This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.A., Psychology

Program Description

The course of study and the requirements for the B.A. degree in Psychology provide an opportunity for students who (a) desire to extend their education in the liberal arts with an emphasis in psychology, (b) wish to prepare themselves for graduate work in psychology or (c) plan to enter one of several professional or occupational fields for which a substantial background in psychology is essential.

Program Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (10 units)

MATH 140 Introductory Statistics (4)*
PSY 150 Introduction to Psychology (3)
PSY 250 Physiological Correlates of Human Behavior (3)*

*A grade of C or higher is required in MATH 140 as a prerequisite to taking PSY 320/L.

Note: Supporting courses in Biology, Mathematics, Philosophy and the social sciences are recommended, but not required.

Note: Lower division courses other than those specified as required do not count toward a major in Psychology. These courses exist to inform students about topics of special interest and will count toward the total units required for graduation.

2. Upper Division Required Courses (24 units)

Note: Completion of the lower division writing requirement is prerequisite to all 300-level courses. Students are advised to complete the lower division writing requirement and to take PSY 301, 320/L and 321/L early in their program because these courses may be prerequisites to other upper division courses required in the major.

a. Required Courses (9 units)

PSY 301 Pre-Professional Development in Psychology (1)**
PSY 320/L Statistical Methods in Psychological Research and Lab (3/1)
PSY 321/L Research Methods in Psychology and Lab (3/1)

**This course is a prerequisite or corequisite for the 300-level cluster courses.

b. Breadth Requirement (12 units)

One course from each of the following four clusters is required.

Cluster 1: Clinical/Personality Psychology (3 units)
Choose one of the following:

PSY 310 Abnormal Psychology (3)
PSY 351 Behavioral Psychology and Therapy (3)
PSY 353 Psychological Interventions (3)
PSY 370 Psychology of Personality (3)
PSY 380 Psychology of Stress (3)

Cluster 2: Cognitive Psychology (3 units)
Choose one of the following:

PSY 304 Cognitive Psychology and Instruction (3)
PSY 367 Cognitive Psychology (3)
PSY 369 Applied Cognition (3)
PSY 382 Principles of Human Factors (3)

Cluster 3: Developmental Psychology (3 units)
Choose one of the following:

PSY 313 Developmental Psychology (3)
PSY 327 Infancy and Early Childhood (3)
PSY 335 Middle Childhood (3)
PSY 361 Adolescence (3)
PSY 365 Introduction to Gerontology (3)

Cluster 4: Social Psychology (3 units)
Required course:

PSY 345 Social Psychology (3)

c. 400-Level Course Requirement (3 units)

Complete a minimum of one 3-unit course at the 400-level. PSY 486SOC, PSY 495A-Z, PSY 497 and PSY 499 cannot be counted to satisfy this requirement.

3. Upper Division Electives (8 units or more)

Electives may include the above upper division courses not taken to satisfy other requirements or any 300- or 400-level courses in the Department of Psychology. Students may not double count the above courses as required courses and elective courses. No more than 6 units combined total of PSY 498 (Practicum) and/or PSY 499 (Independent Study) may be counted toward the major. No more than 6 units of PSY 498 and PSY 499 (12 units total) may be counted toward the B.A. degree.

Note that the number of units in Psychology must total at least 42 units; transfer credit for courses that reflect fewer units than those at CSUN must be compensated for in upper division Psychology elective units.

4. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
6 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: MATH 140 satisfies B4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning; and PSY 150 satisfies 3 units of D1 Social Sciences.

If taken, PSY 312, PSY 352 or PSY 365 satisfies 3 units of upper division D1 Social Sciences and fulfills the Information Competence requirement.

Total Units in the Major: 42

General Education Units: 42

Additional Units: 36

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Department of Psychology
Chair: Jill Razani
Sierra Hall (SH) 376
(818) 677-2827

Student Learning Outcomes

SLO 1:  Knowledge Base in Psychology

Students should demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends and empirical findings to discuss how psychological principles apply to behavioral problems. Students completing foundation courses should demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and application of psychological ideas to simple problems; students completing a baccalaureate degree should show depth in their knowledge and application of psychological concepts and frameworks to problems of greater complexity.

  1. Describe key concepts, principles and overarching themes in psychology.
  2. Develop a working knowledge of psychology’s content domains.
  3. Describe applications of psychology.

SLO 2: Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking

The skills in this domain involve the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods. Students completing foundation-level courses should learn basic skills and concepts in interpreting behavior, studying research and applying research design principles to drawing conclusions about psychological phenomena; students completing a baccalaureate degree should focus on theory use, as well as designing and executing research plans.

  1. Use scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomena.
  2. Demonstrate psychology information literacy.
  3. Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving.
  4. Interpret, design and conduct basic psychological research.
  5. Incorporate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.

SLO 3: Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World

The skills in this domain involve the development of ethically and socially responsible behaviors for professional and personal settings in a landscape that involves increasing diversity. Students completing foundation-level courses should become familiar with the formal regulations that govern professional ethics in psychology and begin to embrace the values that will contribute to positive outcomes in work settings and in building a society responsive to multicultural and global concerns. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should have more direct opportunities to demonstrate adherence to professional values that will help them optimize their contributions and work effectively, even with those who do not share their heritage and traditions. This domain also promotes the adoption of personal and professional values that can strengthen community relationships and contributions.

  1. Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
  2. Build and enhance interpersonal relationships.
  3. Adopt values that build community at local, national and global levels.

SLO 4: Communication

Students should demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills. Students completing foundation-level courses should write a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, explain the ideas of others and express their own ideas with clarity. Students completing a baccalaureate degree should produce a research study or other psychological project, explain scientific results and present information to a professional audience. They should also develop flexible interpersonal approaches that optimize information exchange and relationship development.

  1. Demonstrate effective writing for different purposes.
  2. Exhibit effective presentation skills for different purposes.
  3. Interact effectively with others.

SLO 5: Professional Development

The emphasis in this goal is on application of psychology-specific content and skills, effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills and career preparation. Foundation-level outcomes concentrate on the development of work habits and ethics to succeed in academic settings. The skills in this goal at the baccalaureate level refer to abilities that sharpen student readiness for post-baccalaureate employment, graduate school or professional school. These skills can be developed and refined both in traditional academic settings and in extracurricular involvement. In addition, career professionals can be enlisted to support occupational planning and pursuit. This emerging emphasis should not be construed as obligating psychology programs to obtain employment for their graduates, but instead as encouraging programs to optimize the competitiveness of their graduates for securing places in the workforce.

  1. Apply psychological content and skills to career goals.
  2. Exhibit self-efficacy and self-regulation.
  3. Refine project-management skills.
  4. Enhance teamwork capacity.
  5. Develop meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.