Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

MA in Psychology

The MA in psychology is distinguished by its emphasis on basic research and the application of research to solve practical problems in families, industry, government, and health care settings. Because of the program’s proximity to Washington D.C., students have access to many employment and continuing education opportunities in research, academia, and consulting within government, public, and private settings. 

The psychology MA offers the following concentrations:

  •     applied developmental psychology 
  •     cognitive and behavioral neuroscience 
  •     human factors/applied cognition 
  •     industrial/organizational psychology 

While the department does not offer a master's degree in clinical or counseling psychology, a master's degree in psychology with a concentration in clinical psychology is available for students who have been admitted to the doctoral program concentration in clinical psychology.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30-32

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Choose one concentration and complete the requirements therein.

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Concentration in Applied Developmental Psychology (APD)

The concentration in applied developmental psychology focuses on child development. It provides basic knowledge about normal development, skills for assessing developmental level, and techniques for planning and evaluating programs that foster optimal development. Graduates are prepared for employment at agencies concerned with educational and health programs for children, enrichment programs for infants and preschoolers, and education programs for parents.

Core Courses

PSYC 704 Life-Span Development 3
Select one course from any of the following areas: 3
Social Psychology:
 
Behavior in Small Groups and Teams  
Personality: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches  
Social Bases of Behavior  
Biological Psychology:
 
Neuronal Bases of Learning and Memory  
Behavioral Chemistry  
Biological Bases of Human Behavior  
Cognitive Psychology:
 
Cognitive Bases of Behavior  
Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science 1  
Total Credits 6
1

Except when this course is exclusively methodological.

Quantitative Methods 

PSYC 611 Advanced Statistics 4
One of the following 3-4
Advanced Statistics  
Quantitative Methods III: Psychological Applications of Regression Techniques  
Total Credits 7-8

Specialized Content 

One to two courses selected from the following: 3-6
Cognitive and Perceptual Development  
Language Development  
Developmental Disabilities  
Developmental Psychopathology  
Applied Developmental Psychology  
Special Topics 1  
Other developmental courses chosen with advisor approval
 
Select a maximum of one course from: 0-3
The Psychology of Aging  
Child Psychopathology  
Applied Behavior Analysis: Principles, Procedures, and Philosophy  
Total Credits 6
1

When content is developmental, with approval of advisor.

Thesis Research or Practicum Experience

Thesis

The thesis includes a combination of PSYC 798 Thesis Proposal/PSYC 799 Master's Thesis. Per the University Catalog, at least 3 hours must be PSYC 799 Master's Thesis; these 3 hours must be taken the first semester in which PSYC 799 Master's Thesis is registered. Thus, this is generally a combination of 1 credit of PSYC 798 Thesis Proposal and 3 of PSYC 799 Master's Thesis.

Students should be aware of the policies governing theses. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in PSYC 799 Master's Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment. See Academic Policies.

Select 4 credits from the following: 4
Thesis Proposal  
Master's Thesis (minimum of 3 credits)  
Total Credits 4
Practicum
Select 4 credits from the following: 4
Psychology Practicum (take 3 credits)  
Directed Reading and Research (take 1 credit)  
Total Credits 4

Professional Seminar

Two credits of 1 2
Seminar in Professional Psychology  
Total Credits 2
1

Students should take 1 credit in fall and 1 credit in spring of their first year.

Electives

Select 4-5 credits in consultation with your advisor 4-5
Total Credits 4-5

Elective credit can be taken via content courses, further practicum, directed reading, or research credits, or further thesis credits (i.e. more than 4 credits). Electives may also come from other departments although these often require permission of the instructor. 

Concentration in Clinical Psychology (CLN)

The clinical psychology concentration trains students to have flexibility to fill the evolving functions of clinical psychologists, including research, direct provision of clinical services, supervision, program development and evaluation, and consultation.

The clinical psychology MA concentration is not a terminal degree. Students who have been admitted to the doctoral program with a concentration in clinical psychology may apply to receive the MA in psychology on completion of 30 credits of course work. Students must also be in good standing in the program, as determined by the director of clinical training.

Foundation Courses

PSYC 810 Psychological Assessment I 4
PSYC 811 Psychological Assessment II 4
PSYC 822 Scientific Foundations of Clinical Psychology I 3
PSYC 860 Introductory Helping Skills and Motivational Interviewing 3
Total Credits 14

Practicum Courses 

PSYC 861 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Youth 3
PSYC 862 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults 3
Total Credits 6

Advanced Statistics and Research Methods 

Note: For doctoral quantitative emphases B and C, both PSYC 754 Quantitative Methods III: Psychological Applications of Regression Techniques and PSYC 756 Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology must be taken, but only one of these courses is required for the MA.

Select three or more courses from the following: 10-11
Methods for Social Research  
Advanced Statistics  
Advanced Statistics  
Quantitative Methods III: Psychological Applications of Regression Techniques
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology
Total Credits 10-11

Concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (CBNR)

The concentration in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience focuses on studying biological substrates of behavior. Core and affiliated faculty study areas as diverse as neural control of behavioral development; animal models of learning and memory and their disorders (such as Alzheimer's); human brain systems involved in cognition, perception, human error, decision making, and movement; the relation of neural activity to human performance; and cognitive aging. A focus of the program is on translational neuroscience-complementary study of neural systems in humans and animals, including application of animal research to human behavior.

