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Program Overview

Advanced Studies in Psychology

Advanced Studies in Psychology

Create a course of study selected from psychology courses taught by Northwestern University faculty to prepare for graduate-level programs. Students in the Advanced Studies in Psychology program complete four to eight courses, building a foundation for future study in in psychology, counseling, social work, and other fields that involve the science and research of human behavior.

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About Advanced Studies in Psychology

Advanced Studies in Psychology Required Courses

Select at least four courses from the following:

  • PSYCH 205 Research Methods
  • PSYCH 213 Social Psychology (was PSYCH 204)
  • PSYCH 215 Psychology of Personality
  • PSYCH 228 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYCH 244 Developmental Psychology (was PSYCH 218)
  • PSYCH 303 Psychopathology
  • PSYCH 306 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • PSYCH 310 Special Topics in Social/Clinical/Personality (was PSYCH 314)
  • PSYCH 330 Special Topics in Cognition/Neuroscience (was PSYCH 314)
  • PSYCH 350 Topics in Psychology (was PSYCH 314)
  • PSYCH 369 Pyschological Tests & Measures (was PSYCH 375)
  • Other 300-level psychology courses*

*Any 300-level psychology course offered in SPS may be applied toward the certificate. 300-level courses are offered on a rotating basis each academic year.

View Advanced Studies in Psychology Courses

Advanced Studies in Psychology Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students at Northwestern's School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

Admission for Advanced Studies in Psychology

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found on the Admission page.

Advanced Studies in Psychology Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records systems. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

Advanced Studies in Psychology Pre-Health Professional Student Group

Learn how students support one another through forums, resources and social networks on the Advanced Studies in Psychology Pre-Health Professional student group page.


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Program Courses:Course Detail
Social Psychology <> PSYCH 204-CN

This course will survey the field of social psychology, which is the study of how social forces and social relationships shape individual thinking and behavior, with a focus on the classic studies and enduring topics in the field. Sample topics include: the self and self-esteem, altruism, aggressive behavior, close relationships, stereotyping and prejudice, and behavior in groups. Students will also be exposed to recent research and current debates on these topics. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


There is no available section.
Research Methods in Psychology <> PSYCH 205-CN

This course provides an introduction to designing, conducting, evaluating, and presenting psychological research. Among the topics to be covered are: experimental and non-experimental research; statistical analyses; writing psychological reports; ethics in research; and utilizing library resources. Students will collect and analyze data for three research projects during the quarter, and write a report on each in the style used by research psychologists. May not be audited. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 201.


View PSYCH 205-CN Sections
Social Psychology <> PSYCH 213-CN

This course will survey the field of social psychology, which is the study of how social forces and social relationships shape individual thinking and behavior, with a focus on the classic studies and enduring topics in the field. Sample topics include: the self and self-esteem, altruism, aggressive behavior, close relationships, stereotyping and prejudice, and behavior in groups. Students will also be exposed to recent research and current debates on these topics. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.

This course was formerly PSYCH 204 Social Psychology.


View PSYCH 213-CN Sections
Psychology of Personality <> PSYCH 215-CN

Personality psychology is the study of an individual's characteristic patterns of thought, emotions, and behavior. This course takes a "theories of personality" approach. The six major theories of personality that underlie forms of psychotherapy are examined: classical psychoanalysis (Freud), person-centered theory (Carl Rogers), analytical psychology (Jung), cognitive theory, and modern psychodynamic theory. In addition to studying the basics of each theory, we will look at methods of investigation related to that theory and research on the effectiveness of the type of psychotherapy associated with that theory. The emphasis is on finding what of value can be taken from each approach. Teaching is done primarily through lectures in which there will be extensive examples given that illustrate the concepts. Questions and comments from students are encouraged. There will also be small group discussions from time to time. Carries social science credit. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


View PSYCH 215-CN Sections
Cognitive Psychology <> PSYCH 228-CN

This course is an introduction to research into mental processes, such as memory, reasoning, problem solving and decision making. Carries science or social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


View PSYCH 228-CN Sections
Developmental Psychology <> PSYCH 244-CN

The focus of this course is the development of perception, cognition, language, personality and social interaction from infancy through adolescence. We consider perspectives and methods in developmental research. We also explore specific issues, including: How do young infants perceive the world? How do infants and toddlers develop an attachment to their parents or caretakers? How does children's thinking and problem solving change across childhood and adolescence? How do parents' beliefs and values influence children's development and school achievement? How do parents' discipline style influence children's social and personality development? As each new topic is introduced, students are encouraged to think critically about the assumptions and methods that underlie research on particular issues. A central goal is to help students develop an appreciation of different criteria for evaluating research and other forms of evidence. The course will have weekly quizzes and a comprehensive final exam. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.

