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Psychology Information | Psychology Programs | Psychology Courses

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, www.csulb.edu/~psyugadv/. Advisors are available year round to assist students with admission, registration, degree requirements, and information about graduate study. An undergraduate handbook is available for purchase.

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.

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 60 units applicable toward a CSULB degree prior to the term for which the application is submitted. Applicants must have completed the following prerequisite courses or articulated equivalents, each with a minimum grade of “C”: PSY 100, 110, and 200. The number of applicants who can be admitted is limited by space availability. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission based on cumulative grade point average, with a minimum of 2.25. Students provisionally admitted to the 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.

Procedure for Admission to the Major

Freshman students: Freshman applicants to the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will be placed in the pre-major code for psychology. Acceptance into the pre-major category does not imply or assure subsequent acceptance into the major.
Continuing students: Continuing students (including transfer applicants who were not admitted to the university as psychology majors) seeking admission to the major in psychology must submit a supplemental application to the department by February 18 for the fall semester or by September 24 for the spring semester. Students with less than 60 units may be designated as pre-majors.
Transfer students: Transfer applicants must apply to the University during the initial filing period of October and November for the following fall semester. They must indicate their choice of major on the application. Admission will be conditional based upon submission of evidence that the requirements noted above will be satisfied by the start of the first semester on campus.

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.

Requirements

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

Lower Division: (14 units) PSY 100, 110, 141, 200.

Upper Division:

1. 3 units – PSY 301;
2. 6 units – two courses from PSY 331, 332, 333, 336; 340 or 341 or 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 352, 354, 366, 368, 370;
b. PSY 310, 314, 315, 359;
c. PSY 339I, 346I, 373, 375I, 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 American Indian Studies, American Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, Anthropology, Black Studies, Chicano and Latino Studies, Economics, Educational Psychology, Geography, History, Human Development, 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.

Requirements

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, 110, 141, and 200, 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.

GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Information about graduate programs can be obtained by examining the Department’s web site www.csulb.edu/~psych/ or by contacting the Graduate Coordinator.

The Department of Psychology offers three options for graduate study leading to the Master’s degree. Two options lead to the Master of Arts degree, one in Research and one in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. One option leads to the Master of Science degree, in Human Factors. In each option a basic core of courses, including a thesis, is required; however, there is the opportunity for additional work in areas of special interest.

The Master of Arts – Research program prepares students for doctoral study, provides a general background in Psychology, and offers electives in clinical, physiological, and other traditional areas of psychology. The Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology prepares students primarily for professional work in business setting, although some students proceed to advanced study. The Master of Science in Human Factors program prepares students for careers in applied experimental psychology, with emphases on aviation psychology and computer usabilty.

Admission to Graduate Programs

An application for admission may be obtained on the Psychology department website (www.csulb.edu/~psych) or by writing directly to the Psychology Graduate Office. Acceptance by the department is contingent upon (a) GPA based on last 60 semester units available at time of application; (b) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the verbal and quantitative sections; and (c) three letters of recommendation. For entry in the fall semester, all application materials, including complete transcripts, GRE scores and letters of recommendation, must be received by the department Graduate Coordinator by March 1 for the Master of Arts Research option and the Master of Science Human Factors option. Beginning with the Fall 2006 entry semester, the Master of Arts Industrial and Organizational option will have an application deadline of February 14.

Financial Support

Students accepted into the graduate programs may apply for graduate assistantships (which provide monthly stipends) in Psychology or related departments on campus. Federal Work Study assignments are available in the Department, but must be applied for through the University Financial Aid Office one or two semesters prior to obtaining the assignment; other aid available includes the Graduate Equity Fellowship (GEF). One student from each Master of Arts program’s entering class may be awarded a J. Robert Newman Scholarship. A Boeing University Relations Human Factors Graduate Scholarship is offered through the Master of Science program.

Master of Arts in Psychology

Option in General Research (code PSY_MA01)

This 30-unit degree program provides graduate psychology training for further study leading toward a doctorate and careers requiring masters level training. Core courses include quantitative and research methods and courses in the basic content areas of Psychology. Students from our program who later enter doctoral programs consistently inform us that they find themselves very well prepared for doctoral study as compared to other students.

Prerequisites

1. A bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology that includes:
A. two courses from the following (not from same group):
a. PSY 331, 332, 333
b. PSY 336
c. PSY 340, 341, 342
B. one of the following: PSY 351; 356; 361; 365
C. PSY 310 or
2. A bachelor’s degree with a major other than psychology and 24 units of upper division psychology substantially equivalent to those required for the baccalaureate degree at this university, including:
A. two courses from the following (not from same group):
a. PSY 331, 332, 333
b. PSY 336
c. PSY 340, 341, 342
B. one of the following: PSY 351; 356; 361; 365
C. PSY 310
3. Six units of college level work in chemistry, physics, biology or mathematics as approved by the graduate coordinator. No more than three of the six units may be in approved mathematics courses.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy is the next step after achieving classified status and confers catalog rights to graduate students. Advancement to Candidacy also signifies approval of a plan of study by the graduate student’s major, department, and college. The requirements to advancement are:

1. Application for Advancement to Candidacy must be completed prior to or concurrent with enrollment in PSY 698 (Thesis).
2. Classified status.
3. An approved program of studies for the Master of Arts, Research option degree.
4. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
5. A minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (at least 6 graduate units).
6. Enrollment in regular session.

