Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The mission of the undergraduate psychology program at Brandman University is to foster student success and academic excellence with the goal of facilitating personal and professional growth by providing relevant knowledge about major psychological concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical and contemporary trends in psychology. The rigorous and supportive atmosphere enables students to initiate and manage their own learning, build critical and creative thinking skills, improve communication skills, instill personal and professional ethics, develop community and people centered values, understand individual differences, and build awareness of cultural diversity in order to develop cross cultural competence and acceptance.

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (B.A.) provides a core curriculum that emphasizes psychological theory, critical thinking, research methodology, psychology processes, and the application of psychological principles to diverse areas of human behavior.  Students take required core courses that provide the student with the essentials of psychological science and thought.  The program has a senior capstone, where students reflect on their psychology program, as well as their goals for the future.

In addition to the core courses, students have choices of concentration areas, which offer a variety of options to meet students’ interests and educational and career goals, while providing content from biological, evolutionary, behavioral, psychoanalytic, cognitive, sociocultural, and humanistic perspectives. Students have the opportunity to participate in practical fieldwork experience and elective independent research projects.

All courses taken in the major program must be passed with a letter grade of “C” or higher.  Courses may be used to fulfill both major and general education requirements.  In addition to PSYU 101 Introduction to Psychology, a total of 6 lower-division credits in the psychology elective area will be accepted for credit by CLEP and DANTES examinations.

Overall, the psychology undergraduate curriculum is designed for students who want to prepare for graduate study in psychology or related disciplines, graduate study in fields where knowledge of human behavior would be beneficial, professional careers in psychology, or baccalaureate-level careers in human services or in psychological support settings.  

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Application of Theory: Connect psychological theory to real life applications.
  • Human Behavior: Examine psychological principles of human behavior from a historical perspective.
  • Research Methods and Statistics: Understand methodology and statistical techniques related to behavioral science research.
  • Scientific Writing: Apply appropriate methods of scientific writing in APA format.
  • Life Span Development: Understand and apply the major theories related to the entire lifespan from prenatal development through childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle-age, and late adulthood.

Degree Requirements

Core Foundation in Psychological Science (Required)
PSYU 101Introduction to Psychology3
MATU 203Introduction to Statistics3
PSYU 301Scientific Writing in Behavioral Social Sciences3
PSYU 304Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences3
PSYU 306Critical Thinking3
PSYU 320Human Development across the Lifespan3
PSYU 328Abnormal Psychology3
PSYU 333Physiological Psychology3
PSYU 336Social Psychology3
PSYU 351History and Systems of Psychology3
PSYU 480Psychology Capstone3
Core Foundation in Psychological Science Subtotal33
Students will select a concentration from the options below. *
Concentration Subtotal15
Total Credits48


Pre-clinical Concentration

The pre-clinical concentration is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a higher level of education in psychology, which is necessary in this field.  The students who choose this concentration will be provided with a variety of courses that address the study of human behavior from biological, evolutionary, psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, sociocultural, and humanistic perspectives, giving them a strong background to proceed to a doctoral degree in different psychological domains.  

PSYU 310Psychology of Learning3
PSYU 317Cognitive Psychology3
PSYU 322Theories of Personality3
PSYU 323Child Development3
PSYU 432Introduction to Psychological Measurement3
Total Credits15

Industrial/Organizational Concentration

Students who are interested in applying their psychology degree in a business setting will thrive in the Industrial/Organizational Concentration. This concentration gives students the ability to take theoretical perspectives and use them in a practical and applied manner in a variety of workplace settings.  Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology is a high demand field designed to promote employee productivity and retention support organizations in dealing with diversity issues, job selection, training, performance feedback, coaching and other issues related to personnel in organizational settings.  

OLCU 400Theory and Practice of Leadership3
PSYU 432Introduction to Psychological Measurement3
PSYU 460Introduction to Career Development3
PSYU 462Personnel Psychology3
PSYU 481Organizational Psychology3
Total Credits15

Child Psychology Concentration

The child psychology concentration is designed for students interested in working with all children with a specific emphasis on children with various developmental challenges.  The Child Psychology Concentration provides students with a greater depth of study in child development, learning, and current treatment options for children with autism and other disabilities.  It addresses child development from biological, evolutionary, behavioral, psychoanalytic, cognitive, sociocultural, and humanistic perspectives and provides applied courses on how to enhance child development and learning.

PSYU 310Psychology of Learning3
PSYU 323Child Development3
PSYU 398Pediatric Neuropsychology3
PSYU 464Applied Behavioral Analysis3
PSYU 466Preferred Behavior Enhancement3
Total Credits15

Community Psychology Concentration

The Community Psychology Concentration is designed for students who are interested in working with community programs designed to serve individuals who are disadvantaged or feel disenfranchised.  The focus of this concentration is on the cultural, environmental, economic, social, and political factors that influence and shape the lives of people throughout the world.  It prepares students to apply psychological principles to person-environment fit.  Classes cover theoretical perspectives, as well as applied experiences where problems are identified and solutions are developed.

PSYU 418Community Mental Health3
PSYU 421Cross-Cultural Psychology3
PSYU 450Introduction to Counseling3
PSYU 468Case Management3
Select one elective of student's choice3
Total Credits15

Gerontology Concentration

The Gerontology Concentration is designed to prepare students to understand and apply psychological and sociological principles when working with the aging population. They address psychological issues related to aging, grief and bereavement, successful and functional aging, social policy, and aging and culture, among other important content.  These courses take a multidisciplinary approach, because geropsychology practitioners serve as members of interdisciplinary teams, collaborating with a variety of professionals, including psychologists, medical and other mental health care services providers, to ensure quality care. 

PSYU 470Psychology of Aging3
PSYU 471Issues in Aging3
PSYU 472Health Care and Aging3
PSYU 473Social Aspects of Aging3
SOWK 482Social Work with Older Adults3
Total Credits15

General Psychology Concentration

The General Psychology Concentration is designed for students who are interested in addressing a broad range of topics in psychology, without being tied to one particular focus.  Students are able to select any psychology elective classes they desire in order to build a diverse basis of psychological theory and application, giving students the opportunity to explore multiple domains of psychology.  A student who graduates with a general psychology concentration may consider careers that demand an understanding of human behavior and cognition.  The general psychology concentration can offer a student a better understanding of various specialties that can be pursued at the graduate level if desired.

Select five Psychology elective courses *15