University of Portland Bulletin 2018-2019


Andrew M. Guest, Ph.D., chair

Faculty: Brad, Downs, Guest, Julka, Monto, Pitzer, Saturn, Simmons

The psychology program serves the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Portland through excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. This program offers an undergraduate major and minor that prepare students for graduate work, occupations in the helping professions, and many other career paths. The psychology department's goal is to promote good scholarship and citizenship within a community of learners. To do this, we develop collaborative academic endeavors between students and faculty, and foster intellectual engagement with the field of psychology and the world at large.

Learning Outcomes for Psychology Majors

Psychology graduates of the University of Portland should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of behavior, thought, and emotion.
    1. Identify and explain key psychological terms and constructs.
    2. Draw on research and theory to inform understandings of behavior, thought, and emotion.
    3. Distinguish among theoretical approaches within the field of psychology.
    4. Describe and apply psychological principles as related to personal, social, and/or organizational issues.
  2. Think critically about psychological issues, including the ability to question assumptions and consider alternatives.
    1. Demonstrate an ability to recognize multiple influences on behavior, thought, and emotion.
    2. Identify relevant questions and make predictions about psychological phenomena.
    3. Critically evaluate psychological problems and controversies.
    4. Distinguish empirical and theoretical claims.
  3. Understand, interpret, and design psychological research.
    1. Distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of types of research.
    2. Identify relevant ethical and cultural issues related to psychological research.
    3. Design and implement research relevant to psychological phenomena.
    4. Report research either orally or in writing to clearly articulate psychological understandings.

Capstone Experience

All psychology majors must take a three-credit capstone course as an independent class to employ and integrate concepts and skills from contemporary psychological sciences. The most common capstone experience is the senior seminar course, which is designed to help students integrate major contemporary psychological methods, theories, and research findings. Through intensive research, participation and discussion, students also learn skills of professional presentation. Students planning on graduate study in psychology and honors students may instead elect to complete a three-credit senior thesis involving an intensive research project (psychology-sociology double majors may do a combined thesis with joint supervision). Students interested in exploring psychology in community-based settings may also undertake an applied project broadly related to work in contemporary psychological sciences.