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MA in Psychology

Course Description

The department encourages student and faculty research that contributes to psychological knowledge in general and that is sensitive to social, cultural, and political influences and concerns. At the master's level, the department offers a program in general psychology that provides students with in-depth training in all the major fields of psychology. After students complete their master's degree, there are two doctoral programs to which they can apply through a separate application process: the PhD in Cognitive, Social, and Developmental Psychology (CSD) and the PhD in Clinical Psychology. Every attempt is made to promote an interdisciplinary approach to psychological issues and foster interaction between the CSD and Clinical Psychology programs. PhD students are free to work with faculty from either area. While in the program, master's and doctoral-level students also have the option of taking classes offered through the Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling to gain additional training in working with substance use in clinical settings. The department also offers a Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Certificate Program, open to both doctoral students and professionals working in the field, which focuses on the application of harm reduction principles in the treatment of substance use.

The general MA program provides a comprehensive review of the field. Students take courses covering a wide range of the literature, including three general psychology courses; three in the areas of social, developmental, and abnormal psychology; and Introduction to Statistics and Research Design. The master of arts degree is awarded upon completion of 30 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0. All students must take the noncredit Proseminar course as soon as possible after admission to the program. The first 18 credits must be earned in introductory (5000-level) courses; no advanced or seminar courses can be taken until 18 credits have been completed. Neither a written master's thesis nor a comprehensive examination is required. Students who intend to apply to the PhD program must take the Research Methods course, unless they are on the Research MA track, as well as Introduction to Statistics and Research Design.

This highly selective program gives qualified students an intensive research experience working one-on-one with a member of the faculty. A student can apply for the Research Track after finishing at least 18 credits but not more than 24 credits. Applicants must have at least a 3.7 GPA to be considered, and must maintain this average until completion. Each student works closely with an individual faculty member on an empirical research project, writes an MA thesis based on the project, and defends the thesis in an oral examination. Research track students are exempt from the Research Methods course requirement for the MA (and PhD, if they are accepted to a PhD program). They are also exempt from the PhD qualifying examination. A maximum of one and a half years is allowed for writing the master's thesis.

Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited American college or university, or the equivalent degree from a foreign college or university.

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