University Bulletin 2018-2019

Print Bulletin Page

Psychology (MS)

Graduate Curriculum

Behavioral and Brain Sciences Concentration

Students admitted to the Master of Science in Psychology Behavioral and Brain Sciences concentration must complete the curriculum described below and appropriate electives. A minimum of 36 hours of graduate courses are required.

Psychology (MS) Credit Hours
Curriculum 36
Research Methodology/Statistics  
PSY 500  4
PSY 501  3
PSY 502  3
PSY 510 OR PSY 528 OR PSY 575  3
PSY 520 OR PSY 522  3
PSY 514 OR PSY 516  3
PSY 524 OR PSY 570  3
Thesis (PSY 599 - 6 to 9 hours) optional  


Clinical and Counseling Psychology Concentration

Only students admitted into the Clinical and Counseling Doctoral program with a Bachelor’s degree will complete the following courses as requirements for a Master of Science degree in Psychology. In addition, students must complete either a major project in psychology (minimum of three hours required) or a thesis (minimum of six hours required). Satisfactory completion of PSY 530 with a minimum grade of “B” is required before a student is allowed to enroll in any practicum course.

Curriculum 50
PSY 500 2hrs
PSY 501 3hrs
PSY 502 3hrs
PSY 510  3hrs
PSY 516 3hrs
PSY 522 3hrs
PSY 524 3hrs
PSY 530 3hrs
PSY 532 3hrs
PSY 540 3hrs
PSY 542 3hrs
PSY 544 3hrs
PSY 550 3hrs
PSY 556 9hrs
Thesis (PSY 599 - 6 to 9 hours) or Psychology Project (PSY 598 - 3 hours minimum)  

Department of Psychology web site

Undergraduate Studies

The objective of psychology, as a science, is to understand, explain, and predict the behavior of organisms. The Department of Psychology has developed and organized its course offerings to meet three major goals:

  1. To provide a strong foundation for those students who plan to enter a graduate school of psychology after completing their undergraduate degree requirements.
  2. To assist those students who are planning careers in psychology or in related fields by providing a flexible curriculum that can be designed to meet the career goals of individual students.
  3. To meet the needs of those students who are taking psychology courses as part of their liberal arts education.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

Graduate Study In Psychology

The Department of Psychology accepts applicants to the Master of Science program (non-Clinical/Counseling) and to the Doctor of Philosophy program in Clinical/Counseling Psychology (CCP). Students admitted to the CCP program with a Bachelor’s degree will complete the Master of Science program (Clinical and Counseling Psychology).

The Master of Science degree program in Psychology (non-Clinical/Counseling) is designed to provide individuals with knowledge of current theories, principles, and methods of psychology in preparation for future work toward a doctoral degree, employment in a research setting or employment in a college teaching position. The Department of Psychology currently accepts applicants to the Master of Science degree program, with an interest in one or more areas of concentration in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Psychology Program. The available areas of concentration include: Behavioral Statistics/Computational Modeling, Personality and Measurement, Cognitive and Perceptual Processing, Psychophysiology, Social/Developmental Psychology, and College Teaching Preparation.

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology have the opportunity to earn a Master's of Science in Psychology as they progress towards completion of the doctoral degree. Students interested in a graduate degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology are encouraged to see the full program description of the doctoral program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology under the heading "The Graduate School" for more information

Requirements For Admission

Students are admitted Fall Semester only. Applications to the Doctoral CCP Graduate Program should be completed by December 15. Applications to the Masters program in Behavioral and Brain Sciences should be completed by February 15. Late applications will be considered only if there are still openings available. Please note that the Psychology Graduate Program is a competitive program with a limited capacity and admits students to begin in the Fall Semester only.
In addition to the Graduate School application form and required supporting documentation, the Department of Psychology Master of Science requires submission of official GRE scores, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation.  Applicants to the Psychology Master of Science concentration in Behavioral and Brain Sciences typically have a minimum GPA of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with at least a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate work, or at least a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Applicants typically have a minimum GRE score of 300 (verbal + quantitative). In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with a GRE below 300.

Applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology should see  

Non-degree Students

Applicants for non-degree status in psychology are considered only in exceptional cases and will normally be admitted only if they meet regular admission standards. Following admission, non-degree students must have permission of the department chair and director of graduate studies of the college for each course they wish to enroll in. Enrollment will be approved on a space-available basis with preference being given to degree students. Non-degree students must satisfy the same prerequisites and corequisites as degree students.

Progress Toward Degree

All graduate students will be evaluated each semester to determine if they are making satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements. Students will be given written reports, including specific deficits, if they are not making satisfactory progress. Such students will have one semester to remedy the specific deficits listed or will be subject to dismissal from the program.

Graduate Assistantships

Each year the Psychology Department recommends qualified applicants to the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate assistantships.  Application forms for graduate assistantships may be obtained from the Graduate School. The deadline for receipt of completed doctoral assistantship applications is December 15, and for the masters assistantship applications is February 15.