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Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

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Programs > Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Understand the Power of the Mind to Help Others

If helping people is your passion, the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the contemporary discipline of psychology. The online psychology degree program will cover a wide variety of topics like biological psychology, developmental psychology, psychopathology, social psychology, personality theory, and much more. Gain an in-depth understanding of human behavior and valuable critical thinking skills that will challenge your perspectives on social change, culture, diversity, and the many factors that impact our lives.

Upon graduation, you will be well-prepared for a variety of entry-level roles in administration, business, or social services. This program will also help prepare you to enter a psychology graduate program.

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Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University's BA in Psychology program, you will be able to:

  • Articulate major theories, concepts, and historical trends in psychology
  • Explain behavior, cognition, and emotion from multiple schools of thought and multicultural perspectives
  • Identify a problem in psychology, examine available evidence, analyze assumptions, and apply research methods to solve the problem. This includes the ability to interpret numbers and apply basic statistical procedures
  • Perform information searches relevant to psychology and organize and evaluate the soundness of the information
  • Use current technologies in both research and communication
  • Write papers in psychology using different literary formats, e.g., narrative, exposition, critical analysis, and APA format

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Course Details

Course Listings

Requirements for the Major

  • (9 courses; 40.5 quarter units)

Course Name

Explores the intellectual history and contemporary diversity of psychology in dialogue with a cultural understanding about the nature of the person. Topics include: psychology and science, philosophy of mind, functionalism, measurement, applied psychology, gestalt, behaviorism, the unconscious mind, phenomenological and existential psychology, clinical psychology and mental health, and qualitative perspectives.

A study of the way in which the brain mediates behavior, emotion, and cognition. Topics include sensory systems, neural development, emotion, learning, memory, consciousness, reproduction, and neurological and psychological disorders.

A study of the major transitions from fetal development through death in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains. The impact of ethnic, gender and cultural factors on development will be examined.

The study of psychological characteristics of the individual that endure in stable form for substantial periods of time. Examines influential theories of personality and supporting research.

An overview of sociocultural views and scientific theories of normalcy and deviance. The major psychological, cognitive, and behavioral disorders and their classification are examined.

A study of the responsiveness of individuals to various sources and forms of social influence. Major areas of study include persuasion, conformity, obedience, prejudice, attitude formation and change, social behavior, altruism, aggression and the influence of the mass media. Emphasizes social circumstances rather than variations in personal characteristics, as in personality theory.

The study of psychological functioning in the area of mental operations, largely uninfluenced by individual differences in personality or motivation. This encompasses the areas of attention, pattern recognition and other perceptual achievements, memory, problem solving, categorization and concept formation, language acquisition and use, textual interpretation and decision making.

Covers the history, current status and future direction of cultural psychology theory and practice in the context of globalization. A critique of the Western bias of the field of psychology and of the effects of its application to non-European originated populations within the United States and around the world.

An evaluation of research in psychology and the behavioral sciences. Includes work on research methods and design, and the application and interpretation of basic statistics.

An examination of the history of substance use and abuse in the United States. Examines individual and institutional values that underpin chemically dependent behavior as well as socio-cultural factors, including media images, consumer product advertising, myths and stereotypes and subculture/life-style issues. Provides an overview of the social services structure, including outreach, education, prevention and treatment models.

Development of a major cumulative paper integrating what students have learned in the program with an applied area of student interest. Covers empirical or theoretical study of specific topics in psychology with an emphasis on independent and creative activity. Students must earn a grade of "C" or better or must repeat the course.


In this capstone course students will design a research project under the direction and supervision of a faculty member. The research project will include data gathering, data analysis and interpretation of data and will be written in APA style and format. Grading is H, S, or U only.

Upper-division Electives

  • (5 courses; 22.5 quarter units)

Students not pursuing a minor must choose five upper-division electives from following:

Course Name

Study of animal behavior, integrating genetic, physiological, ecological, and evolutionary perspectives.

Exposes students to the basic trends of criminal behavior as it relates to gangs in America and the causative and contributory factors of gang behavior. It explores the general personality, intellectual and social perspectives of criminal behavior as it relates to gangs.

This course exposes the students to the basic tenets of criminal behavior, the causative and contributory factors of behavior. It explores the general personality, intellectual and social perspectives of criminal behavior.

An exploration of methods, patterns and meanings of individual and collective violence. Focuses on gangs, terrorists and the assaultive individual. Students analyze the causes of violence, attitudes toward violence and methods of controlling violence as well as the impact of gun control.

An analysis of behavior, perspectives and practices as applied to group dynamics. Focus on approaches and skills in group dynamics as they relate to performance and enhancement of cooperative/collaborative effectiveness. Uses practice through role-playing of effective techniques in dealing with a variety of cooperative/collaborative situations.

A focus on the process of negotiation and conflict resolution. Gives special attention to conflict within and between persons in organizations and industry. Emphasizes application of techniques to conflict resolution situations via role-playing.

A survey of psychological concepts applied to organizational settings. Emphasizes motivation, communication, leadership, and personal development.

A study of the theoretical and practical aspects of interpersonal and group communication.

A study of human relations and its relationship to organizational effectiveness through planned change and technological development.

A curriculum-wide elective that studies the psycho- socio-cultural aspects of human differences and the enhancement of interpersonal/ intercultural communication skills. Increases the knowledge and understanding of differences in people and perspectives, enhances learning and performance in multicultural environments and fosters interactive diversity as a socio-cultural imperative and behavioral norm.

