2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog


The psychology major at Cal Lutheran is structured to meet three important objectives for those interested in the study of human thought, emotion and behavior. First, students learn about the empirical foundations of psychology. Second, psychology is a broad discipline and students are exposed to the variety of areas encompassed in the field. Third, the major is designed to enable students to apply what they have learned to the real world, thus teaching analysis, synthesis and critical thinking skills.

While lecture and reading assignments are part of every course, faculty in the department encourage students to be active participants in learning through laboratory and case study projects. The three junior/senior capstone courses are practicums emphasizing the integration and application of theory and concepts, ethics, oral and written communication, and research methodology.

Cal Lutheran’s Psychology Department has a chapter of Psi Chi, a national honor society for psychology majors, and each year several of our students receive support to present their research projects at regional and national conferences.

The bachelor’s degree in psychology is excellent preparation for graduate work in psychology, law and business. With a bachelor’s degree, employment opportunities can be found in psychiatric rehabilitation programs, as research assistants and in the business world. Those with master’s degrees may work in clinics and institutions, teach at a two-year college or work as school psychologists and counselors. For some clinical and research work, a doctorate is required.

Cal Lutheran offers master of science degrees in clinical psychology and counseling psychology with a specialization in marital and family therapy as well as a PsyD degree in Psychology.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

36 credits minimum; 24 credits upper division.

Required Courses
PSYC 312Research Design and Statistics I4
PSYC 313Research Design and Statistics II4
PSYC 3314
Select one of the following: 4
Select one of the following: 4
Human Cognition
Select one of the following: 4
Psychology Elective Course (lower or upper division)4
Total Hours28

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

44 credits minimum; 32 credits upper division.

Required Courses
PSYC 312Research Design and Statistics I4
PSYC 313Research Design and Statistics II4
PSYC 3314
PSYC 412Advanced Research Design and Statistics4
PSYC 4954
Select one of the following: 4
Select one of the following: 4
Human Cognition
Two Psychology Elective Courses (at least 4 credits upper division)8
Total Hours36


Minor in Psychology

19 credits, 12 credits upper division.

Three Upper Division Psychology Courses12
Psychology Elective Credits (lower or upper division)3
Total Hours15


Emphasis Area Option:

Because psychology may be applied to a wide range of human endeavors, students may add an emphasis area to the B.A. or B.S. to increase their marketability at graduation. Students select courses from an approved list of interdisciplinary courses to complete one of the following emphasis areas: Behavioral/Clinical Applications, Business/Organizational Applications, Family and Child Development, Health and Wellness Applications, Law and Criminal Behavior Applications, Psychobiology, Sports Psychology Applications.

Candidates for a California Secondary Teaching Credential should contact the School of Education Office for a complete list of course requirements for a Single Subject Waiver in Social Science.


Lower Division

PSYC 203. Understanding Emotion. (4).

This course provides an introduction to the study of emotions. Themes covered include the biological basis of emotions, individual differences in emotionality, emotions in social relationships, cultural understanding of emotions, emotions and psychopathology, and Ganzheitspsychologie. Emphasis on research methodology and ethics is also covered.

PSYC 282C. ST: (core). (1-4).

Select Topic approved for core.

Upper Division

PSYC 312. Research Design and Statistics I. (4).

Research Design and Statistics I is the first of a two course sequence in Psychology designed to prepare undergraduate psychology majors to develop the knowledge and skills needed to design, implement and analyze psychological research. Students will develop knowledge about ethical issues related to psychological research. Students will develop skill in critical reading and analyzing peer reviewed published research. This course will also introduce students to a variety of research designs and statistical analyses including qualitative, descriptive and correlation methodologies. (Prerequisite: MATH 115 or MATH 151 or equivalent).

PSYC 313. Research Design and Statistics II. (4).

Research Design and Statistics II is the second course in a two course sequence designed to assist undergraduate psychology majors in developing the knowledge and skills needed to design, implement and analyze psychological research. Building on the skills learned in PSYC 312, students will continue to develop knowledge about psychological research with a focus on experimental designs, quasi-experimental designs and inferential statistics. Students are required to design and implement an original research project using an experimental design. This course is a writing intensive course (Prerequisite: C- or above in PSYC 312).

