Psychology

Psychology is the study of people through an examination of their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. MiraCosta's Psychology program has a biological and physiological emphasis. Students are introduced to the science of psychology, including systematic research and analysis. They learn how to follow the principles of the scientific method and how to write using American Psychological Association (APA) style. The psychology discipline provides the tools to gather data efficiently and skillfully and to examine the nature of human behavior. Students may take courses to prepare for a psychology major or to fulfill general education requirements.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Stephen J. Eso

Dean: Alketa Wojcik

www.miracosta.edu/PSYC

Department: Psychology

Office: Building OC3100, 760.795.6871

Full-Time Faculty

Wendy J. Curtiss
Stephen J. Eso
Lisa Fast
Robert Kelley
David McField

Associate Degrees

Associate in Arts Degree

Psychology

The Psychology program offers lower-division preparation for students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The primary focus of the program is to prepare students for transfer to four-year psychology programs. With a bachelor’s degree, career options include business, state and local government agencies, and health care. A graduate degree is required for counseling, marriage and family therapy, clinical social work, school psychology, clinical psychology.

Note: Many CSUs and UCs have unique admissions and preparation-for-the major requirements that are specific to their institutions. Psychology transfer students should also consider the Liberal Arts with an Area of Emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences degree. For further information and assistance, students should consult the website, www.assist.org, the individual university catalog and a MiraCosta College counselor.

Required courses: 
PSYC 101General Psychology3
or PSYC 101H General Psychology (Honors)
PSYC/SOC 104Statistics for Behavioral Science4
or PSYC/SOC 104H Statistics for Behavioral Science (Honors)
PSYC/SOC 205Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences3
List A (select two):6
Psychology of Personal Growth
Social Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Human Sexuality
Human Development
Psychology/Sociology of the Family
Psychology of Aging: Adult Development and Aging
Learning and Behavior Modification
Physiological Psychology
List B (select one; or select any additional course from List A):3-4
General Biology (Lecture and Lab)
General Biology
Human Physiology
Composition and Reading
Critical Thinking and Composition
Critical Thinking and Composition (Honors)
Introduction to Aging
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
Total Units19-20

  

Associate in Arts Degree

Associate in Arts in Psychology for Transfer Degree

Students completing this associate degree will have completed lower-division major preparation requirements for a psychology degree, an emphasis or option within a psychology degree, or a degree considered similar to psychology at a participating California State University (CSU) campus. Following transfer to a participating CSU campus, students will be required to complete no more than 60 units to obtain a bachelor’s degree; however, some CSU campuses accepting this degree may require additional lower-division major preparation. This degree may not be appropriate preparation for students transferring to a non-participating CSU campus or to a university or college that is not part of the CSU system. Students should consult with a MiraCosta counselor for further information regarding the most efficient pathway to transfer as a psychology major and to determine which CSU campuses are participating in this program.

To complete the degree, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete 60 semester (90 quarter) CSU transferable units
  • Complete all courses required in the major with a “C” or better
  • Complete the CSU-GE or CSU-IGETC  general education pattern 
  • Achieve a minimum CSU transferable GPA of 2.0
  • Complete a minimum of 12 units in residence at MiraCosta College.      

 

Required courses: 
PSYC 101General Psychology *3
or PSYC 101H General Psychology (Honors)
PSYC/SOC 104Statistics for Behavioral Science *4
or PSYC/SOC 104H Statistics for Behavioral Science (Honors)
PSYC/SOC 205Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences3
List A (select one course):3-4
General Biology (Lecture and Lab) *
General Biology *
Physiological Psychology *
List B (select one course):3-4
Any course not used in List A above or one of the following.
Composition and Reading *
Psychology of Personal Growth *
Human Development *
Learning and Behavior Modification
Introduction to Sociology *
Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
List C (select one course):3-4
Any course not selected above or one of the following.
Social Psychology *
Abnormal Psychology *
Human Sexuality *
Psychology/Sociology of the Family *
Psychology of Aging: Adult Development and Aging *
Total Units19-22

 

*

To insure this degree is completed with no more than 60 units, students should select courses that will also satisfy a general education requirement on the CSU-GE or IGETC general education pattern. These courses are noted with an asterisk above. Students are also strongly advised to complete the History, Constitution, and American Ideals requirement prior to transfer.

