Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Alumni Success

The Department of Psychology at San Diego Christian (SDC) focuses on the biological, cognitive and social foundations of all behavior.

Why Choose Psychology at SDC?

The Psychology major combines a strong core curriculum in the basic areas of psychology and research methods with the goal that each student graduates with a knowledge of psychological theory and the ability to think critically.

Psychology is the social science that systematically studies human behavior, including emotions, thoughts and actions. The discipline focuses on the biological, individual differences, cognitive, and social basis of all behavior. At SDC, we understand that the study of psychology is the study of God’s creation. Therefore, we also consider the spiritual foundation of human behavior and integrate biblical teachings about human life. This major is designed to give students the tools to pursue academic and personal growth in-and-out of the classroom.

A degree in psychology is an excellent preparation for faith-based ministries, work in community agencies and graduate studies in a variety of fields. For those interested in pursuing a career in counseling or other areas of psychology, graduate study will be necessary. Therefore, the department strives to work with each student to help them identify their career goals so that appropriate coursework can be taken.

Students begin work in their concentrations in their junior year and each student graduates with knowledge of psychological theory and the ability to think critically about human data. The department continues its strong emphasis on human development and counseling, and new courses focus on the application of psychology to the areas of business, education, and community problems. Coursework provides opportunities to engage in service learning, a senior internship, and to learn skills in survey design and administration.

stanton-elizabeth-assistant-professor-of-psychology-2“The Department of Psychology emphasizes the importance of integrating counseling with research. With the Word of God as our foundation, psychology majors pursue their passion as servant leaders to impact the world for Christ. The faculty work closely with students, providing a breadth of knowledge and experience in counseling and research. Most importantly, we develop mentoring relationships with our students with the intention of nurturing their spiritual and academic gifts.”
~Elizabeth Stanton, Psy.D., Chair of the Department of Psychology

Emphases and Opportunities

General Psychology
Psychology Club -The Psychology Club at SDC allows students to learn from guest speakers, attend professional conferences and serve the local community.

Course Requirements for Psychology Majors

The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will require a minimum of 127 credit hours:
72 General Education credit hours
28 Core credit hours in Psychology
15 Concentration credit hours
6 Psych Elective credit hours
6 Elective credit hours

Required program specific Course: Credits

General Education Courses for all Psychology Majors

PSY 201 Introduction to Psychology: 3
SS 202 Introduction to Sociology: 3  or
EC 201 Macroeconomics: 3 or
SS 204 Cultural Anthropology: 3
MA 210 Statistics: 3
BIO Elective: 4

Core Courses for all Psychology Majors

PSY 203 Applied Psychology: 3
PSY 204 History & Systems of Psychology: 3
PSY 300 Experimental Psychology: 4
PSY 302 Biological Psychology: 3
PSY 303 Cognitive Psychology: 3
PSY 304 Social Psychology: 3
PSY 331-2-3 Developmental Psychology: 3
PSY 470 Cultures & Contexts: 3
PSY 490 Psychology Senior Seminar: 3

Psychology Electives for all Psychology Majors

Psychology Electives (300-400 level): 6

Counseling Concentration:

PSY 311 Abnormal Psychology: 3
PSY 312 Theories of Personality: 3
PSY 421 Introduction to Counseling: 3
PSY 422 Theories of Counseling: 3

1 Restricted Elective: 3
PSY 301, 308, 310, 322, 331, 332, 333, 440

General Psychology Concentration:

PSY 301 Survey & Other Methods: 4
PSY 310 Principles of Psychological Testing: 3
PSY 440 Community Psychology: 3

2 Restricted Electives: 6
PSY 316, 331, 332, 333, 450, 452, 461-2, EN 316, ED 303

If you choose a minor in this department, you will need to complete the following courses in conjunction with your major:

Required specific Course: Credit

Two Foundation Courses:

PSY 201 Introduction to Psychology: 3
PSY 202 Growth and Development: 3

One Abnormal Psychology Course:

PSY311 Abnormal Psychology: 3
PSY 300 Experimental Psychology: 4

Choose one Cross Cultural Course:

PSY 304 Social Psychology: 3
PSY 440 Community Psychology:3
PSY 470 Cultures and Contexts: 3
Two upper-division psychology courses of interest (six units), to be selected by the student.

Over 95% of students at SDC receive financial assistance from a variety of sources.

An education at San Diego Christian is worth the investment. At our institution, students are not only investing in an excellent education, but also in their spiritual formation, leadership training and opportunities to make an impact in our local and global community for the kingdom of God. Our 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows our professors to give their students personal attention both academically and spiritually, and our students are a part of a thriving community of believers who are committed to servant leadership and growth.

That is why we believe SDC is worth your investment and our own. Through our comprehensive financial aid program, we are committed to offering an affordable, Christian liberal arts education to every student no matter their financial situation. We are here to assist you in making an informed decision as you plan a financing strategy for your college education.

For a listing of tuition and costs, financial aid options and resources for funding your education, click here.

A degree in Psychology provides the knowledge of human behavior and the critical thinking skills that are needed in many fields.

Career Options

Human services/resources
Community relations
Social work
Program development
Nonprofit organizations
Public relations
Market research
Product design
Consumer research

Counseling and many other areas require a graduate degree. Therefore, the undergraduate degree also aims to provide the necessary background for a diversity of graduate programs.

Learning Outcomes:

  • evaluate the interactions of the biological, cognitive, social and spiritual aspects of human behavior,
  • choose and apply appropriate methods of psychological inquiry and critically evaluate sources of psychological literature,
  • use technology to find and analyze information, including library databases, internet and statistical analyses,
  • demonstrate competency in understanding and working with individual and cultural differences,
  • apply psychological research and biblical teachings to a variety of settings (e.g., business, community problems, counseling, research, education), and
  • communicate psychological concepts, both orally and written.
“The Department of Psychology at SDC provided me with a wealth of knowledge and prepared me for the challenges of becoming a graduate student. The knowledgeable and experienced faculty took genuine interest in their students and put great effort into educating us in the field of psychology while effectively integrating Biblical principles in their teaching. Studying psychology from a Biblical perspective gave me greater insight into God’s incredible design of the human mind and produced growth in my faith and my academics.”
~Emily, 2011