This course was formerly PSYCH 218 Developmental Psychology.


View PSYCH 244-CN Sections
Psychopathology <> PSYCH 303-CN

This course will provide an introduction to the major categories of maladaptive behavior/psychological distress and related research findings. Goals/topics include encouraging thoughtful and critical evaluation of the DSM and other systems of classification, exploring etiological theories and how these views have changed in recent history, developing critical thinking skills through the study of several controversial issues in abnormal psychology, and emphasizing the human face of psychological distress through case studies, readings, and videos. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


View PSYCH 303-CN Sections
Intro to Clinical Psychology <> PSYCH 306-CN

This course introduces major concepts and methods of clinical psychology. The course emphasizes four main areas relevant to clinical psychology: (1) fundamentals of clinical psychology with some discussion of the history of the field, (2) psychological assessment, (3) psychotherapy, and (4) research that has been used to investigate the efficacy of interventions in clinical psychology. Ethical issues as they relate to the field are also be considered. Course requirements include an annotated bibliography and research paper, two essay exams, and class attendance and participation. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent. Completion of PSYCH 303 is recommended for students enrolled in PSYCH 306, but not required.


View PSYCH 306-CN Sections
Topics in Social/Clinical/Personality: Terrorism <> PSYCH 310-CN

This course focuses on examining and understanding the mind of the terrorist in today's world. It will identify and explore the historical roots of terrorism, its geopolitical nature, and especially look closely at the prominent factors involved in the presence of terrorism today. Further, world leaders of terrorism will be studied, e.g., the course will exhaustively critically assess ISIS in the operations of terrorism in the world. Emphasis will be placed on both student contributions as well as involvement in the class and the use of external resources in the class. In this latter connection, an FBI agent will present on current realities regarding domestic and international terrorism. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.

This course was formerly PSYCH 314 Topics in Psychology.


View PSYCH 310-CN Sections
Relationship Science <> PSYCH 313-CN

This course is a social-psychological analysis of close relationships, with an emphasis on romantic relationships. Interpersonal processes associated with relationship formation, development, and dissolution are covered. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110. Carries social science credit. 


View PSYCH 313-CN Sections
Topics: Psychology of Evil <> PSYCH 314-CN

This course focuses on the psychological understanding of evil. Beginning from a definitional perspective on evil, the course moves to theories of evil. The core of the course is an explanation of Philip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment, which was an examination of the psychology of imprisonment conducted in 1971, followed by a current critique by Zimbardo of his findings from the original experiment. From this basis, the psychological dimensions of evil will be further discussed and developed in class, leading to a description of major explanations of the reality of evil. Special attention will be paid to an understanding of evil as this area relates to the lives of members of the class. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


There is no available section.
Topics in Psychology: Couple & Family Therapy <> PSYCH 314-CN

This course is a basic examination of couple and family therapy including professional issues, major theories and techniques, and introduction to couple and family counseling skills. Focus is for students preparing for couple and family therapy (CFT) as a field of professional study or for those students who may work with individuals and families (e.g. child welfare, education, health-care, etc). Course content includes the development of accurate listening, empathy, reflection, and inquiry skills, ethics and issues related to helping in a multicultural context, and an introduction to some of the core models of relational therapy. The course has a strong applied and experiential approach. A special focus will be on the development of self-awareness dexterity necessary for professionals in therapy settings. Students will learn and practice helping skills in class and lab sessions that relate to working with individual, families, and small groups. The course is not designed to train students to be therapists or counselors; rather, it is an introduction to field and the basic skills and models that lay the foundation for the field.

Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.

This course has been cancelled.


There is no available section.
Topics: Deception and Lie Detection <> PSYCH 314-CN

This course will introduce nonverbal, verbal, and physiological indicators of deceit and how to detect lies using these indicators. We will start with description of the types of lies and the reasons why people lie in order to learn how often people lie, what the individual differences in telling lies are, and what the "intuitive" and professional techniques and tools for detecting lies and deception are. The course will also reveal erroneous views about nonverbal and verbal cues to deception and how (in)accurate people (both laypersons and professional lie catchers) are in detecting truths and lies. The equipment and methods using physiological markers associated with lying, such as Polygraph or Event-Related Potentials (Brain Waves) recordings will be discussed. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


There is no available section.
Topics in Cognition/Neuroscience: Brain/Technology <> PSYCH 330-CN

This course will invite you to look at the digital technologies and devices from the neuroscientific, psychological, and cognitive points of view. We will discuss how modern digital technologies affect our everyday life, behavior, mood and cognition. Our discussions will include how internet, email, social networking, and other digital activities from mobile devices influence our everyday living. The second part of the course will be focused on technological advances in neuroscience and mental health practice. It will introduce methods and techniques aimed to 1) investigate brain functionality and 2) assist a person in improving psychological well-being as well as modifying undesired behaviors. Through demonstrations and practice exercises, students will get first-hand experiences. Carries science or social science credit.

