Online Non-Matriculating Courses

Interested in taking a course at William James College? We are pleased to offer a number of 8-week online courses that can be taken without enrolling in one of our degree programs. All courses are offered entirely online with rolling enrollment. Please refer to the FAQ's for more information.

Available Online Courses

Successful completion of these courses may serve as some of the admission pre-requisites for our Doctorate in Clinical Psychology program.

PY500 - Abnormal Psychology

This course presents a broad overview of the realm of abnormal psychology. Students will examine and review critically the cultural construction of mental health and illness, the history of psychiatric diagnosis, and the major historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives regarding the diagnosis, causes, and treatment of abnormal behavior. The course also introduces students to the major categories of child and adult mental disorders and the current North American system of psychiatric classification and nomenclature as illustrated in the most current edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V). 

This course fulfills the Abnormal Psychology pre-requisite for our PsyD Clinical program.

Instructor: Caroline Miller, PsyD
Course Textbook: Kring A,M., Johnson, S.L., Davison, G.C., & Neale, J.M. (2014). Abnormal Psychology, (12th Ed-DSM-5 Update). New York: Wiley. ISBN#: 9781118640883

PY501 - Developmental Psychology

This course offers an exploration of a person's development throughout the lifespan. This exploration plays particular attention to the wide variety of the human experience and to cultural variations. A developmental perspective tracks neurobiological, cognitive, affective, psychomotor and intra an interpersonal features of human growth. Key models of development representing psychodynamic, structural, behavioral and cognitive schools of thought will be reviewed as well as current trends in developmental research.

This course fulfills the Developmental Psychology pre-requisite for our PsyD Clinical program.

Instructor: Ronda Goodale, PhD
Course Textbook: Feldman, Robert (2018). Discovering the Life Span. 4th Edition.

PY502 - Theories of Personality

This course introduces the student to the concept and study of human personality and presents a survey and critical review of the major theories in the field, including their historical bases, core tenets and concepts, strengths, weaknesses, current status, and major applications. Among the approaches covered are the psychodynamic, interpersonal, social, behavioral, humanistic, biological, and evolutionary.

This course fulfills the Personality Theories pre-requisite for our PsyD Clinical program.

Instructor: Caroline Miller, PsyD
Course Textbook: Sollod, R.N., Wilson, J.P., & Monte, C.F. (2009). Beneath the mask: An introduction to theories of personality. New York: Wiley. ISBN#: 978-0-471-72412-4 

Successful completion of these courses may be transferable into our Bachelors in Psychology and Human Services program.

BS101 - Best Practices In Case Management

Best Practices in Case Management

Credits: 3

This course covers the variety of principles, practices, and issues associated with professional case management in human services. Emphasis is placed on the multiple roles and responsibilities of the case manager, his or her place within diverse human services settings, and the specific tasks associated with addressing human need. Students will learn to coordinate and effectively manage the comprehensive and holistic care of clients, from initial contact through termination of services. This course will provide students with a foundation for conducting needs and strengths-based assessments, completing documentation, planning for treatment and service delivery, and integrating, referring and following-up on services. In addition, the context in which the case management process occurs is reviewed, and organizational, legal, and ethical issues confronting the case manager are addressed.

BS102 - Leadership in Human Services

Leadership in Human Services

Credits: 3

The focus of this course is on the basic principles of personal and interpersonal leadership that can be used in any life arena. This class will explore variables that affect productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency, and a variety of interpersonal skill-sets. Emphasis will be placed on vision, goals & objectives, motivation, decision-making, time management, power, team building, conflict, ethics, dealing with change, communication skills, and diversity issues. In addition, we will explore a variety of other topics including developing your personal leadership style, and organizational politics.

BS103 - Chronic and Severe Mental Illness

Chronic and Severe Mental Illness

Credits: 3

This course will develop the knowledge, skills, and practice behaviors needed to work with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.  The course will review the trends, modalities, and evidence-supported treatments for working with individuals’ psychiatric disabilities such as diagnosis of the DSM V major disorders, including mood, anxiety, personality, and psychotic disorders. Discrimination and social inequalities of those who suffer from psychiatric disabilities are highlighted throughout the course, including discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability and diagnosis. This course will further expand students’ prior learning in diagnoses and psychotherapeutic treatments.

