Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Professional)

Azusa Pacific’s 48-unit bachelor’s completion program in psychology is designed for transfer students who have at least 30 units and are interested in completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the High Desert, Inland Empire, Murrieta, or San Diego regional campus. Students gain hands-on field experience as they learn about human behavior and how to analyze and solve problems in various settings, preparing them to make a difference in the lives of others.

Azusa Pacific’s bachelor’s completion programs allow students who began a program of study at another higher education institution to finish their degree at APU. In order to graduate, students must complete the required program units and General Education units, for a total of 120 units.

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree completion program is ideal for students interested in clinical/counseling or other applied areas of psychology. The core requirements (Domain 1) give students grounding in the discipline and an understanding of the basics of human behavior. The career-focus electives (Domain 2) provide students with clear applications of psychology, clustered by common themes and areas of employment. And the applied-learning electives (Domain 3) offer internships and/or research experience.

Introduction to Statistics 1
Fundamentals of Biology 2, 3
Domain 1: Core Courses
PRPS 110General Psychology 4, 53
PRPS 250Data Analysis in Psychology3
PRWR 260Writing 2: Psychology Subdisciplines and Career Trajectories 63
PRPS 360Abnormal Psychology3
PRPS 362Research Methods in Psychology3
PRPS 496Writing 3: Senior Seminar in Psychology and Christian Integration 73
Choose one of the following:3
Human Growth and Development 5
Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development 5
Psychology of Adult Development
Choose one of the following:3
Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Psychology of Learning
Neurological and Behavioral Disorders
Choose one of the following:3
Social Psychology
Multicultural Psychology (Required for B.A.) 8
Domain 2: Career Focus18
Choose any six courses (18 units) from any of the following clusters. A course may be used to meet the requirement of Domain 1 or Domain 2, but not both.
Business and Community Cluster
Social Psychology
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Psychology of Conflict Management and Mediation
Community Psychology
Multicultural Psychology 8
Political Psychology 9
Clinical and Counseling Cluster
Introduction to Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor Credentialing
Psychology of Personality
Psychology of Suicide
Group Process
Intervention Strategies with Children
Psychology of the Family
Case Management in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Development and Education Cluster
Human Growth and Development 5
Educational Psychology
Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development 5
Psychology of Adult Development
Psychology of Exceptional Children
Psychosocial Interventions in Pediatric Health Care
Advanced Child Development 10, 11
Family Systems Theory and Applications 10, 11
Coping Strategies for Children Experiencing Stress and Trauma 10, 11
Methods Cluster
History of Psychology
Research Experience I 12
Psychological Testing and Measurement
Theory, Research and Practice in Psychology 10, 11
Experimental Research Methods 10, 11
Non-Experimental Research Methods
Analysis of Variance 10, 11
Neurocognition Cluster
Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Psychology of Learning
Bilingualism, Biculturalism, and Cognition
Cognitive Neuroscience
Neurological and Behavioral Disorders
Restoring Wholeness Cluster
Sports Psychology
Health Psychology
Psychology of Religion
Drugs, Behavior, and Society
Stress and Coping
Domain 3: Applied Integrative Learning3
Choose one of the following:
Field Experience (Required for B.A.) 12
Research Experience I 12
Total Units48

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. DISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGE- Demonstrate a working knowledge of psychology's content domains, key theories, concepts, principles, themes, and applications of psychology in society.
  2. CRITICAL THINKING, SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION- Demonstrate effective expression of critical thought and scientific inquiry in their engagement with (a) psychology literature, (b) conduct of psychological research, and (c) written, (d) oral, and interpersonal communication.
  3. VALUES AND ETHICS- (a) demonstrate knowledge of the APA ethical (a.1) and multicultural ethical (a.2) standards for the practice of psychology and are able to utilize those standards in decision making and actions in scientific inquiry (a.3), sociocultural (a.4), and interpersonal contexts (a.5). Students (b) articulate and behaviorally express values that build and enhance interpersonal relationships and community engagement at local, multicultural, and cross cultural levels.
  4. APPLICATION TO VOCATION- Demonstrate the ability to utilize and apply psychological knowledge and professional skills to: (a) develop vocational post-baccalaureate goals, (b) work collaboratively with diverse others, (c) serve others needs, (d) self-regulate and manage projects successfully, and (e) solve increasingly complex problems.
  5. FAITH INTEGRATION- Demonstrate skill in the integration of Christian faith and theology with the science of psychology as it relates to the nature and content of: humanity (F1), knowledge (F2), values and ethics (F3), and vocational and spiritual formation (F4).