This course was formerly PSYCH 314 Topics in Psychology.


View PSYCH 330-CN Sections
Language and Thought <> PSYCH 334-CN

Language is a signature of human cognition: a rich and flexible method of communicating our most complex thoughts. Indeed, an intellectual tradition stretching from Ancient Greek philosophers to present-day scientists proposes that language is essentially what makes us human. This class will examine the fundamental question: What is language’s role in cognition? Drawing on research from psychology, as well as cognitive science, linguistics, and occasionally neuroscience and animal cognition, we will ask questions like whether our language changes the way we perceive the world (e.g., the way we see colors), how language helps infants and children develop, and what role language plays in defining our abstract concepts (e.g., time). We will review both seminal and cutting-edge research concerning when, if ever, the language(s) we speak influence how we perceive, reason, and act on the world. The goal of the course is not simply to survey research in these areas, but rather to explore alternative theories of language’s role and to describe the evidence that supports or challenges them. Carries social science credit. Prerequisites: PSYCH 110 or equivalent; PSYCH 205 and PSYCH 228 preferred.


There is no available section.
Pyschology of Gender <> PSYCH 339-CN

This course explores the complex psychological dimensions of gender. It will include an examination of sex differences and similarities, evaluation of explanations for differences, and review of how gender affects achievement, relationships, and mental health. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.

 

 


There is no available section.
Evolutionary Psychology <> PSYCH 342-CN

The central idea of this course is that there is such a thing as human nature, and it comes from our shared evolutionary history. Broad topics include mating psychology, and how men and women differ in their approaches to lust and love; and culture, and how humans are unusual among living things in their ability to acquire knowledge. Carries science or social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


View PSYCH 342-CN Sections
Psychology of Beauty <> PSYCH 343-CN

The purpose of this course is to thoughtfully consider psychological theory, methodology, and empirical data relating to questions regarding what makes us find beautiful people beautiful, how evolutionary psychology explains why we find certain features beautiful, whether beauty is really in the eye of the beholder, and how beauty ideals have shifted over history. We will also examine how gender roles and sexual orientation are related to beauty and its pursuit and the ways that beauty biases can affect how we perceive and treat others. Disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and body dysmorphic disorder will be examined from the perspective of beauty pressures. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.


There is no available section.
Topics in Psychology: Older Adulthood <> PSYCH 350-CN

Description TBA. Carries social science credit.

This course was formerly PSYCH 314 Topics in Psychology.


View PSYCH 350-CN Sections
Topics: Psychology of Film <> PSYCH 350-CN

In this course, we will be studying film from a psychological perspective. There are three aspects to this perspective: the psychology of the characters, of the viewers, and of the creator. Readings that present these three aspects of the psychology of cinema will be a part of the course, as well as readings about each of the individual movies. All of the films viewed in the course are psychologically insightful and have received critical acclaim, and include Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock), Ordinary People (Robert Redford), Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman), Blue Velvet (David Lynch), and Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen). The chief assignment is writing a paper on a movie of your choice. There will also be a quiz at the beginning of each class except for the first and last class. Carries social science credit. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent.

This course was formerly PSYCH 314 Topics in Psychology.


View PSYCH 350-CN Sections
Stereotyping & Prejudice <> PSYCH 366-CN

This course is an analysis of the causes and consequences of stereotyping and prejudice, as well as methods used to study these issues. Prerequisites: PSYCH 204, PSYCH 205. Carries social science credit.


View PSYCH 366-CN Sections
Psychological Tests & Measures <> PSYCH 369-CN

This course explores the science of psychological assessment, including its history, test construction and evaluation, and common measures of personality, psychopathology, and ability. Students create and evaluate their own psychological measures. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110 or equivalent. Carries social science credit.

This course was formerly PSYCH 375 Psychological Tests and Measures.


View PSYCH 369-CN Sections
Human Memory PSYCH 374-CN

Description TBA. 


View PSYCH 374-CN Sections
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