University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu



Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. UH West O‘ahu offers a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a concentration in Psychology degree that integrates practical mental health applications with current theory. Students select courses from four clusters: Human Development; Social Psychology; Experimental Psychology; and Clinical and Applied Psychology. The program culminates with a final senior seminar capstone course that is designed to guide students in the research and writing of a review paper on a topic of psychology. Through these course offerings, students will gain a strong understanding of psychological theory and methodology, while developing effective analytical and interpersonal skills. Courses are offered in-class and through distance learning instruction.


In addition to critical thinking, writing and oral communication skills, psychology students form a deep understanding of human behavior. As a result, many psychology graduates find employment in a variety of human services positions, such as academic or career advisor, case manager, child care worker, community organizer, human resources administrator, probation officer, youth counselor, and behavior analyst. Graduates have also found employment as market researchers, consultants, advertising executives, teachers, and public relations professionals. According to the College Board’s College Handbook, about half of psychology degree holders work in business and non-profit organizations, 16 percent with the government, 14 percent in educational institutions, 13 percent are self-employed, and 9 percent in private charitable organizations.

Upon completion of the psychology program, students are well-prepared for graduate study in psychology and related fields. An advanced degree and certification is required to practice as a licensed psychologist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for psychologists is strong. Job prospects within the field of psychology are expected to increase by 15 percent through 2016. Demand for psychologists will continue to be particularly high in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse clinics, private practices, and consulting firms. In 2006, the median salary of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists was $59,440, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $102,730.


PSY 231 Physiological Psychology
A survey of the neural and physiological basis of human behavior, this course examines the organization of the nervous system, basic neurophysiology, biological drivers, emotions, sleep/wake cycles, brain development, sensory systems, and the neural basis of learning, memory and selected psychopathologies.

PSY 322 Learning, Motivation, and Behavior Modification
This course provides the conceptual tools for analyzing the functional relationships between behavior and the environment. Practical applications of learning-theory principles are developed through behavior modification exercises designed to help students in their own self-development efforts.

PSY 352 Varieties of Sexual Expression
This course examines varieties of sexual behavior across cultures and across primate species. Special emphasis is placed on the relationship among social organization, psychological adjustment, and sexuality.

PSY 442 Child Psychopathology
The purpose of this course is to present an overview of the constructs, models, challenges and cultural factors central to understanding the development of certain behavior disorders in children and adolescents. The emphasis is on linking developmental influences of clinical disorders to normal childhood behavior and the practice of professional consultation and collaboration. Intervention and prevention strategies specific to clinics and schools will also be reviewed.

PSY 475 Psychology of Healing
This course examines the subjective experience of illness in its social context, the professional definitions of disease, and the effects these have in the psychology of treating patients with serious or chronic medical problems. Emphasis is placed on the connections between mind and body in illness and healing.


The UH West O‘ahu Psychology Club is a general interest club that provides an opportunity for students to network and learn about careers in psychology, local employment/internship opportunities and graduate schools. In addition, students develop leadership, organizational and other professional skills, as well as enjoy fellowship through social and fundraising activities outside of the classroom. Students may also apply for membership to Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, that is affiliated with the American Psychological Association. Its purpose is to encourage, stimulate and maintain scholarship in psychology and to promote scientific advancement in the field.


Dr. Richard A. Langford, Professor
(808) 689-2375