Bachelor of Arts

Major Requirements

The Psychology major consists of 44 units at SSU:  40 units in psychology plus a 4-unit course in statistics. Students are encouraged to work in community internships and to expand their knowledge of diversity issues with coursework within the department and the university.

Lower Division Courses
Course Units
Psy 250, Introduction to Psychology (or equivalent) 3
Math 165, Elementary Applied Statistics (GE Area B4) (or equivalent) 4
Psy 270, Psychology of Self-Discovery 4
Psy 280, Psychological Research Methods (or equivalent) 4


Upper Division Courses
Course Units
Complete one course from 4 out of 5 Breadth Areas 15-16
Electives drawn from Breadth Areas or Electives 13-14

Total 44

No more than 11 of the 44 major units may be lower-division psychology units. At least 29 units must be upper-division psychology courses (SSU courses numbered 300 or higher). All courses for the major must be taken for a grade if this is offered, and must be passed with a grade of C or better. A maximum of 8 units may be taken for credit / no credit in the major — this includes internships and special studies courses. Psychology GE courses count for the major as well as for GE.

Required Courses for the Major

Lower-Division Courses

Psy 250, Introduction to Psychology, gives students a broad overview of the diverse theories and methods that psychologists use to investigate questions about human behavior and experience. An equivalent course may be taken at other colleges and universities. A passing AP or IB exam score meets this course requirement.

Math 165, Elementary Applied Statistics, provides the foundation to understand how psychologists and social scientists evaluate the evidence obtained in empirical studies. Bus 211, Business Statistics and Econ 217, Statistics for Economics and Business also meet this requirement. An equivalent course in Math or Psychology may be taken at other colleges or universities. Most students use this course to meet the GE Area B requirement.

Psy 270, Psychology of Self-Discovery, develops skills characteristic of healthy, engaged, growth-oriented people in areas such as mindfulness, emotional intelligence, interpersonal relationships, dreamwork, and self-reflection.

Psy 280, Introduction to Research Methods, provides foundational knowledge and skills in psychological research methods, data collection and data interpretation. An equivalent course may be taken at other colleges and universities.

Upper-Division Breadth Areas

Students should complete one upper-division course from 4 out of 5 Breadth areas: Holistic, Clinical / Counseling, Developmental, Social / Personality, and Cognitive / Physiological.

  • Holistic courses focus on the whole person by developing knowledge and skills integral to personal health and growth, such as self-reflection, self-awareness and creativity.

  • Clinical / Counseling courses develop knowledge and skills in understanding and helping others as well as health-promoting behaviors.

  • Developmental courses investigate changes in people over the life span, and explore how this knowledge can be used in applied settings such as parenting, education, and community life.

  • Social / Personality courses focus on how individual differences among people and the social context in which they live shape their emotions, thoughts and behavior.

  • Cognitive / Biological courses explore the physiological and biological foundations of human experience, as well as the mental processes involved in learning, memory, perception, language and problem solving.

Courses offered for each of the breadth areas (pdf)

We are no longer accepting Psychology Minor applications as of Spring 2016 - Present.