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College of Liberal Arts

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Psychology - Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (code PSY_BA01) (120 units)

The Psychology Department maintains an undergraduate advising and admissions office in Psychology Building Room 206, (562) 985-5680. Go to, select "Undergraduate Program" and "Peer Advisor Center." Advisors are available year round to assist students with admission, registration, degree requirements, and information about graduate study. An undergraduate handbook is available.

The number of applicants to the major in Psychology has typically exceeded the number that can be accommodated by the department’s resources. For this reason the undergraduate major has been designated as impacted by the California State University and a supplemental application may be required.

Admission Under Impaction

To be eligible for admission to Psychology, applicants must demonstrate the following prior to the semester for which the application is submitted. Applicants must have met requirements for admission to the university as a freshman or transfer student. Applicants must have completed the following prerequisite courses, each with a minimum grade of "C": PSY 100, 210, and 220 or their equivalents. Applicants must have completed at least 60 units applicable to a CSULB degree prior to the term for which admission is sought. The number of applicants who can be admitted is limited by space availability. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission for admission based on cumulative grade point average, with a minimum of 2.25. Students provisionally admitted to the upper-division major must complete PSY 301 with a passing grade no later than the end of their first semester in the major, or they will be dropped from the major.

Learning Goals and Technical Skills

Students who graduate with a major in psychology should have current knowledge of:

  1. the major theories in psychology and their influences across subfields and time.
  2. the major methodologies of psychological research and fundamental statistical concepts.
  3. the biological processes underlying behavior.
  4. sensation, perception, information processing and retention.
  5. how behaviors develop and change throughout the life span.
  6. how internal, environmental, and social factors influence behavior.
  7. individual differences in behavior, including those related to gender, ethnicity, and culture.
  8. different perspectives on the origin and treatment of abnormal behavior.
  9. ethical issues in teaching, research, and the practice of professional psychology.

In the course of learning the above, students are expected to graduate with the ability to:

  1. design and implement research, analyze data appropriately and judge the significance of findings.
  2. critically evaluate psychological research as well as popular notions of human nature.
  3. use the primary literature of the field and prepare a clear, organized summary of a topic.
  4. use computers for the preparation of manuscripts, the analysis of data, and communication.
  5. understand and work effectively with a diversity of individuals and groups.
  6. apply theory and research to contemporary problems.
  7. maintain currency in the field and utilize that knowledge in their lives.


The psychology curriculum is designed to provide undergraduate students with a broad background in the principles of Psychology.

Lower Division: (14 units) PSY 100, 210, 241, 220.

Upper Division:

1. 3 units – PSY 301;

2. 6 units – two courses from PSY 331, 332, 333, 336, 340, 341, 342;

3. 6 units – two courses from PSY 351, 356; 361 or 365;

4. 6 units – two courses from (not from the same group):

  • A. PSY 354, 366, 368, 370, 383;
  • B. PSY 310, 314, 315, 359;
  • C. PSY 339I, 346I, 373, 375, 378, 381;

5. 6 units – 400 level PSY courses. No more than 3 units from 405, 406A or 406B may be counted in this category. PSY 499 cannot be counted to satisfy this requirement.

6. 6 units – any upper division psychology courses not used to satisfy the requirement of sections 2 through 5;

7. 6 units – upper division units in Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, American Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, Anthropology, Chicano and Latino Studies, Economics, Educational Psychology, Geography, History, Human Development, Latin American Studies, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology, Women’s Studies. At least 3 units must have an emphasis in contemporary U.S. ethnic studies. A list of acceptable ethnic studies courses may be obtained from the Psychology Advising Office in PSY 206.
Students are advised to consult with the Psychology Advising Office for course choices most relevant to their individual goals.

Honors in Psychology

Admission Requirements

  1. Admitted to the major.
  2. A 3.5 GPA in all Psychology courses.
  3. At least a 3.25 overall GPA.
  4. Letter of support from a psychology faculty member agreeing to serve as Honors Thesis Chair.
  5. Submit honors application to the Psychology Honors Advisory Committee.


  1. Complete all regular requirements for the psychology major.
  2. Complete the following: PSY 310 (4 units), 490H (3 units), 496H (3 units), 498H (3 units).
  3. Complete 3 units in any other 400-level psychology course exclusive of PSY 405, 406, or 499.

Minor in Psychology (code PSY_UM01)

The Minor in Psychology is available to any non-Psychology major.

A minimum of 23 units which must include: PSY 100, 210, 241, and 220, nine upper division psychology units including at least one course from PSY 331, 332, 333, 336, 340, 341, or 342; and at least one course from PSY 351, 356, 361, or 365; and one elective.