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Course Descriptions


Psychology Courses

PSY 100
Introduction to Psychology (3 units)

Students are provided a broad overview of the different fields of psychology, including biological psychology; sensation and perception; learning and memory; language, thought, and intelligence; motivation and emotion; human development; personality; abnormal psychology and therapy; human sexuality; and social and applied psychology. Note: All students will take PSY 110: Psychology in the Contemporary World as their first course. This is a non-transferrable course.

PSY 110
Psychology in the Contemporary World (3 units)

This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of psychological approaches to understanding individual behavior in the context of contemporary society. In addition, students acquire the computer and information literacy needed to function effectively as higher education students and as psychology professionals. Students examine psychology through popular media as well as through key research studies that have changed the way we understand behavior and its impact on the world. Students also explore the online classroom; learn and practice basic computing, word processing, and presentation skills; and become familiar with the Internet as a tool for academic exploration.

PSY 210
Learning and Cognition (3 units)

How do people learn, and what are the strategies that maximize learning? This course provides students with an introduction to the cognitive and behavioral bases of learning and memory. Topics include classical and operant conditioning, an introduction to theories of short and long-term memory, and cognitive science approaches to learning. Students apply the principles learned toward optimizing their own performance.

Prerequisite: PSY 100

PSY 215
Cross-Cultural Psychology (3 units)

Many aspects of career and personal life require the ability to relate to people of different cultures and diverse backgrounds. Students in this course examine key factors related to understanding life in a multicultural world. They assess psychological concepts from a variety of perspectives and examine theories of culture. Students learn how professionals use psychology to understand oppression, acculturation, and cultural aspects of cognition, mental health, physical health, aggression, and emotion. Students sharpen their communication and critical thinking skills by engaging in peer discussions on a variety of topics, such as personal culture, cultural sensitivity in research, emotions, developmental theories, and attribution. Through these discussions, application-based assignments, and weekly assessments, students demonstrate their knowledge of how diversity and multiculturalism affect human behavior.

Prerequisite: PSY 100

PSY 205
Social Psychology (3 units)

Social psychology is the scientific study of the way individuals think, feel, and behave in social situations. This course focuses on the basic concepts and applications of this field. Topics include attitudes; stereotyping and prejudice; interpersonal relationships; individual and group behavior; attraction; aggression and relationships. Students apply the principles learned to scenarios and situations in daily life.

Prerequisite: PSY 100

PSY 230
Motivation and Emotion (3 units)

What drives people to do what they do? In this course, students have the opportunity to answer this question as they explore basic theories of motivation and emotion. They also explore bodily needs, such as hunger, thirst, and sex, that drive people to action; concepts in motivation, such as achievement, altruism, and conflict; and concepts related to emotion, including happiness, hormonal influences, and mood. Students assess content and share perspectives through peer discussions on related topics, such as sources of motivation, hunger and eating, the need for power, extroversion, goals, and decision making.

Prerequisite: PSY 100

PSY 305
Development Across the Lifespan (3 units)

This course explores the major developmental concepts and methods of life span. Fundamental theories, distinctive methods, and the physical, perceptual, cognitive, social, motivational, and emotional issues of development for each phase of life are considered.

Prerequisite: PSY 100

PSY 317
Brain and Behavior (3 units)

The study of the brain and how it functions has contributed significantly to the understanding of how people react and adapt to their environments. In this course, students examine basic brain physiology and learn how the brain functions to control behavior. Students explore specific applications of brain structure to memory and attention, sensation and perception, development, motivation and emotion, and socialization. They apply concepts and theories about the brain to psychological health and well-being.

PSY 350
Latino Psychology (3 units)

Latino culture has become a significant part of the United States’ cultural landscape. This course introduces students to psychology as it relates to Latinos and Latino culture. Topics include ethnic and cultural identity; deficit versus resiliency models of health and well-being; acculturation and enculturation models; issues related to migration; Latino culture diversity; and the psychological role of family. Students also describe facets of Latino experiences from a psychological viewpoint.

Prerequisite: PSY 100

PSY 331
Methods in Social Science Inquiry (3 units)

A variety of factors can cloud one’s interpretation of human experience. In this course, students learn about research methods that professionals use to test hypotheses in an objective and systematic manner to minimize biases and provide a framework for more accurate conclusions. They examine correlation versus experimental methods, validity and reliability, dependent and independent variables, qualitative versus quantitative research, and statistical versus clinical prediction. Applying course theories and concepts, students gain practical experience conducting a simple experiment for which they write results using American Psychological Association (APA) format and style.

Prerequisites: PSY 100 and at least 12 Psychology credits at the 200 level or higher

PSY 335
Data Analysis and Evaluation (3 units)

A hallmark of science and advertising is the use of numbers to convince people that a particular point of view is correct. In this course, students examine basic statistical principles. They learn how to create and present descriptive statistics; test hypotheses; and use two-group inferential tests, correlation, and the chi-squared test. Students engage in a variety of assignments designed to provide practical application of content through common data analysis tasks, such as distinguishing between the different types of frequency distributions, calculating z-scores and interpreting their meaning for research, and interpreting studies with multiple levels of a factor. The goals of the course are for students to be comfortable using statistics and to understand the importance of statistics in research.

