Selecting Your Degree

All of our programs provide knowledge about behavior and mental experience which is valuable in many career paths and in personal life. They also provide sound fundamental training in research methods and statistics. This solid foundation enables students to continue learning independently after graduation, which is required to maintain and improve skills and knowledge, and prepares students well for graduate study. Graduate programs prefer such training over applied training in "doing therapy" or "self-understanding" or "working with people on the job." Our students do well in graduate programs throughout the country.

The Department of Psychology offers two undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B. S.). The B. S. degree has two options, making a total of three programs. Psychology majors must select one of those three programs. (We do not offer graduate degrees in our department, but graduate programs in counseling psychology and in other areas are available at CSUH in the Department of Educational Psychology, a separate department.)

The goals of the three programs are described below. If you can't decide right away which program is best for you, select the Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) program and register for courses that also count toward the other programs. You can switch programs later without difficulty if you decide a different option is right for you.

Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) Program

The B. A. program is appropriate for most psychology students. It encourages exposure to many areas of knowledge and provides a basic understanding of human behavior and motivation that is valuable in everyday life, as well as in many careers. This program is appropriate for students who plan to seek immediate employment after graduation in business, government, social service, and education, as well as in mental health. It also provides the background expected for entry into graduate programs in any area of psychology, including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, health psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and experimental psychology.

The complete B. A. program is offered on the Hayward Campus both during the day and in the evening. Contra Costa students will need to take some courses on the Hayward campus to complete the B. A. degree.

B.A. program requirements changed in Fall 2006. New students must meet the new requirements. Continuing students may use the old or the new requirements. See Selecting your Catalog.

Printable checklists

Bachelor of Science, Option in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (87 units)

The I/O Option prepares students for careers in psychology as it applies to business and industry, with an emphasis on personnel management. It stresses the areas of psychology most applicable to work in business and industry. It also requires courses in accounting, computer programming, management and statistics. These courses allow graduates to fit comfortably into a business environment. Many careers are available without further training, but this program is also good preparation for graduate study.

The complete I/O Option is offered on the Hayward Campus during the day and at the Contra Costa Campus at night. Hayward Campus evening students will need to take some courses either during the day or at the Contra Costa Campus.

Program requirements for the I/O Option changed in Fall 2006. New students must meet the new requirements. Continuing students may use the old or the new requirements. See Selecting your Catalog. Note that changes in the College of Business may make it difficult to complete the 2004-2006 requirements.

Printable checklists

Bachelor of Science, Option in Ergonomics and Human Factors (90 - 94 units)

The Ergonomics and Human Factors Option prepares students for careers in human factors or engineering psychology. Psychologists who work in this area perform research to learn the limits of peoples' skills, and help design work environments, procedures, and equipment (e.g., computers, aircraft, automobiles) to take account of human strengths, limitations, and preferences. In addition to relevant courses in psychology and statistics, this option requires courses in computer programming and physics. These courses enable graduates to communicate effectively with the engineers and physical scientists with whom they will work. Careers are available to students without advanced training, but this program is designed to meet entrance requirements in graduate programs in Psychology, Industrial Engineering, and Engineering Psychology at many universities. This option is accredited by the Oxford Research Institute.

Several courses required by the Ergonomics and Human Factors Option are offered only on the Hayward Campus during the day.

Printable checklists

Scheduling Considerations

It's possible to complete any program within two years, if you schedule carefully. However, it's better to distribute your major requirements throughout your college career, interspersing them with general education and elective courses.

You can attend any combination of day and evening courses, or Hayward Campus and Contra Costa Campus courses. No special registration procedures are required. Courses are equivalent in all settings.

The complete B. A. program is offered both during the day and at night at the Hayward Campus. Both B. S. options are also offered during the day at the Hayward Campus. The only complete program at the Contra Costa Campus is the B. S. program in Industrial Psychology, at night. Although we offer some of the B.S. courses at night on the Hayward Campus, students cannot complete the B. S. requirements at night at the Hayward Campus. Similarly, with good planning, a student can complete most of the B. A. requirements at the Contra Costa Campus, but not all of them.

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