James Madison University

Spring 2018 Registration Information

Registration Dates and Assistance:

Special Topics. The following special topics courses will be offered during Spring 2018. Descriptions of each of the courses listed are available near the bottom of this page:

  • Psyc 200, Section 101. Preparing for a Job in Psychology
  • Psyc 200, Section 201.  Preparing for Graduate School in Psychology

Capstone Courses. Students can complete a capstone course before their final semester if they have fulfilled most prerequisites. The prerequisite is completion of 2 Social Science Content Core courses and 2 Natural Science Content Core classes. If you have already completed some content area courses, and you are interested in a particular senior seminar topic, consider enrolling prior to your final semester.

Senior Seminar topics change every semester. The following topics courses offered during Spring 2018 will meet the capstone requirement for the psychology major. Descriptions of each of the courses listed are available near the bottom of this page.

  • Psyc 497, Section 1. Women and Mental Health
  • Psyc 497, Section 2. Environment, Health, and Behavior
  • Psyc 497, Section 3 and Section 4. Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
  • Psyc 497, Section 5. Early Development Across Cultures
  • Psyc 497, Section 6. Passion for Activities
  • Psyc 497, Section 7. Evolutionary Psychology
  • Psyc 497, Section 8. Work-Life Integration
  • Psyc 497, Section 9 and Section 10. Leadership & Service
  • Psyc 497, Section 11. Sport & Performance Psychology
  • Psyc 497, Section 101. Understanding Prejudice

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.

Students who have completed the admission criteria will have an opportunity to register for Psyc 210 in January before classes resume. Students with the greatest number of completed credits will be given priority for Spring seats in Psyc 210. If there is not enough room in Psyc 210 in the Spring, admitted students will be able to register for sections of Psyc 210 or 212 during a future semester (including summer).

Psyc 211/213 Prerequisite for Content Core Courses


Psyc 211 or Psyc 213 are prerequisites for the Social Science and Natural Science Content Core courses. Exceptions will not be made for students who have not completed Psyc 211 or Psyc 213. Please keep this in mind when registering.

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 2018 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
  • Psyc 497, Section 8. Senior Seminar: Work-Life Integration
  • Psyc 497, Section 101. Senior Seminar: Understanding Prejudice

Special Topics Classes & Course Notes


Psyc 200. Section 101Preparing 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 Dr. Kevin Apple (applekj@jmu.edu; Miller 1223).

Psyc 200, Section 201 Preparing for Graduate School in Psychology. (Second Block, 1 credit). This course will guide students through the graduate school selection and application process. We will discuss various career opportunities across sub-disciplines in psychology as well as appropriate preparation and graduate paths to pursue such opportunities. Topics will include participating in research and fieldwork experiences, preparing for and taking the GREs, selecting appropriate programs, and applying to graduate schools (including letters of recommendation, interviews, and writing curriculum vitae and personal statements). Offered by Dr. Jessica Irons (ironsjg@jmu.edu; Miller 1177).

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.

IPE 490 Caregivers Community Network: Register for Credit as You Learn through Service. Caregivers Community Network is a collaboration between JMU and Valley Program for Aging Services.  In this course, you have the opportunity to learn about and reflect on aging, caregiving, and the implications of living with dementia.  Join in the meaningful work of respite care as you continue to earn credits toward your degree. For more information contact Kathy Guisewite at guisewkf@jmu.edu or 540-830-8445.

A list of university electives compiled by the Peer Advisors.

A list of research and service learning opportunities available during Spring 2018 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; you can submit override requests for additional seminars. We recommend registering for a section that fits your schedule during initial senior registration even if it is not your preferred topic/time. Submit override requests for any section that fits your schedule. You can add your preference priority in the notes, but there is no guarantee we will be able to give you an override into your preferred section. Our goal is to ensure that all graduating seniors can complete required coursework.

The prerequisites for all capstone courses are two courses from the Social Science Psychology Core and two courses from the Natural Science Psychology Core. When space is available we frequently grant overrides to students completing their final semester of coursework before graduation who have not yet completed all of the 2NS/2SS core prerequisite.
Topics are described below.

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).

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).

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).

Understanding Prejudice. Stereotypes and prejudice impact everything from our everyday interactions to social movements and national policy. This material considers how the person, the situation, and society shape our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors toward people from various social groups. We will discuss research related to race, gender, sexual orientation, weight, and social class. We will also consider the intersection of multiple identities (e.g., gender, race, sexual orientation). The course fulfills the Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the psychology major. This course is being offered by Dr. Kala Melchori (melchikj@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).

Work-Life Integration. This course will focus on how the dynamics among work, family, and individual responsibilities and goals relate to mental and physical health, public policy, family functioning, and discrimination, among other topics. This class will highlight historical changes in family structure, international variation in work/life integration issues, socioeconomic influences, and ideas for solving problems related to work/life integration. Fulfills Sociocultural Awareness requirement for the Psychology Major.  This course is offered by Dr. Tracy Zinn (zinnte@jmu.edu).