Master of Arts in Psychology

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The MA in Psychology program is designed to prepare students for further study at the doctoral level and/or for careers in psychology and the helping professions. Students choose one of two tracks that best serves their educational goals:

  • Clinical (with research emphasis): a 39 credit program designed for students who want to move on to PhD programs, usually in clinical psychology; it emphasizes diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of psychological and behavioral disorders, but students in this track also engage in research; the culmination is a Master's thesis based on empirical research, rather than a practicum.
  • General: a 30-36 credit program designed for students who want to move on to PhD programs, usually in non-clinical areas of psychology; through independent study and active research collaboration, this track provides the most opportunities for working closely with faculty mentors; the culmination is a Master's thesis based on empirical research.

Both tracks share a core set of courses, taken in the first year and building upon students’ undergraduate experiences, that provide advanced knowledge of scientific psychology, often in a seminar format. In the Clinical research track, students are trained as scientists and practitioners, concerned with the application of psychological principles to the treatment and prevention of behavior disorders. Courses provide theoretical and practical training in contemporary methods of assessment, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral clinical intervention, and program evaluation.

Admission to the Program

The application process is managed by the Center for Graduate Studies, and application materials are available online. The application process includes:

  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test (including verbal, quantitative and analytical writing),
  • Academic transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Letters of recommendation,
  • A completed application, and
  • A personal interview.

Applicants will be considered for fall admission only. Contact the Center for Graduate Studies for further information and for details on the application deadlines for this program.

Program Requirements

Students in this program pursue a Master of Arts degree and must meet the College's standards for graduate study.

Once matriculated, a student may proceed on a part-time basis, as long as reasonable progress is made toward the degree. It is recommended that students take at least six credits per semester. Students who wish to take fewer than six credits will need department approval.

Students must receive a minimum grade of "B" in all required courses (excluding the practicum, which is graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory). Those receiving a grade of "B-" or lower in one of these courses have one opportunity to repeat the course and earn a higher grade. Students failing to do this will be dismissed from the program. A student may not repeat more than one course.

The MA in Psychology program has two tracks from which to choose:

  1. Clinical track with research emphasis, or
  2. General track with research emphasis.

Core Courses (18 credits; required of all tracks)

  • PSH 601 Research Methods (3 credits)
  • PSH 602 Applied Multivariate Statistics (3 credits)
  • PSH 631 Social Psychology (3 Credits)
  • PSH 634 Psychopathology (3 credits)
  • PSH 640 Biopsychology (3 credits)
  • PSH 684 Developmental Psychology (3 credits)

Clinical Track with Research Emphasis (Core +21 credits)

  • PSH 702 Applied Behavioral Analysis (3 credits)
  • PSH 703 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (3 credits)
  • PSH 704 Assessment (3 credits)
  • PSH 698 Independent Readings (3 credits)
  • PSH 699 Independent Study (3 credits)
  • PSH 798 Thesis (6 credits)

Total Credits = 39

General Track with Research Emphasis (Core +12 credits)

  • PSH 698 Independent Readings (3 credits)
  • PSH 699 Independent Study (3 credits)
  • PSH 798 Thesis (6 credits)

Total (30 credits)

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the biological, developmental, and contextual determinants of behavior
    • Analyze the relationship between biological bases of behavior and human functioning
    • Describe the process of human development and acquisition of learned behaviors across the lifespan
    • Analyze how individuals' knowledge exists in the context of their environment (e.g., social, geographical, familial, institutional, cultural, etc.) and how the environment affects their functioning
  • Critique and apply principles of research methods
  • Apply psychological principles and evidence-based theories to practical problems in the field of psychology
  • Synthesize clinical coursework and apply it outside the classroom (Applied Track)
  • Produce a substantive research paper describing data that elucidates a psychological topic (Research Tracks)
  • Apply ethical and professional standards to relevant research and/or clinical situations
  • Explain the role of social and cultural diversity in human characteristics, experiences, and behavior
  • Select appropriate intervention techniques, correctly administer tests, and accurately interpret results (Clinical Tracks)