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Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1657
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Psychological Science - Master of Science

Psych Sara 
Program  Research Track 
Applied Track    Reading Track 
Degree Requirements  Special Resources 
Admissions Requirements  Faculty 

The Program

The Master of Science in Psychological Science offers a Research, Applied, or General/Reading track.

The Research Track is appropriate for those seeking degrees beyond the master’s level. This track allows students to specialize in a subarea 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. Some recent students have been accepted into doctoral programs at Hofstra University, Ohio University, Southern Illinois University, SUNY - Albany, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Stony Brook, University of Florida, and Western Michigan University.

The Applied Track is appropriate for graduates who are trying to secure employment in industry, government, or non-profit upon graduate with the master’s degree. Students 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.  

The General/Reading Track is designed to meet the needs of those seeking credentials or advancement in their current place of employment. Students 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.

It should be clearly understood that 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 intersetd in Clinical psychology you should refer to our Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel.

When a student is accepted into the program, they are initially accepted into 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. There is a formal application process into 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 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; more than 9 credits per semester is strongly discouraged. The ideal entrance for completion within two years is fall semester.

​Please note students are admitted once a year to start in the fall semester only.

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.


REQUIRED (6 credits)

  • PSY500 Advanced Research Design & Statistics I
  • PSY501 Advanced Research Design & Statistics II

CORE COURSES (12 credits)
(Choose 1 from each of the following 4 cluster areas)

CLUSTER 1: Learning and Motivation:  

  • PSY512 Theories of Learning
  • PSY516 Motivation
  • PSY536 Behavioral Research and Ethics
  • PSY540 History of Psychology

CLUSTER 2: Developmental and Social:  

  • PSY519 Life Span Psychology
  • PSY527 Studies in the Psychology of Adolescence
  • PSY529 Psychology of Successful Aging
  • PSY533 Advanced Social Psychology
  • PSY590 Introduction to Group Dynamics

CLUSTER 3: Personality and Abnormal:  

  • PSY515 Theories of Personality
  • PSY518 Introduction to Behavior Analysis
  • PSY530 Studies in the Psychology of the Exceptional Child
  • PSY534 Survey of Research in Abnormal Behavior
  • PSY535 Behavioral Assessment
  • PSY543 Behavioral Treatment and Systems Support

CLUSTER 4: Cognitive:  

  • PSY531 Advanced Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY565 Human Factors
  • PSY570 Seminar in Cognitive Science

ELECTIVES (3 - 12 credits)
PSY594, PSY595, PSY596 Selected Topics
Additional Cluster Courses (up to 4)

Declare Track (before 3rd semester)

Research Track (9 credits)
Area Elective
PSY612 Thesis I
PSY613 Thesis II

Applied Track (9 credits)
Applied Elective
PSY621 Field Experience I
PSY622 Field Experience II

General/Reading Track (9 credits)
9 credits of electives
Comprehensive Exam 

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 program 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.

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.

Faculty advisors will gladly work with students, helping them determine the best choices for their individual objectives. 

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 grade point average for your undergraduate studies.
  • 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 a completed application, including the Supplemental Form and a personal goals statement. Please download the form as a PDF or Word Document and return it as an email attachment to  


Every member of the psychology graduate faculty holds an earned doctorate.

Lea T. Adams, Ph.D., Chair, Vanderbilt University; cognitive sciences and statistics.

Angela M. Bartoli, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University; memory and learning (cognition), measurement and evaluation, and social psychology.

Corinne C. Bertram, Ph.D., City University of New York; social/personality psychology, and women’s studies concentration.

Jamonn Campbell, Ph.D., Miami University; social psychology and psychology of computer use.

James D. Griffith, Ph.D., Texas Christian University; applied experimental, legal, industrial/organizational, and statistics.

Steven J. Haase, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; experimental psychology, perception, memory, and cognition.

Robert L. Hale, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma; psychopharmacology, psychophysiology, and behavioral neuroscience.

Scott F. Madey, Ph.D., Cornell University; social psychology and health psychology.

Suzanne M. Morin, Ph.D., University of Connecticut; educational psychology, human development, and cognition.

Virginia “Jenny” Pitts, Ph.D., Colorado State University; industrial/organizational personality psychology.

Kathryn Potoczak, Ph.D., Western Michigan University; conditioning and learning, and behavioral analysis.

Toru Sato, Ph.D., York University, Canada; personality psychology and social psychology.

Ashley C. Seibert, Ph.D., Kent State University; experimental and developmental psychology.

Adrian Tomer, Ph.D., University of Florida; developmental psychology (aging) and multivariate analysis.

Kim Weikel, Ph.D., Kent State University; clinical psychology.