Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview of the Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree Program

Earning your Bachelor of Science in Psychology offers you the opportunity to delve into the study of the mind and behavior, equipping you with foundational knowledge in:

  • Biological basis for behavior
  • Cognitive and perceptual processes
  • Developmental stages of human growth
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Research methods and statistics

Individuals who are drawn to the field of psychology often have a passion for helping others and an interest in the inner workings of the human mind. You can develop a core understanding of the principles of this field with the BS in Psychology at Grand Canyon University (GCU) and prepare for a career with numerous specialization options.

I’d always been passionate about both psychology and medicine, so I found a way to connect the two. What I loved about psychology is that the degree is so broad and versatile, so if it took me an extra year to get into physician assistant (PA) school, I’d have options — it opened a lot of doors for things I could do after graduation.

Grace Bolton, Psychology, Class of 2020

Benefits of GCU's Bachelor's Degree in Psychology

Offered by GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this BS in Psychology degree includes a broad survey of the fundamental aspects of human thought and behavior at all stages of life. Human thought and behavior are continuously influenced by social, cultural and environmental factors. Examine how these factors affect individuals through the science-based curriculum, integrated with the Christian worldview mindset and values of servant leadership.

All core courses are aligned with the degree objectives established by the American Psychological Association (APA). To enhance their career qualifications, students may use the career-focused BS in Psychology program as the foundation for further academic achievements. A master’s in psychology or doctoral degree in psychology may be required in certain career paths.

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As part of the BS in Psychology, you may take psychology courses at GCU’s Phoenix campus or through our online program. All BS in Psychology online courses offer the same accredited education as the on-campus courses, and the online platform offers an engaging vehicle for intellectual discussions.

You can benefit from the insights of knowledgeable faculty and from the perspectives of your peers. The Bachelor of Science in Psychology online degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Most of the online courses are seven weeks long.

During the undergraduate program, you will be taught critical reasoning and analytical skills, how to refine your communication abilities and what it means to bring Christian principles to the professional space. As you examine human behaviors and patterns of thinking during your course of study in the online BS in Psychology degree, you will have the opportunity to learn best practices in research, including scientific observation, data collection and analysis.

Explore Bachelor’s in Psychology Degree Course Topics

The BS in Psychology online degree covers the foundational knowledge necessary to gain an understanding of this discipline. You may choose to add an emphasis to your degree program, such as the Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sport Psychology or the forensic psychology emphasis. The core competencies and focus areas studied in this general psychology degree include:

  • Innovative thinking and effective communication
  • Ethical research
  • Child and adolescent development
  • Adults and aging
  • Neuroscience
  • Abnormal behaviors

As part of the bachelor’s degree in psychology, you will complete a Professional Capstone Project. This involves preparing a written proposal for a research project that addresses an issue within the field of psychology. The capstone synthesizes and integrates course content and professional practice.

Career Options With a Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Psychology is an interdisciplinary degree by nature. It draws on insights from disciplines such as social work, medical science and law. The interdisciplinary nature of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology lends itself to an array of possible career paths. Graduates with an online BS in Psychology degree may qualify for entry-level work within private companies, nonprofit organizations, schools or social service agencies. Some jobs that may be related to this degree include the following:

  • Social and community service managers
  • Social and human service assistants
  • Community and social service specialists

Graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology may choose to pursue advanced degrees. Many of the high-level positions within this career field require a master’s or doctoral degree, along with licensure for clinical practitioners.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree FAQs

Psychology is a broad term to describe the study of the human mind. This includes the study of human behavior, interactions, development and all cognitive processes that answer how our brain functions. Knowing all that, studying psychology means you are exposed to what makes humans unique. By having this knowledge, you can dig into complex issues that people face and help people find answers to their questions.

The first step to becoming a psychologist is education. Many different types of psychologist positions require a specific degree level — some may require a master’s degree; others may require a doctorate. Once you have earned your degree, research which state or region you wish to practice in. All states have different licensure requirements, including exams, clinical hours and internships. Additionally, some degrees you earn have a non-licensure or licensure component, so be sure the degree you are seeking is the right one for you.