Associate in Arts Degree

Human Development

Human Development is the study of people’s lives from conception to death. The Human Development program offers lower division preparation for students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The primary focus of the program is to prepare students for transfer to four-year Human Development programs. With a bachelor’s degree, career options include working with people from all ages, ethnic, cultural, and/or socioeconomic backgrounds in areas such as health, education, community and state (public and private) agencies, business, and religious and secular organizations.

Note: Many CSUs and UCs have unique admissions and preparation-for-the major requirements that are specific to their institutions. For greater flexibility to meet preparation-for-major, human development transfer students should also consider the Liberal Arts with an Area of Emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences degree. For further information and assistance, students should consult www.assist.org, the individual university catalog, and a MiraCosta College counselor. 

Required courses: 
ANTH 102Cultural Anthropology3
or ANTH 102H Cultural Anthropology (Honors)
PSYC 101General Psychology3
or PSYC 101H General Psychology (Honors)
PSYC/SOC 104Statistics for Behavioral Science4
or PSYC/SOC 104H Statistics for Behavioral Science (Honors)
PSYC 121Human Development3
PSYC/SOC 205Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences3
Required Electives: Select one course.3-4
General Biology (Lecture and Lab)
General Biology
Human Physiology
Child Behavior and Guidance
Child Growth and Development
Child and Adolescent Growth and Development
Observation & Assessment in Early Childhood
Child, Family, and Community
Children with Special Learning Needs
Composition and Reading
Critical Thinking and Composition
Critical Thinking and Composition (Honors)
Introduction to Aging
Caregiving: Techniques for Working with the Frail Elderly
Principles of Health
Psychology of Personal Growth
Social Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Human Sexuality
Psychology/Sociology of the Family
Psychology of Aging: Adult Development and Aging
Physiological Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
Total Units19-20

 

Certificates

Certificate of Proficiency

Research Fundamentals

This certificate emphasizes the skills needed to interpret research data and conduct basic research in accordance with the procedures and methods of behavioral science. The certificate is designed for individuals interested in learning research skills and for those who need assistance in improving these skills for their work.

Required courses: 
PSYC/SOC 104Statistics for Behavioral Science4
or PSYC/SOC 104H Statistics for Behavioral Science (Honors)
LIBR 101College Research Skills1
Select three units from the following:3
General Psychology
General Psychology (Honors)
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
Introduction to the Administration of Justice
Introduction to the Administration of Justice (Honors)
Select three elective units from the following:3
Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences
Research in the Digital Age
Total Units11

  

Certificate of Proficiency

Volunteer Services

This certificate offers students core courses in behavioral science combined with at least one behavioral science course that offers service learning. The academic courses provide a fundamental understanding of human behavior. A course that includes service learning requires volunteering in the community combined with written reflection on the volunteer experience. This certificate emphasizes working directly with people in need within the service-learning tradition, and it integrates academics with practice. This certificate can enrich the service of experienced volunteers, guide those interested in volunteering for the first time and transfer students interested in teaching and social service agency work, and provide early experience in public service. Students need to contact the Service Learning Office for information about instructors in behavioral science who offer service learning. In addition, students must provide verification of their volunteer participation through the Service Learning Office to earn the certificate.

Required courses: 
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3
or SOC 101H Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
SOC 102Contemporary Social Problems3
Select at least 5 elective units from the following:5
Child, Family, and Community
Social Psychology
Psychology/Sociology of the Family
Total Units11

 

How to Read Course Descriptions

Courses

PSYC 100: Psychology of Personal Growth

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course introduces the principles of human behavior with a combined emphasis on the scientific method and personal growth. Topics include personality, stress, friendship and intimate relationships, human sexuality, the self, psychological disorders and psychotherapy, and health psychology. The course emphasizes the scientific basis of psychological knowledge and the application of such knowledge to achieve personal growth. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: No credit if taken after PSYC 101.