Specialized Content

PSYC 531 Mammalian Neurobiology 3
PSYC 558 Neuronal Bases of Learning and Memory 3
Total Credits 6

Additional Course 

Select one course from the following: 3
Neuroimaging  
Behavioral Chemistry  
Total Credits 3

Quantitative Methods 

PSYC 611 Advanced Statistics 4
Select one course from the following: 3-4
Advanced Statistics  
Quantitative Methods II: Analysis of Variance  
Quantitative Methods III: Psychological Applications of Regression Techniques  
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology  
Special Topics (Beyesian Statistics) 1  
Special Topics (Animal Methods) 2  
Special Topics in Psychology (Human Experimentation) 3  
Total Credits 7-8
1

 When topic is Beyesian Statistics.

2

 When topic is Animal Methods.

3

 When topic is Human Experimentation.

Professional Seminar 

One credit of 1
Seminar in Professional Psychology  
Total Credits 1

Electives

Students complete the 30 credits required for the degree through additional credits of coursework or research. 

Select at least 7 credits from courses below or other courses with the approval of advisor. 7
Special Topics (Animal Behavior) 1  
Special Topics (Biological Bases of Alzheimer's Disease) 2  
Special Topics (Comparative Cognition) 3  
Special Topics in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) 4  
Total Credits 7
1

 When topic is Animal Behavior.

2

 When topic is Biological Bases of Alzheimer's Disease.

3

 When topic is Comparative Cognition.

4

 When topic is Cognitive Neuroscience.

Thesis

A thesis is normally required, but 6 credits of PSYC 792 Psychology Practicum may serve as a substitute if approved by the advisor and program coordinator.

Students should be aware of the policies governing theses. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in PSYC 799 Master's Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment. See Academic Policies.

Select 6 credits from the following: 6
Thesis Proposal  
Master's Thesis (minimum of 3 credits)  
Total Credits 6

Concentration in Human Factors/Applied Cognition (HF)

The human factors/applied cognition concentration trains students in the application of cognitive science to real-world problems. Students gain expertise in such areas as human/computer interaction, cognitive system engineering, cognitive ergonomics, and transportation. Faculty members help place students who do not have real-world experience in a part- or full-time practicum before completing the degree.

Core Course

PSYC 701 Cognitive Bases of Behavior 3
or PSYC 768 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science
Total Credits 3

Quantitative Methods 

PSYC 611 Advanced Statistics 4
Select one from the following: 3-4
Advanced Statistics  
Quantitative Methods II: Analysis of Variance  
Quantitative Methods III: Psychological Applications of Regression Techniques  
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology  
Total Credits 7-8

Specialized Content

PSYC 530 Cognitive Engineering: Cognitive Science Applied to Human Factors 3
PSYC 645 Research Methods in Human Factors and Applied Cognition 3
Total Credits 6

Additional Courses

Select two courses from the following: 1 6
Seminar in Human Factors and Applied Cognition  
Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science  
Total Credits 6
1

These courses may be repeated.

Electives

Students complete the 30 credits required for this degree through additional coursework, including courses not listed above, within or outside the department, with prior written approval of the graduate director 0-8
Total Credits 0-8

Optional Practicum

Students need an advisor's approval to register for practicum.

Six credits of 6
Practicum in Applied Psychology  
Total Credits 6

Optional Thesis 

Students need the chair's approval to register for thesis. Students should be aware of the policies governing theses. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in PSYC 799 Master's Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment. See Academic Policies.

Select 6 credits from the following: 6
Thesis Proposal  
Master's Thesis  
Total Credits 6

Concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (IO)

The industrial/organizational psychology concentration trains students in the conduct and application of psychological research in work settings. Expertise can be developed in a variety of areas, including personnel selection, training, leadership, motivation, and human performance assessment.

Core Course

PSYC 703 Social Bases of Behavior 3
Total Credits 3

Statistics

Select at least 10 credits of the following: 10
Advanced Statistics  
Advanced Statistics  
Quantitative Methods III: Psychological Applications of Regression Techniques
Psychometric Methods  
Evaluative Research in Psychology
Total Credits 10

Survey of Content 

PSYC 636 Survey of Industrial Psychology 3
PSYC 639 Survey of Organizational Processes 3
Total Credits 6

 Specialized Content

Select three courses from the following: 9
Training: Psychological Contributions to Theory, Design, and Evaluation  
Techniques in Industrial/Organizational Psychology  
Issues in Personnel Psychology  
Psychology of Work Motivation  
Behavior in Small Groups and Teams  
Industrial and Personnel Testing and Evaluation  
Seminar in Industrial/Organizational Psychology  
Total Credits 9
1

When their topic is relevant, other courses, including sections of PSYC 592 Special Topics, may be applied to this requirement.

Professional Development

Select 1 credit from the following: 1
Practicum 1
 
Seminar in Professional Psychology  
Total Credits 1
1

Requires advisor's approval.

Electives

Students complete the 32 credits required for this degree through additional coursework in statistics or specialized content  
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