Cedar Crest College Home
Mobile Navigation


School of Adult and Graduate Education

Traditional Admissions

James Scepansky, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair, Psychology
610-606-4666 ext. 3424

Unique Course Offerings

Many colleges offer standard classes that cover the basic principles of psychology, but Cedar Crest reaches beyond these fundamentals to show students the full breadth and depth of the field of psychology. Through this unique curriculum, you will better understand the possibilities available within this field of study…and be able to experience them at an undergraduate level rather than waiting until graduate school.

The following is a sample of the unique psychology courses that set Cedar Crest College apart.

PSY 201 Mind-Body Medicine - 3 credits

This course follows the biological, psychological, social and spiritual model of health and wellness. While disease prevention, health-related research and rehabilitation issues are discussed, the main focus of the course is on exploring the mind-body-spirit connections. This course will also examine the latest literature in the area of disease-prone and disease-resistant personality.

PSY 202 Stress, Disease and Psychophysiological Interventions - 3 credits

It has been estimated that 70 to 90 percent of medical and psychological office visits are due to stress-related conditions. The purpose of this course is twofold: During the first half of the course, the psychobiology of stress and the effects of exposure to prolonged stress are discussed. The second half of the course focuses on specific stress-related conditions and their psychophysiological treatments. This course involves laboratory work in psychophysiology.

PSY 206 Positive Psychology - 3 credits

Positive Psychology examines empirically informed perspectives on what leads to happiness and living a purposeful life. This course will provide an overview of the research and applications in the field of Positive Psychology. Topics will include happiness, resiliency, optimism, relationships, self-efficacy, goals and optimal performance, well-being, gratitude, character strengths, motivation and flow, positive coping, and mindfulness.

PSY/HON 224 Women in the Workplace - 3 credits

This course examines the theory, research, and practice of various issues involving women in the workplace. Topics include: the history of women at work; nontraditional occupations and roles; gender differences in communication, leadership, and work styles; management and associated psychological paradigms; relevant legal and political issues; work-life dilemmas and personal planning and growth strategies. Active participation is required.

PSY 230 Team Building and Group Dynamics - 3 credits

An overview of teams and groups in a social and work context. Discussion will include: the evolution and development of teams, the emergence of member roles and leaders, decision-making and problem-solving techniques, communication processes, power and conflict issues, management of diversity, and teambuilding strategies. Experiential exercises will be emphasized.

PSY 246 Motivation and Emotion - 3 credits

The course will cover motivation and emotion from various perspectives, including physiological and developmental factors, learning and cognitive factors, social and personality factors. Theories will be augmented by a careful examination of the empirical work in motivation and emotion.

PSY 249 Psychology of Dreams

Dreams have played a significant role in human civilization. The discipline of psychology has produced some of the most comprehensive theories about the nature of dreams. Indeed, dreaming as a state of consciousness has been the focus of scientific psychology for over one hundred years. This course is an in-depth exploration of the nature of dreams. We will begin with a historical and cultural exploration of dreams and then turn our attention to their psychophysiology. We will also review psychoanalytic and analytic perspectives on dreams. During the last half of the course, we will delve into the psychobiology of nightmares, dreams and creativity, research on lucid dreaming, and end the course with the examination of one of the most recent evolutionary theories about the function of dreaming known as the Threat Simulation Theory.

PSY/HON 251 Health Psychology - 3 credits

Health Psychology is a rapidly growing field within the discipline of psychology. It is devoted to the understanding of psychological factors that affect health and disease. The course emphasizes theoretical developments and empirical findings in Health Psychology.

PSY 303 The Psychology of Anxiety - 3 credits

Anxiety is a complex construct that has played a key role in the development of several theories and systems of psychology. This course explores the many dimensions of this construct through the lens of theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, behaviorism, existentialism, humanism, psychophysiology, and cognitive psychology. The course will make a deliberate distinction between healthy and pathological states of anxiety. Additionally, students will gain knowledge about the differences and similarities between the experience of fear and anxiety with emphasis on the ontological nature of the latter.

PSY 311 Criminal Behavior and Profiling - 3 credits

This course will provide a broad overview of criminal profiling, exploring both its psychological underpinnings and its practical application. A variety of types of profiling will be reviewed, but Turvey’s BEA will be used to explain the process of profiling (including equivocal forensic analysis, victimology, crime scene analysis, and subsequent ideo-deductive conclusions). Although the course content will focus on profiling, violent offenders (especially serial killers), psychopathy, and other mental disorders often associated with violent offenders, exercises are included to develop students’ observational skills, investigative skills, report writing skills, and presentation skills.

PSY 315 Counseling Children - 3 credits

This course is designed to provide students with specialized knowledge and skills necessary for counseling children. The course will address individual and group techniques used in treatment such as play therapy, the use of art, puppets, games, etc. Students will also gain an understanding of the parent’s role and family dynamics when working with children.

PSY 335 Cross-Cultural Psychology - 3 credits

An introduction to the field of cross-cultural psychology. Readings will be selected to demonstrate how psychologists are examining the many ways in which behavior, thoughts and feelings are influenced by an individual’s culture. Emphasis will be placed on the methods by which psychologists study cultural differences. This course may include a study-abroad component.