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For more than sixty years, the Psychology programs at CGU have trained psychologists for positions in research, teaching, and administrative capacities in academic institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private-sector businesses.
The overarching theme of Psychology at CGU blends social concern with psychology theory and methods. In 1969, the program undertook a pioneering effort to develop and promote application oriented psychology. The application of social science knowledge, concepts, and methods to social issues and social systems through research and practice is a central theme. Training emphasizes three primary components.
- Development of methodological skills for collecting and analyzing information in field settings
- Scholarly work organized around psychological and social concepts relevant to social issues and social organizations
- Practical experience in government agencies, public interest organizations, human service agencies, or significant business and industrial settings
Within the broad framework of a chosen area of concentration in psychology, students work closely with faculty to plan their programs and to identify the skills, experiences, studies, and achievements appropriate to their specific career interests and goals. As students progress in their graduate education, they are expected to become increasingly independent in their professional decisions and responsibilities. Faculty undertake advising as a prime responsibility, providing systematic and informal communication throughout the advising relationship. All psychology faculty collaborate on an annual review of each student’s progress through the program.
The program’s instructional team is comprised of CGU faculty and graduate faculty from other Claremont Colleges. Faculty contribute a wide range of substantive interests and specialized competencies, with whom students are encouraged to utilize both formally and informally.
CGU facilities provide space and equipment for psychological research and training, but psychology laboratories on the undergraduate campuses of The Claremont Colleges are also available to graduate students. Additional research facilities include the Academic Computing Center and the Psychology Department’s research center. Students are encouraged to conduct off-campus research in natural or field settings relevant to their interests.
Applications for admission to the graduate program in psychology are reviewed for evidence of a strong career commitment to psychology; the capacity for sustained, autonomous effort; and a high level of intellectual functioning. Most students are admitted in the fall semester of the academic year. Applications received by January 15 are given priority for financial aid consideration in the subsequent fall semester.
In addition to some undergraduate concentration in psychology, applicants are expected to have a broad, liberal education in the humanities, mathematics, or the social, life, and psychical sciences. A deliberate effort is made to build a student body that includes a diversity of interests and experiences, irrespective of student ethnic backgrounds or age.
Test Requirements. While applicants are required to submit scores from the general tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the program also recommends scores from the Advanced Psychology GRE.
Other Admission Requirements. Addition information is available in the Admissions section of the Bulletin.
Financial Aid. Fellowships, stipends, and assistantships are awarded on the basis of merit on the recommendation of the faculty in psychology. In addition, the department sponsors a contract research center, which provides paid employment for students. Research assistantships on faculty research grants are often available, as well as paid, part-time teaching positions at the numerous community, state, and private colleges in the area. In addition, part-time employment opportunities are available in a variety of local public and private organizations, some of which have a continuing relationship with the department.
Additional information is provided in the Financial Aid section of the Bulletin.
Degree requirements are provided in the sections for the specific psychology degree program. A number of program requirements, however, apply to all psychology students.
Academic Advisor. Students plan their programs, including choice of major and specialty areas, in collaboration with a one- or two-person faculty supervisory committee. Each student selects a faculty advisor who serves as chairperson of the supervisory committee.
Transfer of Credit. The University’s policy on transfer credit applies. In addition, the program applies the following restrictions for psychology students.
- Credit for statistical methods courses, comparable to PSYCH 308a, 308b, 308c, and 308d , may be transferred only if the student passes the waiver exam for the comparable courses at CGU.
- Credit for additional coursework taken prior to enrollment at CGU is considered on the basis of relevance to the student’s area of specialization at CGU.
- Students who enter without an empirical Master’s thesis in psychology may transfer a maximum of 16 units from a graduate-level Psychology program.
- Recommendations for transfer credit are determined at each student’s program planning and portfolio meeting.
GPA Policy. CGU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy requires students to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. In addition, the program applies the following for psychology students.
- Master’s students whose GPA falls below 3.0 for two semesters or who do not have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year of full time study are terminated from the program.
- Doctoral students whose GPA falls below 3.0 for two semesters or who do not have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year of full time study are terminated from the doctoral program, but may be placed in a terminal Master’s program. Changes in student program incur adjustments to financial aid eligibility.
Competency Requirement. Students must demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts in selected areas of psychology at a level equivalent to the content contained in upper-division college courses. The following prerequisites are required of all students.
- Research Methodology and Statistics
- Learning or Cognitive Psychology
- Social Psychology
In addition, students should have taken coursework in either the Biological Bases of Behavior or Individual Differences.
Evidence of satisfactory completion of undergraduate college courses may satisfy the above requirements. Two upper-division undergraduate courses (8 units) taken at The Claremont Colleges may be applied in the Master’s program. With approval of the student’s advisory committee, additional upper-graduate course credit from The Claremont Colleges may be applied in the doctoral program.
University Policies. University policies detailed in the Academic Policies section of the Bulletin apply.
Interfield and Dual Degrees
Work in psychology may be combined with studies in another field for an interfield degree (one degree) or dual degrees (two degrees in different disciplines). Approval for admission to multiple programs must be obtained from each program. Additional information is available in the Academic Policies - Enrollment in Multiple Programs section of the Bulletin.