Program Overview

To complete a psychology minor, students are required to take a minimum of 20 credits of psychology. Twelve of these 20 credits must be taken at Metropolitan State and 12 credits must be upper division. According to university general education policy, 12 credits of the minor may overlap with general education/liberal studies credits.

The mental health and psychology minor is designed for students who are interested in the theory and application of mental health issues. Such students might be interested in working with chronically mentally ill, wellness efforts, chemical dependency (with dual diagnosis), in social work positions or in areas of social services in which a working knowledge of mental health is essential. The minor fits well with other majors including social work and human services.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 20 total credits)

Mental Health Psychology Minor Required Courses (8 credits)

  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
    4 credits

    This course introduces students to scientific and applied psychology, and suggests its application to everyday life. The course familiarizes students with concepts, principles, research methods and theories of psychology.

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  • PSYC 300 Abnormal Psychology
    4 credits

    This course explores the nature and causes of abnormal behavior and the terminology used in describing and discussing abnormal behavior. Students study the major categories used to classify abnormal behavior and the diagnostic criteria involved.

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Mental Health Psychology Minor Electives (12 credits)

  • PSYC 212 Introduction to Diversity and Ethics in Psychology
    3 credits

    In this course students explore questions related to psychology's response to diversity and ethical principles, including: How has psychology dealt with issues of culture, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation and ableism? How has this influenced basic theories in psychology? How does this affect specific groups or individuals in areas of research, assessment and therapeutic practice? What are the ethical standards that guide, and the ethical dilemmas that currently face, the field of psychology? How do issues of diversity and ethical principles influence and intersect with each other? Further, this course is designed to develop and expand students¿ critical knowledge of the central role of race, racism, and anti-racism in multiple contexts of society and aspects of everyday life. Students are asked to think critically about the societal and individual effects inherent in the information covered in this course.

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  • PSYC 305 Behavior Disorders in Children
    4 credits

    This course focuses on common behavior and emotional problems of children and youth, with less emphasis on adolescence. Topics include dependency, anxiety, control issues, motivation, aggression and social behavior. The course balances theory and practice related to behavioral disorders with the focus on practical solutions.

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  • PSYC 313 Family Systems
    4 credits

    In this course, students learn how family life affects individuals by examining the current theories and research on family systems. Learning strategies include role-playing demonstrations. Evaluation is based in part on individually-designed projects on the family of origin. Recommended: An introductory sociology or psychology course.

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  • PSYC 327 Psychological Testing
    4 credits

    This course provides an understanding of the basic concepts and techniques involved in selecting, administering, scoring and interpreting psychological tests. Validity, reliability, standardization, norms and ethical issues are covered in the measurement of intellect, aptitude, achievement, interest and personality. Learning strategies include test demonstrations. Students take, score (where possible) and interpret several different tests.

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  • PSYC 330 Psychology of Learning: Contemporary Theories and Applications
    4 credits

    This course introduces students to the history of learning theories, and the development of current theories of learning such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning. An emphasis is on the basic methods of inquiry, as well as on applications of learning theories to areas such as education, business and behavioral change. This course is well-suited to students interested in education, as well as psychology, and is often preparation for graduate study in psychology and education.

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  • PSYC 343 Drugs and Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Pharmacology
    4 credits

    This course reviews current information on the clinical use of psychoactive medication. The course focuses on standard clinical psychopharmacology, applications of psychoactive medication, and relative merits of medication vs. psychotherapy rather than on illicit drugs. This course examines several classes of therapeutic drugs, such as neuroleptics, antidepressants, tranquilizers and hypnotics, their mechanisms of action and side effects, and research/experimental issues.

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  • PSYC 345 Biopsychology
    5 credits

    This course examines the biological basis of behavior. Topics include structure and function of the nervous system, psychopharmacology, electrophysiology, and higher order function of the nervous system. Laboratories include brain dissection, nerve histology, electrophysiology and behavioral experiments.

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  • PSYC 346 Health Psychology
    4 credits

    This course will provide an introduction to the field of health psychology, which is concerned with the roles of behavioral/lifestyle, psychological, and social/cultural factors on health/wellness, illness and chronic disease. The course will address four general subject areas: 1) attitudes, behavior, and lifestyle factors affecting disease prevention and development; 2) stress and the related psychological and social processes associated with disease development and progression; 3) social and psychological factors involved in the illness experience; and 4) long-term social and psychological implications of chronic illness (e.g., heart disease, cancer).

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  • PSYC 347 Positive Psychology
    4 credits

    Historically, as a discipline, psychology focuses on decreasing maladaptive emotions and behaviors. As a complement to this focus, Positive Psychology seeks to identify and enhance the human strengths and virtues that make life worth living and allow individuals and communities to thrive. This research-based course will address the differences and assumptions inherent in this approach. In particular, the course will serve as an introduction to the study of positive emotions, positive character traits, and positive institutions. A distinction among the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life is drawn. Topics may include happiness, hope, flow, gratitude, mindfulness, etc.

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  • PSYC 360 Friday Forum Topics
    0 credits

    Forums are on topics of current importance in the field of psychology and are offered in collaboration with the Minnesota Psychological Association. Students are asked to write papers summarizing the content and discussing the relevance of principles and practices presented to their own activities or within a specified hypothetical context. Specific topics are listed in the Class Schedule or announced in the Catalyst. Note: At least 12 credits in psychology, human services, or social work prior to registration.

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  • PSYC 390 Developmental Disabilities: Issues, Assessment and Intervention
    4 credits

    This independent study focuses on the study of developmental disabilities as a multidisciplinary study in both theory and practice. Students gain an understanding of intervention causes, issues and methods related to developmental disabilities to ensure successful mainstreaming within the community.

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  • PSYC 400 Advanced Abnormal Psychology
    4 credits

    This course examines selected areas of psychopathology in greater depth. Topics stimulating controversy or special interests in the professional literature are discussed. Attention is given to differential diagnosis.

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  • PSYC 402 Preventive Psychology
    4 credits

    Students in this course will learn about the theories and approaches to preventive psychology, a subfield of psychology that focuses on actions taken early to eliminate or minimize later problems. Through research and intervention, psychologists work with individuals, groups, communities and organizations to develop strategies and programs that work to prevent problems such as violence, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, child abuse, obesity, and other behaviorally based social, mental health, and health issues. Emphasis is placed on students developing knowledge and skills relevant to creating and adapting prevention programs for use in culturally diverse communities. Topics may include: stress and coping theory/research; prevention and health promotion theories, research, and strategies; and other relevant community/social change strategies. (Prereq. PSYC363 or PSYC336)

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  • PSYC 406 Introduction to Clinical Psychology
    4 credits

    This course gives students an introduction to the formal assessment and diagnostic procedures used in hospitals and other healthcare settings. It reviews the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV and discusses the implications for therapy of differing diagnoses with similar symptoms. This course is recommended for students considering graduate study in psychology, counseling and related human service areas.

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  • PSYC 508 Mental Health and the Law
    4 credits

    This course addresses some of the major issues arising from the interaction of law and the mental health system. Following a legal system overview, topics include civil commitment, the right to treatment and to refuse treatment, legal and policy issues affecting the community mental health system, mental health considerations in the criminal justice process, and malpractice and other legal concerns affecting mental health professional practice.

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