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Psychology Graduate Major (MS, PhD, MAIS)

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College of Liberal Arts | School of Psychological Sciences

Graduate Areas of Concentration

Applied cognition, engineering psychology, health psychology

The MS and PhD program is a doctoral program with a master's degree component that is obtained en route to the PhD. The MS portion of the program assures that students have experience designing and conducting research prior to the dissertation stage. The program has a strong research component, ensuring that graduates have the tools to tackle a variety of applied problems. This entails both classwork in research methods and statistics and a continuing emphasis on student research.

The program’s general focus is on the application of psychological research methods, theories, and principles to solving practical problems. The program has three areas of concentration: applied cognition, engineering psychology, and health psychology.

Applied cognition is the application of research on thinking, learning, decision-making, perception, social judgment, and other cognitive processes to applied issues. Examples of relevant application areas include the psychology of teaching and learning, the effects of contemplative practice, and risk perception.

Engineering psychology refers to research at the intersection of psychology and technology. Relevant topics include such things as the improvement of technology, human-machine interfaces, transportation, information systems, and work and living environments (as in the Mission of Division 21 of the American Psychological Association).

Health psychology concerns the relations between psychological factors (e.g., cognition, motivation, individual and interpersonal behavior, emotion) and human wellness broadly defined (as in the mission of the APA Division 38).

Graduates of the Psychology MS, PhD program will be qualified to define, assess, analyze and evaluate problems in both the private and public sector that are behavior based. Graduates will be trained to apply the scientific method and use evidence-based information to design educational programs, work environments, management teams, information delivery systems, technology-based tools. Additionally, all graduates will be equipped to train the next generation of teachers, researchers, and practitioners in the concentration areas.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor's or Master’s degree from an accredited institution; minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2/4.0 or graduate GPA of 3.5/4.0; GREs; TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper exam) 250 (computer exam), or 100 (internet exam); three letter of recommendation; personal statement.


The Psychology PhD program requires a minimum of 111 credits, including at least 36 credits of dissertation. The program is organized into core requirements for all students, along with additional work in a concentration area composed of electives, the nature of which is defined primarily by the student’s research focus.

The core requirements are in research methods, professional issues, and basic content in psychology. The required core curriculum provides a critical foundation in quantitative and research methods, core theory in psychological science, ethics, and professional issues.

No more than 15 credits of blanket-numbered classes, excluding dissertation, thesis, or internship credit, may be used towards the 111 credit minimum.

Methods Core (20)

ST 511. Methods of Data Analysis (4)
ST 512. Methods of Data Analysis (4)
ST 513. Methods of Data Analysis (4)
PSY 514. Research Methods I (4)
PSY 571. Graduate Psychometrics (4)

Professional Core (4)

PSY 521. Issues in Professional Psychology (1,1,1)
PSY 523. Ethics in Psychological Research (1)

Basic Content Core (12)

Select 3 courses from below for 12 credits
PSY 531. Graduate Behavioral Neuroscience (4)
PSY 541. Graduate Seminar in Cognition (4)
PSY 551. Lifespan Developmental Science (4)
PSY 561. Graduate Social Psychology (4)
PSY 581. Graduate Seminar in Clinical Research and Theory (4)
PSY 591. Graduate Seminar in Health Psychology (4)

Concentration Electives (24)

Select 6 courses from below for 24 credits
PSY 510. Field Experience in Human Services (1–6)
PSY 526. Psychology of Gender (4)
PSY 533. Psychopharmacology (4)
PSY 537. Motivation (4)
PSY 542. Perception (4)
PSY 544. Learning and Memory (4)
PSY 548. Consciousness (4)
PSY 554. Cognitive Development (4)
PSY 556. Social Development (4)
PSY 558. Language Acquisition (4)
PSY 564. Social Cognition (4)
PSY 566. Fat Studies (4)
PSY 582. Psychotherapy (4)
PSY 583. Developmental Psychopathology (4)
PSY 585. Behavior Modification (4)
PSY 592. Conservation Psychology (4)
PSY 594. Engineering Psychology (4)
PSY 595. Psychology of Meditation (4)
PSY 596. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (4)
PSY 599. Special Topics (4)
PSY 613. Advanced Quantitative Methods (4)[Pending submission and approval]
PSY 643. Applied Cognition (4)
PSY 649. Advanced Engineering Psychology (4)
PSY 697. Psychological Science of Teaching and Learning (4)
PSY 698. Health Psychology Across the Lifespan (4)[Pending submission and approval]
PSY 699. Special Topics (4)

Research/Dissertation (51)

PSY 501. Research (9)
PSY 503. Thesis (6)
PSY 603. Dissertation (36 minimum)


Major Code: 9700

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