Prerequisites: PSY 100 and at least 12 Psychology credits at the 200 level or higher

PSYC 341
Theories of Personality (3 units)

Many people attribute individual behavior to personality rather than environmental factors. This course provides an introduction to the major theories of personality and their contemporary relevance. Students discuss key personality theorists, including those who represent the psychoanalytic, neo-psychoanalytic, trait, biological, humanistic, cognitive, behavioral, and social learning approaches to understanding personality. Students also explore how race, gender, and cultural issues play a part in the study of personality and in personality assessment. The goal of this course is for students to understand major theories of personality and the limits of personality to explain individual behavior.

Community Psychology Concentration Courses

PSY 360
Role of the Individual in Community Engagement (3 units)

Before individuals can advocate for change, they must understand the relationship between themselves, others, and their community. In this course, students explore the role of individuals through multiple perspectives. They examine the many perspectives of community and how individual resiliency can influence community wellness. Students analyze their personal worldviews and how these influence their involvement in their community. Students explore connections between community engagement, community consciousness, and civic engagement through the application of ecological systems theory. Students are also introduced to principles of participatory action research (PAR) and how it applies to community engagement.

Prerequisites: PSY 331, PSY 335

PSY 460
Application of Psychology to Social Issues (3 units)

How can psychological inquiry and research on social issues inform community engagement? In this course, students learn to read and interpret research on critical social issues. Students examine different research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research (including participatory action research). From these perspectives, students are introduced to major social issues such as education; immigration; health disparities; gender; family structures, dynamics, and transitions; and violence. Students synthesize research encompassing multiple perspectives on critical social issues that impact communities.

Prerequisite: PSY 360

PSY 450
Community Mental Health (3 units)

What is the relationship between individual resilience and community well-being? Cultural understandings of mental health and access to care redefine concepts of community well-being and approaches to care. In this course, students learn about mental health issues and concerns from cultural and lifespan perspectives. Topics include religion and spirituality; environment; substance abuse; violence; prevention and health promotion. Students investigate and present a mental health and wellness issue of their choice.

Prerequisite: Upper division standing

PSY 461
Community Change through Participatory Action Research (3 units)

The most effective changes are based on research and evaluation of best practices. This course expands on the principles of participatory action research (PAR) as one approach to effect change in communities. Students learn the steps to conducting PAR and explore current research applications of PAR in multiple contexts. Students also explore research ethics and researcher safety. Students develop an outline for a PAR proposal to address a social issue within their community.

Prerequisites: PSY 450, PSY 460. Note: It is recommended that students take PSY 462 immediately after PSY 461.

PSY 462
Leading Community Engagement (3 units)

Willingness, courage, skill, and commitment to engage with others are needed to become an effective leader in a community. No one person, however, can effect change unless he or she is able to develop a network of interest and support to strengthen communities and people. In this course, students demonstrate an understanding of audiences, information literacy, and the nature of evidence. Students use evidence-based approaches to create a community engagement initiative grounded in cultural respect that has the potential for real-world implementation.

Prerequisite: PSY 461. Note: It is recommended that students take PSY 462 immediately after PSY 461.

Organizational Psychology Concentration Courses

BUS 101
Introduction to Business (3 units)

IThis course introduces the how and why of business and management as part of our capitalist system. The structure and functions of business are explored. Topics include business culture and the business context of Latino markets.

BUS 381
Organizational Behavior in Multicultural Organizations (3 units)

In this course, students examine core concepts of human behavior in organizations. Topics include basic human processes, the individual in the organization, group dynamics, influencing others, and organizational processes. Emphasis is placed on understanding the interdependency between an organization’s components and the organization as a whole. Organizational development and transformation in a diverse and global environment are addressed.

Prerequisite: Lower division core courses completed and upper division standing

BUS 382
Human Resource Management (3 units)

This course introduces the process of hiring including recruitment, selection, and placement. Other topics include training, development, performance evaluation, job descriptions, diversity, roles and tasks, and career paths.

Prerequisites: BUS 381, lower division core courses completed and upper division standing

PSY 470
Psychology of Leadership (3 units)

Are leaders made or born? This question has been debated for decades. In this course, students examine theories and principles of leadership and leader development. Topics include models and styles of leadership, characteristics of effective leaders, cultural issues related to leadership, leader development, leadership measures, and leadership maintenance. Students explore leadership concepts using case study methods and apply leadership concepts and principles to themselves and others.

Prerequisites: BUS 381, lower division core courses completed and upper division standing

PSY 474
Applying Psychological Principles to Organizations (3 units)

Why are some organizations more successful than others? What are the advantages to virtual teams in organizations? In this course, students explore the application of psychological principles to organizations. Topics include how organizations function; organization culture, behavior, and development; group dynamics; systems-level approaches; and advocacy. Using case study methods, students analyze the changing nature of organizations, including the emergence of international and virtual organizations.

Prerequisite: PSY 470. This is the last course of the concentration.