Requirements

1. The student must complete, as a graduate student, 30 units of graduate coursework (501-698), 24 of which must be in Psychology (not including PSY 697) including:
a. either PSY 511 or 512 if 411 or 412 or equivalent not taken as an undergraduate;
b. one course chosen from PSY 518, 527, 533, 541, 551, 556, or 582, if corresponding 400-level course or equivalent not taken as an undergraduate;
c. PSY 696 (comprehensive exam required);
d. three courses chosen from PSY 631, 632, 633, 634, 637, 651, 656 or 661 (with comprehensive exams in two of the three courses); PSY 698 (6 units).
2. With the graduate coordinator’s approval a maximum of six units from related areas may be used for six of the 30 units.
3. Attendance at six Department Colloquia, four of which must be completed prior to preliminary oral examination, all six must be completed prior to final oral examination.
4. Completion of all requirements as established by the M.A. Research Committee.
5. Comprehensive examinations taken in three of the four required graduate seminars, as outlined in 1c and 1d above.
6. A preliminary oral examination on the thesis proposal and a final oral examination in defense of the completed thesis.
Option in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (code PSY_MA02)

Students admitted to this 30-unit program prepare for business and industrial positions including personnel selection and organizational development, employee training, applicant and employee testing, etc. Graduates usually go directly into business and industry, through some enter Ph.D. programs.

Prerequisites

1. A bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology or 24 upper division units of psychology.
2. PSY 200, 310 , 314 or 315, 332 or 333 and 351 or 453/553. Students may be admitted to the MAIO program if they lack only one required course. The missing course must be completed within the first year of graduate study. However, PSY 314 or 315 AND 351 or 453/553 must be completed prior to MAIO program entry, as they are prerequisites for the first semester MAIO program coursework. Students missing more than one prerequisite course at the time of application may be offered provisional admission if they submit an approved plan to take the missing courses prior to admission to the program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy is the next step after achieving classified status and confers catalog rights to graduate students. Advancement to Candidacy also signifies approval of a plan of study by the graduate student’s major, department, and college. The prerequisites to advancement are:

1. Application for Advancement to Candidacy must be completed prior to or concurrent with enrollment in PSY 698 (Thesis).
2. Classified status.
3. An approved program of studies for the Master of Arts, Industrial and Organizational option degree.
4. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
5. A minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (at least 6 graduate units).
6. Be enrolled in regular session.

Requirements

1. The student must complete a minimum of 36 units of graduate course work. The following courses are required: PSY 581, 585, 515, 582, 590 (topic subject to Graduate Coordinator approval), 681, 683, 686, 688, and 698; two courses chosen from 511 or 512 or an approved substitute.
2. A preliminary oral examination on the thesis proposal and a final oral examination in defense of the completed thesis.
3. Students with credit in 411, 412, 415, or 482 as undergraduates may petition the MAIO Program Committee to substitute a maximum of 3 units from related areas towards the 36 unit program.

Master of Science in Psychology Option in Human Factors (code PSY_MS04)

The Option in Human Factors under the MS in Psychology is designed to prepare students to apply knowledge of psychology to the design of jobs, information systems, consumer products, workplaces and equipment in order to improve user performance, safety and comfort. Students in the program acquire a background in experimental psychology and research methods. They are trained in the application of the material through courses in human factors, computer applications and interface design. Special topics seminars, in areas such as large-scale simulation and usability testing, complement the core program of study. Finally, students complete a thesis in their chosen area of human factors.

This option is designed as a terminal degree, but also provides excellent preparation for advanced graduate work.

Prerequisites

1. An undergraduate major in Psychology or in another field with 24 units of upper division psychology. A minimum grade point average of approximately 3.0 for the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) and for all Psychology units.
2. The following psychology courses or their equivalents: PSY 310, 331, 332. Students lacking only 310 may be admitted to the program but must complete the course their first semester in attendance.

Recommended: CECS 174 or any course in computer programming; One of the following psychology courses or their equivalents: PSY 340, 341, 342.

Advancement to Candidacy

Satisfy the general requirements of the university for advancement to candidacy.

Requirements

1. A minimum of 36 units of upper division and graduate work including PSY 511, 518, 527, 627, 633, 697, 698, 533 or 634; MAE 508, CECS 448; and 1 course chosen from PSY 512, 544, 696; ENGL 419 or otherwise approved by the program committee.
2. A preliminary oral examination on the thesis proposal and a final oral examination in defense of the completed thesis.