Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology


Psychology at Cal State L.A. is offered in programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Science degrees. A minor is also available for students who are majoring in other fields in which a knowledge of psychology would be beneficial.

Psychology is the scientific study of the behavior of both humans and animals. Some psychologists are primarily concerned with learning more about human behavior through scientific methods; others are concerned with the application of psychological principles, as in psychotherapy, behavior modification, and industrial psychology. Some specific areas of opportunities for psychology majors with various degrees of professional training include clinical and counseling psychology (personal adjustment of individuals as in marriage counseling), community psychology (welfare agencies or mental health organizations), developmental psychology (children's clinics or hospitals), experimental psychology (in research settings), human factors psychology (assessment of human performance), industrial and personnel psychology (selection and training personnel), psychometric psychology (design of tests to assess individual's abilities and interests), and social psychology (behavior of individuals in groups).

The undergraduate program provides basic training for students planning a professional career in psychology, as well as for those who need a general background for such fields as law, medicine, religion, government, management, sales, marketing, or industrial relations.

At the graduate level, both Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees are offered. Although both degrees provide strong preparation for doctoral work, the M.A., with its research orientation, is more specifically predoctoral. The M.S. degree prepares students to enter professions such as marriage, family, child counseling and applied behavior analysis.

The Applied Behavior Analysis option trains students in the concepts and techniques of behavior analysis as they apply to areas of counseling, behavioral medicine, and education, provides training in traditional areas of psychology, and prepares students for employment at the master's degree level and for doctoral level training. The Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling option qualifies students for state licensure and equips them with the skills necessary for employment in mental health and related fields that utilize psychological and counseling services. Teaching College Psychology provides the preparation for and experience of teaching psychology at the college level.

Abundant opportunities exist for students to pursue their particular interests through individual instructor-directed studies. The department's Psychology Clinic is utilized as a training facility for Psychology majors. Students selected are admitted to this program upon approval for enrollment in applicable psychology courses and may counsel children, families, and /or groups.

The Psychology Department is committed to providing available, accurate academic advisement through a number of advisement services: the Graduate Faculty Advisers; individual Faculty members; and the Peer Advisement Center. At the Center students provide psychology program and career information, and help with administrative procedures.

The department also has an active chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, open to qualified students, and a Psychology Club, open to all majors. There is a Media Center with an extensive collection of videos, books, and other resources, a modern computer center, and a lounge maintained by the Psychology Club. Faculty-student interaction, in both academic and social settings is an integral part of the Psychology program.

Career Opportunities:

  • Industrial and governmental work
  • School and college instructor
  • Guidance counselor
  • Clinician in private hospitals and clinics
  • Counselor in community centers or mental hygiene clinics
  • Psychological tester
  • Human factors in industry
  • Applied social psychologist
  • Child Psychologist
  • Research in academic, industrial, and government institutions
  • College personnel dean

    For further information, please contact the Department of Psychology at (323) 343-2250 or Fax: (323) 343-2281, the Psychology Department Peer Advisement Center at (323) 343-2268, or the Office of Admissions and University Outreach at (323) 343-3178.


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