PRPS 110, General Psychology, 3 Units

This general survey course explores the field of psychology. It includes human development, social psychology, learning, perception, cognition, motivation, personality, psychological testing, and nervous system functioning. Meets the General Education Requirement: Social Science. 

PRPS 250, Data Analysis in Psychology, 3 Units

This course introduces students to statistical analyses that are common in psychological research. Students learn to identify the appropriate analysis, how to run the statistical analysis in SPSS, and how to interpret SPSS output. Students are also introduced to writing results in APA style.

Prerequisite: PRMA 130

PRPS 280, Introduction to Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor Credentialing, 3 Units

Students in this course examine the effects of alcoholism and drug dependency, specifically as they relate to cultural/lifestyle considerations, human behavior, and family dynamics. Course material also considers the substance use system of care, including its programs, policies, and procedures for the treatment and recovery of individuals suffering from substance use disorders. This is the first course in a series designed to meet the educational requirements for California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) credentialing.

PRPS 290, Human Growth and Development, 3 Units

This study of human development across the life span emphasizes a multidisciplinary perspective, including such areas as psychology and sociology, processes as social interaction, and the tools for applying developmental psychology to life situations. Meets the General Education Requirement: Social Science. 

PRPS 292, Introduction to Brain and Behavior, 3 Units

The purpose for this course is to provide a foundation of the physiological basis of human behavior. Topics include the structure and function of different brain regions, how neurons communicate, sensory and motor function, and complex brain functions such as speech and cognition. This course serves as an introduction to the neurobiology of various psychological and neurological diseases.

PRPS 305, Educational Psychology, 3 Units

Educational psychology is a broad field of study focusing on the various factors that influence learning and human knowledge. This course provides an overview of the principles and theories used throughout other psychological fields, but in the context of educational psychology. Specifically, this course covers development, culture, motivation, learning, cognition, and learner differences.

PRPS 320, Social Psychology, 3 Units

How are individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influenced by other people? In this course, students are encouraged to become careful observers of social influences on human behavior by learning the theories and methods employed by social psychologists in order to apply these perspectives in everyday social interactions.

PRPS 330, Sports Psychology, 3 Units

Sports psychology is a survey course that explores the role of psychology as it is related to the enhancement of athletic performance. Students will spend time on areas related to sports and physical activity such as motivation, self-confidence, goal setting, burnout, anxiety, healthy attitudes toward sports participation, and other sports-related activity. Emphasis is on critically reviewing sports psychology literature and research in an attempt to separate effective and ineffective psychology-related approaches to sport activity.

PRPS 340, History of Psychology, 3 Units

The historical growth of psychological science is surveyed here. This course focuses on major theorists and their ideas in relation to the historical context as well as current psychological issues.

PRPS 345, Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development, 3 Units

This course is an advanced examination of emotional, cognitive, physical, and social development from infancy through adolescence. The process of human development as a complex interaction of biological and sociocultural factors is reviewed. Contemporary research topics focusing on genetics, fertility, attachment, communication, and cognitive and moral aspects of development are examined. Meets the General Education Requirement: Social Science. 

PRPS 355, Psychology of Adult Development, 3 Units

This course is an advanced examination of the emotional, cognitive, physical, and social development of individuals from young adulthood through the end of life. The process of adult development as an interplay of biological, psychological, cognitive, and psychosocial aspects is examined. Emphasis is on normal patterns in personal and emotional development in adulthood, as well as on contemporary research in areas of health, gender, marriage and relationships, family and parenting, ethnic/ecological systems, work, ethics, and morality.

