive psychological diagnoses (e.g., endometriosis), attitudes toward environmental quality, and the emerging fields of ecopsychology and ecotherapy. Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the Psychology Major.  This course is offered by Dr. Pam Gibson (gibsonpr@jmu.edu).

Evolutionary Psychology. This course will explore the theories and methods used when studying human behavior through the lens of evolution by natural selection.  Behaviors studied will include mating, group behavior, parenting, cognition, brain size, and others. This course is offered by Dr. Melanie Shoup-Knox (shoupml@jmu.edu).

Law and Neuroscience. Neuroscientific evidence, in the form of brain scans and neuropsychological testing for brain damage, is increasingly used in the courtroom. In this course, you will critically review this scientific literature and its relevance for important legal questions such as criminal responsibility. This course is offered by Dr. Bernice Marcopulos (marcopba@jmu.edu).

Leadership and Service. Leadership and Service will study the experience of leadership and service from a psychological perspective. The course will help students identify their personal leadership skills and styles as well as how to adapt these to various situations related to service in the community. The course will enable students to integrate concepts of service learning into leadership development. Emphasis will also be on developing an effective leadership approach to service learning. Forty hours of service-learning will be required. This course is offered by Dr. Bill Evans (evanswf@jmu.edu).

Passion for Activities. Although the topic of passion has been discussed for centuries, the scientific study of this psychological phenomenon is only about 15 years old. The purpose of this class is twofold: (a) to introduce students to the scientific study of passion for activities and (b) to show students how to make evidence-based decisions to increase passion in their lives. This course is offered by Dr. Bryan Saville (savillbk@jmu.edu).

Psychology of Film.  This course will look at the topic of movies from a broad range of psychological perspectives. First we will examine how we choose movies, relying on theory and research from the areas of personality, social psychology, and emotion, Then we will utilize learning, sensation and perception, and cognition to understand how we experience a movie; and finally we will see how movies influence us in the long run, relying on the social influence, developmental, and clinical literature. We will also watch a number of classic movies, including M (1931), 8 ½ (1963), and Jaws (1975).  This course is offered by Dr. Ashton Trice (tricead@jmu.edu).

Sleep and Circadian Rhythms. For most humans, sleep is an activity that occupies approximately one-third of their lives. Despite this prominent position among human behaviors, most people know little about what happens during sleep and the significance of sleep for psychological and physiological functioning. This course will survey the contemporary scientific literature on sleep, emphasizing normal functioning, mechanisms involved in sleep, and clinical sleep disorders. Students will gain familiarity with the science of sleep and circadian rhythms, aka chronobiology, as well as the research methods employed in this field of study. Students also will be familiar with sleep assessment to include basic scoring from polysomnography; the use, care, and analysis of actigraph activity monitors; and will know how to evaluate a sleep science article. This course is offered by Dr. Jeff Dyche (dychejs@jmu.edu).

Sport & Performance Psychology. This course focuses on theoretical, research, and applied issues in sport and performance psychology. The emphasis of the course will be on gaining an understanding of the relationship between psychological variables and performance in sport and other performance domains (e.g., performing arts, military) by exploring selected readings and research studies in sport and performance psychology. This course is offered by Dr. Bob Harmison (harmisrj@jmu.edu).

Women and Mental Health. This course will address concepts relat­ing to women’s mental health. Special attention will be given to socio-cultural phenomena, and a respect for women’s experiences will be maintained at all times. Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the psychology major. This course is being offered by Dr. Pam Gibson (gibsonpr@jmu.edu).