Course Information

The Department of Psychology provides relevant courses for many undergraduate students. Students in a variety of majors elect to complement their education, and improve the understanding of self and others, by completing course work in Psychology. Students who major in Psychology should expect to receive a general/liberal education. Psychology students take the introductory course, sample basic sub-disciplinary courses, and receive training in methods and data analysis. The specific Psychology degree requirements can be found in the Psychology Handbook.


  • Class Search

    To locate when and where courses are offered, the Student Information System is very helpful. This is the system students use to sign up for their courses. Remember to click on the class search tile. 

  • Psychology Online Course Information

     Register for Undergraduate Online Courses

    In order to take an Online course, you must either be an Undergraduate at Michigan State University or you must take the course through Lifelong Education.  Below are links to the relevant sites to register.  If you are not currently an MSU student, registration will get you an MSU ID that you will need to access the D2L websites described below which are associated with the Online courses.

    Registration for current MSU students

    Registration if you are not an MSU student     Once at this site click on "". to confirm you have completed your application as a Lifelong Student. If completed you will be able to enroll using the enrollment system during the designated enrollment periods. In order to enroll you must have initiated your MSUNet ID and password.

    Class Search      This includes information about the courses offered and the sessions in which they are offered.  Make sure you are selecting the correct term you are looking for when searching for classes

    Get Ready for Your Online Courses- Steps to Follow

    In a traditional course, the class usually begins when students go to a local bookstore to buy their textbooks and then to a classroom on the first scheduled day of class and receive a syllabus, an introduction to the course by the instructor, etc.  The "electronic classroom" for an Online course at Michigan State University is a website in a course management system called Desire2Learn.  Psychology courses will be taught through D2L. To enter the D2L website you will have to have an MSU ID.  Once you have your MSU ID and can enter the D2L website you will have access to your on-line courses.   Book information can be found on the class search section of the new system . Click the section number of the course you have enrolled in and click on textbooks, It will help you identify needed books beyond what is in your syllabi

    1)    Get an MSU NetID. Current MSU students have them already.  The NetID is used by MSU to provide access to the central email system and many other services on campus.  An MSU NetID is a unique, alphanumeric identifier of two to eight characters and is generated automatically from the user's name (and is the portion of your e-mail address before the @).  To learn more about how to get your MSU NetID or how to use it go to: 2) Log into D2L - Have your MSU Net ID and password.   If you have forgotten your MSU NetID password, please go to:  If you are a registered student and have a problem accessing D2L, please contact the help desk at 1 -844-678-6200 (North America and Hawaii) Local: 1-517-432-6200. To log into D2L go to:

    2)In order to enter your Desire2Learn course, log in to D2L. Once you log in you will be at "My Home" page. This shows all your D2L Courses. Navigate to your summer online course by clicking the name of the course offering. Courses are shown by semester in reverse chronological order. There is a "pin" function to keep any courses that you want on the top of the list. These courses will have an orientation that will be completed in order to view the course content. 


  • Psychology Course Syllabi

    The Psychology Department posts all of the course syllabi online at the beginning of each semester.  Syllabi from previous semesters can also be found here. If you are unable to locate prior years syllabi please reach out to undergraduate advising staff with your question.


  • Course Overrides

    On occasion, overrides are given to students needing a course that is full. Every department on campus takes care of their own overrides, so the Psychology Department cannot give overrides for courses outside of Psychology. Students requesting an override will need to fill out the Psychology Override Form please reach out to Kim Brown with any questions in regards to the form, Students will then still need to enroll in the course. If permission for the override has taken place via MSU e-mail, please forward the email from the instructor to Audra Jeffrey and Kim Brown along with the student's name, semester taking course, course number and section, and the student's major. 


  • Psychology Transfer Credit Request

    This form is for students who have taken or plan to take a Psychology course at another institution AND the course is not listed on the MSU Transfer credit system (

  • PSY 493 Expanded Descriptions

    Each section of PSY 493 covers a different topic.  Students should read descriptions of all 400 level writing courses.  Most of these courses do have prerequisites and are offered in varying semesters.

    Spring 2023: 493 Descriptions

    Sec 001: Final Conversation: Psychosocio, cultural perspective on death,dying and bereavement

    Examines psychological theories, concepts, and research that pertain to the study of death and personal death awareness. Topics include cross-cultural and historical perspectives, medical ethics, grief/loss issues, funerals and body disposition, legal and social issues, death in modern society, suicide and beliefs about life after death. 

    Sec 002: Neuroscience of child development

    This course will examine brain and mind development during the first five years of a child’s life, including in-utero. It will focus primarily on prenatal influences on brain development, and postnatal brain development as it corresponds to sensory abilities and mental function. Topics include: development of each of the senses and perception; learning and memory; temporal, numerical and spatial processing; emotion; theory of mind; language; attention; motor programs; and developmental disabilities. The course text (which is a popular science book rather than formal textbook) is written by a behavioral neuroscientist who is also a parent  it has great value (and is scientifically sound) and provides an easily digestible discussion on complex developmental brain science from a neuroscientist’s perspective — students will be expected to write in a variety of formats during the course (from informal science writing to conventional essays). 

    Sec 003: Critical Psychology

     This course explores a growing field in which critical theories and discourses are used to understand social inequities and further social justice. Students will identify the ways in which injustice has been historically upheld by social scientists broadly and psychologists specifically and critique the ways in which our intentions may differ from our impacts. The course is guided by several overarching critiques of mainstream psychology – the traditionally limited level of analysis, how our ideology upholds the status quo, and the tendency to claim scientific objectivity and political neutrality.

    Sec 004: Multicultural Psychology

    This is an introductory course on multicultural psychology. The goal of the class will be to explore how our identities, experiences, and perspectives affect our daily experiences, research interests, and engagement in academic and non-academic settings. This class is intended to be deeply personal and experiential (in contrast to classes that permit academic engagement that is detached and purely intellectual). You will be challenged to think critically at every stage of this class and if successful, you will confront aspects of yourself (your beliefs, behaviors, and needed areas of growth), your individual, familial, and group legacies of privilege and disadvantage, and your personal commitments to social justice, advocacy, and social change. 


    Members of our class represent a range of disciplines and specialty areas and have vastly different levels of familiarity with these topics. For some, this material is new and very difficult, for others, the information is familiar and not overly challenging. The class is designed for those with relatively little exposure to these topics. If this material is familiar, I encourage you to challenge yourself by applying it in new ways and with new groups to expand your growth and development throughout the semester.

    Sec 730:  Neurobiology of Substance Use Disorders

    This course focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying drug addiction. We will discuss and evaluate 1) current theories of drug addiction, 2) animal models used to study specific aspects of addiction, 3) molecular and cellular neuroadaptations that occur with acute and chronic drug use. Emphasis will be placed on critical analysis and discussion of primary literature and current methodologies used in the addiction field.

  • Description of Courses

    Psychology and MSU campus-wide course descriptions are available in the Description of Courses Catalog. PSY 493 expanded descriptions and prerequisites are available on the psychology undergraduate website and from the course listing on