PRPS 360, Abnormal Psychology, 3 Units

The major focus of this course is mental illness and abnormal behavior, in light of modern theory and knowledge. Current trends and modern methods of diagnosis, understanding, treatment, and prevention are discussed.

PRPS 362, Research Methods in Psychology, 3 Units

Students engage in a comprehensive overview of quantitative and qualitative research methods used in psychological research, and gain an understanding of the ethical considerations and other challenges involved in good research design. Students also complete a research project and learn to write utilizing the style adopted by the American Psychological Association.

Prerequisite: PRPS 250 and PRWR 260

PRPS 370, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, 3 Units

Students survey the basic behavioral science research and thinking as they contribute to industrial and organizational psychology, including worker attitudes and theories of motivation, organizational structure and communication, theories of leadership and decision making, conflict resolution, and methods of personnel selection and appraisal.

PRPS 375, Psychology of Conflict Management and Mediation, 3 Units

This class develops a psychological understanding of the dynamics of human conflict; the differences between constructive and destructive conflict; the different ways in which conflict can be managed, resolved and transformed, and develops the basic skills in the management and resolution of conflict.

PRPS 380, Psychology of Personality, 3 Units

Students in this course become familiar with the various basic elements of personality and their integration, exploring concepts regarding the basic components of personality and the processes that undergird an individual's growth and behavior. Course material also covers current and traditional theories of personality.

PRPS 383, Psychology of Suicide, 3 Units

This course gives students an overview of suicidal behavior, including terminology, statistics, theories, and interventions, that addresses this sensitive topic from a biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective. Students also have opportunities to learn fundamental skills in suicide assessment, safety planning, and interventions to reduce suicide.

PRPS 385, Health Psychology, 3 Units

This is a survey course exploring the role of psychology as it is related to human physiology and the health field. Topics include basic neurology, stress management, nutrition, addictive substances, immunological disorders, and other relevant psychophysiological areas.

PRPS 386, Community Psychology, 3 Units

This course is designed to give students an introduction to the field of community psychology. This area of psychology is concerned with the scientific study of social structures and their influence on individuals, groups, and organizations. The main focus will be on the development and application of community-based psychological theory and research to understanding, designing, implementing, and evaluating social change and empowerment. the roles of research and social action at multiple levels of analysis to facilitate social change will be examined.

PRPS 390, Cognition, 3 Units

An overview of cognitive psychology is provided. Theories and research concerning sensation, perception, memory, and other higher-order mental processes include imagery, language, creativity, concept formation, and decision-making are discussed.

PRPS 400, Multicultural Psychology, 3 Units

This course introduces students to cultural and multicultural psychology sub disciplines in psychology. Students develop knowledge of the history, major tenets, theories, research findings and behavioral practices in multicultural psychology. Students also gain understanding of the cultural bases for psychological processes. Students develop awareness, knowledge and skills for engaging in intercultural and multicultural contexts. Students are also asked to advance their cultural self-knowledge as well as knowledge of diverse others in order to develop multicultural competence in working with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

PRPS 405, Psychology of Learning, 3 Units

This course examines several major theories and research in the psychology of learning, as well as how learning theories have developed historically and how learning principles apply to psychological problems.

PRPS 410, Psychology of Exceptional Children, 3 Units

Students examine and analyze the problems faced by the exceptional child. The study includes physical and emotional adjustment, speech and language disorders, various childhood disorders such as mental retardation and depression, and other childhood mental and physical disorders.

PRPS 415, Group Process, 3 Units

Students survey the basic behavioral science research and thinking as applied to human interaction in groups. This includes such topics as group formation, phases, structure, types and uses of groups, group communication, group conflict resolution, and methods of group leadership. The course includes the observation and evaluation of group interaction.

