College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Psychology


The work of the psychologist is a search for knowledge about human and animal behavior to enhance the human condition. The Department of Psychology at CSU, Chico offers a B.A. in Psychology that is a diverse liberal arts program. The major includes the completion of three laboratory courses to ensure that students have direct experience with the content of psychology.


The mission of the B.A. Program in Psychology is to promote the scientific understanding of mental processes and behavior, recognizing biological, developmental, cultural, and experiential influences.  To this end we value and intend to provide:

  • A high quality educational experience that is representative of the breadth, diversity, interrelatedness, depth, application, and evolving nature of the discipline of psychology;
  • An emphasis on critical thinking, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge, the scientific method and information literacy;
  • An environment that enhances the intellectual, personal, ethical and social development of the students, staff and faculty;
  • An atmosphere and curriculum that encourage appreciation of the benefits derived from individual difference and cultural diversity;
  • Resources and support for enhancing a climate of scholarship, research, creativity, and collegiality among faculty, staff and students; and,
  • Service to address the needs of the regional, state, national and global communities.

Goals & Objectives

  • To provide the highest quality of instruction and learning in the science and profession of psychology.  Our academic offerings shall represent the breadth of theoretical, empirical, and applied knowledge of the field.
  • To offer high quality undergraduate programs (e.g., B.A. and minor in Psychology) and graduate and professional training (i.e., MFT preparation, Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Psychological Science) that reflect the best of current knowledge, instruction, and training methods in the field.  We will provide a curriculum and experiences that:
    • Emphasize critical thinking, problem solving, and scientific methodology;
    • Apply psychological principles to human and societal problems at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels;
    • Articulate and demonstrate values espoused in the field of psychology (e.g., APA ethical guidelines);
    • Promote an understanding of the complexity of individual and cultural diversity; and
    • Require competence in information literacy, use of computers, and other technologies.
  • To be an integral part of students' liberal arts education, including, but not limited to, the General Education program, the Liberal Studies program, and other professional and interdisciplinary programs.
  • To promote and support a vibrant learning and academic environment that fosters the teaching/learning process between faculty and students and enhances individual and collaborative research and scholarship among faculty and students.
  • To continue and expand both faculty and student cooperative endeavors with the regional community such that professional expertise and service are made available to the region and state, instructional programs are enriched, and training and research activities are enhanced.
  • To have our curriculum, faculty, and student population represent diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
  • To support and enhance the professional development of our faculty in terms of currency in the field, expansion of new and changing professional interests, and enhancement of knowledge and skills related to the instructional process.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will identify the theoretical bases of psychology and acquire knowledge, literacy, and understanding in core and extended areas of psychology.
  • Students will exercise critical thinking, problem solving strategies, and scientific methodology in their academic studies and everyday lives.
  • Students will recognize how psychological principles are used in applied settings and will use psychological principles when evaluating personal experience.
  • Students will articulate and demonstrate values espoused in the field of psychology.
  • Students will have an understanding of the complexity of cultural diversity.
  • Students will communicate effectively to multiple audiences for multiple purposes.
  • Students will demonstrate information literacy competence and use computers and other technology for multiple purposes.