Psychological Science

Why Study Psychological Science

The applied psychology graduate program allows you to choose your concentration based on your individual interests and career goals. This program does not provide training or accreditation for those interested in employment in counseling or clinical psychology upon completion of the master’s degree. If you are interested in Clinical Psychology you should refer to our Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel.

Why Study Psychological Science at Ship

The graduate program in applied psychology offers a diversity of courses, flexibility of program formulation, and strong advisement support. A large number of classes are discussion classes or seminars that encourage debate, while others emphasize the development and implementation of analytical and expository skills. Our master's program focuses on providing you with a wide range of skills.

Cluster 1 and Cluster 2 courses are offered in the fall semester and Cluster 3 and Cluster 4 courses are offered in the spring semester. You can customize your program by choosing courses and emphasizing areas that best support your goals.

The Master of Science in Psychological Science at Shippensburg University offers three tracks:

Research Track:If you are seeking degrees beyond the master’s level, this concentration allows you to specialize in a sub-area of psychology through elective courses and completion of a thesis (Thesis I and II). The thesis requirement will increase your chances of acceptance into doctoral programs and is required for the degree.

Our recent graduates have been accepted into doctoral programs at:

  • Hofstra University
  • Ohio University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • SUNY – Albany
  • SUNY Binghamton
  • SUNY Stony Brook
  • University of Florida
  • Western Michigan University

Applied Track: If you are trying to secure employment in industry, government, or non-profit upon graduating with the master’s degree, you’ll have opportunities to take courses with more applied emphases (e.g., Human Factors, Cognitive Science, Statistics). You are required to successfully complete two semesters of Field Experience (Field Experience I and II) in industry settings. To date, 100 percent of all Applied Track students have secured employment aligned with their studies.

General/Reading Track: If you are seeking credentials or advancement in your current place of employment, you will take basic required scientific courses, fulfill cluster requirements, and take additional course work to broaden your scope. Your competence will be demonstrated by passing a comprehensive exam. Passing this exam is required for the degree.

All students accepted into our psychological science master's program begin their studies in the General Track. At the end of the first year, you may move into the Research Track by finding a faculty member willing to support your thesis work. You may apply to the Applied Track at the end of the first year, as well. The selection process for the Applied Track is competitive and space is limited. If you are not accepted into the Applied or Research Tracks at the end of your first year, you will complete the General Track program.

Faculty advisors will work closely with you to help determine the best choices for your individual educational objectives. Every member of the psychology faculty holds an earned doctorate. Faculty can help you determine the most effective timeline for completing your degree.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

An MS in Psychological Science from Shippensburg University can open a variety of career paths or lead you to further study in doctoral programs. Your degree will allow you to enter or advance your current position in the following fields:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Performance psychology
  • Public safety

The average salary for psychological science jobs in PA is $57,000.

Program Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Psychological Science, you must:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA for your undergraduate studies. The average GPA of students admitted to this program is significantly higher than the minimum.
  • Have completed at least 9 semester hours of undergraduate work in psychology.
  • Have completed an undergraduate statistics course (a statistics course offered by a Psychology department may count towards the 9 semester hour minimum).
  • Apply to Graduate School - Graduate Admissions Application
  • Complete the Goal Statement Form[PDF] - [Word Doc]. This completed form should be returned via email as a PDF or Word Document to

The graduate program in psychological science emphasizes the development of psychological knowledge and research skills. It combines a sequence of required courses in psychology, selected courses in psychology relevant to your interest area, and depending on the track, a thesis, field research, or a comprehensive examination. See the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of courses and requirements.

A full-time credit load is 9 credits each semester. Taking more than 9 credits per semester is strongly discouraged. The ideal entrance for completion within two years is fall semester.

NOTE: You can only begin this program during the Fall Term each academic year.

Research Opportunities

The psychology laboratories are housed in Franklin Science Center. The facilities include a computer room for statistical analysis, observation rooms, individual laboratory testing rooms, and animal colony facilities. Other equipment includes video recording facilities, operant conditioning chambers, and psychophysiological research equipment. The Ezra Lehman Memorial Library has a carefully selected collection of psychology books, journals, and periodicals.

Contact Information

Franklin Science Center 114, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1657
Department Website