MS in Psychology - Curriculum

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Master's in Psychology Courses

Focus on the real-world contexts in which psychology research methods, findings and theories have practical applications with SNHU’s 12-course, 36-credit online Psychology degree curriculum. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and problem-solving in complex, ill-structured environments. The MS in Psychology is developed to align to standards and competencies defined by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students taking our psychology degree courses as part of their MS in Psychology degree will develop subject matter expertise, empathy, reflectivity, communication, collaboration, and an appreciation for alternative perspectives as a fundamental part of the course work. The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Courses in SNHU’s online psychology degree programs enable graduates to:

  • Advocate for and extend psychology’s role and responsibility in promoting agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations.
  • Adapt to shifting demands and ill-structured problems by critically evaluating the relevance, priority and appropriateness of various information and potential courses of action.
  • Design, conduct and evaluate research through the lens of its potential to advance knowledge in the field and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities and organizations.
  • Integrate psychological theories, methods and research to generate new knowledge.
  • Incorporate empathy, reflectivity, and an appreciation for collaboration and diversity of perspectives into efforts to promote agency and the psychological well-being of individuals, communities and organizations.
  • Protect the integrity and professional responsibility of psychology through the demonstration of ethical comportment in all aspects of the profession.

The MS in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare students to become licensed psychology professionals. Courses prepare students effectively for doctoral-level coursework should they decide to pursue a licensure path.

MS in Psychology Required Courses

PSY-510: Research Methods in Psychology I
In this course, students will learn methods commonly used in psychological research. As part of these methods, students learn how to gather and analyze data across a variety of settings. These newly acquired skills and techniques will be reinforced by application to a contemporary issue in psychology.
Take SCS-501 and SCS-502
PSY-520: Research Methods in Psychology II
In this course, students will develop a deeper understanding of the research process and data analysis by applying skills learned in Research Methods in Psychology I and building on them with new skills and techniques including advanced research design and use/interpretation of higher-level statistical tests (ANOVA, regression, etc.). These newly acquired skills and techniques will be reinforced by application to a contemporary issue in psychology.
PSY-530: Social Psychology
The focus of this course is on contemporary social psychology issues and research related to people's interactions with the environment, technology, and society, as well as classic studies and theories in the field-including those related to conformity, obedience, identity, and attitudes that remain relevant. Students will evaluate the perspectives, relevancy, and usefulness of social psychology to real world issues and problems.
Take PSY-520
PSY-540: Cognitive Processes
Students will investigate topics in cognitive psychology, including memory, language, attention, learning, and decision-making. Students will evaluate the perspectives, relevancy, and usefulness of cognitive psychology to real world issues and problems.
Take PSY-520
PSY-550: Measurement and Assessment
In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn and apply psychometric techniques commonly used in psychology. This course will instruct students on measurement techniques and strategies for psychological purposes, as well as the analysis and assessment of gathered data.
PSY-510 and PSY-520
PSY-560: Theories of Personality
This course will emphasize contemporary theories, research, and approaches in personality psychology, connecting these to classic theorists such as Freud as well as other historical traditions and perspectives. The past and present impact of these theories within the ever-changing field of psychology will be explored, as well as the impact they have on culturally diverse clients and special populations.
Take PSY-520
PSY-570: Ethical Practice in Psychology
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the principles of ethical practice within the field of psychology. Topics include experimentation, confidentiality, respect, resolving ethical dilemmas, professional standards of conduct, and the psychology of ethical behavior.
Take SCS-501 and SCS-502
PSY-790: Capstone in Psychology
This capstone course integrates previous coursework and practical experience with a focus on contemporary issues in the student's chosen concentration in psychology. This course focuses on helping students produce a research proposal on their chosen subject as a culmination of their studies in this graduate program. Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credits in the program.
Senior standing (30 credits or more)

Elective Courses

Select four courses from the following list (at least two must be 600-level):

