Seaver, SS, Academics, Psychology-

Seaver's psychology program teaches students to study human behavior and mental life using scientific method. Psychologists explore such questions as: How do organisms learn? What are the effects of hormones on behavior? What is personality, and how is it measured? What motivates behavior? What is mental illness, and how should it be treated? What information is gained through scientific endeavor? Our faculty set demanding standards of excellence in written expression, especially in writing for scientific publication.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Our faculty provide students with a series of courses focusing on the foundations of psychological principles and methodology to prepare them for admission into graduate school or career entry as a professional psychologist and therapist. Students may choose to enroll in courses, which are designed to enhance personal growth and to improve interpersonal relationships.

Minor in Industrial Organizational Psychology

Today industrial organizational (I/O) psychologists offer services through the scientist/practitioner model in settings that involve human resource management in both private and nonprofit sectors, government agencies, and the public policy field. Many offer services as professional consultants, managers, or evaluators.

Student Testimonials

Our Program

Unique Aspects of the Major

In addition to broad academic offerings, a number of worthwhile fieldwork experiences are available. Students routinely work at a nearby detention facility for juvenile delinquents or in the local state hospital. A variety of other field placements are available with such agencies as those dealing with child abuse, adult mental retardation, drug abuse, educationally or physically handicapped children, and mental illness. The faculty has developed expertise in assisting those students who desire to apply for admission to graduate school. When teaching specific areas, faculty emphasize the information needed to pass graduate school examinations. The faculty also counsels and assists psychology majors to select satisfying career goals in psychologically oriented fields or in other related settings. Lastly, the faculty offers a few select courses which enhance understanding of the relationships between psychology, religion, and human values.

Honors Research Program in Psychology

Psychology majors are encouraged to participate in the two-semester Honors Research Program, which is aimed at providing students with insight into how psychological scientists design research projects, collect and analyze data, and communicate their results to the scientific community. Students apply to the program in the fall semester of their junior year and are admitted to the program based on their GPA, career goals, and successful completion of prerequisite psychology courses (PSYC 200 or 210, 250, 310, and enrollment in 442 during the spring semester of their junior year). Students are selected by a committee in the fall semester of their junior year and are notified in time for preregistration for the spring semester of that same academic year. Upon acceptance into the program, students enroll in Research in Psychology: Advanced Research Seminar for two consecutive terms (three units each term). During the first semester of the program, the student will design an original experiment including the formulation of a hypothesis, completion of a literature review, and creation of a research design under the supervision of one of the psychology professors. Students will be required to present their research proposals formally to the psychology faculty and the other students in the class. During the second semester of the program, students will collect and statistically analyze their data. In order to complete the program, students must present their research findings in written, APA format as a manuscript for publication as well as successfully complete an oral research presentation before the psychology faculty and students. Upon successful completion of these research requirements, the psychology faculty will recommend that students' transcripts and diplomas be marked "Honors in Psychology." It is expected that the research will be presented at a local, regional or national professional psychological conference.

Honors Club

Pepperdine's chapter of Psi Chi and the Psychology Club provide excellent resources and opportunities for students. Psi Chi is the national honor society for psychology students. Its purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship for individual members, and to advance the science of psychology. Membership is open to psychology majors who meet the national requirements. Guest speakers, movies, and parties are arranged for members.

Psychology Club

Our Psychology Club is open to any student who is interested in the field of psychology. Both of these organizations provide opportunities for students to gain leadership experience, gain knowledge about the field of psychology, learn about graduate school preparation and career opportunities in the field of psychology, and to serve the community. Additionally, both organizations provide opportunities for students to interact with faculty and other professionals outside of the classroom.

Possible Double Majors and Complementary Courses

  • Psychology & Biology
  • Psychology & Religion
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Psychology & Communication
  • Psychology & Criminology Law Courses: POSC 446, POSC 526, POSC 533, SOC 421, and SOC 436.

Resources for Students

  • Psychology Advisory Handbook
  • Information Sheet for Clinical/Counseling Graduate School (Prepared by Dr. Scott-Lowe.)
  • Psi Chi article; Master's-level Graduate Programs

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates have found work in industry, working in personnel, in research, as management trainees, as counselors in a number of settings, and in agencies educating children having special needs. Psychology majors are often qualified to apply for state and county jobs in the area of corrections and welfare such as the Department of Children's Services. One example, is the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Minor, which goes into effect as of Fall 2003. It allows the psychology undergraduate to take courses in the area of business management as partial fulfillment of their psychology requirements. In this way, the student can incorporate both fields in pursuit of employment in an industrial career, which emphasizes psychological principles, i.e. Personnel Psychology.

Graduate School Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission to a master's level program or doctoral program vary greatly. Master's level programs usually require a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better and fulfillment of a core of undergraduate courses. Letters of recommendation are required. Some Master's level degrees are Marriage & Family Counseling, Industrial Psychology, and Clinical Psychology. Doctoral programs require a higher GPA (3.3 or higher), and completion of a number of psychology courses and perhaps some other courses in physiology, chemistry and mathematics. In addition, the student must perform above the median or higher in the three areas of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic. Some schools look for a high performance on the advanced GRE and on the Miller's Analogies Test (MAT). Letters of recommendation from professors and other professionals are required, and it is very helpful if the student has gained some experience in related fieldwork. Read the APA Graduate Study in Psychology book which is on reserve in Payson Library. Be prepared to take the GRE and the MAT in October the year before you hope to enter graduate school. Start applying for admission in November. Notification of acceptance arrives in April.

Ethnic Studies Minor

Ethnic Studies Minor at Pepperdine

Our ethnic studies minor focuses on the historical experiences, creative expression, and interactions of the various ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic groups in the United States.

Social Work Minor

Social Work Minor at Pepperdine

Seaver's minor in social work can be combined with a major in almost any field. Students majoring in sociology or psychology may find a social work minor especially helpful to their career goals. 

Minor in Nonprofit Management

Nonprofit Management Minor at Pepperdine

In cooperation with the American Humanics Foundation, Pepperdine University offers a Minor in Nonprofit Management which affords special opportunities for involvement in various non-profit human service organizations.

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