PSYC 3303 Abnormal Psychology


Samantha Strife



This course will focus on the study of the nature, diagnosis, causes, and the treatment of psychological disorders. Students can expect to gain information an understanding of the rationale of the spectrum of what is currently considered abnormal behavior, the clinical signs and symptoms accompanying the major DSM-5 classifications of disorders, causal and maintenance factors of disorders, and examples of empirically supported treatments. By the end of the class you will have developed a broad understanding which will serve as a foundation for more advanced and specialized skills in careers such as clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, psychiatric nursing, medicine, and neuroscience. In this online course, we will engage heavily in class discussion, interacting with each other in deep analysis of the material and the science behind it.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the definitions, etiologies, diagnoses, and treatments associated with psychological disorders
  2. Identify symptoms of psychological disorders as they are defined by the DSM-5
  3. Analyze contemporary psychological science with an understanding of how it is conducted
  4. Discuss diagnostic techniques, risk factors, and individual differences in psychological disorders
  5. Understand and apply contemporary treatment strategies to individual and societal cases
  6. Conceptualize social, cultural, and gender issues related to psychological disorders
  7. Practice the ability to intellectually discuss psychological disorders by writing critical discussion posts, citing original theory and empirical evidence, and applying these to individual and societal-level issues


  1. Barlow, D.H. and Durand, V.M. (2014). Essentials of Abnormal psychology (7th ed.)

*The textbook can be read as an e-book within MindTap® or in hard cover or loose-leaf print. Since you will need to use MindTap® to take this course, it is recommended that you purchase the bundle. It’s significantly cheaper than hard cover. Here are the two options:

  1. Bundle (MindTap w/ e-book & loose-leaf print text)

Bundle: Essentials of Abnormal Psychology, 7th + LMS Integrated for MindTap® Psychology, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card 9781305698741 Bundle: $86.25

  1. MindTap w/e-book (no print):

Durand/Barlow – LMS Integrated for MindTap® Psychology, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card for Durand/Barlow’s Essentials of Abnormal Psychology 9781305510241 $71.25

  1. DSM-5, which can be accessed for free through the CU library website
  1. Popular media articles, news reports, videos, empirical journal articles, etc., to be assigned or shared by fellow students on an ad-hoc basis


Your final grade is determined by your performance on the following:

Discussion participation 50%
MinTap® Assessments 50%
Total 100%

Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

A = 93-100      A- = 90-92

B+ = 87-89      B = 83-86        B- = 80-82

C+ = 77-79       C = 73-76         C- = 70-72

D+ = 67-69      D = 63-66        D- = 60-62


Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado