PO Box 2120 Richmond, VA 23218
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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

04254 Psychology

Field of Study

Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes, an approach to examine critically how we and those around us think and act. This introductory class is designed to give an overview of key topics in psychology and to explore possible connections of psychology to future study and careers.

Material Covered

The focus of the course is to help students identify major psychological concepts and to examine how these concepts influence their daily lives. Topics covered include the history and methods of psychology, brain structures, mental disorders, stress, therapy, sensation and perception, sleep and dreaming, child and adult development, motivation and emotion, and social psychology. This course is designed to give students a broad introduction to psychology and to preview topics that can be further studied at the college level (such as AP Psychology or introductory college courses).  

Note: Prior versions of this course were 0.5 credit; the current course is now expanded in scope to fulfill 1 credit in psychology.

Student Expectations

Student work will include readings, videos, and self-check activities. Assignments will include journals and reflections, quizzes, tests, and projects. Students are expected to complete all assignments and submit in a timely manner, as posted by the instructor. 

Related Requirements

Students successfully completing this course will earn 1 Virginia high-school elective credit in psychology. The course utilizes standards and domains outlined by the American Psychological Association’s National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula.


  • None

Course Texts and Materials

  • There is no required textbook for this class; all reading materials and relevant websites are contained within the course.
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