Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology

  • General/theoretical and clinical tracks
  • State-of-the-art facilities for clinical training
  • Hands-on experience and research opportunties 

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Marywood's master's degree in psychology provides students with an in-depth view of the scientific foundations and professional applications of the discipline. The curriculum serves the needs of students who wish to apply psychological principles and techniques in varied professional settings. The master's level program is also appropriate preparation for those who wish to pursue further study at the doctoral level in a more specialized area.

Two tracks are available. The general/theoretical track is intended for those students who wish to develop a broad-based understanding of psychology for varied purposes (not necessarily involving clinical applications). The clinical track is designed for students who wish to work in a mental health agency or other human services setting where they will provide a range of consultative, assessment, and therapeutic functions.

More About This Degree

Francis J. DeMatteo, Ed.D., NCSP
Associate Professor
Coordinator, School Psychology Program

Bradley Janey
Psychology & Counseling Department Chair

Faculty research interests include: adult survivors of abuse, aggression, auditory perception, brain trauma, child and adolescent disruptive behavioral disorders, cognitive and behavioral therapies, cognitive assessment, conflict resolution and mediation, cross-cultural variations in masculinity, dementia, effects of technological innovation in higher education, ethics and clinical practice, friendship relations, gender differences, health promotion in schools, improvement in student reading, instructional effectiveness, media violence, medical aspects of sexual dysfunction, multimedia effects on learning, music cognition, neuropsychology, organization of auditory events, outcomes assessment, pastoral counseling, personality assessment practicum and supervision, psychology and marketing, psychology and religion, psychotherapist burnout, self-esteem assessment and change, social-cognitive development, state dependent learning, stress and coping, training practices in school psychology, web sites in mental health, word recognition.

The McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies includes a broad range of teaching, clinical and research equipment in support of its graduate training mission. The facility includes multimedia classrooms, a shared research laboratory, a stress and coping laboratory, a neuropsychology laboratory, and a curriculum library that includes books and journals related to psychology.

In addition to these features, the McGowan Center also houses the Psychological Services Center, an outpatient mental health clinic that serves the local community and is an important training ground for psychology and counseling students.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • “B” average during undergraduate study or demonstrated potential for graduate work
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official, sealed transcripts
  • Two or three letters of recommendation

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A. General/Theoretical Concentration (48 credits)

This concentration is intended for those students who wish to develop a broad-based understanding of psychology for varied purposes (not necessarily involving clinical applications). Students complete 21 credits in the core courses as detailed below and select an appropriate set of elective courses from available department offerings with the approval of an advisor. The Closure Experience requirement for this concentration may involve either Psychology 554/556.


21 semester hours

PSYC 503 Research Methods and Statistics I
PSYC 504 Research Methods and Statistics II
PSYC 508 Biological Bases of Behavior
PSYC 514 Human Development
PSYC 518 Advanced Human Development
PSYC 517 Personality Psychology
PSYC 521 Social Psychology
PSYC 522 Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behavior
PSYC 523 Contemporary Learning Theories

B. Clinical Services Concentration 

(48 credits)

This concentration is intended for those who wish to function in a mental health agency or other human services setting where the psychologist provides a range of consultative, assessment, and therapeutic functions. In consultation with the advisor, selection of electives in this concentration may focus on specific client populations and areas of expertise. A course of studies can be designed that emphasizes work with children and adolescents and/or work with adults. Students considering admission into the Psy.D. program at the post-master's level should apply for admission into the Clinical Services program. Choice of electives and their sequencing should be discussed with the advisor and/or chairperson.


II. Assessment and Diagnostic Methods (9 credits minimum)

PSYC 531 Psychopathology (required)
PSYC 532 Child Psychopathology (required)
PSYC 561 Introduction to Psychological Testing (required) 3
PSYC 562 Cognitive Assessment (elective)
PSYC 580 Assessment of Adult Personality and Psychopathology (required)
PSYC 581 Socio-emotional Assessment of Children and Adolescents (required)

III. Intervention Methods (9 credits minimum)

* PSYC 571 Individual Psychotherapy (required)
* PSY 577 Practicum (required)
* COUN 518 Applied Practice I (elective)2
COUN 584 Marital Counseling and Therapy (elective)
PSYC 572 Group Psychotherapy (elective)
PSYC 573 Therapy with Children (elective)
PSYC 574 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (elective)

* “B” grade required for this course. 

IV. Electives (3-9 credits)

Selection of elective courses in the department is in consultation with the advisor.

V. Closure Experience (0-6 credits)

Students, in consultation with their advisor and the department chairperson, may select one of the three alternatives listed below to meet the Closure Experience requirements of this concentration. Two of these (PSY 556, 578) are credit-bearing courses which reduce the number of elective credits from nine to six (see above).

PSYC 554 Master’s Thesis Preparation 0-3
PSYC 555 Professional Contribution
PSYC 556 Master’s Thesis
PSYC 578 Internship (variable credit, 3 credit minimum)

Students should note that the internship option requires permission of the advisor and the department chairperson. Further details regarding these alternatives are available in the Student Handbook.

Students are encouraged to complete core courses early in their program of study.

The program stresses development of competencies. Alternate courses may be approved for those who can demonstrate competency in a required area. Test-out procedures should be discussed with the advisor or department chairperson for those who seek course waivers of required courses. The student should understand that program adjustments will not diminish the number of credits required for a degree; they will, however, allow the student to take more advanced specialty courses as part of the program of study.

Psychology students are encouraged to take their comprehensive examinations upon completion of the seven required courses. Further details regarding the comprehensive exam are available in the Student Handbook.