May 27, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, B.A.

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Psychology (B.A.) 180 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 industry, business, and the professions.

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.

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 developmental psychology, personality, cognitive processes, and learning.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. think scientifically and employ sound scientific methodology;
  2. speak and write clearly about the content and theory of the field of psychology;
  3. apply psychological principles and prepare for careers.

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 over each two-year cycle. However, the range of choices and flexibility of scheduling is more limited in the evening program.


For Advanced Placement course equivalencies, see Registration chapter.

Major Requirements (B.A.) 72 units

The B.A. degree requires a total of 180 units.

  • The core major consists of 72 units;
  • GE/USHG/UWS consists of 84 units (some courses may double-count units - see your advisor).
  • Free Electives (if any) will make up the remainder units to reach 180 minimum total units (see your advisor). 


Note: Please consult an advisor in your major department for clarification and interpretation of your major requirements.

  • Some courses may also be used to satisfy a General Education Requirement
  • No major courses may be taken as CR/NC unless specifically noted.

Breadth Requirements (20 units)

One from each group required:

Elective Requirements (12 units)

Twelve additional units of permissible upper division (3000 or 4000 level) psychology courses; or STAT 4000 Analysis of Variance in the Behavioral Sciences  and eight additional units of permissible upper division psychology courses. A maximum of four units from 4900 or Laboratory Requirement courses may be used toward satisfying this requirement. Course descriptions indicate whether an upper division course is permissible for credit toward the major.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described in the Undergraduate Admission and Degree Information & FAQ  chapter in the front of this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.

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