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The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 39 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Major Academic Plans page or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

Courses in this program may complete more than one graduation requirement.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

  • Any upper-division Writing (W) course.

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Course Requirements for the Major: 42-44 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

Psychology Core Courses: 26 units

7 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Introduction to concepts and problems in psychology. Topics include perception, learning, development, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior, and biological and social bases of behavior. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (007881)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher. Prerequisite or corequisite: PSYC 101.
Aspects of the psychological research process and research methods, including measurement and the quantitative description of behavior. Topics also include hypothesis formation and testing, major research approaches to psychological phenomena, and the critical assessment of research. 3 hours lecture. (007898)
Prerequisite: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W (or equivalent, PSYC 101 may be taken concurrently.
An overview of the academic landscape in psychology and career options for psychology majors, with an emphasis on skill development for academic and professional success, including professional writing in psychology. 3 hours lecture. (021866)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, PSYC 101, PSYC 261.
An introduction to basic processes involved in brain function and an overview of the biological bases of behaviors such as sleep, biological rhythms, sex, emotions, learning and memory, language, laterality, and psychophysiological states such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. The laboratory includes the study of neuroanatomy and experiments on topics such as EEG, GSR, biofeedback, hemisphere specialization, and cardiovascular reactivity. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (007901)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, PSYC 101, PSYC 261, or faculty permission.
An in-depth examination of current research and theory in cognition. Topics include attention, memory models, language, problem solving, creativity, reasoning, decision making, human and artificial intelligence, and cognitive development. 3 hours lecture. (007903)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, PSYC 101, PSYC 261.
The analysis of research data in psychology using inferential statistical methods, with an emphasis on relevant statistical designs, understanding statistical conclusions in published research, and professional report writing. Descriptive statistics, graphing, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, chi-square, t-tests, and analysis of variance. Single factor designs and ANOVA, post-hoc comparisons, repeated measures ANOVA, and simple factorial designs. Professional reporting of research. Laboratory provides examples, applications, and development of research data analysis and statistical evaluation skills. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (007904)
Prerequisites: GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, PSYC 101, PSYC 261.
An examination of the principles of learning and the environmental determinants of behavior change, emphasizing fundamental mechanisms such as habituation, sensitization, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning, as well as applications of those mechanisms. 3 hours lecture. (007905)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, PSYC 101, PSYC 261, PSYC 364, and four additional courses in the major.
This is the capstone course in the major. Students integrate different topics and perspectives, previously examined in the core and elective courses. This integration centers on important contemporary issues and problems in the discipline of psychology. After an in-depth examination of the issue, students generate solutions to problems, new lines of research or fusions of perspectives, depending upon the topic under investigation. Multiple sections of PSYC 401 are offered each semester, each focusing on a unique topic. Students in this seminar participate in advanced readings, writing, reporting, discussion, demonstration, oral presentation, and experiential components. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or higher certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (007990)
Prerequisites: Completion of PSYC 399HW with a B or higher, faculty permission.
A seminar for Honors students. Prepare the creative project begun in PSY 399HW for presentation and publication. 9 hours supervision. (007992)

Psychology Breadth Selection Areas: 12 units

Select four of the following areas and take one course from each area selected.

4 courses selected from:


SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Examination of psychological factors involved in the learning processes of children. 3 hours lecture. (007884)
An introduction to the psychological processes and phenomena associated with middle and older adulthood. 3 hours lecture. (004457)
Examination of the theories and empirical research relevant to physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development from the prenatal period through adolescence. Influences such as family, peers, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and media are also examined. The interaction between nature and nurture on developmental outcomes is interwoven throughout the course. 3 hours lecture. (007925)