PRPS 420, Political Psychology, 3 Units

This course addresses political phenomena from a psychological perspective, and students are encouraged to develop civic knowledge, apply psychological theory within political contexts, and identify determinants of political behavior. Course content includes political attitudes and identity, leadership and group influence, voting behavior, nationalism, social movements, terrorism, and international conflict/resolution. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

PRPS 430, Intervention Strategies with Children, 3 Units

This course provides an introduction to a broad range of assessment and intervention strategies designed to meet the developmental, psychomotor, language, behavioral, and education needs of children. Issues of normative and non-normative child and family functioning in child assessment and intervention planning are considered. Observational techniques, standardized tests, informal assessment measures, developmental assessments, and alternatives to current testing practices are discussed and reviewed from the multiple disciplines impacting child assessment and intervention. The broad range of modalities utilized in intervention with children is given strong emphasis with observation and student practice required at an intervention site.

PRPS 432, Psychosocial Interventions in Pediatric Health Care, 3 Units

This is a core course in the child life specialist curriculum, covering a wide range of recreational and psychosocial interventions for children who are hospitalized, chronically ill, or have disabilities. Students learn various intervention techniques using developmental play, music, art, dance, and other forms of recreation, and gain understanding of the role of the child life specialist as a member of an interdisciplinary medical team.

PRPS 440, Psychology of Religion, 3 Units

This course investigates the common ground between psychology and religion. Values, mature religion, the nature of humanity, and religious experience are all areas of study for this purpose.

PRPS 445, Psychology of the Family, 3 Units

This course provides an overview of the field of family psychology. The three primary areas of study are: family systems theory, the family lifecycle, and several theoretical frameworks for the study of families. Students are given the opportunity to apply these concepts to their own family of origin.

PRPS 450, Counseling, 3 Units

This course is an introduction to counseling and psychotherapy. Theories and research on the helping relationship are explored. A major portion of the course emphasizes understanding and practicing basic helping skills.

PRPS 453, Bilingualism, Biculturalism, and Cognition, 3 Units

This course provides students with an overview of issues in bilingualism and biculturalism from a cognitive perspective. Theories and research concerning knowledge representation, bilingual cognition (language acquisition, production, comprehension, and variations in executive functions), and bicultural cognition (cognitive consequences of culture-specific knowledge) are discussed. Students enrolled in this course may be required to share information regarding their personal life, family, or relationships.

PRPS 455, Field Experience, 3 Units

This course is designed for students who have completed most of the psychology or sociology major requirements. Each student participates in one or more endeavors that offer an opportunity to apply former training in a professional setting while acquiring new knowledge. This course can be repeated for a total of 6 units counted toward the major, 9 units toward the degree. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

PRPS 463, Drugs, Behavior, and Society, 3 Units

This course provides an overview of drug use historically and in contemporary society from community and bio-psychosocial perspectives. It provides an in-depth study of various psychoactive drugs of abuse, including physiological, psychosocial, health, legal and political aspects of drugs. This course explores drug-taking risk behaviors and issues related to dependence among high risk populations. Strategies for drug abuse prevention/education and intervention approaches are also examined in this course.

PRPS 464, Substance Use Assessment and Interventions, 3 Units

Students in this course gain an in-depth understanding of empirically driven and theoretically grounded assessments and interventions for substance use issues, focusing on how to engage in effective screening and assessment protocols for substance use problem identification and service planning. Students participate in practical application of evidence-based interventions, including the use of case studies and a variety of practice exercises. Course material integrates foundational assessment and intervention models for addressing co-occurring mental health needs, family system issues, and patient-centeredness, including spirituality.

PRPS 466, Case Management in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, 3 Units

This course offers an overview of the theory, structure, and practice of case management. Students gain an understanding of the professional practice of case management, including scope and responsibilities, multidisciplinary and ecological systems engagement, cultural and diversity factors, and ethical and legal issues. Students develop skills in effective communication, clinical documentation, case management facilitation, managing interpersonal and individual dynamics, case management interviewing, intervention planning, and implementation of services.

