Psychology, B.A.

Program Overview

Are you fascinated by the complexities of the human mind? Can you imagine yourself in a rewarding career that allows you the opportunity to care for others?

If so, a degree in psychology could be the right choice for you. PLNU psychology majors explore contemporary theories of psychotherapy while developing an understanding of emotional and cognitive processes through a Christian lens. With a major in psychology, you will experience purposeful learning aimed at not only preparing you for your career, but also developing your capacity to care for those around you.

You can also look forward to our practicum program, in which you will acquire hands-on training through a community mental health or social service agency. Supervised by an agency representative and a psychology professor, this practicum is an effective way for you to complement coursework with real-world experience.

John Wu Head Shot

Spotlight

John T. Wu, Ed.D.

Professor of Psychology Dr. John Wu knows that manipulating a yo-yo takes a lot of skill. So does teaching psychology classes, doing outside research, and running a private-practice counseling center.

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Psychology majors have the opportunity to choose one of three concentrations:

  • General Psychology: Offers the most flexibility of the three concentrations, giving you a strong foundation in psychology’s core competencies with the option of supplementing your required courses with electives that most interest you.
     
  • Therapeutic & Community Psychology: This is a great concentration for those who want to pursue a career in mental health care or attend graduate school. Courses in family development, psychotherapy, community interventions, and more will prepare you for your life’s work.
     
  • Character, Morality & Culture: This is a unique concentration tailored to those interested in fields such as ministry, spiritual development, and childcare — careers that offer a significant level of demonstrated compassion and care. It offers a closer look into the many ways faith is enriched by the science of psychology, providing an opportunity for students to learn how to give beyond themselves and invest their lives into those of others.

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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

The entire extension of my family consists of friends I made at Point Loma. I owe more to this place than words can express.

Katie Haeuser, Class of 2013
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Career Opportunities

In addition to being highly skilled in their discipline, PLNU graduates of psychology display an exceptional degree of personal growth and development as they take on their roles in service to their communities. Upon completing the program, you will be well prepared for a number of careers that need experts in psychology, as well as for any future education you pursue to advance your professional skills.

A degree in psychology can lead to careers such as:

  • Mental Health Professional
  • Family or Marriage Counselor
  • Personnel or Staff Trainer
  • Professor
  • Psychological Researcher
  • School Psychologist or Counselor
  • Teacher in Primary or Secondary Schools, or Childcare Facilities
The oldest greek amphitheater in the western hemisphere during early sunset at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California

Student Profile

Nicole (Cardoza) Weiss

Nicole Weiss grew up in a small farm town where her father was a dairy farmer. Going to college was a sort of let’s-just-see-what-happens decision. And what happened was transformation: she found the kind of nurturing, challenging environment that shaped both mind and heart.

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Choosing the Right Type of Happiness

Is happiness beyond our control? How to take measures, thanks to psychology, to help us experience a happy life.

Read More in the Viewpoint Online Magazine