Key Subject Areas

Examples of Acceptable Preparatory Courses

NOTE: The examples listed below are merely an effort to describe the type of courses we are looking for. Therefore, although the upper division courses you take may not exactly match the courses listed below, the content should be comparable.

SDSU UC San Diego

Abnormal Psychology


PSY 350. Abnormal Psychology
Causes and treatment of abnormal behavior with emphasis on major behavior disorders.
PSYC 100. Clinical Psychology
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the causes, characteristics, and treatment of psychological disorders. Particular emphasis is given to the interaction between biological, psychological, and sociocultural processes contributing to abnormal behavior.

Biological Bases of Behavior


Physiological Psychology

PSY 360. Behavioral Neuroscience
Biological and physiological underpinnings of behavior: genetics, hormones, transmitters, plasticity/regeneration, development, and metabolism/nutrition. Analysis of their role in normal behavior, psychopathology, neurological disorders, and treatment of behavioral disturbances.


PSY 362. Cognitive Neuroscience
Functional organization of the human brain, including sensorimotor and cognitive systems and their functional interactions; development and evolution; normal and pathological plasticity. Approaches applied to healthy human brain, such as neuroimaging and event-related potentials.

PSYC 106. Behavioral Neuroscience
This course provides a comprehensive overview of human and animal behavior from a neuroscience perspective. Topics include the functions and mechanisms of perception, motivation (sex, sleep, hunger, emotions), learning and memory, and motor control and movement.


PSYC 108. Cognitive Neuroscience
This course provides a comprehensive overview of neuroanatomy and major methods and results from neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies of behavior. Topics include attention, motor control, executive function, memory, learning, emotion, and language.

Cognitive Psychology

PSY 380. Intermediate Cognitive Psychology
Research and theory on attention, language, learning, memory, thinking, and understanding.

PSYC 105. Cognitive Psychology
This course provides a comprehensive overview of cognitive psychology, the scientific study of mental processes: how people acquire, store, transform, use, and communicate information. Topics may include perception, attention, language, memory, reasoning, problem solving, decision-making, and creativity.
Life Span Developmental Psychology PSY 331. Psychology of Infant and Child Development
Psychological development of normal child from infancy through childhood focusing on physical, social, cognitive, and linguistic aspects of development.


PSY 332. Psychology of Adolescent and Early Adult Development
Psychological development of normal individual from adolescence through early adulthood focusing on physical, social, and cognitive aspects of development.

PSYC 101. Developmental Psychology
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the field of developmental psychology, including topics in cognitive, language, and social development.
Social Psychology PSY 340. Social Psychology
Major problems and findings concerning group behavior and group membership, the socialization of the individual, and processes of social interaction.

PSYC 104. Introduction to Social Psychology
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the field of social psychology, covering a review of the field’s founding principles, classic findings, and a survey of recent findings. Topics will include social perception, attributions and attitudes, stereotypies, social influence, group dynamics, and aggressive and prosocial tendencies.

Intermediate/Advanced Statistical Methods PSY 470. Intermediate Statistics for Psychological Research
Theoretical foundations of statistics including probability theory, distribution theory, and statistical inference. Model-based statistical comparisons. Application of statistical theory to psychological research questions.

PSYC 111A. Research Methods I
This course provides training in applying advanced statistical methods to experimental design. Emphasis will be placed on the developing skills in statistical problem-solving, using computer applications, and writing scientific reports.


PSYC 111B. Research Methods II
This course builds upon the material of PSYC 111A. Students will participate in data collection, data organization, statistical analysis and graphical analysis, with emphasis placed on developing scientific report writing, presentations, and critical thinking about experimental methods.

Testing and Measurement PSY 370. Psychological Testing and Measurement
Measurement theory and the basic principles of testing. Selection, construction and critical evaluation of group tests of intelligence, personality, aptitude, interest and achievement.
PSYC 151. Tests and Measurement
This course provides an introduction to psychology testing. Topics include psychometrics and statistical methods of test construction; application of psychological tests in industry, clinical practice, and applied settings; and controversies in the application of psychological tests.

Advanced Experimental Methods** 

**The specific content of the lab does not matter, but rather the experience of hands-on research.  This requirement could also be fulfilled by providing evidence that you have worked as an active part of an organized research team for a minimum of a year.  This involvement must be more than merely entering data.

PSY 410. Advanced Research Methods Laboratory
Use of research design, quantitative methods, and research reports as applied to all areas of psychology.
PSYC 115A. Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology I
This course provides training in the design, execution, and analysis of cognitive psychology experiments.


PSYC 115B. Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology II
This course is designed to extend the training of PSYC 115A in the design, execution, and analysis of cognitive psychology experiments.


PSYC 116. Laboratory in Clinical Psychology Research
This course provides examination of theory, research design, and methods for clinical research. Students complete an internship at a clinical research lab, culminating in a paper. May be taken for credit three times for a total of eight units.