Degree Requirements & Curriculum

Degree Requirements (48 credits)

The graduate psychology program is a full-time course of study. Classes are scheduled on weekday afternoons. Students are expected to attend these classes regularly. Attendance is also required at colloquia, lab meetings, and other functions of the Department of Psychology. In addition, students are expected to have time available during weekdays to conduct scientific research.

Requirements for the Master of Science degree are divided into four major components: 1) core and content courses; 2) research, which includes independent research and attendance at departmental colloquia; 3) a comprehensive examination to be taken during the fourth semester; and 4) a Master’s Thesis.


I. Common core (8 credits)
All students are required to take Advanced Research Methods, Advanced Statistical Methods, and Advanced Statistical Methods II.

II. Content courses (24 credits)
Students elect to take an additional six content courses during the second, third, and fourth semesters of the curriculum. These courses include offerings in Biopsychology, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology, Learning, Memory, Cognition, Perception, Neuropsychology, and Social Psychology.

III. Research component (16 credits)
The research component is comprised of two directed studies in which students work closely with their faculty mentor on their area of research interest and two master’s thesis courses.

Comprehensive Examination and Master’s Thesis

Completion of a comprehensive examination is required of second-year students and all students conduct an empirically based master’s thesis. All students work closely with their mentor and become immersed in a specialty area. The comprehensive exam and thesis facilitate the transition for those students interested in pursuing doctoral-level education.


I. Common Core: Two courses (8 credits)
PSY 551 (4005) Advanced Research Methods and Statistics I (4 credits)
PSY 552 (4035) Advanced Research Methods and Statistics II (4 credits)

II. Content Courses: Six courses (24 credits)

PSY 610 (4115) Learning and Behavior
PSY 611 (4125) Advanced Physiological Psychology
PSY 612 (4135) Advanced Sensory Processes
PSY 613 (4155) Psychopharmacology
PSY 615 (4215) Health Psychology
PSY 616 (4625) Principles of Neuropsychology
PSY 617 (4165) Memory Organization and Retrieval
PSY 650 (4105) Gerontology
PSY 651 (4225) Advanced Psychopathology
PSY 652 (4235) Assessment and Evaluation
PSY 653 (4245) Behavioral Medicine
PSY 654 (4265) Developmental Psychology
PSY 655 (4315) Personality and Motivation
PSY 656 (4325) Social Cognition
PSY 657 (4335) Advanced Groups Theory

III. Research Component: Four courses (16 credits)
PSY 591 (4415) Directed Studies I
PSY 592 (4425) Directed Studies II
PSY 691 (4515) Master’s Thesis I
PSY 692 (4525) Master’s Thesis II

Two-Year Course Sequence

First Year—Fall Semester
PSY 551 (4005) Advanced Research Methods and Statistics I
PSY 6xx Content Course 1
PSY 770 (4415) Directed Studies I

First Year—Spring Semester
PSY 552 (4035) Advanced Research Methods and Statistics II
PSY 6xx Content Course 2
PSY 771 (4425) Directed Studies II

Second Year—Fall Semester
PSY 6xx Content Course 3
PSY 6xx Content Course 4
PSY 793 (4515) Master's Thesis I

Second Year—Spring Semester
PSY 6xx Content Course 5
PSY 6xx Content Course 6
PSY 794 (4525) Master's Thesis II