PSYC 321. Human Cognition. (4).

Examines perception, attention, memory, language and problem solving. In addition to studying research and theory, students experience and observe cognitive processes in computer labs and class demonstrations. Cognitive deficits and rehabilitation are discussed in each topic area.

PSYC 338. Sport Psychology. (4).

This course is designed to help students both learn theory and then apply practical as well as theoretical information as it relates to the psychology of sports in its various forms. Various mental training skills that can enhance one's athletic performance will also be covered. Some of the areas related to this class that will be explored this semester include stress, motivation, goal-setting, leadership, and imagery. Personality theory, as it relates to athletic competition, as well as competition in the "real world," will also be investigated. The class periods will consist of three components: 1) lecture, 2) discussions, and 3) a period of time during which films and small group exercises will take place.

PSYC 342. Art and Psychology. (3).

This course is offered in the Art and Psychology departments for those students who are interested in the synergy between art and psychology. It satisfies the CORE 21 Participatory Art requirement. It is especially relevant for students with majors in art or psychology or both who are interested in an MFT/ATR (registered art therapist) graduate program. For all others, the course provides an overview of art history, design, production and aesthetics with an emphasis on psychological theories and current neuroscience research. Child development and family systems are addressed in relation to therapeutic uses of art. Visual thinking and creativity are explored and utilized in the production of self-expressive art works. Cross-listed with ART-342.

PSYC 412. Advanced Research Design and Statistics. (4).

Advanced Research Design and Statistics is a required course for undergraduate psychology majors seeking a bachelor of science degree in psychology. This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to build on their knowledge of correlational and experimental research methodologies and basic approaches to statistical analyses. Taught as a seminar course, students will be required to design and implement an original research project which utilizes a mixed methodological approach. In addition, students will be introduced to the theoretical underpinnings of advanced statistical analyses (Prerequisite: PSYC 313).

PSYC 417. Cultural Psychology. (4).

This course provides a systematic overview of knowledge about cultural organization of human psychological functions, and how psychology as a research discipline can study these functions. Strong theoretical and methodological orientation is included. Prerequisite: PSYC 200.

PSYC 422. Child Psychopathology. (4).

This course is designed to give students an introduction to abnormal child psychology. We will study the major disorders typically diagnosed in childhood, including the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria, the current information on the etiology of the disorders, as well as the current research on the most effective assessment and treatment for these disorders.

PSYC 424. Sport Psychology. (4).

An investigation into the mental skills required for sports excellence. This course will explore attentional attributes, resilience, motivation and other key mental aspects that contribute to performance in sports.

PSYC 450. Sensation and Perception. (4).

Introduction to the basic sensory and perceptual processes of humans with an emphasis on vision and audition.

PSYC 451. Forensic Investigations. (4).

Forensic investigations will familiarize students with the process of criminal and forensic investigations as they relate to the criminal justice process. Students will learn the various applications in criminal investigations which include forensics, interview/interrogation, search and seizure, use of DNA, policies and procedures. We will study the legal aspects of investigations and rules regulating the documentation, collection and analysis of evidence. We will explore the various investigative techniques used to detect, prevent, and study crime and behavior. This is a lecture-based and discussion course, so we will rely upon both audible and visual learning theories. The text will be used during lecture hours, but the reading assignments occur outside of class hours. Supplemental materials will be distributed in class and/or posted upon the class website. There will also be several experiential learning activities outside of the classroom. These will be announced in advance. Cross-listed with CRIM 451. Prerequisite: CRIM 101 or PSYC 200 and junior or senior standing.

PSYC 482C. ST: (core). (1-4).

Select Topic approved fill core requirement.

PSYC 496. Directed Research. (1-3).

PSYC 497. Departmental Honors. (4).



Steve Kissinger, PhD
Professor of Psychology

Julie Kuehnel, PhD
Chair/Professor of Psychology

Marylie Gerson PhD
Professor of Psychology

Associate professor

Rainer Diriwaechter, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology

Assistant professors

Jodie Kocur, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Seth Wagerman, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology