School and Ranking Information
Three schools in the Bakersfield, CA, area offer psychology programs: California State University - Bakersfield (CSU - Bakersfield), Bakersfield College (BC), and Taft College (TC). BC and TC offer associate degrees in psychology whereas CSU - Bakersfield offers bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology. Graduates of above programs do not qualify to become licensed psychologists in California, which requires a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited university along with exam and experience requirements. However, students who complete the CSU - Bakersfield's Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program, pass an exam and meet experience requirements can qualify for professional counselor or marriage and family therapist licenses in California.
Based on rankings and the number of psychology programs offered and awarded, the top three schools are:
- Winner: California State University - Bakersfield, the only 4-year university within 50 miles of downtown Bakersfield that offers psychology programs, has been ranked in the top 100 regional universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report. This school is the top overall pick due to its distinguished faculty, degree levels offered and abundant research opportunities.
- Runner Up #1: Bakersfield College landed as the 1st runner up due to its affordable tuition, dedicated faculty and psychology program. This school offers an associate's degree in psychology that is transferable to schools in the California State University system.
- Runner Up #2: Taft College was the 2nd runner up because of its supportive teaching staff and the student services offered. The Associate of Arts degree in Psychology is designed to transfer to schools in the California State University system.
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School Comparison Chart
|Category||California State University - Bakersfield||Bakersfield College||Taft College|
|Ranking(s)|| 38th for Top Public Schools (West),
89th for Regional Universities (West)*
|Location||Bakersfield, CA||Bakersfield, CA||Taft, CA (27.9 miles from Bakersfield)|
|School Type||4-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$6,709 (undergraduate, in-state),
$18,367 (undergraduate, out-of-state),
$7,948 (graduate, in-state),
$17.494 (graduate, out-of-state)**
|$1,324 (undergraduate, in-state),
$7,484 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
|$1,380 (undergraduate, in-state),
$6,750 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**
|Psychology Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees||Associate degree||Associate degree|
|Psychology Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012||111**||55**||2**|
|Most Popular Psychology Program 2011-2012||Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (102 awarded)**||Associate in Arts in Psychology for Transfer (55 awarded)**||Associate in Arts in Psychology for Transfer (2 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)||41% (2005 entering class)**||19% (2008 entering class)**||27% (2008 entering class)**|
|Noteworthy||Has an on-campus psychology club and a chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology||Psychology program was listed as one of the college's very strong programs for the past 5 school years in its educational plan||N/A|
Sources: *2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: California State University - Bakersfield
- Psychology is in the top 10 declared undergraduate majors at CSU - Bakersfield
- For the 2010-2011 academic year, 83% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, according to NCES
During the 2011-2012 school year, the psychology program at California State University - Bakersfield was one of the top 5 programs awarding bachelor's degrees at the university, according to NCES. The CSU - Bakersfield Department of Psychology requires undergraduate students to complete applied experience credits, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in the field. In addition to the bachelor's program, CSU - Bakersfield offers a master's program in counseling psychology.
Runner-Up #1: Bakersfield College
- Bakersfield College has a 29:1 student- faculty ratio, according to NCES
- In the 2011-2012 academic year, Bakersfield College had 831 students successfully transfer to 4-year, public universities in California
Bakersfield College offers an Associate in Arts in Psychology for Transfer. This degree program guarantees the recipient entry into the California State University system. For the 2010-2011 academic year, 72% of first-time undergraduates at Bakersfield College received financial aid. Bakersfield College reported an overall course completion rate of 66% for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Runner-Up #2: Taft College
- Taft College has a student-run psychology club
- For the 2010-2011 academic year, 69% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid
The Associate in Arts in Psychology for Transfer program at Taft College provides students with a strong basis for transferring to a 4-year school. Completion of this degree program guarantees the student admission to the California State University system. NCES reported that the school has a 35:1 student-faculty ratio. In 2011, approximately 99% of students at Taft College were California residents, according to NCES.