Graduate Catalog 2022-2023 
    Sep 29, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, M.A.

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Program Description

The Master of Arts degree in Psychology offered by the Psychology Program is accredited by the Council for Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychologies. It is a unique psychology program in that it has a broadly humanistic orientation, with roots in phenomenological, existential and transpersonal approaches. This approach to psychology takes a holistic view on the human experience. Our students are trained in humanistic, critical, and transpersonal psychologies. The program actively engages social justice and cultural awareness within the context of psychological theory and practice. We value self-inquiry and academic rigor; thus we urge self-reflection and radical personal exploration as well as sustained research and scholarship. After graduation, our students have continued on in a variety of contexts, including further graduate study, teaching, social service, public and private sector organizations, and community intervention.


Along with general Graduate School requirements, we require a minimum GPA of 2.7, a personal statement explicating the reasons for applying to the program, and an interview with faculty. Following initial screening, selected applicants will be invited to interview as part of the admission process. Considering the humanistic orientation of this program, the potential for self-awareness, exploratory research, and some knowledge of the humanistic tradition in psychology is given considerable weight in selection of applicants.


Program Requirements

The master’s program offers two options toward the completion of the degree:
Option I, students must complete a minimum of 33 hours of course work and an acceptable original thesis. Thesis work will result in a minimum of 3 additional hours for a minimum of 36 credit hours.
Option II, students must complete a minimum of 36 hours of coursework.
Option I and Option II, students may take up to 6 hours of graduate coursework in departments other than psychology without special permission. Under both options, students may accumulate six hours of credit for Independent Study following the Graduate School guidelines for Independent Study.
Under both options, students must pass an oral comprehensive exam based on course work and individual research or projects developed over the student’s course of study. This requirement is fulfilled under Option I through the student’s oral defense of their thesis. Under Option II, students must submit a written document as directed by their committee.

Thesis Proposal

The nature of the thesis proposal will reflect the type of thesis undertaken by the student as approved by the thesis Chair.  Please refer to the program website for additional thesis guidelines.

Thesis Defense

Following approval of the masters thesis by the thesis committee, the student will give an oral presentation followed by a question-and-answer period led by the student’s advisor. The thesis defense is open to the public.


Required Courses

There are two required courses: PSYC 6000 - Foundations of Humanistic Psychology, and PSYC 6021 - Psychology as Human Science. All other courses are elective, giving students the freedom and responsibility to develop their own plans of study.  Ideally, a student’s individualized plan is developed in collaboration with a faculty mentor.  Students are encouraged to invite faculty members to serve as their faculty mentor.

M.A. Psychology Electives

In addition to the eight credit hours of the two required courses, the M.A. degree requires 28 additional credit hours. Twenty-two of these credit hours must be from Psychology coursework at the 5000, 6000, or 7000 level; six credit hours from outside the Psychology Department at the 5000, 6000, or 7000 level may be applied to the degree.

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