PSYC 101: General Psychology

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in PSYC 101H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course examines the biological basis of human behavior, including topics such as neuroanatomy, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, language, thought, and intelligence. It also introduces research methods and statistics.

PSYC 101H: General Psychology (Honors)

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in PSYC 101.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course examines the biological basis of human behavior, including topics such as neuroanatomy, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, language, thought, and intelligence. It introduces research methods and statistics. As an honors course, it provides an enhanced experience for motivated students through advanced course work and reading materials, enriched analysis and discussion of psychological topics, special attention to science in psychology, and refinement of critical thinking skills. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for PSYC 101 or PSYC 101H.

PSYC 103: Social Psychology

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in SOC 103.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2003.00)

Social psychology examines the influence that society, contexts, groups, and others have on individuals. This course emphasizes the sociological and psychological factors in socialization, self-concept, interpersonal relationships, and group dynamics. The course pays special attention to social cognition, attitudes, social influence, language, and cross-cultural differences in social psychology.

PSYC 104: Statistics for Behavioral Science

Units: 4
Prerequisites: MATH 64 or eligibility determined by the math placement process.
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in BTEC 180, BIO 180, PSYC 104, PSYC 104H, SOC 104, or SOC 104H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 4 hours. (2001.00)

This course introduces statistical methods for analyzing data in the behavioral sciences. Topics include basic research design; descriptive statistics, probability and sampling distributions; statistical inference and power; linear correlation and regression; t-test and one-way analysis of variance; chi-square. Students use appropriate technology (e.g., calculators and SPSS) to analyze real-world data and report results using American Psychological Association style. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for BIO 180, BTEC 180, MATH 103, SOC 104, PSYC 104H, or SOC 104H.

PSYC 104H: Statistics for Behavioral Science (Honors)

Units: 4
Prerequisites: MATH 64 or eligibility determined by the math placement process.
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in BTEC 180, BIO 180, PSYC 104, PSYC 104H, SOC 104, or SOC 104H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 4 hours. (2001.00)

This course introduces statistical methods for analyzing data in the behavioral sciences. As an honors course, it offers an enriched experience for highly motivated students through a pro-seminar format and more in-depth coverage of course topics. Topics include research design; descriptive statistics, probability, and sampling distributions; statistical inference and advanced power analysis; linear correlation and regression; t-test and one-way analysis of variance; chi-square. Students use appropriate technology (e.g., calculators and SPSS) to analyze real-world data and report results using American Psychological Association style. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for BIO 180/BTEC 180, MATH 103, PSYC 104/SOC 104, or PSYC 104H/SOC 104H.

PSYC 114: Abnormal Psychology

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Advisory: PSYC 100, PSYC 101, or PSYC 101H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course introduces psychological disorders and their diagnosis, causes, and treatments. Topics include anxiety, mood, personality, eating, sexual, gender identity, psychotic, and substance-related disorders. Students examine the causes and treatments of disorders based on scientific research.

PSYC 115: Human Sexuality

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course examines human sexuality from three perspectives--the biological, the psychological, and the social--and is applicable to students of all majors. The biological topics include sexual anatomy, the sexual response cycle, sexual behaviors, sexual dysfunctions, pregnancy, birth control, and prenatal development. The psychological topics include attraction, communication, intimacy, and love. The social topics include gender, the law, morality, sexual educational, and ethical issues.

PSYC 121: Human Development

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in CHLD 121.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC Credit limitation
Lecture 3 hours. (2003.00)

This course examines the psychological and physical development of the individual from conception through childhood, adolescence, and maturity. It covers major theories of intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development and explores cultural differences in development. The course emphasizes the interdependence of various periods of the individual's life and considers scientific methods, behavioral disorders, death, and spirituality. UC CREDIT LIMITATION: Credit for CHLD 112, CHLD 113, or PSYC 121.

