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It is important for you to track your completed coursework in the Psychology Major, as well as in your GE pattern. Your advisor helps you plan coursework in line with your interest areas and goals, and discusses career and graduate school options with you. Meet with your advisor early to midway through each semester to be sure you’re on track with your coursework and graduation requirements. If you have another major or a minor, an advisor in that department tracks your progress in that area.

Your advisor must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from this list:

  • Glenn Brassington / Health psychology, peak performance, clinical psychology
  • Melissa Garvin / Child development, life span development
  • Mary Gomes / Ecopsychology, humanistic and transpersonal psychology
  • Maria Hess / Clinical psychology, humanistic and transpersonal psychology
  • Laurel McCabe / Jungian psychology, clinical psychology
  • Geri Olson, Chair / Expressive arts, humanistic psychology
  • Matthew Paolucci Callahan / Social psychology, psychology of gender, cultural psychology
  • Heather Smith / Social psychology, research methods
  • Elisa Velasquez / Child development, community psychology, cross-cultural psychology

You may choose your advisor from the listing above; you choose whom you would like to see. When possible, we recommend that you see one advisor consistently, as this person comes to know you and your interest areas. If your advisor is on leave for a semester please select another advisor.

Follow these guidelines when seeing your advisor:

  1. Sign up for an advising appointment on the advisor’s office door. If no sign up, go during their posted office hours or contact them by email or phone.
  2. Print out a current copy of your Academic Requirements report (ARR) and unofficial transcripts from PeopleSoft and bring it to the meeting. Transfer students should also print out a Transfer Credit report from PeopleSoft. Do not expect it to be printed for you at your advising appointment.
  3. GE Information: Download a GE pattern form: fill it out before your meeting; this helps your advisor track your GE. The GE requirements differ according to the time you have attended SSU. Students attending from their freshman year complete 51 units of GE; from fall 2011- present all entering first-time freshmen will complete 50 units of GE, and transfer students complete 48 units of GE.  All the GE requirements are listed on the GE pattern form.  When you reach Junior status (the semester you reach 60 units) you must take 3 upper division GE courses—save room for them when you plan your GE courses.
  4. IMPORTANT: Keep track of your completed coursework using your ARR.  If you find a discrepancy meet with an advisor.


New Major Requirements for New Students Fall 2014: click here

Psychology Major Information prior to Fall 2014:

There are 4 required classes for the Psychology major: Introduction to Psychology; Statistics; Psy 306; Psy 307. Students are advised to take Statistics and Psy 306 as early as possible, as early as the second semester of the sophomore year. The Psychology major requires 40 units of Psychology courses. At least 34 units must be upper-division Psychology; 6 units may be lower-division courses or transferred from a Junior College. All courses in the major must be passed with a minimum grade of C. Statistics is required in addition to the 40 units. Students are strongly recommended to take a Research Methods course, as well as courses that enhance knowledge of diversity and multiculturalism, such as Psy 328, Cross-Cultural Psychology. See suggested Methods courses at are encouraged to attend information meetings, such as in Counseling or Credential Programs, in order to be informed of any pre-requisites they might need for graduate school.

Department Learning Goals

The Department is committed to students developing the following skills while being a Psychology major. Individual courses within the curriculum target one or more of these skills. Students are encouraged to take courses which develop all of these competencies.

  1. Be familiar with the major concepts, theories, and perspectives in psychology.
  2. Be able to apply psychological theories, concepts, and principles to individual experience as well as to broader social issues and social systems.
  3. Be able to reflect on personal experience in light of psychological knowledge.
  4. Be able to recognize and understand the complexity of cultural diversity, in light of psychological knowledge.
  5. Be able to understand and apply basic research methods in psychology and the social sciences.
  6. Be able to demonstrate skills that promote behavioral change at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

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