Department Chair: Joan Riedle
Office: 224 Warner Hall
Phone: 608-342-1723
Professor Emeritus:
William K. Miller
Joan E. Riedle
Associate Professors:
Patricia Bromley
Chetna Narayan
Theron Parsons
Marc Wruble
Assistant Professors:
Corinne Enright
Elizabeth Gates
Amy Baus
Fred Naatz
Rita Udelhoven
Judy Wang


Applied Business Emphasis
Human Services Emphasis
Social Sciences Comprehensive Major


Psychology Minor


The primary goal of the Psychology Department is to prepare students for professional human service roles and/or graduate study in psychology and related fields. Our program fosters (1) the requisite core of knowledge about the discipline, (2) an exposure to applied aspects of the field, and (3) a greater awareness of self, others, and sociocultural influences. This goal serves the institutionís mission of broadening studentsí perspectives, increasing their ethical sensitivity, and preparing them for their ultimate roles as competent professionals.

Student Learning Outcomes For The Psychology Major

The department adopts as objectives the ten guidelines developed by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Undergraduate Major Competencies. Student Learning Outcomes Speci?c to the Discipline:

  1. Graduates will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical ?ndings, and historical trends in psychology.
  2. Graduates will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Graduates will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scienti ?c approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  4. Graduates will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  5. Graduates will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and re?ect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.

Student Learning Outcomes Fulfilled As Part Of A Liberal Arts Education And Enhanced In The Psychology Program:

  1. Graduates will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  2. Graduates will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  3. Graduates will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.
  4. Graduates will develop insight into their own and othersí behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.
  5. Graduates will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

About The Department & Major

Psychology is the empirical and theoretical study of behavior and mental life. It is a science that investigates the causes and dynamics of behavior patterns, and it is a profession that applies knowledge, skills, and techniques to the solutions of individual and social problems.

A psychologist may be either a scientist, a practitioner, or both, who specializes in the study of behavior and the treatment of behavior-related problems. Educational and professional experiences help the psychologist to understand normal human developmental patterns and how people normally perceive, think, and behave in a wide variety of environments and under many different conditions. The scientist conducts research to add to the ever-expanding font of knowledge available to colleagues and the general public. The practitioner is trained to provide professional assistance to children, adolescents and adults, as well as to couples, families, and groups and may also provide services to schools, agencies, organizations, industries, and institutions.

Students major in psychology for a variety of reasons:

  1. as preparation for graduate work in psychology;
  2. as a liberal arts preparation for employment in a wide variety of semiprofessional or psychology-related fields, including management and personnel work, sales and services, and social service work;
  3. as a second major in support of a more vocationally-oriented major. Many psychology majors also major in criminal justice, business, and other related fields.
  4. In addition, there are a significant number of students who major in psychology as preprofessional undergraduates in preparation for law, clergy, or medicine, or to complete a bachelor's degree for nursing. Others have no more specific goal in mind than to obtain a high quality liberal arts education.

In cooperation with the Department of Criminal Justice and/or the Counselor Education Graduate Program, undergraduate psychology majors may obtain AODA certification (alcohol and other drug counseling) or complete course requirements for the State of Wisconsin Social Worker Training Certificate.

General Requirements

Total for Graduation 120 credits
General Education 44-58 credits
Major Studies 36 credits

Psychology Major (36 credits)

All majors will complete the required sequence of courses. Majors are advised to select either the human services emphasis or the applied business emphasis, or to pursue a career-related minor or second major.

Core Courses

*MATH 1830 Elementary Statistics does not count toward the 36 credits for the major.

Elective Category 1: Applied Courses (select 2)

Elective Category 2: Experimental-Content Courses (select 2)

Elective Category 3: Clinical Courses (select 2)

Plus at least four (4) elective credits:

(Select additional courses from the above elective categories or from the following courses.)

*Four credits of Cooperative Field Experience may count toward the 36 credits required for the major; up to eight credits may count toward the 120 credits required for graduation.

Departmental Writing Requirements:

In addition to the completion of 36 credits in psychology, all psychology majors must also successfully complete the following writing requirements:

  1. Completion of Freshman Composition 1130 and 1230 with a minimum grade of "C," or verification of testing-out of 1130 by the Department of Humanities (English).
  2. Satisfactory completion of papers in those courses in which papers are required, which are evaluated for ability to communicate in written form as well as knowledge of psychological concepts.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the junior writing exam. During the first semester of a student's junior year, each major will write an essay which will be evaluated for writing competence and psychological content.

Course Grade and Prerequisite Requirements:

  1. A grade of "C" or better must be earned in all psychology courses that contribute to the 36 credit requirement for a psychology major.
  2. Elementary Statistics (MATH 1830) must be successfully completed ("D" or better) before taking Behavorial Research I (PSYCHLGY 3960).

Psychology Emphases

Emphases within the major: Completion of an emphasis, a career-related minor, or a second major is strongly recommended.

Human Services Emphasis

This includes appropriate selection of electives from the elective categories of the psychology major plus additional courses, requiring 15-18 credits beyond the minimum 36 for the major:

Required Course Work:

The course work in this emphasis is recommended by the Psychology Department to students interested in pursuing a career in the human service professions or in applying for the State of Wisconsin Social Work Training Certificate or for state AODA (alcohol and other drug) certification. Obtaining these certifications may require coursework or training beyond that provided at UW-Platteville. Please check regularly with your advisor regarding possible revisions.

Applied Business Emphasis

This includes appropriate selection of electives from the elective categories of the psychology major plus additional courses, requiring 15-18 credits beyond the minimum 36 for the major).

Required Course Work:

A technical writing course (ENGLISH 3000 or COMMNCTN 3010) and BUSADMIN 3630 (Advertising) are also strongly recommended.

The course work in this emphasis is recommended by the Psychology Department to students interested in pursuing a career in business fields related to psychology.

Suggested Sequencing of Courses:

The following is a recommended sequence of courses. It includes the requirements for the core major and those for the basic skills component (only) of the general education requirements.

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Fourth Year

We highly recommend that you not leave any required courses (for major, emphasis, or general education) to be taken the final semester. Elective credits toward the 120 required for graduation and additional electives in psychology should be taken.

Psychology Minor (24 credits)

The remaining 12 credits must be selected from other Psychology courses offered by the Department of Psychology. A grade of "C" or better must be earned in all psychology courses that contribute to the Psychology minor.

Social Sciences Comprehensive Major

Students may complete a social sciences comprehensive major with an emphasis in psychology, economics, geography, history, political science, or sociology. Please refer to the catalog section "Social Sciences Comprehensive" for details.