Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalogue 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalogue

Psychology, M.S.

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Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Thomas Cariveau    

The Department of Psychology offers a program leading to the Master of Science in psychology. The specific goals of the programs are to emphasize the scientific methods and principles common to all fields of psychology. Within the program there are three concentrations–1 clinical and 2 non-clinical:

  1. A non-clinical psychological science concentration with a major goal to prepare students for entry into doctoral programs in applied or experimental psychology.
  2. A non-clinical neuroscience and behavior concentration with a major goal to prepare students for work in neuroscience related fields as well as preparation for doctoral programs in neuroscience and related behavior.
  3. A clinical concentration (applied behavior analysis focus area). The purpose of this clinical concentration is to help prepare students for the North Carolina Psychological Associate Licensure Examination and this specific area will prepare students for examination for certification as a behavior analyst by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.®

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate program in psychology are required to submit the following to the Graduate School:

  1. An application for graduate admission
  2. Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate)
  3. Three recommendations from educators or others with professionally relevant information. (note: at least one letter must be from an educator)
  4. Application and supplemental documents must be submitted by the published deadline.

Students who have majored in psychology or who have taken substantial coursework in psychology while majoring in another field will be considered for acceptance into the program. Students desiring admission into the graduate program in psychology must meet the following requirements: (a) a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or its equivalent from a foreign institution of higher education; (b) a strong academic record with an average of “B” or better in at least 21 credit hours of psychology courses, including statistics and a psychology research methods course.

Science-based statistics and research methods courses in departments outside of psychology will be considered for non-psychology majors only after the application has been submitted. It will then be reviewed for possible approval by the graduate coordinator and graduate admissions committee. Applicants who are non-psychology majors may count these two courses for up to 6 hours of the 21 hours of psychology courses. Applicants who are considering this option must include relevant syllabi as part of their application.

Additional submission requirements include:

  1. Psychology Statement of Research Interest Form.  You can access this form during the online application process.  The form will ask you to rate your research interests in a variety of areas of psychology.
  2. Statement of Interest.This 500-800 word statement is completed during the online application process. Your statement should address: a) the areas of psychology in which you are interested; b) your career & educational goals immediately upon completion of the master’s degree; c) your long-term educational & career goals; d) how completion of this degree program will help you reach your career & educational goals; and e) any career-relevant experience you have had (e.g., instructional, research, computer skills, counseling, animal care, etc.).
  3. Resume.

Degree Requirements

  1. The psychological science concentration will require a minimum of 34 credit hours; the applied behavior analysis concentration will require a minimum of 48 credit hours; and the neuroscience and behavior concentration will require a minimum of 36 credit hours.
  2. Courses open only to graduate students: All students will take at least 34 credit hours of coursework open only to graduate students.
  3. Students must maintain a “B” average in all graduate courses taken. A student ineligible to continue because of poor grades, based upon special circumstances, may petition the Graduate School for reinstatement. A petition for reinstatement must be accompanied by statements of endorsement or non-endorsement from both the department chairperson and the dean of the College of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts. A student so reinstated will be dismissed if any additional grade below that of “B” is earned.
  4. A minimum of 26 credit hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.
  5. A faculty committee composed of a chairman and at least two other members of the Graduate Faculty will be established for each student within the first two semesters in residence. One committee member may be from outside the field of concentration. This committee will oversee the student’s thesis and program of study.
  6. A comprehensive written examination must be successfully completed. This is usually done during the semester in which the student is enrolled in final course work.
  7. The student will present and defend a thesis which is acceptable to the faculty committee prior to graduation.
  8. Each student must complete an approved course of study within five years of the date of the first registration for graduate study to be eligible for graduation.
  9. PSY 591  may be repeated only once for credit toward the graduation requirement.

Requirements for the Master of Science in psychology

Core courses

Students in all three concentrations–Psychological Science, Neuroscience and Behavior, and Applied Behavior Analysis–must take the following core courses in addition to the concentration requirements that are specifically noted.

I. Research and Quantitative Methods

II. Discipline-Specific Knowledge

Students in Psychological Science can take 4 of 5 courses; students in Applied Behavior Analysis take 3 of 5 courses as specifically noted; Neuroscience & Behavior must take 1 and can take 2 of 5 courses as specifically noted.

III. Thesis

Applied Behavior Analysis concentration requirements (48 credit hours)

In addition to the Research Methods, Discipline-Specific Knowledge, and Thesis requirements listed, students seeking a Master of Science in Psychology in the Applied Behavior Analysis concentration must complete the following:

Psychological Science concentration requirements (34 credit hours)

In addition to the Research Methods, Discipline-Specific Knowledge, and Thesis requirements listed, students seeking a Master of Science in Psychology in the Psychological Science concentration must also complete one elective approved by the graduate coordinator. 

Neuroscience and Behavior concentration requirements (36 credit hours)

In addition to the Research Methods, Discipline-Specific Knowledge, and Thesis requirements listed, students seeking a Master of Science in Psychology in the Neuroscience and Behavior concentration area must complete the following:


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