May 23, 2024  
2020-2021 Cal State East Bay Catalog 
2020-2021 Cal State East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, B.A.

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Check out the Roadmap links for this degree below.

Psychology, B.A. Program (120 units)

Program Description

Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes. Many psychologists work primarily with people to understand how they think, respond to stress, learn and forget, develop into unique personalities, and interact with one another. Others study the behavior and nervous systems of animals in order to find general principles that apply across species. Psychologists apply their knowledge to do therapy and counseling, to improve practices in schools, prisons, and rehabilitation centers, and to enhance performance in industrial and business settings.

The Psychology Department offers a major in both the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. These are basic programs; to become a “psychologist” requires graduate training.

The B.A. program is appropriate for most psychology students. It provides a basic understanding of human behavior and motivation that is valuable in many careers in business, government, and education. It also provides the background expected for entry into graduate programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, health psychology, social psychology, or experimental psychology.

The B.S. programs are designed for more specialized purposes. Students in the B.S. program must select one of the two concentrations in that program: Industrial/Organizational Psychology or Ergonomics and Human Factors. The concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology provides preparation for careers related to business, with an emphasis on personnel management. The concentration in Ergonomics and Human Factors provides preparation for careers in the design of work environments to take account of human limitations and strengths, for example, the design of equipment (computers, aircraft, automobiles) or the design of industrial procedures.

In Psychology’s minor program, students can choose courses to complement training in business, communication, health and medicine, law and criminology, statistics, biology, and many other fields. Of special interest to students in that program might be our courses in learning, development, personality, and cognition.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.A. in Psychology will be able to:

  1. Identify key concepts, principles, and applications of psychology’s content domains.
  2. Apply scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena and to design and conduct basic psychological research.
  3. Evaluate the ethics of psychological science and practice.
  4. Demonstrate effective communication skills.
  5. Describe career options within psychology.

Program Roadmaps

These program roadmaps represent recommended pathways through the program. Please see an advisor to create an education plan that is customized to meet your needs.

4-Year Freshmen Roadmap

Psychology, B.A. (2020-21)  


2-Year ADT Roadmap

Psychology, B.A. ADT (2020-21)  

Career Opportunities

Clinical/Counseling/Child Psychologist • Community Mental Health Employee • Experimental Psychologist • Human Service Worker • Police/Probation Officer • Recreation Worker • School Counselor • Social Worker • Special Education Teacher • Substance Abuse Counselor


The Psychology Department’s facilities include a fully equipped computer lab, an animal lab, and several labs for studying human behavior. These facilities support an unusual and important characteristic of the department - its emphasis on hands-on student involvement in the study of human and animal behavior through participation in laboratory courses and faculty research, in field trips, and in community volunteer placements.

Both the Psychology Club and Psi Chi (national honor society in psychology) provide opportunities for students to get together to hear speakers and to discuss topics such as career and graduate school opportunities.

All courses required for the Psychology B.A. major are offered in the evening program, both at the Hayward and Concord campuses, over a two-year period. However, the range of choices and flexibility of scheduling is more limited in the evening program.


Psychology students are encouraged to visit a major advisor when they begin taking classes at Cal State East Bay.  Major advising is handled by the full-time faculty in the department.  Students may visit any advisor; advisors are not assigned, and students do not need to select one.  Office hours and locations are available on the Department website and in the department office.


For Advanced Placement course equivalencies, see Registration & Enrollment .

Degree Requirements Units-Outline

  • A baccalaureate of arts or science degree requires a total of 120 units:
    • The Psychology (BA) major requirements consists of 52 units
    • General Education (GE) & Graduation Requirements (GR) consists of 57 units;
    • Free Electives may consist of 11 units (BA) or 2-8 units (BS); (actual number of free elective units may depend on GE/GR units).

Note: It may be possible to double-count units within the graduation requirements or that a course may satisfy both a graduation requirement and a major requirement.  Students should contact their program and AACE advisors for information.

Psychology (B.A.) Major Requirements (52 units)

Core Requirements

The following 28 units of interdisciplinary core coursework are required:

Psychology Content Requirements

Choose one (1) from each group for 8 units:

Advanced Topics Requirement

Take 12 additional units of upper-division PSYC courses, not including courses beginning with PSYC 491 or PSYC 493, or those marked “Not for psychology major or minor credit” in the catalog. See all Psychology courses by Course Types below.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University’s baccalaureate requirements for graduation, which are described in the Requirements, Exams & Testing  chapter of this catalog. 

Department Courses Listed by Course Type

Psychology Courses

Department of Psychology

Go to information for this department.




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