2018-2019 Catalog


Psychology Program Learning Outcomes

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychology

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Roadmap


Master of Arts

Clinical Psychology Option

Health Psychology Option



Karen Wilson, Department Chair

Giacomo Bono, Heather Butler, L. Mark Carrier, Ramona Davis, Maria Hurtado-Ortiz, Erin Merz, Keisha Paxton, Silvia Santos, Tara Victor, Philip Vieira, Karen Wilson
Neil Farmer, Psychology Technician

Department Office: SBS A-336, (310) 243-3427        

Comprehensive Advising Center: SBS B-241B, (310) 243-3585          

Technical Services: SBS A-240, (310) 243-3517


Karen Wilson, SBS A-335, (310) 243-3642

Emeriti Faculty

Jack Adams, Leo Cain, Lisa Gray-Shellberg, Aaron Hass, Diane Henschel, George Marsh, M. Milo Milfs, Harvey Nash, Beverly Palmer, Eleanor B. Simon Price, Larry Rosen, Fred Shima, Quentin C. Stodola, Judith Todd, Sandra Wilcox

Program Description

Psychology is about people's behavior and about people's experience. Psychologists teach and do research or applied work on subjects relating to the social and behavioral sciences. In order to discover more about behavior, psychologists study both humans and animals. Psychology covers a wide range of topics, from the way our social environment influences us to the inner workings of our bodies. This diversity of topics is reflected in the psychology curriculum.
The Department of Psychology sees its mission as offering a solid foundation in the theories and scientific methods of psychology to diverse and nontraditional students who choose to study Psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level. The department offers courses in aspects of the empirical knowledge base of scientific psychology and applied psychology for psychology majors and graduate students. Furthermore, the department helps meet the needs of those studying other subjects, such as Human Services majors, Liberal Studies majors, people minoring in Psychology, and other individuals. The department sees its mission as offering these educational experiences within a framework which values and encourages diversity. Within this broad mission, the department develops, evaluates, and alters, as needed, a set of specific goals and objectives for the psychology major.
The department publishes its goals and objectives for all Psychology students to review. It also engages in an ongoing Outcomes Assessment program to evaluate its success in achieving these goals and objectives. Psychology majors are required to participate in the Outcomes Assessment program in order to evaluate both the effectiveness of the department and student competencies.


At the undergraduate level, the Department of Psychology provides opportunity for the study of three different aspects of the field. For students interested in the research and scientific aspects, courses on the application of the scientific method to the study of human and animal behavior are offered. For those with applied interests, courses relating to counseling, clinical psychology, health psychology and behavioral medicine, industrial and organizational psychology, computers, and service in community agencies are offered. For students with a general interest in psychology, many courses provide knowledge that is useful in understanding one's self and in understanding and relating to others effectively.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology can be completed by attending class during the day or evening hours. At present, it may take six or more semesters to complete the upper division courses in the evening.

Academic Advisement

The Psychology Department Sears Center in SBS B-241B and the faculty provide advising for the psychology major, minor, and electives as well as General Education advisement for psychology majors.

Students who are contemplating or have decided upon a major or minor in psychology or who have an interest in taking psychology courses as electives should see an advisor in the Psychology Department Sears Center at their first opportunity. It is in each student's best interest to see a peer advisor at least once a semester and to keep his or her files in the Sears Center up to date.


High school students are encouraged to take four years of English and three years of mathematics including algebra. Courses in biology and psychology and the other social and behavioral sciences are recommended. Knowledge of computers is helpful for some courses.
Transfer students should contact their counseling center or advisor to identify appropriate lower division major/minor preparatory courses. Whenever possible, transfer students who do not plan to transfer until their junior year should take the lower division equivalents of PSY 101, PSY 230, and PSY 235.

Career Possibilities

In addition to preparing students for graduate study in psychology and other professions, an undergraduate degree can lead directly to employment in business and industry, education, counseling, human services, and several other areas.
Psychology courses also can be used to develop and strengthen adaptive or intellectual skills, and add to students' knowledge base and facilitate development of behavioral traits and attitudes linked to career success. The adaptive skills that are most directly fostered within the psychology curriculum are: interpersonal and human relations skills, thinking and problem solving skills, communication skills.
Psychology is an excellent major or minor for students who are interested in careers in management, communication, marketing or other positions that require understanding of human behavior and human interactions. Many students who are interested in careers in law or medicine choose a psychology degree for their undergraduate major. The psychology degree is pursued by many students who wish to engage in graduate study in psychology at the master's or doctoral degree level as preparation for careers in mental health, psychological research, industrial and organizational psychology and college teaching. Additional competencies recommended for the major include computer literacy and a second language.

Student Organizations

The department has a chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology, a Psychology Club, and numerous opportunities for student involvement in research and service.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Psychology by meeting the following criteria:

1.   A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;

2.   Recommendation by the faculty of the Psychology faculty.

Psychology Skill-Building Elective Course Clusters

Some students may be interested in gaining skills and knowledge in Psychology, but might not want to major in Psychology. Students with interests in gaining psychology-related skills are encouraged to use their general elective courses to take advantage of one of the following skill-building clusters. These clusters are designed to build a foundation in a key area of psychology-oriented skills, such as:

•     Business-related Skills: PSY 314, PSY 340, PSY 367, PSY 372

•     Counseling and Related Services: PSY 342, PSY 360, PSY 363, PSY 367, PSY 464, PSY 470

•     Diversity/Community Issues: PSY 363, PSY 368, PSY 376, PSY 380, PSY 383, PSY 464, PSY 470

•     Family Affairs: PSY 350, PSY 351, PSY 352, PSY 353, PSY 382

•     Interpersonal Skills: PSY 340, PSY 342, PSY 360, PSY 367

•     Children and Adolescents: PSY 350, PSY 351, PSY 314, PSY 367, PSY 382

•     For Psychology majors, the following cluster is suggested for those who plan to apply to graduate school:

•     Graduate School Preparation: PSY 330, PSY 331, PSY 360, PSY 363, PSY 464, additional upper-division Lecture/Laboratory courses