Make an Impact in Your Community

If you have a passion for helping others achieve mental wellness, earn a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology from City University of Seattle.

The BA in Applied Psychology program is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in behavioral science at a practical level that will prepare you for a profession in human services or for advancement to graduate studies in counseling, education, or business.

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology program, you’ll have the necessary interpersonal skills, critical-thinking abilities, theoretical knowledge, ethical consciousness, cross-cultural competence, and self-awareness to be a contributing member of your community. This program can be completed in as little as three years.

CityU’s applied psychology faculty is made up of active practitioners who share their expertise in psychological theories, abnormal psychology, neuropsychology and ethics; family, organization, and diversity issues; and research methodology and professional report writing.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology program, you’ll learn:

  • Various philosophical approaches to ethical decision making and practical applications
  • Major theories of personality
  • An overview of human learning and its processes
  • How power and oppression affect individuals, families, groups, and communities
  • The behavior of individuals and groups within the organizational setting
  • The relationship between brain and psychological concepts
  • Concepts of social psychology
  • Problems of anxiety, mood, mind and body, social impact, psychosis, and personality

Lower-Division Requirements (90)

College Composition: 5 credits
College Mathematics: 5 credits
Humanities: 15 credits
Social Science: 15 credits
Natural Science/Mathematics: 15 credits

Preparatory Courses

PSY 201

Introduction to Psychology (5)

This course examines the field of psychology from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Topics include the physiological basis of mental functioning; the physical, cognitive, and social aspects of lifespan development; learning, memory, and cognition; psychological disorders; emotions and health; thinking and language; intelligence and motivation; perception and sensation; and the various theories of personality.

PSY 202

Understanding Human Development (5)

An investigation into the biological, social, and psychological forces that shape the various stages of our lives. This course also examines patterns of difference due to factors such as gender, culture, disability, and socioeconomic status.

Upper-Division Requirements (90)

Applied Psychology Core

PSY 209

Fundamentals of Research Methods in Social Sciences (5)

As an introduction to research methods in social sciences, this course provides a foundation in the basic concepts of scientific method, research design, and statistical analysis. The focus is on empirical approaches to knowledge. This course also addresses the usefulness and limitations of statistical processes and their applications in social sciences. It emphasizes problem formulation, selection of research techniques, and results interpretation. Prerequisite: ENG 102 or Equivalent

PSY 220

Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology (5)

The course assesses both past and present models of psychological abnormality including the current version of the diagnostic system. Other topics addressed include: problems of anxiety, mood, mind and body, social impact, psychosis, and personality. Specifically, this course serves as an introduction to abnormal psychology, with particular applicability to theories of personality and as a foundation to subsequent coursework in counseling and psychology. The areas addressed are broad, theoretical and research based, and of relevance in conceptualizing issues of both nature and extent of abnormal behavior, and the means by which prevention and intervention occurs. Prerequisite: Course Entry Requirements: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 240 or PSY 311, PSY 209 or PSY 312, or their equivalent

PSY 240

Critical Thinking & Writing Skills in Social Sciences (5)

This course develops students' writing skills. It introduces students to various forms of scholarly writing and focuses on topics such as style and mechanics, APA format, etc. In this course students will also learn about critical-thinking process used to analyze social issues and identify rational solutions. Topics examined include: argument analyzing and building; forms and standards of critical thinking; and evaluating sources of information. Prerequisite: ENG 102 or Equivalent

PSY 245

Introduction to Social Psychology (5)

This course introduces students to the concepts of social psychology in a concise and thought-provoking manner. It is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in the basic principles of social psychology, an understanding of the importance of context when interpreting research findings, and other complex topics, such as conformity, self-justification, and prejudice. Prerequisites: ENG 102, PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 240 or PSY 311, PSY 209 or PSY 312, or their equivalents

PSY 313

Ethics (5)

An overview of various philosophical approaches to ethical decision making and practical applications involving ethical problems that arise in contemporary society, such as crime and punishment, marriage and the family, biotechnology, and workplace. Prerequisites: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 311 and PSY 312.

PSY 314

Personality Theory (5)

Introducing students to the major theories of personality, this course encourages students to critically evaluate each perspective. Personality theory is a foundation for much research and practice in psychology. Students will confront questions regarding the definition and development of personality, individual, and cultural variations in personality, and the implications of research for practical application.
Prerequisites: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 311, and PSY 312.

PSY 315

Learning Theory (5)

This course provides an overview of human learning and its processes, including the historical, empirical, and theoretical foundations of the study of learning and learning processes.
Prerequisites: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 311 and PSY 312.

PSY 316

Psychology of Difference (5)

This course provides an examination of how power and oppression affect individuals, families, groups, and communities. These issues will be explored in the realms of age, gender, ethnicity, race, class, religion, sexual orientation, and disability. Students will explore their own cultural backgrounds and critically examine the dominant cultures of which they are a part.
Prerequisites: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 311 and PSY 312.

PSY 411

Organizational Behavior (5)

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of human behavior in organizations. Its purpose is to provide students with a working understanding of the behavior of individuals and groups within the organizational setting. In this course, we will explore how topics such as personality, attitudes, motivation, power and influence, leadership, conflict management, and organizational culture affect individual and organizational performance.
Prerequisites: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 311 and PSY 312.

PSY 413

Neuropsychology (5)

This course examines the impact of the brain and nervous system on individual behaviors. Students will explore the anatomy of the brain and nervous system as well as their functions. The relationship between brain and psychological concepts such as learning, cognition, perception, and behavior, will be a guiding focus throughout the course. This course can serve as a natural science course for the purpose of meeting general education requirements. Prerequisites: PSY 201, PSY 202, PSY 311 and PSY 312.

PSY 498

Senior Seminar (5)

Practicum provides students with the experience of applying behavioral science concepts outside a classroom setting. Students will arrange a placement in a community setting in which to develop and implement a service project.

SOC 412

Sociology of the Family (5)

This course will cover five broad but related areas of study: (1) the origins of the family, as well as basic concepts and theories underlying sociological discussions of family; (2) the relationship between the family and society through history; (3) work roles for men and women, both within and outside the home; (4) trends in non-marital lifestyles, marriage, divorce, and childbearing; and (5) the outlook for the future of the family.


5 credits of upper division electives required.

Specialized Study Emphasis

25 credits are required for this emphasis, and all courses must be approved by senior faculty.

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology degree prepares undergraduate students for impactful careers in counseling, social services, and human services. Most graduates go on to complete advanced degrees, such as a Master of Arts in Counseling, in order to pursue careers as counselors, psychologists, or social workers.

Upon completion of this program, you’ll be qualified to seek positions such as:

  • Case manager
  • Agency manager or coordinator
  • Educational counselor
  • Social worker
  • Human resources specialist
  • Assistant behavioral analyst

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.