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Academic Master Plan

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College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of Psychology

Franklin Science Center 114
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1657
Department Web Site

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Contact Information

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions Office
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
Phone: 717-477-1213
Fax: 717-477-4016

Graduate Dean's Office

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA  17257
Phone: 717-477-1148


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Master of Science in Psychological Science

The Psychological Science Program

Shippensburg University provides an applied psychology graduate program at our Central PA campus. Graduate psychology students have a variety of interests and potential career paths. Our applied psychology master's program lets students choose their concentration based on their individual career goals.

The Master of Science in Psychological Science offers three tracks:

Research Track Allows students seeking degrees beyond the master’s level to specialize in a sub-area of psychology via elective selection and completion of a thesis (Thesis I and II). The thesis requirement will increase students’ potentials for acceptance into doctoral level programs and is required for the degree. 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: Students who are trying to secure employment in industry, government, or non-profit upon graduating with the master’s degree have opportunities to take courses with more applied emphases (e.g., Human Factors, Cognitive Science, Statistics). Students 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: Students seeking credentials or advancement in their current place of employment will take basic required scientific courses, fulfill cluster requirements, and take additional coursework to broaden their scope. Their competence will be demonstrated by passing a comprehensive exam. Passing the comprehensive exam is required for the degree.

This program does not provide training or accreditation for those interested in employment in counseling or clinical psychology upon completion of a master’s degree. If you are interested in Clinical psychology you should refer to our Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel.

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

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.

Psychological Science Master's Degree Requirements

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.

Psychological Science Special Resources

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 taping facilities, operant conditioning chambers, and psychophysiological research equipment. The Ezra Lehman Memorial Library has a carefully selected collection of psychology books, journals, and periodicals.

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 graduate students 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. Students can customize their program by choosing the courses and emphasizing areas that best support their goals.

Psychological Science Admission 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).
  • Submit the following

Psychological Science Faculty

Faculty advisors work closely with students to help them determine the best choices for their individual educational objectives. Every member of the psychology faculty holds an earned doctorate. Faculty can help students determine the timeline for completing their PA applied psychology master's degree.