The fundamental principle underlying the graduate program in psychological sciences at NAU is that all inquiry in psychology is structured by the scientific method. This inquiry is accomplished by proposing and testing theoretical explanations about human behavioral, biological and mental processes. Scientific rigor is essential to evaluate, disseminate, create and apply evidence in psychology. Students in our program take courses that are best suited for their professional goals such as preparation for doctoral programs, employment in health-related fields (including behavior analysis), teaching psychology, or other areas of employment that require research, methodology, and statistical skills. Students may also be able to combine the MA in Psychological Sciences with other certificate or degree programs. We train students to be scientific professionals, to be ethically responsible, to be committed to serving others, and to respect human diversity.
The NAU Department of Psychological Sciences has many faculty members with teaching and research expertise in the following areas: behavioral health, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, learning psychology, neuroscience, and social psychology. Our Master of Arts in Psychology program provides training in core statistics and research methodology, as well as in many other content domains central to psychological science. One of the primary and substantive responsibilities of graduate students in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University is the development, completion, and public defense of a master’s thesis or Culminating Experience Project. We have an international exchange program for students with the University of Groningen, Netherlands. We also offer advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue a master's degree (our 3+2 accelerated program).
The objective of our graduate program is to provide coursework and applied opportunities that meet the educational goals of the individual student. The MA degree can be obtained with both thesis and non-thesis options. Regardless of a student's primary educational goals, our graduate program is designed to strengthen quantitative skills and provide students with research experience that will increase one's competitiveness when applying to Ph.D. programs in psychology and/or positions where these skills are required.
To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)
You must additionally complete:
In addition to University Requirements:
|Minimum Units for Completion||36|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.|
|Emphasis, Minor, Certificate||
Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.
|Thesis||Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Oral Defense||Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Research||Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
The MA program in the Department of Psychological sciences provides graduate students with advanced disciplinary training which equips students for entry into doctoral training programs, employment in a burgeoning behavioral health field, and positions that require sophisticated training in methodological procedures and quantitative reasoning. From completion of core courses, all program students demonstrate proficient competencies in methodological design and intermediate-level statistical application; these skills are subsequently woven into 1) students' faculty-supervised research (including research dedicated to the completion of a thesis as well as additional non-thesis research), 2) opportunities for supervised applied experiences, such as program evaluation, field work/internship placements through local behavioral and mental health organizations, and 3) professional development experiences, such as teaching or statistical consultation, that benefit students in both employment and doctoral training programs.
Students who enter the program find a solid and expansive curriculum which is designed to be completed in two academic years. Foundational courses, such as those in research design and statistics, include closely-supervised theoretical and laboratory-based opportunities. Students are mentored in how to present and discuss research proposals and disciplinary-focused content relevant to coursework and their own research or applied interests. Students have a choice to complete either a thesis (under the direction and mentorship of a faculty member) or a nonthesis applied project, such as working with a faculty member and director of a local agency to complete a needs assessment or program evaluation. The majority of students who enter the program report an interest to doctoral psychology programs. Doctoral-bound students complete a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member and often collaborate with a second faculty member for additional research experience. Depending on students' interests, research skills and content mastery can be developed in disciplinary arenas that are individually focused (e.g., cognitive, perceptual, physiological), based on ecological models of self and other (e.g., social-connectedness, mental health and wellness), or targeted toward population-based behavioral health (e.g., social epidemiological approaches).
Student Learning Outcomes
The Department of Psychological Sciences offers Master’s level graduate training in evidence-based science and application with the following opportunities:
Individual program admission requirements include:
Take 36 units from the following:
Statistics and Research Methods (9 units):
Area courses (minimum 15-21 units):
Select additional courses from the following:
Please note that many of our graduate courses have prerequisites and must follow a specified sequence.
Please be aware that if you earn more than 6 units with a grade of "C" or lower, you will automatically be terminated from the program.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan. Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree. Departments may allow students to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by approving up to 12 units applicable toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year. Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.