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B.A. Program

The mission of the Psychology Department at Cal State San Marcos is to provide excellence in undergraduate and graduate education in the science of psychology, the scientific study of behavior in both humans and animals. Our degree program emphasizes psychology as an empirical science and the development of skills that include written and oral communication, information literacy, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and critical analysis of complex problems. We believe that consideration of multicultural perspectives and ethical issues are integral to the study of human behavior and characteristics.

How do we achieve this mission?

Central to fulfilling our instructional mission is a faculty composed of excellent teachers who are active scholars. Psychology faculty members regularly contribute to scientific knowledge in their respective fields, in both basic and applied research areas.

Active collaboration with students is an important feature of our scholarship and pedagogical practice. We fulfill our mission by immersing students in the psychological laboratory, in order to master the skills in critical thinking, research methods, and communication that are necessary for the scientific study of behavior. We define the psychology laboratory broadly, including on-campus research environments and field research sites in the local community (hospitals, clinics, educational settings, community service organizations, business and industry, and zoological parks). Field experiences forge strong ties between the Psychology Department and the region, and serve our mission for student community involvement.

What do our majors do?

The psychological science major prepares students for careers in a variety of psychology-related settings including research laboratories, mental health agencies, hospitals, academic institutions, business, industry, and public organizations. Our students are also well-prepared for graduate training in fields such as experimental, clinical, and counseling psychology, teaching, social work, medicine, law, business and management, and public administration. The structure of our program and the specific experiences, knowledge and skills promoted prepare our students for the tasks and challenges they will face in the broader community.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Science will be able to:

  • Describe the major concepts theories, empirical findings, historical trends in psychology and their application to behavioral and mental processes.
  • Describe (as a way of understanding) the scientific approach to psychology and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, quantitative analysis, interpretation and reporting in APA format.
  • Apply creative and critical thinking and employ skeptical inquiry to addressing issues and solving problems related to psychological phenomenon.
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently locate, identify and critically evaluate scholarly literature in the discipline of psychological science.
  • Thoughtfully consider and appraise alternative viewpoints, diverse socio-cultural perspectives and ethical issues related to psychological topics.

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