Individual Processes/Wellness:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course provides an introduction to the field of health psychology which is the field within psychology devoted to understanding psychological influences on how people stay healthy, why they become ill, and how they respond when they do get ill. Topics include a study of health psychology as a profession, the bio-psychosocial model of health, health belief models and human behavior, health-compromising and health-enhancing behaviors, cognitive-behavioral approaches to behavior change, stress and coping, personality and health, and psychological issues in heart disease, cancer, AIDS, and other diseases. 3 hours discussion. (007975)
Introduction to the study of psychopathology (or psychology disorders) with an emphasis on diagnostic criteria, assessment and testing, and treatment models. 3 hours lecture. (007939)
Introduction to the nature and development of personality, with emphasis on the normal adult, including theories of personality, techniques of assessment, and a survey of current research. 3 hours lecture. (007944)

Social Processes:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course examines the social-psychological aspects of the interdependence of humans and their environment. The course emphasizes psychological theory and current research along with a practical focus on environmental issues. 3 hours lecture. (007971)
The interrelationship of psychological, physiological, and cultural factors in romantic relationship development and family relations. 3 hours lecture. (007937)
An overview of social psychology, emphasizing the variety of social factors that influence individual behavior including topics such as the self-serving bias, culture, persuasion, conformity, prejudice, aggression, and attraction. 3 hours lecture. (007952)


SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course focuses on the importance and various influences of culture on human behavior. Beginning with an examination of theoretical definitions of culture, the course covers a broad range of research that highlights the contributions of cross-cultural psychology to the understanding of human behavior within and between cultures. In addition, conceptual, methodological, and practical issues in cross-cultural research and applications are covered. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (005638)
Important issues, theories, and research related to the psychology of women are examined. Common stereotypes, myths, and typical societal expectations are explored in terms of biological, social, psychological, and development determinants. Additionally, the social construction of gender categories, female sexuality, victimization of women, mental health of women, and issues related to education, work, and family are examined. Information in this course should serve as a catalyst for constructive change by revealing deficiencies in psychological research and theories relevant to gender, sexuality, cultural, and ethnic issues. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (007907)
Examination of the nature of prejudice and hate and their contribution to societal violence. How prejudice and hatred affect personal, family, and group behavior are considered in a context of understanding factors that contribute to their development. Strategies for reducing the prevalence of prejudice, hatred, and violence in our contemporary culture are evaluated. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (007908)


SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course explores the fundamental relationships between brain function, mental states and consciousness, and human behavior. Attention is given to the influence of brain research on artificial intelligence, neural networks, and computer technology, and to the current metaphor of brain as computer. The course focus is on basic brain processes involved in sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, learning and memory, and language and consciousness. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (007919)
A review of the major theories, phenomena, and research associated with the structure and function of the sensory and perceptual systems. Primary emphasis is on the visual and auditory systems, but gustation, olfaction, and skin perception are also reviewed. 3 hours lecture. (007985)
Prerequisites: PSYC 321 or PSYC 324 or any course which has covered basic brain anatomy, or faculty permission.
Course examines the behavioral changes which accompany certain known damages to the human brain. Topics include the neuropsychology of language, emotions, memory, learning, movement, personality, aggression, cerebral dominance, neuropsychological assessment, clinical syndromes following head trauma and stroke, developmental learning disorders, and disorders of aging, including Alzheimer's Disease. 3 hours discussion. (007978)
Development of psychology from ancient to modern times. Relationship of this development to twentieth-century systematic viewpoints in psychology. 3 hours lecture. (007986)

Psychology Free Elective Courses: 4-6 units

2 courses selected from:

Any 2 psychology (PSYC) courses or approved substitutions. One course must be a letter graded 3-unit (or more) course. The other course may be a letter graded or credit/no credit 1-unit (or more) internship, independent study, special topic, or traditional course.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  • You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  • You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  • Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  • Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  • Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  • Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Honors in Psychology

In addition to the requirements above, specific requirements in the Honors in Psychology program include:

1. You must complete PSYC 101, PSYC 261, PSYC 364, and 9 units of other upper-division psychology courses before being considered for admission to the Honors in Psychology program.

2. You must apply in the spring semester preceding your two-semester participation in the program.

3. To complete the Honors in Psychology program, you must complete PSYC 399H in the fall semester and PSYC 499H in the spring semester with minimum grades of B. You must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and must make a public presentation of the results of your Honors project.

Catalog Cycle:21