Psychology Schools in Chula Vista, CA with Degree Overviews

There are more than ten schools in the Chula Vista, CA, area that offer psychology degrees. To find out which one is right for you, read an overview of the program options and requirements at three colleges located within roughly 20 miles of downtown.

Chula Vista Schools with Psychology Programs

Aspiring psychology students in Chula Vista have one option within the city itself and several more just a short drive away in San Diego. This article centers on the undergraduate and graduate coursework available in three institutions' programs. It includes a table of statistics and facts about the schools, in addition to some details on a few other area colleges with psychology degree options.

  • Chula Vista's Southwestern College is located right in the downtown area and offers an associate's degree program in psychology.
  • San Diego State University, situated about 10 miles from central Chula Vista, has bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology in addition to applied psychology master's and clinical psychology doctoral programs.
  • Located around 22 miles from downtown Chula Vista, the University of California - San Diego offers two bachelor's-level degree programs in psychology. A doctoral program is also available in experimental psychology.

Comparison of Schools

Explore the differing tuition rates, acceptance figures, enrollment numbers and more for the profiled colleges in the table below. It has specific stats for a variety of factors that may impact your choice on where to study the field of psychology.

Southwestern College San Diego State University University of California - San Diego
School Type Two-year, public Four-year, public Four-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 18,413 (all undergraduate)* 35,158 (30,272 undergraduates)* 35,772 (28,587 undergraduates)*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,338 in-state,
$6,602 out-of-state*
$7,460 in-state,
$19,340 out-of-state*
$14,018 in-state,
$42,032 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 80%* 59%* 59%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) Open admissions* 35%* 34%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 74% full-time* 89% full-time* 94% full-time*
Graduation Rate 22% overall (Students who began in 2014)* 74% overall (Students who began in 2011)* 85% overall (Students who began in 2011)*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

Southwestern College

Southwestern College in Chula Vista was founded in 1961 and serves southern San Diego County. The 156-acre campus accommodates more than 20,000 students every year with more than 320 associate degree and certificate programs, including a program in psychology.

Associate in Arts in Psychology

The associate degree program at Southwestern College prepares students for some careers in psychology, such as outreach counselor or research assistant. Since many careers in psychology require a bachelor's degree, the school's psychology program also prepares students for transfer to a four-year program. In addition to the general education core, the associate program encompasses 9-10 required credits in psychological topics. These include general, developmental and physiological psychology.

San Diego State University

Founded in 1897, San Diego State University is a designated research school serving approximately 30,000 students in the San Diego area. The psychology department of SDSU offers a number of options, including a doctoral program jointly with faculty at San Diego State University and the University of California - San Diego.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

San Diego State University classifies the undergraduate psychology program as an impacted major, in which students have to meet certain requirements before declaring the major. To declare psychology as a major, students must complete 20 units overall with a GPA higher than 2.0. Included in these requirements are courses in introductory psychology, statistics and biology, each completed with a 'C' grade or better. The curriculum for the major includes courses such as industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology, infant and child development psychology, and behavioral neuroscience, among others.

Master of Science in Applied Psychology

This graduate program is designed for students who want to use their training in the corporate world or in community organizations. Two different tracks - industrial/organizational psychology and quantitative methods - are each built on the 'scientist-practitioner' model. In addition to didactic training, the program requires students to partake in a supervised psychology internship.

Master of Arts in Psychology

The Master of Arts program at San Diego State emphasizes research over professional practice and prepares students to enter Ph.D. programs. Because of the research focus, students are required to craft and present a thesis for graduation. Students can engage in research in areas including behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and learning and cognition, among others.

Doctor of Clinical Psychology

The doctorate-level program trains psychology professionals in psychological research. All students end the program with a background in core areas of psychology such as experiment design, empirical psychology and more. Major areas of study at SDSU include experimental psychopathology, neuropsychology and behavioral medicine. Students also partake in a clinical internship, typically during the fifth year of the program.

University of California - San Diego

Serving nearly 30,000 students, the San Diego campus of the University of California was ranked among the top ten public universities by U.S. News and World Report in 2018. Founded in 1965, the school's Department of Psychology today serves more than 1,500 graduate and undergraduate students.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The B.A. program in psychology at the University of California - San Diego requires 48 upper-division and 28 lower-division units. The lower-division requirements must be completed by the end of the sophomore year and include statistics, natural sciences, calculus and programming. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the upper-division courses in order to graduate.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

The Bachelor of Science differs from the arts program in rigidity and focus. In addition to sharing the Bachelor of Arts requirements, the Bachelor of Science in Psychology also requires eight units of research experience courses and the submission of a final research paper. B.S.-track students must engage in one of approximately seven concentrations, which include developmental, clinical and social psychology.

Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology

The experimental psychology program is the only graduate-level degree offered by the Department of Psychology. Students enrolled in this program choose to focus on cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, sensation and perception, or developmental psychology. Students may also apply for a joint degree through the school's cognitive science department. The clinical psychology doctorate program of San Diego State University is also available to students of UC - San Diego, but that program is administered primarily by SDSU.

Other Schools

Three additional two-year schools near Chula Vista - San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, and San Diego City College - offer psychology programs. Four-year schools offering psychology programs in this area include National University and the University of San Diego.


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