PSYC 145: Psychology/Sociology of the Family

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in SOC 145.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2003.00)

This course examines the family as a social institution and applies sociological and psychological theories and concepts to couples, intimate relationships, marriage, and families. These theories and concepts provide frameworks for examining love, sexuality, and commitment and for identifying problems and adjustments for couples and family relationships. The course also studies changing models of the family, historical perspectives, cross-cultural comparisons, and the influences of changes in contemporary society affecting family life. Among the topics covered are partner selection, becoming parents, communication, family and work, family crises, divorce, aging, and issues linked to social class and living in a diverse society.

PSYC 170: Psychology of Aging: Adult Development and Aging

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course explores normal and abnormal characteristics of aging on physical, cognitive, personality, and mental health processes as they occur in late adulthood. Topics include marriage, family and friends, intergenerational issues, and intimacy and sexuality. It probes late-adult transitions, such as retirement and widowhood, and end-of-life issues.

PSYC 205: Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences

Units: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 101, PSYC 101H, SOC 101, or SOC 101H; and PSYC 104 or SOC 104; and ENGL 100.
Corequisite: PSYC 104/104H or SOC 104/104H (for students with MATH 103 credit).
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in SOC 205.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course introduces research methodologies used in the behavioral sciences. It emphasizes an appreciation of the scientific method, the development of research skills, knowledge of research ethics, and the evaluation of scientific research. Students conduct library research, design and implement research projects using appropriate methodologies and controls, analyze and interpret data using a statistical computer program, and write research reports using the APA format. Students with MATH 103 may take PSYC 104/SOC 104 concurrently with Research Methods.

PSYC 211: Learning and Behavior Modification

Units: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 100, PSYC 101 or PSYC 101H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course surveys the principles of learning and the research applications of behavior modification. Topics include the historical origins of learning theory; classical and operant conditioning; cognitive aspects of complex learning tasks; and biological factors in learning. The course also covers the principles of behavior modification, including reinforcement and punishment, schedules of reinforcement, and applications of behavior modification in an educational environment.

PSYC 260: Physiological Psychology

Units: 3
Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or PSYC 101H.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU, UC
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course introduces the biological basis of behavior. Students gain an appreciation of how the human brain creates a perception of the physical world, develop the ability to critically evaluate research in biological psychology, and understand the biological mechanisms that underlie psychological phenomena. Topics include research in biological psychology, anatomy of the nervous system, development of the nervous system, neurons and action potential, communication at the synapse, effects of psychoactive drugs, sensory systems, motivation and emotion, sleep/wake cycles, learning and memory, lateralization and language, and the biological basis of psychopathology.

PSYC 292: Internship Studies

Units: 0.5-3
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor, dept chair, and Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

This course provides students the opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of their discipline in an internship position in a professional setting under the instruction of a faculty-mentor and site supervisor. It introduces students to aspects of the roles and responsibilities of professionals employed in the field of study. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students must develop new learning objectives and/or intern at a new site upon each repetition. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.

PSYC 296: Topics in Psychology

Units: 1-3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 1 hour.
Lecture 2 hours.
Lecture 3 hours. (2001.00)

This course gives students an opportunity to study topics in Psychology that are not included in regular course offerings. Each Topics course is announced, described, and given its own title and 296 number designation in the class schedule.

PSYC 298: Directed Study in Psychology

Units: 1-3
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor and department chair approval and successful completion of 12 units of college work with at least a 3.0 grade-point average.
Repeatability Rule: May be taken for a total of 3 units.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Laboratory 3 hours
Laboratory 6 hours
Laboratory 9 hours. (2001.00)

This course allows students to pursue a special area of interest in order to achieve specific goals beyond the scope of existing courses within the discipline. Students work independently and interact directly with an instructor on an individual basis and as prescribed by the Directed Study Agreement.

PSYC 299: Occupational Cooperative Work Experience

Units: 1-4
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

Cooperative Work Experience is intended for students who are employed in a job directly related to their major. It allows such students the opportunity to apply the theories and skills of their discipline to their position and to undertake new responsibilities and learn new skills at work. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.

GO HOME