Psychology Degree Programs in California (V-Z)

| Staff Writers

Pursuing one of the various psychology degree programs in California will place you on the right track for the helping professions.

California is America’s most populous state with eight of the 50 most populated cities. According to the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF), one in 20 adults suffers from a serious mental illness here. There’s a large demand for psychology graduates to serve California’s highly diverse population of over 38 million. In fact, California employs the highest percentage (18,710) of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists nationwide. The Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area also ranks #1 in the United States for psychology jobs.

If you’re ready to start positively touching others’ lives, review our final list (V-Z) of psychology degrees in the “Golden State” below.

Vanguard University of Southern California

Psychology Department

First founded in 1920 as the first four-year bible college of the Assemblies of God, Vanguard University of Southern California is a private liberal arts Christian institution serving around 2,400 students from its 40-acre suburban campus in Orange County’s Costa Mesa. Named a “Christian College of Distinction,” Vanguard is currently ranked the 13th best regional college and 10th best university for military veterans in the West by the U.S. News. The VUSC Psychology Department aims to enhance students’ respect for diversity by expanding their understanding of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology – Concentration in Human Development

Built on the Christian belief that humans were created in the image of God, the Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology focuses on exploring cognitive, behavioral, biological, social, cultural, and spiritual perspectives of human nature. The Concentration in Human Development is added to give undergraduates a broader knowledge of normal and abnormal human behavior across the lifespan. Leading to a B.A., the 124-credit curriculum includes at least 125 hours of field practicum for students to work with children, teens, and adults in community agencies. Students can also join Vanguard’s active Psi Chi Honor Society.

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

Ranging from 60 to 65 credits, the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology program at Vanguard is designed for equipping graduate students with the skills to serve as Christian mental health professionals in secular or faith-based agencies. The rigorous academic training is available full-time or part-time with a convenient four-year, evening only schedule. Students join a collaborative environment to take courses in psychotherapy, psychopathology, cognitive-behavioral therapy, addictive behaviors, diversity, ethics, psychopharmacology, and mental health testing, After two field practica, students can become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in California.

Master of Science in Organizational Psychology

Aligned with guidelines from the SHRM, the Master of Science in Organizational Psychology program is focused on preparing graduates for ethical leadership to enhance wellness in the workplace. The program is focused on giving students the skills to build thriving, goal-oriented organizations that bring together productive, engaged employees. Using a cohort model, the program spans over two years with evening classes meeting once per week. Highly practical Saturday seminars and online class enhancements are also included. Courses will cover topics from human resources and character development to employee benefits and workplace stress. Students gain experience with the Organizational Psychology Consulting Services.

Accreditations

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-3610
KHummel@vanguard.edu
Program Link

Westmont College

Psychology Department

Located on an 11-acre suburban campus in the Montecito village of Santa Barbara on the coastal plains of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Westmont College is a private non-profit Christian liberal arts institution first founded by Ruth Kerr in 1937. Enrolling around 1,300 students annually with a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, Westmont is currently ranked as America’s 93rd best national liberal arts college by the U.S. News. Washington Monthly also distinguished Westmont as the 170th best college nationwide for civic engagement. The Psychology Department has diverse course offerings to provide a solid, customizable foundation for understanding behavior.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Intentionally integrating the Christian faith, the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program is rooted in the liberal arts to provide introductory psychological knowledge for application in the practice of human services. The 48-unit major is ideal for students seeking to build the behavioral skills to positively promote the well-being of our diverse world’s communities and churches. Within the four-year curriculum, students will find courses in personality, child development, social psychology, abnormal psychology, cultural diversity, neuropsychology, counseling, and cognition. All B.A. students are required to complete a capstone senior practicum in an approved community agency.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, General Track

Westmont’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology program takes a more scientific approach to laying the foundation for undergraduates to research human behavior and mental processes. Rather than the liberal arts, this program is rooted in the natural, cognitive, and social sciences to allow students to investigate other people’s actions. In the 60-unit General Psychology track, majors will take courses in statistics, experimental psychology, cognitive psychology, behavioral neuroscience, human development, finite mathematics, research methods, biology, human physiology, and chemistry. B.S. students switch the field practicum for extensive laboratory work and a capstone senior research project.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Track

Any undergraduates at Westmont College who wish to study how biology impacts the genetic, developmental, and psychological factors of human behavior can select the Behavioral Neuroscience Track. Leading to the Bachelor of Science in Psychology, the 65-unit track is focused on scientific research relevant to the structure and functions of the brain. Students undergo rigorous academic training to learn how the central nervous system affects memory, learning, sensation, perception, motivation, communication, and more. The four-year program will conclude with a capstone senior research project in behavioral neuroscience.

Accreditations

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
(805) 565-6818
strogers@westmont.edu
Program Link

Whittier College

Department of Psychology

With a close-knit community of around 1,700 students, Whittier College is a private residential non-profit liberal arts institution first founded in 1887 by the Religious Society of Friends on a beautiful 74-acre suburban campus in Whittier near Montebello. Given federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), more than one-third of the college’s student body is Latino. The U.S. News has ranked Whittier as America’s 127th best national liberal arts college and 93rd top school for veterans. Within the Department of Psychology, students can explore the biological bases of behavior to achieve self-awareness and understanding of others.

