Center for Psychological Studies

Online Education

M.S. in General Psychology

Curiculum Requirements

The curriculum for the program consists of 30 credits in total: 21 credits of foundational courses and 9 credits from one of three specialty tracks. Students in the General Track can choose to write a Master’s thesis (6 credits) instead of two of the courses in the track. Students who indicate that their career objective is to apply to a doctoral program will be advised to complete a Master’s thesis. Students who choose to write a Master’s thesis under the supervision of a faculty must successfully complete their research and writing associated with the thesis. Students may also come to campus to meet with their faculty advisor.

Core Courses (3 Credits Each)
PSY 0600 Cognitive Psychology

This course examines the various cognitive processes that affect behavior. Topics include information processing, memory, attention, unconscious processing, decision making in social context, language, and self-schemata development.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0601 Behavioral Neuroscience

This course emphasizes the principles of behavioral neuroscience, stressing the methods and rationales used to acquire information and reach conclusions about brain mechanisms underlying behavior. Students will survey topics related to the biology of psychology including: the basic anatomy of the nervous system, the normal physiological functions of the nervous systems, cellular electrophysiology, behavioral disorders, and brain diseases. The course also reviews current research on the role of the biological basis of behavior. The relative contribution of heredity and environment will be examined.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0605/PYCL 0512 Human Growth and Development

This course covers how developmental maturation and social learning impacts individuals across the lifespan. Theory and research in social development and learning are covered in topics for mental health and school counselors.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0607 Social Psychology

This course is designed to provide graduate students with a broad overview of current theories and research in social psychology. This course will review in detail the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people. Topics such as self-perception, judgment and decision-making, attitude change, conformity, social influence, obedience, attraction, love, aggression, violence, altruism, deception, nonverbal communication, and prejudice will be covered.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0609/PYCL 0608 Individual Evaluation and Assessment

This course surveys frequently used tests of aptitude, interest, and personality. Test content, purpose, psychometric properties, administration, and scoring procedures are compared and evaluated. Issues of test use with culturally diverse populations are addressed.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0611 Research Design

The focus of this course is research methodology and scientific thinking. It covers basic experimental designs (between and within groups), single subject experiments, group experimental designs, non-experimental designs (correlation research, case studies, meta analysis), and program evaluation. Validity issues in research (internal and external) and research ethics are emphasized throughout.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0613 Psychological Quantitative Methods

This course will focus o the theory and application of the most commonly used parametric statistical methods in Psychology. Specifically, this course will explore the relationship between advanced statistical methods and psychological research methods by providing students with an advanced understanding of the univariate methods commonly used for the analysis of behavioral data.

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSY 0611 – Research Design.

General Psychology Track (3 Credits Each – 9 Credits Total)
PSY 0614/PYCL 0584 Adult Psychopathology

This course covers descriptive psychopathology and research on the etiology, epidemiology, dynamics and diversity issues of major adult pathologic syndromes. It provides a thorough introduction to DSM-IV-TR as a diagnostic tool.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: PYCL 502

PSY 0615/PYCL 0582 Human Sexuality

This course is an overview of the basics of sexual anatomy, physiology, and development. The student will acquire an understanding of human sexual response, concepts of sex therapies, and human sexual dysfunction. Also included are methods of contraception, sex and family planning and variations of sexual behavior.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: PSY 0605/ PYCL 0512 – Human Growth and Development.

PSY 0616 History and Systems of Psychology

This course will review some of the major theoretical concepts and schools of thought in the history of psychology. More specifically, the course covers the history of various psychological concepts (such as perception, memory, emotions, consciousness, self, mental illness, etc.) as interpreted by various scholars of the mind over time. A historically-informed perspective of these concepts will help students realize the subtle changes in interpreting various psychological processes and phenomena across different time periods and the connections between these changes and the larger socio-political and intellectual environments at the time.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0617 Masters Thesis (Student in the General Track can choose to write a Master's thesis (6 credits) instead of two of the courses in the track.)

Students will work with an NSU faculty member in creating and conducting their own research project. A thesis is an original contribution to knowledge resulting from the systematic study of a significant problem or issue. The student will develop their own research questions and hypotheses, study design, data collection and analysis and interpretation of results.

Credits: 6
Prerequisite: PSY 0611- Research Design & PSY 0613 - Psychological Quantitative Methods.

Applied Health Science Track (3 Credits Each – 9 Credits Total)
PSY 0619 Psychological Aspects of Treating Disease

This course will explore both the strengths and limitations of utilizing a strict bio-medical model for treating disease. Current research on the effective management of pain and chronic disease will be review and discussed from a psychological perspective. Implications for a better understanding and evaluation of psychological distress associated with chronic disease will be explored as well as research on the role of psychological support from family members and care givers.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: PSY 0620 - Interviewing Techniques.

PSY 0620 The Business of Psychology

This course will introduce students to the business of psychology. Issues related to private practice, employment, program development and implementation will be presented. Specific topics will include: developing a private practice, surviving in a changing marketplace, marketing strategies, establishing fees, coding and reimbursement, negotiating employment contracts and development and implementation of psychological service units.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None

PSY 0633 Interviewing Techniques

This is a basic course on the theoretical and practical aspects of the clinical assessment interview. Emphasis is placed on the development of communication skills, rapport building, evaluation strategies and the consideration of diagnostic data as well as cultural/ethnic diversity, the mental status evaluation, and the ability to organize information in written and oral form.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: PSY 0609/PYCL 0608 - Individual Evaluation and Assessment.

Diversity Studies Track (3 Credits Each – 9 Credits Total)
PSY 0621/PYCL 0632 Social and Cultural Foundations of Diversity

This course addresses cultural diversity and its implications for psychological research. It considers the psychological impact of factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, and culture, religious preference, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and physical disability in a variety of social and cultural settings.

Credits: 3
Prerequisite: PSY 0607 - Social Psychology.

PSY 0622 Gay and Lesbian Studies

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to key concepts, issues, and major themes related to gay and lesbian studies. Some of the most visible contemporary discussions and debates concerning homosexuality will be examined including sexual discrimination, civil rights legislation, coming-out stories, psychological and social identity.

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

PSY 0623 Research Topics in Cross-Cultural Psychology

This course examines cultural variations in social behavior, personality, health, child development, emotion and cognition, stress and coping. Multiple theoretical perspectives as well as research applications to communication issues, health care and international relations will be considered.

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PSY 0611 – Research Design & PSY 0621/PYCL 0632 Social and Cultural Foundations of Diversity.

Degree Completion Requirements

A student must complete all course work required for the degree with a minimum grade point average of a 3.0 and successfully complete a thesis (if required) and the comprehensive examination. The Master of Science in General Psychology program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit. A student is expected to complete the program and graduate within five years from the date of first enrollment.