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    Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, BA

Program Information

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology integrates a rigorous investigation of the foremost topics, major concepts, and core theoretical perspectives within the discipline of psychology along with the essential tenets of liberal arts education, including: effective oral and written communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving strategies, techniques to ensure information literacy, methods for quantitative fluency, and an appreciation of lifelong learning. Fundamental psychological areas of study include: biological, clinical, cognitive, developmental, and social approaches to the field of psychology. Throughout, students will become familiar with the major theoretical approaches, findings, and historical trends in psychology; understand and use major research methods in psychology, including design, data analysis, and interpretation; and gain an understanding of applications of psychology to personal, social, and organizational issues.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the BA in Psychology, including the general education curriculum, will be able to:


  • Describe apply concepts, principles and overarching themes in psychology. 
  • Develop a working knowledge of the major theoretical approaches, findings, historical trends and content domains in psychology.
  • Apply psychological principles to explain and evaluate personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • Develop innovative approaches and solutions to an existing or emerging challenge in psychology that also draw on disciplinary perspectives in ethics, other humanities and/or social sciences.


  • Apply scientific reasoning to interpret and explain phenomena.
  • Locate, evaluate and apply information, using a variety of research tools and methods from the field of psychology.
  • Address complex problems in psychology using innovative and integrative strategies and insights leading to actionable solutions.
  • Demonstrate abilities to interpret, design, and conduct basic psychological research, including qualitative and quantitative research methods. 
  • Identify and evaluate sociocultural factors in scientific inquiry.
  • Analyze, interpret and explain quantitative data about topics and issues in psychology, including complex statistical findings in graphs, studies and reports.
  • Analyze and interpret quantitative data about a topic in psychology and apply results in business/organizational or interpersonal settings, habits, and/or practices.


  • Apply ethically acceptable standards to evaluate psychological science and practice.
  • Apply ethically sound principles and values to ameliorate and/or mitigate real-world personal and/or professional challenges and to build and enhance personal relationships.
  • Identify and express common values that build community at local, national, and global levels.
  • Explain how psychology can elaborate and deepen the understanding of cultural diversity, and human biology, and lifespan development.


  • Construct written communications that clearly articulate ideas and arguments appropriate to various audiences.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal communication and project management skills, either through persuasive speech, and/or in providing clear oral directions, instructions, and/or guidelines, that address a problem in psychology.
  • Demonstrate effective presentation skills for various purposes.


  • Demonstrate the self-awareness and habits required to identify, integrate, and apply new information and skills that increase personal and professional effectiveness, including applying psychological insights and skills to career goals, exhibiting self-efficacy and self-regulation, and developing meaningful professional direction for life after graduation.
  • Apply psychological principles to career goals.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The degree requires completion of 120 units as follows: 36 units of general education, 39 units for the major, and 45 units of elective courses, including courses taken to earn minors. (See Declaring Minors below for more information.) Each course listed carries three semester units of credit, unless otherwise noted. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 “C” or higher is required in all courses taken at Golden Gate University.

All degree-seeking undergraduate students must complete their English, mathematics and critical thinking requirements within their first 27 units at Golden Gate University, unless they have already earned credit for the equivalent courses from another institution and have had those courses accepted in transfer by Golden Gate University. If either math or English requirements for the degree have not been satisfied, newly enrolled students must take placement tests to ensure proper placement in the appropriate math or English course. Students may also choose to waive the placement tests and enroll in the first course in either series, which are ENGL 10A  and MATH 10 . (See the course descriptions below to identify courses that have prerequisite course requirements.)

General Education - 36 units

Lifelong Learning and Self Development - 3 units

Communication and Critical Thinking - 9 units

Quantitative Reasoning - 3 units

One of the following:

Liberal Studies - 21 units

Major Requirements - 39 units

Elective Courses - 45 units

Select fifteen additional 3-unit upper or lower-division courses from any subject for a total of 45 units. Note: courses used to complete minors also count toward this requirement.

Pathway Program

This program can serve as a pathway to GGU’s graduate psychology programs. Applicants to these programs who have previously earned bachelor’s degrees from GGU may receive a waiver for certain required graduate-level courses with comparable undergraduate-level coursework completed at GGU and used to satisfy the requirements of their GGU bachelor’s degree program. See the following program descriptions for more information: MA in Counseling Psychology , Counseling Skills Graduate Certificate .

Declaring Minors

Students may declare up to two minors for their bachelor’s degree programs. Students seeking to declare more than two minors will be required to appeal to the dean for approval.

Students will not be permitted to declare minors at the point of application but may do so following admission or prior to degree conferral. Students should make their minor declarations through their assigned academic advisors by submission of the Declaration of Minor form.

Student’s must earn a minimum grade of “C-” for each course used to fulfill minor requirements.

Students’ diplomas will list the minors that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional minors after their degrees have been conferred.

Bachelor’s degree-seeking students may declare the minors shown below. Note: students may not declare minors that are the same as their majors.

Undergraduate Honors Program

The School of Undergraduate Studies’ honors program provides opportunities for students enrolled in all degree programs to engage in enriched learning experiences while they work toward earning their degrees.  Students do not need to apply separately for this program, but  may participate in it simply by registering for honors-designated course sections, as described below. Upon graduation, students who have completed the honors program must complete and submit the Honors Program Notation Request form to the Registrar’s Office to have the notation added to their transcripts.

Honors-designated course sections will emphasize the following learning outcomes: information literacy, quantitative fluency, oral/written communication, and critical thinking. Students will be required to complete advanced and more rigorous assignments that demonstrate learning beyond the articulated course outcomes. Additional assessments will be designed to emphasize core skills such as critical thinking, writing, research, and self-reflection.

Program Requirements

To complete the honors program, students must complete honors-designated core requirement course sections and an honors-designated capstone course section for a total of 15 units, with a minimum GPA in the five honors courses of 3.00 and a minimum overall degree program GPA of 3.30. Note: honors course sections can be identified in the online course schedule with a section prefix beginning with the letter “A” (e.g., ASF1) and by information in the section comments field of the section details page. Students should contact their academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office if they need help identifying honors-designated course sections.

Honors sections of the courses below will be offered every term. In addition, students who transfer any of these courses into GGU may petition to have an honors section offered of other courses in order to satisfy the core requirement. Students should contact their academic advisor to begin the petition process.

Capstone Course - 3 units

Complete the honors section of the capstone course applicable to the student’s degree program.