FMT325 - Introduction to Family Systems and Family Theory

Introduction to Family Systems and Family Therapy

Credits: 3

This course offers a study of the family as a system and the concepts and principles applicable to helping individuals within a systems perspective. Students will be introduced to family systems theory and to the predominant models of family therapy. Students will consider factors that disrupt and enhance family functioning. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own families, and to explore a fictional family to further their understanding of the course concepts.

PHIL320 - Introduction to Trauma, Resilience and Crisis Intervention

Introduction to Trauma, Resilience and Crisis Intervention

Credits: 3

This course will provide an overview of the history of the development of trauma theory, in addition to psychophysiology and neurobiology of trauma. The course will review trauma diagnoses and comorbidity will be considered, including posttraumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and the dissociative disorders. The emphasis throughout the course will be on resilience and the importance of tailoring interventions.

PHS201 - Helpers and Heroes

Helpers and Heroes

Credits: 3

Beginning with a survey of classic research studies from the field of social psychology, this course asks students to consider the definitions of helpers and heroes and various factors that contribute to bystander intervention/bystander apathy when confronted with challenging social situations.  The framework of a “heroic imagination” will be detailed and applied to various challenging social situations, including racism, bullying, cyber bullying, relationship violence, cheating, and assisting someone who is experiencing a mental or physical health crisis.  Students will gain concrete helping skills to enhance confidence in responding to others in prosocial ways. 


Please click here to access the online registration form.

Once your form and payment have been received, someone from William James College will be in touch with you about next steps for accessing the online course. Start dates are offered almost every Monday, following the acceptance of your registration form. Please be sure to indicate on your registration form your Monday start date preference. We will do our best to accommodate all starts date requests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does each course cost

 Each 3 credit course costs $600/credit + $50 student services fee, totaling $1850. Students who take more than one course at a time only pay one $50 student services fee per term.

Are the courses transferrable into any of the WJC programs

All transfer of credit requests must be made through the accepting department and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However the following courses may be transferable into our BS in Psychology and Human Services program.

The following three courses will be considered for fulfilling some of the pre-requisite coursework for the William James College Clinical PsyD program application.

  • PY500: Abnormal Psychology
  • PY501: Developmental Psychology
  • PY502: Theories of Personality
How long does it take to complete a course

 Each course is 8 weeks long, and is broken up into 8 weekly modules. Students are expected to complete one module a week, for a total of 8 weeks.

Can I participate in the course at any time

Our online non-matriculating courses are offered in an asynchronous format which means you can complete most of the course requirements at your own pace, provided you meet the weekly deadlines. For each week/module there will be several activities including readings, video lectures and assignments. Readings and lectures can be completed at any time during the week, however assignments must be turned in by the weekly deadline.

How often are courses offered

The online non-matriculating courses have rolling registration with a start date almost every Monday. Upon receipt of your completed registration form, someone from the college will contact you regarding your course start date.

Will I be taking the online course with other students

 Since the online courses are self-paced, you will not likely be a part of an online cohort of students. Instead you will have frequent interaction with your course instructor as well as guided interaction with the course material. If another student enrolls at the same time you do, there may be an opportunity for peer to peer collaboration. This will be determined by the course instructor.

Is there a limit to how many students can enroll in course

 Courses are limited to 10 students at a time, so that instructors can provide frequent interaction and ample feedback for each student. If a course meets maximum enrollment, applicants will be placed on a waitlist in the order in which they applied. Waitlist times will vary depending on the time of year, however it may be as short as one week.

What is your refund policy

 If you submit a withdraw request before your scheduled start date, a full refund will be issued. Please note however that no refund can be issued after a student has opened the online course.

Do I have to be tech savvy in order to be successful in a GPPC course

We design our online courses to be accessible to students even with the most limited of technological knowledge. However, to be successful in any online course, including the ones we offer here at William James College, basic computer literacy is required.

Since we know our students come from varied backgrounds, educations, and technological abilities, we have created a list to give you an idea of the technology abilities expected of our online students. This is not a comprehensive list nor will you necessarily be using these specific skills in your online course; however, the examples will give you a sense of the type of technology skills needed to succeed.

Here are some examples of things that people with basic computer literacy can do:

  •    copy and paste
  •    write and send e-mails, including with attachments
  •    refresh a webpage
  •    open a new browser tab or window
  •    download and save a file to your computer
  •    use a search engine
  •    basic word processing skills, including changing fonts
I have never taken an online course before - Is this the right format for me

 William James College's online courses are just as rigorous and engaging as the face-to-face courses, however the self-paced and intensive format may not be conducive to all learning styles.