Introduction and overview of the growing field of Sport Psychology, applying psychological principles to athletic performance. Topics will include theoretical foundations of behavior, psychological interventions for performance enhancement, adherence and maintenance of gains, and the impaired athlete.

An introduction to basic counseling techniques such as nonjudgmental listening, reflection, feedback, goal setting, and basic solution skills. Examines transference, countertransference, and therapist attributes such as empathy, congruence, acceptance, genuineness and respect. The online version has a significant live chat component that requires computer imaging and voice technology. Grading is H, S or U only.

An introduction to theories and principles of psychological testing and measurement and to a variety of standardized tests of intelligence, personality, achievement, interest, neuropsychology and other areas. Emphasizes the principles by which tests are constructed and validated. Also examines controversies regarding the valid, appropriate and fair use of psychological tests.

This course examines the application of psychological theories and research to sports and exercise behaviors. Case studies from a variety of sports will be explored to develop a set of psychological skills that can be applied across sports.

Historical development of positive psychology and its applications to the practice of wellness, health, and peak performance. Topics include self-esteem, relationship building, happiness, and mindfulness.

The relationship between psychology, spirituality, and religion. Exploring the nature of religious experience, how religion and spirituality influence social and societal behaviors, and how religion and spirituality affects psychological and physical health will be examined.

An exploration of the basic psychological concepts associated with death, dying, and bereavement. Course work will include lectures, discussions, exams, research, and experiential exercises.

Survey of the application of psychological knowledge or methods to a task faced by the legal system. General areas to be covered include, but are not limited to, eyewitness testimony, trial consultation and syndrome evidence.

An examination of the relationship between behavior, psychological variables, and physical illness and health. A strong emphasis is placed on health psychology theory, research and applications focused on wellness promotion and the prevention and behavioral treatment of illness.

Material related to human sexual thoughts, feeling and behavior will be presented utilizing a balanced bio- psycho-social perspective. Within a scientific framework and the context of human sexual rights and well-being, the course will include an examination of the methodology of sexology, human sexual anatomy, health and functioning, sexuality through the lifespan, and issues relating to sexual identity.

Examines the institutions of marriage and family structures and their historical development. Topics include kinship, changing gender roles, changing family forms, divorce, domestic violence, and economic structure.

Employs a critical sociological approach to deviance and social control in contemporary society. Topics to be considered include the origins and functions of deviance in society, the institutional production and categorization of deviance, the impact of deviance on personal and social identity, deviant careers, and deviance and social change. Considers major theoretical sociological perspectives on deviance; makes use of current data on crime and current research in sociological and criminological journals and websites; and examines portrayals of deviance and social control in literature, film, and popular culture.

Uses the functionalist, conflict and interactionist perspectives, this course explains how human conditions come to be perceived as social problems, and how to evaluate their proposed solutions.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree, you must complete at least 180 quarter units. Of those 180 quarter units, 76.5 units must be completed at the upper-division level, 45 units must be completed in residence at National University, and a minimum of 70.5 units must be completed of the University General Education requirements.In the absence of transfer credit, you may need to take additional general electives to satisfy the total units for the degree.

A BA in Psychology degree opens doors in a variety of industries, including health care, social assistance, professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, public administration, finance and insurance, administrative and support, waste management, remediation services, manufacturing and retail trade. Between 2022 and 2031, the psychology field is expected to grow 8.7% and the median national income in this field is $57,800.* Employers in this field are looking for skills in communications, management, leadership, operations, problem solving, customer service, detail oriented, interpersonal communications, research, innovation and Microsoft Office proficiency.

*Source: Emsi Labor Analyst

With a bachelor's degree from National University, you will be prepared to seek roles in the psychology field such as:

  • Project Coordinators
  • Proposal Managers
  • Management Trainees
  • Regulatory Affairs Managers
  • Substance Abuse Counselors
  • Compliance Managers
  • Directors of Regulatory Affairs
  • Academic Advisors
  • Admissions Counselors
  • Project Managers
  • Program Managers
  • Supply Chain Managers

National University's BA in Psychology classes can be completed on-site or online, meaning you won't have to put your life on hold while working toward your degree. With small class sizes and faculty mentors who bring real-world experience, you'll gain practical skills that are relevant and applicable in today's job market.NU offers four-week classes, so you can focus on one subject at a time, one month at a time and finish your degree faster. Plus, with year-round enrollment, you don't have to wait to apply and can begin classes as soon as next month. As a military-friendly Yellow Ribbon school, active-duty servicemembers and their immediate family members have access to tuition discounts.

Your desire to help people with their mental health can also open up a variety of career opportunities. There are a wide variety of career options for students graduating with a degree in psychology. Upon earning your Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, continue your psychology education with the Master of Arts in Psychology and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) programs right here at National University. You may also pursue career opportunities in numerous fields, including psychology, mental health, education, business, health care, social services, human services, public administration, and many others.Psychology majors can be found in many different professions within the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. A few examples include:

  • Entry-level counseling
  • Academic counselors within educational facilities
  • Career counselors
  • Counselors for at-risk youth
  • Social and community services

(2 courses; 9 quarter units)

  • MTH210* Probability and Statistics
    Prerequisite: Accuplacer test placement evaluation or MTH 12A and MTH 12B
  • PSY 100* Introduction to Psychology

*May be used to satisfy general education requirement.

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