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Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences – Psychology Concentration

Mental health is a growing issue in today’s always-on-the-go world. Professionals with a psychology background and education are needed in every walk of life. If you’re looking for a local program offering a psychology degree in Chicago, East-West University has a solution: a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Psychology.

Psychology is typically defined as the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The goals of psychology are the description, explanation, prediction and control of behavior and mental processes. Psychology is considered one of the most popular, if not the most popular undergraduate major, with well over 70,000 graduates every year receiving their degrees. However, most graduates with just an undergraduate concentration in psychology do not immediately go to work in the field, except at an entry-level position.

Typically, some form of graduate training at the master's or doctoral level is required to truly progress professionally in this area. In addition to the interdisciplinary core requirement of 60 credit hours for the B.A. degree, BHS students who choose a minor field concentration in psychology are required to complete an additional concentration of 20 hours.

Psychology degree requirements for this concentration could include courses in experimental, physiological, and abnormal psychology, as well as the psychology of motivation.

What Career Options are Available in Psychology?

You might be asking yourself, “What can I do with a Psychology degree?” A B.A. degree with a major or minor field concentration in psychology from EWU can qualify you for a variety of entry-level jobs which require the use of “people skills.” Graduates may assist psychologists and other professionals in community mental health centers, vocational rehabilitation offices, correctional facilities or similar social service agencies. Job titles are likely to be something other than “psychologist” which is a professional label and might include case workers, therapy aides, counselors, social workers, rehabilitation assistants, and the like. In business, the job titles might be in the areas of sales, marketing and personnel. Some management training programs also recognize the value of training in psychology as well. However, without additional academic training, opportunities in psychology are somewhat limited.

Those who pursue further study in a college that offers psychology programs might consider exploring career information in any one of the following areas:

Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Clinical PsychologyCounseling Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Cognitive & Perceptual Psychology
Forensic Psychology
School Psychology
Social Psychology
Research and Related Professional Careers

Students with only the B.A. degree with a concentration in psychology and who also meet state certification requirements might qualify to teach psychology at the High School level. Surveys have shown nearly two-thirds of all B.A. graduates in this area were eventually working in “for-profit” business settings or in the sales/service sector. Such students often possess good research and writing skills, good problem solving ability, and have higher-level thinking ability when it comes to analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information. Many undergraduate majors find jobs in such fields as:

employment counselors
counselor trainees
personnel analysts
probation officers

Pursuing Graduate Study in Psychology

If you are interested in a career as a psychologist, you have to complete graduate study in psychology. Take time to research your choices. The program you select should match your interests and level of academic preparation. A graduate school’s catalogue, brochures, and web sites are usually the best and most direct source of information about each program and their respective admission requirements. However, the Department of BHS suggests that students discuss your plans with your advisor and seek out more information by contacting the American Psychological Association (APA):

APA Education Directorate
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Both undergraduate and graduate students in psychology can have affiliation with the APA and attend their annual convention. Student affiliates can receive free subscriptions to the American Psychologist journal and GradPsych, the quarterly magazine written especially for psychology students. GradPsych covers information students need to succeed in their career goals and also has extensive job listings.

The APA also sponsors a program called Minority Undergraduate Students of Excellence (MUSE). The MUSE Program is administered by the APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs. It provides information on application and financial aid procedures for outstanding minority undergraduate students. For more information contact the APA at

Curricular Requirements
Curricular requirements must comply with all general academic requirements for a bachelor’s degree, including

  • completion of 180 quarter hours,
  • residency requirement of 48 quarter hours
  • completion of HM 279 (East-West University Signature course)
  • completion of EN 491 (Senior Seminar),
  • an overall GPA of 2.0 and a 2.5 GPA in the major,
  • compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress policy pertaining to both Grade Maintenance and Timely Completion,
  • All outcome measures required by the assessment program must be passed successfully,
  • All financial obligations must be cleared

The program embodies three broad blocks of curricular requirements or components:

I: General Education Core (64 quarter hours);
II: BHS core and concentration courses 60 quarter hours
III: elective courses (56 quarter hours), for a total of 180 quarter hours.
I: General Education Core courses:

  • 5 specified courses in English and Communications for a total of 20 quarter hours;
  • 1 specified mathematics course, one biology course, and       12 additional hours from biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics for a total of 20 hours;
  • 1 specified humanities course and 16 additional quarter hours selected from behavioral   and social sciences and humanities for a total of 20 hours;
  • 1 specified course from computer and information science for a total of 4 hours.

II: BHS Core and selected criminal justice concentration area courses

  • 11 specified BHS core courses, and an additional 16 hours BHS elective courses for a total of 60 hours

III: Elective courses:

  • 56 quarter hours from freely selected courses