PRPS 470, Cognitive Neuroscience, 3 Units

Cognitive neuroscience as a field studies the relationship between cognitive processes and the brain. Students will first learn about the major research methods in this field, such as lesion studies, brain imaging, and animal models. The majority of the course will then describe how these methods have been used to inform our understanding about the neural correlates of memory, decision-making, perception, and social cognition.

PRPS 472, Neurological and Behavioral Disorders, 3 Units

This course examines the neurobiology of various psychological and neurological diseases. Neurological disorders covered include developmental, tumors, seizures, strokes, traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative, and infectious disease. Behavioral disorders include schizophrenia, major affective disorders, anxiety disorders, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, stress disorders, sleeping and eating disorders. The neurobiology of drug abuse will be analyzed based on common features of addiction, pathways affected by commonly abused drugs and heredity factors.

PRPS 475, Research Experience I, 3 Units

This course helps students improve their research skills by providing an opportunity to integrate knowledge, skills, and interests in order to conduct a comprehensive research project. Successful completion of the course results in an APA-style paper or submission of a paper or poster presentation to a professional organization or in a professional setting. Concurrent enrollment in another research practicum course is permitted. 12 units of research experience (PSYC475, 476 combined) can be counted toward the bachelor degree requirements. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

PRPS 480, Psychological Testing and Measurement, 3 Units

Students gain a thorough background in objective tests and measurements. A brief survey is offered in intelligence, personality, organization, and industrial psychological measures. Terminology is developed, dangers and advantages of psychological instruments discussed, and each student is required to administer and interpret a number of instruments. Special materials fee applies. The course is offered to juniors, seniors, and graduate students only. A materials fee applies.

PRPS 485, Stress and Coping, 3 Units

This course provides an overview of stress and coping theory as it has developed in the research literature in the last century. The interrelationships between stress and mental illness, medical diseases, and industrial-organizational factors are discussed. Students develop a basic understanding of stress as it relates to trauma and post-traumatic symptomology. Students gain an understanding of basic stress management and coping techniques and their clinical applications.

PRPS 494, Professional Studies in Child Life, 3 Units

This course helps students gain a broad understanding of the field of child life and equips them with the knowledge of the history and trends of the child life profession, as required by the Association of Child Life Professionals. Course content includes: 1) Scope of practice in child life, 2) child life documents, 3) impact of illness/injury and health care on patients and families, 4) family-centered care, 5) therapeutic play, and 6) preparation. Additional topics include, but are not limited to, clinical assessment, child life theoretical foundations, development and hospital stressors, and introduction to exceptional and medically challenged children.

PRPS 495, Special Topics in Psychology, 3 Units

This course engages students in focused study of particular topics of direct relevance or urgency in the field of psychology which are not already discussed in the curriculum. Topics vary from semester to semester and may reflect new practices, theories, or faculty research interests in the field. This course may be taken more than once as topics change.

PRPS 496, Writing 3: Senior Seminar in Psychology and Christian Integration, 3 Units

Students in this course discuss and critically evaluate the core ideas in the integration of psychology and the Christian faith, exploring the 4-5 established approaches for how to integrate what is known from psychological science and what is known from biblical hermeneutics and theology. Upon completion of the course, students are able to define and communicate an awareness of the issues and various approaches for integration, as well as identify and communicate the application of the integration of psychology and the Christian faith in their own lives and practice of psychology. This writing-intensive course develops students' ability to think critically and construct complex arguments related to psychology and Christianity. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Junior standing and PRWR 260

PRPS 497, Readings, 1-4 Units

This is a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between, and designed, by a student of upper-division standing and a full-time professor. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

PRPS 498, Directed Research, 1-4 Units

This course provides instruction in research design and technique, and gives students experience in the research process. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying reading, log, writing, and seminar presentation within the department or in a university research symposium. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

PRPS 499, Thesis/Project, 1-4 Units

This is a senior-level "capstone" type of independent study/research experience, involving the student in a unique project with a sophisticated level of research, synthesis, analysis, and communication. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying readings, log, instructor discussions, and writing of summary analysis and conclusions. The thesis or project may result in formal thesis, published article, electronic media, or artistic creation of a material form. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.