Applied Psychology Graduate Program
What is the applied psychology program?
“All new graduate students in applied psychology are given a non-thesis degree plan. Students may switch to the thesis option if (a) they demonstrate skills in the areas required to successfully complete a thesis research project, and (b) a psychology faculty member is willing and available to supervise the thesis research. The degree plan will be revised to the thesis option by the faculty member who agrees to supervise the thesis.”
The applied psychology program is a multifaceted approach to behavior that is designed to teach students about how psychology can be used to address the many serious issues facing us today. These issues include, but are not limited to, improving health, increasing safety, improving education, increasing prosperity, enhancing decision-making and promoting democratic principles.
All of the psychology courses in the program include an applied component. The applied component consists of 1) practical problems that could be addressed by psychologists, and 2) innovative ways of disseminating solutions to practical problems to a general public that is not equipped to accommodate social science findings in the language generally used to communicate empirical research. The program can be completed in a distance education (online) format. Students may elect to complete some courses in a traditional classroom setting.
To be considered for admission, individuals must submit a Graduate Application for Admission Form and supporting materials to the College of Graduate Studies. Admission requirements vary among the three psychology programs.
Graduate Application for Admission Form
Applied Psychology Programs
Students are welcome to apply for admission regardless of their undergraduate major. Those who have fewer than 18 credit hours of undergraduate psychology are required to complete a graduate leveling course that provides training in the foundational areas of psychology.
Students who have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or 3.25 or higher for the last 60 credit hours automatically qualify for admission, if space in the program allows. Students with a GPA below 3.0 may qualify for admission on the basis of the formula described below.
The admission formula incorporates undergraduate GPA (50 percent) and scores on the Graduate Record Exam (50 percent). It sets the minimum score as the equivalent of a 3.0 cumulative GPA (or 3.25 for the last 60 credit hours) and an average score of 450 on each section of the GRE. Being below the cutoff in one area can be offset by being above the cutoff in another area.
Formula: Multiply GPA by 200 and add the average score on the three GRE subtests.* Using the cumulative GPA, the minimum formula score must be 1050. Using the last 60 hours GPA, the minimum formula score is 1100.
*The GRE Analytical Writing subtest is scored on a scale of 1-6. This score is converted to the metric of the other subtests as follows: 1.0 – 2.0 = 300 2.5 = 320 3.0 = 350 3.5 = 400 4.0 = 460 4.5 = 540 5.0 = 620 5.5 = 700 6.0 = 760
Graduate, Research and Teaching Assistantships
Our department provides financial support to graduate students by offering 11 assistantships. Six are graduate assistants (GAs), two are research assistants (RAs), and three are teaching assistants (TAs).
Job Availability, Application and Wages
New students as well as current students can qualify for the GA and RA positions by submitting this application to the department office.
The GA and RA salaries are $7490 for two semesters ($13.50 per hour for 17.5 hours per week).
The three TA positions are available only to students who have completed at least 18 graduate credit hours prior to the appointment. TA candidates use the same application form as GA and RA applicants and also submit it to the department office. The TA salary is $11,095 for two semesters.
Duties of Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants
Graduate assistants have responsibility for a wide range of duties designed to support the undergraduate instructional program. Each works under the supervision of a faculty member who directs their work assignments.
Research assistants are assigned to work on research projects determined by the faculty project directors.
Both GA and RA positions are considered half-time employment and enable students to make normal progress toward their degrees.
Duties of Teaching Assistants
Teaching assistants receive teacher training in the fall and spring semesters by assisting their directing faculty members. In this capacity, they lead instructional discussion sessions with undergraduates and practice lecturing.
The selection of Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants are typically done during the summer prior to the upcoming academic year in which the appointments begin. The GAs and RAs are selected by the graduate advisors, psychology faculty members who provide the training and supervision of those who are appointed. Interested students should apply for the positions by May 1, so that their application can be given full consideration.
The selection of Teaching Assistants are typically done during the spring semester prior to the upcoming academic year in which the appointments begin. TAs are selected by Dr. Kristi Cordell-McNulty and Dr. Crystal Kreitler, psychology faculty members who provide the training and supervision of those who are appointed. Interested students should apply for the positions by March 1, so that their applications can be given full consideration.
What types of students does the program attract?
The program generally attracts students who are qualified for a post-baccalaureate degree, but either do not have an interest in or do not have the requisite credentials to gain admittance to a doctoral program. In addition, because of its broad application and online nature, the program addresses those students who desire a post-baccalaureate degree to enhance their professional qualifications, but are unable to attend a traditional classroom program. Importantly, an undergraduate major in psychology is not a requirement for admission to the program.
Thesis and Non-Thesis Options
Students have the option of completing the master’s degree program with or without a thesis. Students in the non-thesis option must complete a Comprehensive Exam (see the Graduate Study Handbook for details). Students in the thesis option complete six semester credit hours of thesis work and must pass a comprehensive oral exam over their completed degree work.
What can I do with an M.S. degree in applied psychology?
Students in the applied psychology program typically have one of the following three objectives: to obtain a Master of Science degree for professional advancement, to teach at the junior college and/or university level, or to be accepted into a doctoral program.
What are the degree requirements for a Master of Science in applied psychology?
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option (36 semester credit hours)
Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate-level work in psychology and six additional semester credit hours of graduate-level work in psychology or supporting electives. The psychology courses must include 6302 (required only if needed for leveling); 6314; three courses from 6303, 6311, 6330, 6332, 6334, 6336, 6337, 6338, 6341, 6342, 6347; and, for thesis students, 6699 (Thesis) or 6399 (Thesis) twice.
Courses for the remaining 18 (thesis) or 24 (non-thesis) hours in psychology or supporting electives are unspecified, but must be approved by the student’s graduate advisor.
- PSY 6302 Core Concepts on Psychological Science
- PSY 6314 Applied Research Methods
- PSY 6303 Social Psychology
- PSY 6311 Theories of Personality
- PSY 6330 Applied Economic Psychology
- PSY 6332 Social Perception
- PSY 6334 Environmental Psychology
- PSY 6336 Psychology of Chemical Dependency
- PSY 6337 Forensic Psychology
- PSY 6338 Educational Psychology
- PSY 6341 Advanced Learning
- PSY 6342 Cognitive Neuroscience
- PSY 6347 Developmental Psychology