• PSY 1001, 4 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Randy Fletcher
  • Faculty Coordinator Assistant: Grace Vieth
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: Department of Psychology (College of Liberal Arts)
  • Fulfills U of M Requirement(s): Liberal Education—Social Science Core
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

Course Information

PSY 1001 explores fundamental questions about human behavior that lend themselves to scientific study. For example, why do we find certain people attractive? How does language develop? Why do some people become criminals?

Class size limit: 25

Sample Syllabus

U of M Catalog Description

Scientific study of human behavior. Problems, methods, findings of modern psychology.

Student Qualifications

Junior or senior with a class rank in the top 20%, or instructor approval; previous coursework in high school psychology or high school biology, and reading score review are recommended. Open to 10th graders with CIS instructor permission.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 

Textbooks and Digital Learning Tools

Interactive Psychology: People in Perspective (1st edition), J. J. Gross, T. Schmader, B. Martin Hard, & A. K. Anderson (ebook with print options available) and digital learning tools InQuizitive and ZAPS labs published by W.W. Norton.

All price options include the ebook, InQuizitive, and ZAPS labs. Year-long digital access can be split into two semesters for the same price; a one-year digital subscription can either be one 360-day subscription for one student or two 180-day subscriptions for two separate students (fall and spring). Prices are approximate.

  • 1 year digital = $60
  • 6 years digital = $132    
  • Looseleaf + 1 year digital = $90
  • Hardcover + 1 year digital = $101
  • Hardcover + 6 years digital = $141

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are some of the choices?
The textbook is chosen by the U of M Psychology Department and exams and some assignments are based on the textbook.

How do students watch the lectures?
Videos from each lecture are streamed online and are available for viewing either in a regular classroom setting as a group or in a school’s computer labs, either individually or in groups.

What are the technology requirements for the psychology course through CIS?
Schools must have access to the Internet and computers (either for in-class viewing or in-lab viewing) and, if used in the classroom, a computer projector. The course uses a course management system called Canvas. High school teachers have found it helpful to have on-site technical support. However, teachers without on-site support may feel comfortable delivering this web- and video-based course if they have experience with online learning and/or with the Canvas platform. Some technical support is offered by UMN IT staff, but it is recommended that high school teachers and/or their campuses also have support available.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
There is both structure and flexibility in the use of assignments. Weekly assignments are usually required (e.g. writing reflective essays using concepts discussed in lecture). However, the specific writing assignments may be chosen from a group of assignments created by the U of M Psychology Department or may be created by the high-school teachers, if they follow basic assignment guidelines (discussed during CIS training workshops). In addition, teachers may include extra credit assignments.

Who creates the exams?
The U of M Psychology Department will create the multiple-choice exams (three noncomprehensive midterms and one comprehensive final). CIS teachers can schedule these exams throughout the trimester/semester in a way that works best for CIS students.

Is there a training and mentoring system for psychology teachers new to CIS?
Yes. All new PSY 1001 CIS teachers participate in three workshops during the year which highlight the structure, essential components, pedagogy, and technical issues involved in teaching this course. In addition, new and veteran PSY 1001 teachers attend summer workshops where new teachers work with veteran teachers using specific course materials. Professional development workshops are created by the CIS psychology faculty coordinator and assistants with input from CIS teachers. New teachers also benefit from an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS as well as prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can psychology be taught by teachers on a block schedule?
Yes. Current CIS teachers have worked with the U of M team to adapt the university schedule to fit their high school schedules, including a block schedule.

What happens at typical teacher professional development workshops?
CIS workshops involve discussion of course content and activities; presentations by and/or “meet and greet” sessions with psychology faculty who provide lectures for PSY 1001; technology demonstrations that prepare teachers to use the online interactive course materials; and feedback sessions that allow CIS teachers and the U of M faculty coordinator to collaboratively improve the delivery of the course to CIS students. Workshops may also include presentations about current U of M research and the sharing of best practices among CIS instructors.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus. Students in all CIS sections of PSY 1001 attend an on-campus student field day. Field day activities include special presentations and attending a live PSY 1001 lecture. Students eat lunch with their classmates at one of many restaurants on campus. The campus visit tends to be one of the highlights of the CIS experience.

High Schools Offering This Course

  • Brooklyn Center Secondary Arts and IB World School
  • Central High School (Saint Paul)
  • Century High School (Rochester)
  • East Ridge High School (Woodbury)
  • Eden Valley-Watkins High School
  • John Marshall High School (Rochester)
  • Mayo High School (Rochester)
  • Monticello High School
  • New Prague High School
  • North Lakes Academy (Forest Lake)
  • Russell-Tyler-Ruthton High School (Tyler)
  • Shakopee High School
  • Somerset High School
  • Spectrum High School (Elk River)
  • Watertown-Mayer High School
  • Woodbury High School