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:


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.

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:

  • Analyze major causes and preventive methods of infant mortality.
  • Examine the typical changes in physical growth that take place in toddlerhood and the harmful effects of nutritional deficiencies on growth.
  • Analyze the physical growth and change that takes place during early childhood.
  • Evaluate the major health problems of middle adulthood.
  • Examine how causes of death have changed throughout history.
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:

  • Analyze the biological, psychological, social and biopsychosocial perspectives on the origins of abnormal behavior.
  • Contrast the historical views of abnormal behavior with the current views of abnormal behavior.
  • Evaluate the goals and uses of clinical assessment.
  • Examine the legal, ethical and professional issues related to the practice of psychology.
PSY 511 Professional Ethics and the Law  3

Professional Ethics and the Law helps current and future professionals deal with ethical issues they may encounter at various stages in their career. Central issues in ethical practices are presented, diverse views on these issues are explored, and students are encouraged to refine their own thinking and to actively develop their own positions. The role of the therapist’s personal values in the counseling relationship is discussed, the ethical responsibilities and rights of clients and therapists are presented, and the considerations involved in adapting counseling practices to diverse client populations are explored.

Course Objectives

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

  • Analyze the differences among legal standards, ethical standards, and best practice.
  • Examine the major challenges facing the counseling profession today.
  • Identify the characteristics of a “culturally competent counselor.”
  • Examine some steps that counselors should take to safeguard the welfare of their clients.
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:

  • Understand research on counseling effectiveness.
  • Determine at least five goals of recognizing and dealing with feelings in therapy.
  • Analyze person-centered counseling, including its use with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Describe the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • Characterize factors that play a part in a clinician’s choice of preferred treatment orientations.

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: