Psychology, M.A.

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Application Deadline: The Psychology program has rolling admissions but students are encouraged to have their application files complete by June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.

Master of Arts Degree

This research-based program leading to a Master of Arts degree is designed to develop creative problem-solving skills which will be applicable in clinical, industrial, and educational settings. Flexible enough to be completed either on a full-time or a part-time basis, it is appropriate for a wide range of candidates. For those potential doctoral candidates who cannot enter a Ph.D. or Psy.D. program at the present time, it provides a basis for later acceptance. For those who are already working in clinical, educational, or industrial settings, it offers updating credentials. The program provides ideal training for those wishing to explore their personal interest in obtaining employment in settings related to psychology. Teachers in secondary schools may use the program to prepare themselves to teach psychology in addition to their current certification. While this program is not a clinical or counseling training program and does not lead to licensure, some courses are relevant to clinical psychology. Emphasis is placed on faculty advisement to help in tailoring the program to the needs of the individual student.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the following minimum requirements to be admitted to the program: 18 hours of psychology (graduate or undergraduate) including at least one course in statistics and at least one course in experimental psychology, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and an undergraduate GPA in psychology of 3.0. Applicants may be required to strengthen their psychology backgrounds by taking certain undergraduate courses before matriculating.

Students must meet the following minimum requirements to be admitted to the program:

To apply to the program, students must submit all of the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

Program Sequence

30 Credits

As sequencing changes, it is highly recommended that students meet with their program advisor to finalize a list of requirements for graduation.  

Required in First Two Semesters

PSY 500 - Design and Analysis in Psychology - 3 credits
PSY 502 - Problems in Psychology - 3 credits

One of the following

PSY 501 - Thinking and Learning - 3 credits
PSY 503 - Cognition and Memory - 3 credits
PSY 504 -Topics in Perception - 3 credits
PSY 505 - Contemporary Theories of Motivation - 3 credits
PSY 583 – Seminar in Comparative Physiological Psychology - 3 credits

One of the following

PSY 512 -Theories and Issues in Developmental Psychology - 3 credits
PSY 517 - Seminar in Social Psychology - 3 credits
PSY 526 - Theories and Research in Personality - 3 credits

18 Cognate/Elective Credits (from above column or below). These courses may also be any graduate level course in any subject, or any 300/400  level.
PSY 527- Abnormal Child Psychology - 3 credits
PSY 528 - Psychopathology - 3 credits
PSY 537 - Field Work in Clinical Psychological Services I - 3 credits
PSY 538 - Field Work in Clinical Psychological Services II - 3 credits
PSY 539 - Field Work in Psychology Research - 3 credits
PSY 543 - Clinical Methods in Psychology: Cognitive Assessment - 3 credits
PSY 544 - Clinical Methods in Psych: Personality & Social Assess - 3 credits
PSY 546 - Practicum in Psychological Assessment and Report Writing - 3 credits
PSY 551 - Art Psychotherapy - 3 credits
PSY 554 - Psychotherapy and Behavioral Change - 3 credits
PSY 557 - Behavior Modification and Therapy - 3 credits
PSY 560 - Seminar in the Psychology of Women - 3 credits
PSY 592 - Issues in Psychology, Law and Ethics - 3 credits
PSY 599 - Special Topics - 3 credits
PSY 600 - Independent Study or Research - 3 credits

Select One

PSY 589 – Thesis Seminar - 3 credits
PSY 590 - Thesis Proposal - 3 credits
PSY 591 - Thesis - 3 credits


Comprehensive Exam
The comprehensive exam option does not require additional electives


Students planning to apply to doctoral programs or anticipating a career in research are encouraged to select thesis as an option.

The thesis option is granted to students who have accumulated at least fifteen graduate credits in psychology including PSY 500 (Design & Analysis in Psychology) and PSY 589 (Thesis Seminar), at Southern Connecticut State University with a grade point average of "B+" (3.3). PSY 589 may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Coordinator.

It is the candidate's responsibility to have formulated a preliminary idea to be researched and to seek out a faculty member in the psychology department who is interested in serving as a thesis sponsor. The normal sequence is to register for PSY 500 in the fall semester and PSY 589 in the spring semester of the first year. After successfully completing PSY 589 and acquiring fifteen total credits in psychology, students may register for the thesis proposal. After approval of the thesis proposal by the faculty sponsor, graduate committee, and graduate dean, the thesis is then completed the following semester. The completed thesis is reviewed for acceptance by the sponsor and department graduate committee.

Comprehensive Exam

This option requires a written comprehensive examination in addition to 30 credits of course work. Students should select their courses so that they are well prepared for the different sections of the exam. The comprehensive exam will be scheduled twice a year, in April and November. Students selecting this option should apply to the Graduate Coordinator no later than the second week of classes of the semester in which they intend to take the exam.

One-Year Option

The program may be completed in two semesters and a summer session if desired. Students wishing this option should consult with the Graduate Coordinator at the time of matriculation. This plan entails four courses each in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses over the summer. Therefore, students electing this option must ensure that their work schedules allow sufficient time to be devoted to their studies to ensure success. Students electing this plan can take the comprehensive exam at the end of their second full semester (spring or fall).