BA in Psychology

About the Major 

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology is both a preparation for advanced study and a terminal liberal arts degree.

The total number of units required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology is 120 units, of which 50-51 units are in the major depending on the courses selected (Note: This applies to undergraduate students who begin at Cal State LA in Fall 2022 or later.)  Consult with an advisor for the specific number of units required in all areas of the degree including GE and free electives.

Advisement in the Major

Check out our Advisement page for advisement appointments, information about permits, forms, handouts, and more...

(For students who started at Cal State LA in Fall 2022 or later)

Requirements for the Major (50-51 units)

The major requires a lower division core of 9 units, an upper division core of 17-18 units and 24 units of electives from designated categories as explained below.  All Psychology majors must receive a grade of C- or higher in all psychology courses, and a grade of C or higher in PSY 3040.

Upper Division Electives (24 units)

Select two courses each from Groups I-VI (24 units).  

Other Psychology Courses: 

Any of these courses except PSY 1600 can apply towards the Electives or Group VI category.


Psychology has 'Major Specific Admission Requirements.' What does this mean?

» If you are interested in applying to Cal State LA as an incoming freshmen or transfer student, please review the information regarding Major Specific Admission Requirements for the psychology major. If you have questions about these requirements, you can contact the Office of Admissions at (323) 343-3901, send an email to [email protected]or visit the Student Information Center located in Student Affairs, Room 101.

» Current Cal State LA students interested in changing majors to psychology: please review the requirements and application.


Graduating students celebrate during their ceremony


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Specialization 

The ABA Specialization option in psychology provides undergraduate students whose major is psychology the option to pursue a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The ABA option consists of six courses approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB)* that along with other requirements (e.g., the required number of supervised clinical hours), would permit students to sit for the Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) exam. The six courses are offered by the psychology department and listed in the university catalog. These courses satisfy Groups 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 (see course list below), and are designed to prepare students not only to pass the BCaBA exam, but once certified, to be employed by one of numerous agencies in California and across the country to provide ABA services to clients. The PSY 3950 course allows the students to complete their field experience at Easterseals of Southern California, or at one of many agencies across the greater Los Angeles area, who then will most likely offer the student employment upon graduation.
Admission to the Program:
Application to the Department of Psychology is required as is an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 in last 60 semester units attempted. 

Requirements for the Program (18 units)

Required Courses:

• PSY 4280 - Introduction to Analysis of Behavior (Group III) (1st Fall semester)
• PSY 4170 - Single Case Research Design (Group V) (1st Fall semester)
• PSY 4210 - Psychology of Learning and Behavior (Group III) (1st Spring semester)
• PSY 4400 - Behavior Analysis and Autism (Group I) (1st Spring semester)
• PSY 4770 - Ethics and Supervision in Applied Behavior Analytic Settings (Group II) (2nd Fall semester)
• PSY 4850 - Field Experience in Psychology (Group VI) (2nd Spring semester)
For more information on the ABA Specialization Program in Psychology, please contact:
Dr. Hank Schlinger
Professor of Psychology
Director, ABA Specialization Program
Office: King Hall A3043
Lab: King Hall D3079
Mailing address: Dept. of Psychology
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90032
“The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.”
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