Psychology Studies
Graduate Certificate Online Program

The graduate certificate program in Psychology Studies serves as a means to further personal and professional growth. Whether or not students are employed in the field of psychology, knowledge of it may be applied in meaningful ways throughout their lives. Understanding the mind and behavior will teach students how to help others while giving them the confidence to manage teams and groups. The program includes advanced study in the areas of abnormal psychology, professional ethics, law as it applies to psychology, and counseling systems and techniques.

Designed For You

The California Coast University online Graduate Certificate in Psychology Studies program was designed for complete flexibility for the student. All courses are self-paced and completed 100% online.

View Program Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

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Explore The Program

The Graduate Certificate in Psychology Studies degree program consists of 4 total courses.
The required courses are comprised of: 4  Core Courses .
There are 12 total semester units in this program.

4 Core Courses

The online Graduate Certificate in Psychology Studies degree program is comprised of the following 4 courses. Click on course title to expand and read more.

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ID Course Name Units
PSY 501 Developmental Psychology  3

Developmental Psychology utilizes current research and examples from around the world to help you understand how culture impacts human development over the lifespan and why it matters. This course portrays the different cultural pathways of development that people have devised in response to their local conditions. You will be challenged to think culturally about your own development and see how it applies to your own life and future careers. In a culturally diverse and globalized world, you will benefit from being able to think culturally about human development.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define human development, discuss its key terms and concepts, and explain research methods to study it.
  • Examine cultural aspects of human development.
  • Examine the genetic influences and changes in physical, cognitive, and emotional development from infancy to adulthood.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various life stages and important aspects of each stage from birth to death.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to developmental psychology.
PSY 505 Psychopathology  3

Psychopathology offers students the chance to investigate the causes of abnormal behavior and to learn various methods for therapeutic change. The nature of knowledge is explored, experimental design is examined, and the interplay between theory and data is discussed.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define abnormal psychology and analyze the historical, biological, psychological, social and biopsychosocial perspectives on the origins of abnormal behavior.
  • Evaluate contemporary perspectives on abnormal behavior and explain methods of classification, assessment, treatment, and research in the field.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various psychological disorders and explain treatment approaches.
  • Examine the legal, ethical and professional issues related to the practice of psychology.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to psychopathology.
PSY 511 Professional Ethics and the Law  3

Professional Ethics and the Law explores the legal and ethical guidelines and expectations that must be adhered to in the professional counseling setting. Central issues in legal and ethical counseling practices—particularly unethical behaviors that harm or has the potential to harm clients—are presented and diverse scenarios are examined. The counselor-client relationship, personal values, and responsibilities are analyzed and considerations involved in adapting counseling practices are explored.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define morals, values, and ethics and examine the origins of law related to the field of psychology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the different theories of ethics, and examine the importance of cultural competence related to ethical practice.
  • Examine the major legal and ethical challenges facing the counseling profession today.
  • Analyze the differences among legal standards, ethical standards, and best practice in the counseling profession.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to professional ethics and the law.
PSY 525 Counseling Systems and Techniques  3

Counseling Systems and Techniques explores emerging and well-established counseling theories and practices. With a strong multicultural focus and skill development sections that connect counseling theories with clinical practice, we will examine various theories that have been grouped into four broad themes—background, emotions, thoughts, and actions.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the development of counseling and psychotherapy theories emphasizing key terms, figures, theoretical concepts, and key issues related to the field.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of treatment systems emphasizing background, emotions, and sensations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of treatment systems emphasizing thought and actions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of treatment systems emphasizing family systems and integrative approaches.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with academic writing related to counseling systems and techniques.

Prerequisites to Admission:

An applicant must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. A Bachelor’s Degree in another field may be accepted if the Admissions Committee evaluation indicates the applicant has the necessary foundation to succeed in the program. If an applicant has a bachelor's degree in another field, he or she may want to complete the Undergraduate Certificate in the Fundamentals of Psychology first.

FAQ About Coursework

Required units may be satisfied in the following ways: