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School of Psychological Sciences Master's Programs in Psychology

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Courses – MA in Psychology

Research Core - 6 hours

This course involves a detailed presentation of the various methods used by psychologists in experimental research and design, as well as the statistical techniques which are used to analyze data. Both parametric and non-parametric techniques are reviewed along with various experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Topics include hypothesis testing and the experimental method, choosing appropriate statistical techniques, threats to internal and external validity, and varieties of experimental control and randomization. Students will be expected to perform statistical procedures on sample data sets and draw conclusions from the results of statistical analyses. (3 credit hours)

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This course extends the foundational topics covered in PSY 505, focusing more deeply on statistical methods including topics such as parametric/nonparametric statistics, univariate statistics, and multivariate statistics. Students will develop competencies in choosing appropriate statistical procedures, testing assumptions, data analyses, interpreting results, and presenting findings in a manner consistent with publication standards. Prerequisite: PSY-505. (3 credit hours)

SOC 532 Qualitative Methods of Research and Evaluation-- This course examines different approaches to collecting, analyzing, and interpreting qualitative data. Methodological and ethical issues of doing qualitative research also will be explored. Students will have opportunities to engage in small class-designed research projects or larger ongoing projects when available. Each student also will develop a proposal for a study that uses qualitative or mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods to collect data.

Content Core - 14 hours

This course explores the relationship between brain functions and human behavior. Topics include neuro-anatomical brain structure and development; neuropsychological functioning as it relates to sensory, motor, perceptual, emotional, linguistic, and cognitive abilities; organic syndromes and impairment; and the assessment and rehabilitation of various forms of central nervous system impairment. (3 credit hours)

This course covers various topics relating to cognitive and emotional influences on behavior. The focus is on the process and representations involved in memory, concept formation, speech and language, problem solving, creativity, reasoning, and emotion. Findings from experimental cognitive psychology and cognitive neuropsychology will be considered. (3 credit hours)

This course provides an understanding of human behavior as a function of social and cultural factors. Social psychology topics covered include social influence theory, attitude formation and change, social cognition, interpersonal perception, obedience and conformity, altruism, aggression, and stereotyping. The influence of factors such as cultural, racial, gender, and age differences on clinical practice are discussed. (3 credit hours)

This course explores the norms, transitions, and crises in the development of individuals from birth to old age. Theories and research findings involving cognitive, emotional, social, and personality development are covered. Emphasis is given to the interaction of the person and the environment while covering topics such as attachment, care giving, gender, and cognition. Comparisons across cultures, races, and socio-economic statuses will be included. (3 credit hours)

This course involves an examination of current issues related to the classification and diagnosis of abnormal behavior and psychological states. Dimensional, descriptive, and categorical approaches to classification are reviewed, with emphasis on the current forms of adult psychopathology found in the DSM. Topics include the symptomatology, etiology, developmental patterns, and treatment approaches to various diagnostic categories. Empirical findings, methodological concerns, and conceptual issues are discussed. (3 credit hours)

*MPH 555 or HSCI 636 may be substituted for SOC 532.

Research Track - 15 hours

This course is required of all MA students in the Research Concentration. Students are actively involved in the preparation, literature review, research design, data collection, analysis, or writing of a masters’ thesis. Students must register with a faculty advisor when enrolling in this course. (12 credit hours)

**On average, students enroll for 2 credit hours of Master Thesis course work for the fall, winter, and summer for two academic years (12 hours total).

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This course extends the foundational topics covered in PSY 505, focusing more deeply on statistical methods including topics such as parametric/nonparametric statistics, univariatestatistics, and multivariate statistics. Students will develop competencies in choosing appropriate statistical procedures, testing assumptions, data analyses, interpreting results, and presenting findings in a manner consistent with publication standards. Prerequisite: PSY-505. (3 credit hours)

SOC 532 Qualitative Methods of Research and Evaluation-- This course examines different approaches to collecting, analyzing, and interpreting qualitative data. Methodological and ethical issues of doing qualitative research also will be explored. Students will have opportunities to engage in small class-designed research projects or larger ongoing projects when available. Each student also will develop a proposal for a study that uses qualitative or mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods to collect data.
 *Research Track students complete the course they have not already completed for the Research Core
 

Forensic Track - 15 hours

In this course, students refine the fundamental skills of therapeutic relationships. Covers skills in forming a therapeutic alliance; the mastery of empathic listening skills such as paraphrasing, reflecting, and the use of probes; the effective use of advanced relationship techniques such as confrontation, self-disclosure, and interpretation; the use of hypothesis testing in formulating treatment goals; and termination procedures and issues. Students are involved in role-play situations, as well as submitting audio taped and videotaped examples demonstrating mastery of skills. Ethical issues and the influence of factors such as gender, culture, age, and race on the therapy relationship are discussed. (3 credit hours)

The study of the nature, extent, and theories of crime. Students are introduced to the attempts to control crime, to the judicial process, and to the attempts to reform the criminal. (3 credit hours)

(3 credit hours)

This course involves study of a particular area of psychology not covered comprehensively by one of the other advanced graduate courses. Specifically, the seminar for this track is titled: Forensic Assessment. (3 credit hours)

This course will explore a variety of issues related to the clinical, ethical, and theoretical practice of forensic psychotherapy. Included in this study will be a specific emphasis upon psychodynamic, existential-phenomenological, and humanistic approaches to forensic psychotherapy as well as the way in which the "offender" client is socially constructed within the context of clinical, ethical and theoretical practice. (3 credit hours)

Program Development and Evaluation - 12 hours

The GERO 557 course provides students with the knowledge and basic skills necessary for undertaking project development, planning, and scheduling. Students will work on project scenarios in which they will learn strategies that will ensure solid project outcomes through optimizing project selection approaches related to organizational culture, developing work plans and scopes, undertaking project risk assessment, facilitating effective project communication plans, managing schedules and maximizing available resources through industry standard procedures. (3 credit hours)

The GERO 558 course provides students with the knowledge and basic skills necessary for undertaking project execution, monitoring, and closure. Students will work on project scenarios in which they will learn strategies that will ensure quality project outcomes through enhanced understanding of leadership styles, optimization of building the right project team, utilization of progress monitoring, and effective communication of results through operational and visual reporting methods. (3 credit hours)

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This course provides students with the background, tools and ability necessary to secure competitive grant funds from private and public grant makers for nonprofit agencies. (3 credit hours)

Development and Research Support. Focuses on strategies for identifying and applying for program development funding for schools, community service programs, and other non-profit organizations, as well as research and evaluation projects. Students will explore the various facets of learning about potential funding agencies and programs, designing fundable projects, and develop grant proposals tailored to their or their programs' needs and interests. (3 credit hours)

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The GERO 571 course is designed to guide those who consume evaluation information as well as those who want to serve as evaluators (3 credit hours).

This course will introduce students to the principles of program evaluation and its applications. Students will design summative and formative evaluations of health and human services, collect and analyze data, determine strengths and weaknesses of various programs and services, document results, and make recommendations regarding program development and improvement.  (3 credit hours)

Electives - 3-6 hours

Students are encouraged to select electives that complement their track and their educational or professional aspirations. Students may petition to have additional courses outside of the School of Psychological Sciences considered as an elective. Students pursuing the research/thesis or forensic tracks must complete a minimum of 3 elective hours while students pursuing the program development and evaluation track must complete a minimum of 6 elective hours.