EDU-543: Learning Theories and Instruction
This course studies the role of contemporary learning theories and their application to educational practice, including issues of readiness, motivation, problem solving, and the social context of learning. Students will understand how to apply scientifically based instructional strategies to promote learning.
JUS-603: Law, Ethics, and Justice System
An inquiry into the interplay of law, morality, ethical reasoning and Western Legal tradition. The course exposes the tradition and foundations of the American legal system with special emphasis on its jurisprudential foundations. Questions of right, justice, equity, law as moral command and order, natural law reasoning and the dignity of the human person are central to the instruction. The course delivers a critical look at how our legal and justice institutions have come about and provides a method for dealing and delving into perennial legal and moral problems that plague cultures. Overview of the major legal theories about the nature of law and its place in the political system. Among the issues considered is the origin of law, its relationship with divine law, obligations of obedience and disobedience, and the relationship between political sovereignty and law.
JUS-621: Contemporary Issues in Homeland Security
This course is designed to involve the examination of current issues and concerns with the ever-shifting Homeland Security policy and its impact upon the practice in the field. Innovations and reactions from politicians, citizens, and practitioners will serve to offer students insight into the challenges of implementing and maintaining homeland security.
OL-675: Leadership and Ethics
Leadership and Ethics is a course that focuses on the ways current and emerging leaders assess the values that influence their actions. The course draws on the rich tradition of great thinkers as well as the extensive body of leadership literature to examine the critical role ethics plays in leadership. The course, conducted in seminar format, is a process course. It is only through thoughtful reading, reflections, writing, and discussion that students are able to recognize and shape the qualities they see valuable for their own leadership roles, both personally and professionally.
OL-676: Women in Leadership
This course is designed to create a supportive environment where both women and men can learn about challenges and opportunities facing women in the workplace. Historically, women have had less access to leadership positions; however, over the past fifty years they have made tremendous strides to succeed in all levels of organizations. Topics will include why women matter and reasons for inequities in the workforce, the historical context of women and leadership, do men and women lead differently, work/life/family balance issues, professional skill development (networking, mentoring, negotiation, risk-taking), entrepreneurship and executive leadership, advancing societies by advancing women and strategies and tactics for women to act as change agents.
SPT-510: Sport and Society
Students investigate the interrelationships between sport, culture and society in an attempt to better understand the role and function of sport in contemporary society. Students receive a broad overview of selected socio-cultural factors that influence participation in sports. Major ethical issues of sport in society will be explored.
WCM-510: Negotiation/Advocacy in the Workplace
This course introduces the processes and practice of negotiating and advocating effectively in settings where continuation and strengthening of the relationship matter. Course content will include the uses, strengths, and weaknesses of distributive and integrative bargaining; the sources and uses of power in negotiation; and gender and cultural influences on negotiation style and practice.
WCM-610: Introduction to Organizational Conflict Management
This survey course introduces the analysis, interpretation, and management of conflict in contemporary organizational settings. Using interdisciplinary lenses, the course explores systemic, interpersonal, and other causes of conflict; conflict's influence on workplace communication and decision-making; and the relationship between conflict, leadership, and career advancement.
WCM-620: Managing Difficult Conversations at Work
The art and practice of dialogue building is the act of engaging conflict effectively and transforming difficult conversations into better decisions, healthier work relationships, and stronger organizations. This course examines approaches for de-escalating conflict conversations, choosing if and when to intervene, tapping the creative potential in conflict, and creating workplace environments that foster constructive conflict engagement.

PSY ELE - Students may select any 500 or 600-level Psychology elective

Foundation Courses

For those who do not meet the minimum requirements, the following courses may be required:

SCS-501: Foundations in Statistics
The focus of this course is to enable students to develop a foundation of basic statistical literacy. Students will be able to assess the role of statistics in quantitative research and mixed methodologies, as well as develop the competency to perform basic statistical calculations. An awareness of the relationship between computation and interpretation will be addressed. Students will focus on the analysis of real-world data and research situations to illustrate the process of interpreting the meaning underlying the data, and how statistics can be utilized to address important questions.
SCS-502: Foundations in Research Methods
In this course, students will examine applied aspects of research methods and experimental design at the graduate level, which includes qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods that are commonly utilized in social science research. Students will investigate procedures used to gather and analyze data and acquire real-world skills required to design and conduct research in future courses.
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