Senior Seminar

PSYC 412 – Senior Seminar in Psychology (4 credits)

Small by design, Senior Seminars provide an in-depth examination of a particular topical area and/or practice. Although course topics and assignments vary, all PSYC 412 sections are writing intensive and include class and/or UNC Asheville Undergraduate Symposium presentations in order to provide students an opportunity to meet the oral competency requirement. Prerequisites: Senior standing and 24 hours in psychology. Various sections are offered every semester.

Before registering for PSYC 412, make sure to read course descriptions in the class schedule, which outline the type of seminar offered (topical, internship, or research) and course requirements.

Topical Seminar

This topical seminar explores why human thinking is unique, primarily focusing on cooperation and communication in humans and other animals. Class time will be used for in-depth discussion of empirical and theoretical readings. Course requirements include class participation, semi-weekly response papers, an APA-style formal research proposal, and an in-class oral presentation.

Research Seminar

The topic for this research seminar is “Helicopters and Boomerangs”. We will discuss current literature on helicopter parenting and boomerang children, and then design and execute data collection projects to investigate the possible impact of these experiences on personality and cognitive skills. Students may elect to complete an individual project or work on a 2 or 3 person team.


Students enrolled in the internship sections of Senior Seminar complete 90 hours of applied experience with community agencies (e.g., group homes, school counseling offices, mental health centers, hospitals, substance abuse treatment programs, and nonprofit service organizations).  Simultaneously, class time is devoted to learning and practicing basic interpersonal helping skills, discussing internship experiences, and examining relevant ethical and clinical issues.

The internship “lab” hour is focused on development of writing and oral communication skills.  Weekly reflection writing assignments encourage contemplation of career and internship issues, and three formal writing assignments (a resume, personal statement, and research-informed project) support post-graduation planning.

This course has a heavy workload, incorporating all the class time and outside assignments of a topical seminar in addition to the internship, but offers students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience in preparation for employment, graduate school, or professional school.  Enrollment requires completion of an application, available on the psychology website, with preference given to graduation seniors.  All successfully enrolled students meet with the professor soon after registration to begin the process of securing an internship position; the instructors maintain a resource book of available options and provide prospective interns with guidance and contact information.