Major in Psychology

Whittier’s Major in Psychology is a bachelor’s degree program focused on training students with the theoretical perspectives and empirical research findings to begin thinking like psychologists. Within the 36-credit major, students will take diverse coursework in research methods, biology, statistics, neuroimaging, developmental psychology, health psychology, clinical communication, perception, human sexuality, social psychology, and abnormal psychology. Students obtain hands-on experience at the college’s Center for Science, Health & Policy (CSHP). Internships can be arranged across Southern California. There’s also a study abroad program for psychology majors to visit nations like Argentina, China, Germany, New Zealand, and Sweden.

Accreditations

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

13406 East Philadelphia Street
Whittier, CA 90608
(562) 907-4291
lcamparo@whittier.edu
Program Link

William Jessup University

School of Professional Studies

Established in 1939 as San Jose Bible College, William Jessup University has grown into a premier private non-denominational Christian liberal arts institution located on a main 126-acre suburban campus in Rocklin within just 20 miles northeast of California’s capital in Sacramento. Now educating over 1,200 students annually, William Jessup is a fast-growing university with record enrollments for the last four straight years. WJU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). The School of Professional Studies offers flexible degree programs ranging from business and criminal justice to psychology and teaching.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Delivering Christ-centered, faith-based learning, the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program at William Jessup integrates scriptural knowledge in the study of human behaviors and needs. Students are mentored to apply theological and psychological knowledge in assisting others with achieving their full God given potential. The four-year traditional daytime program offers Counseling, Developmental, Community Mental Health, International, General, and Pre-Doctoral concentrations. The 120-credit degree is available at the Rocklin or San Jose campuses. Graduates will possess the practical skills to work in human services, social work, counseling, ministry, education, and more.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

At the Rocklin and San Jose campuses, the Bachelor of Science in Psychology program is uniquely structured to accommodate busy working adults who already possess an accredited associate’s degree. The degree completion program requires just 50 credits, so students can graduate within just 19 months full-time. Non-traditional students further develop their capacity for working in the secular and faith-based helping professions. Coursework will address key topics in psychological intervention, personality theory, counseling, abnormal psychology, biopsychology, addiction, grief therapy, and social psychology from a Christian worldview. Its mission is to prepare leaders for redeeming world culture through servant leadership.

Accreditations

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

2121 University Avenue
Rocklin, CA 95765
(916) 577-8042
jstone@jessup.edu
Program Link

Woodbury University

School of Media, Culture & Design

Based on a main 22-acre suburban campus within the “Media Capital of the World” in Burbank at the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, Woodbury University is a private non-profit, non-sectarian teaching institution enrolling just over 1,500 students. Named in Money magazine’s top 25 colleges that add value, Woodbury is ranked the 57th best regional college in the West by the U.S. News. The School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD) is a cross-disciplinary, dynamic division aiming to educate the next generation of creative professionals in contemporary culture.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

As a writing-intensive program, the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Woodbury strives to build the critical thinking and creative problem solving skills students need to examine the complexity of human behavior in the larger social community. Students foster close mentoring relationships in an intimate, family-like environment to maximize their individualized attention. The four-year program focuses on applying psychological principles to revolve real-world societal issues. After finishing the theoretical core, students can declare a Cultural Emphasis or Media Emphasis. All students are required to complete a 90-hour supervised internship in the fall semester of senior year.

Accreditations

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

7500 Glenoaks Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91510
(818) 252-5151
joye.swan@woodbury.edu
Program Link

The Wright Institute

Psychology Degrees

Founded by distinguished psychologist Nevitt Sanford in 1968, the Wright Institute is an independent non-profit graduate school offering psychology training from its urban campus in Berkeley on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay in northern California. Since 1995, the institute’s psychology degrees have been regionally accredited by the WASC and professionally accredited by the APA. Wright has been recognized as a leading center for “critical psychoanalysis” in the world. According to the U.S. News, the Wright Institute has America’s 177th best clinical psychology program.

Counseling Psychology M.A.

The Wright Institute’s Counseling Psychology M.A. program prepares diverse students for delivering culturally sensitive mental health services that advocate for social justice. Within the two-year program, master’s students bond with their peers in a cohort model to provide intimate, supportive learning experiences. The 60-unit curriculum includes three applied field practicum placements for providing individual, group, and family counseling. Partnerships have been made with community mental health facilities across the Bay Area. Graduates become qualified for becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in California.

Clinical Psychology Psy.D.

Carefully designed with a scholar-practitioner approach, the Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program at the Wright Institute has APA approval to prepare doctoral candidates for assuming clinical capabilities in treating mental illness and disorder. Students are immersed in a broad-based curriculum of psychological science drawing on psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral, and family systems theories. Coursework spans over three years with applied clinical practica every 13-week trimester. Students also gain hands-on experience at the Berkeley Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Clinic. Psy.D. students must pass a qualifying exam and portfolio review before starting their dissertation.

Accreditations

American Psychological Association (APA)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Contact

2728 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 841-9230
vmorgan@wi.edu
Program Link

Forbes magazine recently named psychology the 7th most popular college major in the United States. The average starting salary for psychology graduates is $33,210. It’s likely that so many students select psychology because of its wide variety of career opportunities. Even if you’re not planning to earn a doctorate and enter clinical practice, you’ll learn the people skills to succeed in virtually any field from business to human services. Follow your curiosity for studying the human mind and check out these top-notch psychology degree programs in California.

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