Graduate Catalog: 2020-21

Psychology MS

Program Overview

The M.S. in Psychology is designed to give students a basic background in psychology. This program emphasizes mastery of psychological fundamentals (e.g., research methods and statistics, human development, counseling theories), as well as allows for areas of specialization due to its flexibility in course offerings. This degree provides graduates the knowledge, skills, and abilities to: pursue graduate study in additional areas (e.g., pursuing another Master’s degree or a doctoral degree at another institution), provide services for job opportunities, or enhance standing in (or qualifications for) one’s current career. This is not considered a terminal degree; in order to work as a professional psychologist, it is necessary to earn a doctoral degree.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Saint Francis graduate programs in Psychology and Counseling is to prepare culturally competent professionals who utilize evidence-based practices through a lifespan approach to work with diverse client populations. Our programs emphasize strength-based helping strategies and community outreach with a specialized focus on social justice in the Franciscan tradition.

Student Learning Outcomes

To successfully complete the Master of Science in Psychology, students will:

  • Apply ethical principles, Franciscan values, and professional standards into professional practice.
  • Demonstrate application of scientific methods to evaluate professional sources, clinical practices, interventions, and programs.
  • Apply knowledge of biological, developmental, social, organizational, environmental bases of behavior.
  • Understand the dimensions of the biopsychosocial model of human behavior.
  • Conduct a research project in an area of interest and successfully create a research study proposal.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Psychology requires 30 credit hours:

  • 15 hours of Psychology and Counseling Major Courses
  • 15 hours of Psychology and Counseling Electives

MS in Psychology Program Studies

MS Psychology Core Courses 15 Hours (required):

  • PSYC 501 Advanced Human Growth and Development
  • PSYC 522 Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling
  • PSYC 530 Personality and Counseling Theories
  • PSYC 576 Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC 600 Research Methods and Program Evaluation

Psychology and Counseling Elective Courses 15 hours

  • chosen in consultation with advisor

Psychology Practicum (Optional)

  • The optional Psychology Practicum is a 105 hour practical field experience tailored individually for students in the MS Psychology program. Students will have the opportunity to integrate work and formal education under the guidance of professionals in the field.
  • Students will be under the supervision of an on-site supervisor who will mentor and give direction to their activities. Specific objectives and duties of the practicum will be collaboratively defined by the University of Saint Francis instructor and the on-site supervisor.
  • Planning six (6) months in advance in order to arrange an approved placement site is recommended. Students must have on file in the departmental office proof of liability insurance BEFORE registration for class is permitted.
  • A minimum of ten (10) hours per week at the practicum site is required. In addition, students will meet for 15 hours per semester on campus with the University of Saint Francis instructor for support and class work. Students will be visited at their host site by their practicum instructor. A grade of “Pass” or “Fail” will be awarded for this course.

Admission Requirements

Application to the MS in Psychology program and applicant selection will be based on the following criteria (list is not prioritized):

  • Submit three letters of recommendation and where appropriate one from a former college professor and one from an employer or supervisor who has observed the applicant in a professional setting.
  • Submit a concise, typed, two-page statement of professional goals, including why he/she wishes to seek a degree in MS in Psychology, consistent with the purpose and focus of the program. One could also include specific training objective and long-term career goals following graduation.
  • Demonstration of proficiency regarding academic performance. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework, as recorded on official transcripts.
  • Undergraduate coursework should include a minimum of 9 hours of coursework in Psychology. Preferred courses would include introduction to psychology, lifespan development, and abnormal psychology (may be augmented by coursework in closely related fields or may reflect life experience).
  • Candidates will have an interview with the MS in Psychology Program Director and/or Psychology and Counseling Admissions Committee.

Admission Decisions

Following the completed application process, the Office of Admissions will inform the applicant in writing of the recommendation of the Admissions Committee. This recommendation may take one of four forms:

  • Accept: Registration for courses will be permitted and applicant will contact the Director of MS in Psychology for an advising appointment.
  • Deny: Applicant has been denied at this time.
  • Provisional: Out of commitment to see the applicant succeed and because certain areas of perceived deficiency exist, the applicant is provisionally accepted. These provisions may include additional coursework, assignments or restrictions being successfully met before full admission is granted. The applicant will meet with the Director of MS in Psychology for advisement and to contract any provisions. All provisions need Department Chair approval.
  • Conditional: Candidate’s full acceptance is contingent on submission of all admission requirements.

Applicants have one year (12 months) from the date of notification of acceptance or provisional acceptance to register for classes; failure to do so invalidates admission and the applicant must reapply, without guarantee of acceptance.