A BA in Psychology is centered around liberal arts and the communication practices of psychology, while a BS in Psychology involves more science-based courses and leans toward the clinical practice of psychology. As well, a BA in Psychology is designed to prepare you for a wide range of careers such as business, law or behavioral health, while a BS in Psychology is for students who are seeking a career that involves more science and research in fields such as healthcare.1

GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree requires 120 credits to completion. The BS in Psychology online courses are generally seven to eight weeks, and the campus courses are about 15 weeks.

Earning a BS in Psychology is often the first step for anyone looking to pursue a career in this field. A bachelor’s degree in psychology can provide the foundational knowledge and skills you need to start your career or advance your education with a master’s or doctoral degree.


1 Cherry, K. (2021, April 19). Differences Between a B.A. and a B.S. in Psychology. Verywell Mind. Retrieved on July 18, 2023.

Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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Online: 8 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $485 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
48 credits
Open Elective Credits:
32-38 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This foundation course in the science of behavior includes an overview of the history of psychology, the brain, motivation, emotion, sensory functions, perception, intelligence, gender and sexuality, social psychology, human development, learning psychopathology, and therapy.

Course Description

This course serves as a foundation for undergraduates in the field of psychology. Professional skill development, such as an introduction to scientific reasoning, research foundations, critical thinking, literature reviews, and scholarly writing are covered, as well as contemporary ethical issues in the field of psychology. Students have the opportunity to apply guidelines proposed by the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics when exploring topics. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This writing intensive course examines the nature and casual determinants of human behavior, including the definition and scientific measurement of personality. Theories explored include psychodynamic, Neo-Freudian, trait, biological, humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral theories. A Christian worldview offers perspective of nature and human personality. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course examines child and adolescent psychology through stages of development related to biological, cognitive, and socioemotional processes. From conception through adolescence, the nature of child development is explored by discussing theory, research, developmental milestones, attachment, personality, language, moral development, emotions, cultural differences, typical and atypical behaviors, methods of learning, and influences of parenting and environment. An emphasis on research methodology and interpretation is used to analyze the concepts in this class.

Course Description

This course provides a study of social and group factors affecting individual behavior. Attention is given to the development of attitudes, roles, norms, group processes, aggression and cooperation, persuasion, stereotypes and prejudices, and social awareness. The role of culture in social processes is emphasized.

Course Description

This theoretical and research-based course covers psychosocial, emotional, physical, and cognitive aspects of human development from emerging adulthood to death. Theories of development and applications to real-world situations provide a context for understanding how humans transition across stages of adulthood to death. Scientific approaches for studying developmental psychology stress the importance of research methodology and research interpretation. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course reflects psychology’s growing interest in health-related issues by offering an overview of health psychology from a biopsychosocial model. Topics include theories related to health behavior, stress, pain development and management, in addition to patient adherence. Furthermore, the discussion explores cancer and chronic illness development and management. A review of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the hospital setting, and effects on patients are examined. Finally, the course examines health-related behaviors such as substance abuse, nutrition, and exercise. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course is a study of elementary theories of probability, distribution, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course includes an introduction to the experimental study of cognition and neurophysiology. Topics include sensation and perception, memory, learning, language, metacognition, intelligence, problem solving, decision-making, mental imagery, consciousness, attention, and the development of cognition through the life span. Major theoretical perspectives and current research within the fields of cognition and neuroscience are discussed. This course also provides students with a basic understanding of the neural underpinnings of a variety of cognitive processes. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course is a laboratory course emphasizing both the theoretical and applied aspects of experimental design and research methodology. A variety of activities are performed in such areas as learning, motivation, and perception. Prerequisite: PSY-380.

Course Description

The capstone project is the culmination of learning experiences for students in the psychology program at Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students prepare a written proposal for a research project that focuses on the resolution of an issue or problem significant to professional psychological practice. The proposal includes a problem statement, review of literature, research methods, research questions, limitations, and ethical considerations for the research. The proposal needs to reflect synthesis and integration of course content and professional practice. The capstone project is guided by the baccalaureate program student learner outcomes. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. Prerequisite: PSY-452.

Course Description

This is a writing intensive foundation course in the science of abnormal behavior that offers students the opportunity to study the origin and development of abnormal patterns and disorders. This course is designed to assist students in recognizing and understanding mental illness through increased awareness of emotional, functional, and physiological factors influencing mental health. Specific topics include symptoms, diagnoses, etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of various psychological disorders and syndromes.


GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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