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Psychology Advising

Psych Major Overview


As a psychology major, you will develop a variety of skills through your course of study. The Fresno State Department of Psychology emphasizes several goals and objectives for psychology majors that can be applied to diverse occupations, graduate training, and community service. Although several of these goals are common to any liberal education, others are unique to psychology. These goals are:

  • Students will become familiar with the major theoretical approaches, findings, and historical trends in psychology.
  • Students will be able to understand and use major research methods in psychology, including design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Students will gain an understanding of applications of psychology to personal, social, and organizational issues.
  • Students will gain and demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for these purposes.
  • Students will learn to use, respect, and appreciate skeptical inquiry, critical thinking, and the scientific approach to understanding behavior.
  • Students will gain an understanding of cultural diversity.
  • Students will learn to express themselves effectively in written and oral communication.

It is important to note that the value of a psychology major comes not only from the content and theory but also from critical thinking, reasoning, scientific literacy, and the ability to appreciate diverse perspectives.

“It is not the knowledge acquired in college (which becomes quickly obsolete) but rather the cognitive skills developed there that distinguish persons with outstanding careers.” (Chickering, 1994)

Psychology at California State University, Fresno

There are several programs available for students at CSU, Fresno interested in the field of psychology, some outside of the Psychology Department. The programs listed are recommended to enhance your qualifications for employment and/or graduate study.

Overview of the Major

The undergraduate psychology major receives strong liberal arts education, learning valuable oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving techniques, and advanced critical thinking skills. The psychology department at CSU, Fresno is one of the largest on campus with more than 1800 undergraduates. There are 19 full-time faculty in the department who all have the Ph.D. degree. Many of the part-time faculty also have Ph.D.s.

Programs Within the Psychology Major

  1. Senior Honors Program. The Psychology Department has a model honors program that allows upper-division psychology students the opportunity to conduct their own research projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. (See the Psychology Office for more details.)

Overview of the Minor

Students who are interested in pursuing a minor in Psychology must first meet with an advisor in the Psychology Department to have prior approval and proposed course plan. The minor consists of 22 units of psychology courses, 15 of which must be upper division. The Psychology Minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence. Courses that are used in the student's major may NOT be included in the minor. It is essential that students arrange to have a Final Minor Approval Memo sent to Undergraduate Degree Evaluations from the Psychology Faculty Advisor during the semester in which the approved minor courses will be COMPLETED. The minor will not be awarded without the official notification to Undergraduate Degree Evaluations.

  1. Humanics Certificate in Administration and Leadership for Community Benefit Organizations The Humanics Program builds on and enhances students' chosen major course of study, offering an applied, project-based curriculum (based on the R.E.A.L. ® model) which leads to a certificate in administration and leadership for community benefit organizations. For more information about obtaining a certificate in Administration and Leadership for Community Benefit Organizations and about the other benefits of involvement in the program, contact Dr. Matthew Jendian, Campus Director of the American Humanics Program, (559) 278 2891,
  2. Certificate in Victim ServicesThis certificate provides the knowledge and skills needed for work with victims and is useful for those pursuing careers in behavioral science. It is a 12-unit program sponsored cooperatively by the Department of Criminology and the School of Education and Human Development. For additional information, contact Dr. Yoshiko Takahshi, Victimology Option Coordinator, (559) 278-4800,
  3. Certificate in Alcohol/Drug Studies. This 12-unit interdisciplinary certificate program provides academic coursework in the area of alcohol and drug abuse. For more information, contact the Department of Health Science at (559) 278-4014.