M. S. in Psychological Science

The Master of Science in Psychological Science program emphasizes the development of psychological knowledge and research skills. It combines a two-semester statistics series with a sequence of required courses across four main areas (Learning and Motivation, Developmental and Social, Personality and Abnormal, and Cognitive Psychology). Students may choose courses relevant to your interests, and depending on your second year track, a master's thesis, applied field experience, or a comprehensive examination. A total of 30 credits of graduate work are required for the master of science degree.

It should be clearly understood that the M.S. in Psychological Science does not provide training or accreditation for those interested in employment in the areas of Clinical, Counseling or Neuroscience. If Clinical or Counseling Psychology is your area of interest, please see the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel at Shippensburg University.

Students must apply for acceptance into one of three tracks by the beginning of their second year.


Research Track

The first track, Research Track, is appropriate for those students seeking degrees beyond the Masters 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' potential for acceptance into doctoral level programs and is required for the degree.

Applied Track

The second track, Applied Track, is appropriate for graduate students who are trying to secure employment in industry, government, or non-profits. Students have opportunities to take courses with more applied emphases (e.g., Human Factors and Cognitive Science) and have two semesters of real-world experience (Field Experience I and II) in industry settings. Successful completions of Field Experience I and II are required for the degree.

General/Reading Track

The third track, 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 competency exam is required for the degree.

Ten courses (30 credits) are the minimum required for graduation. By taking nine credits each semester, one can complete the program in two years. You may take longer if you wish. By taking summer courses, it may be possible to complete the requirements in less time, but the department cannot guarantee that relevant courses for your particular goals will be offered during the summer sessions. Students who complete the thesis option have been successful gaining entry into doctoral programs in Behavioral, Cognitive, Developmental, Experimental, and Social Psychology.

Recent Graduates

  • Lori Barnes - Ph.D Western Michigan University
  • Erin Bailey - Institutional Researcher at Holy Family University
  • Brandon Balotti - Data Manager at The Pennsylvania State University
  • August Capiola - Ph.D. student at Wright State University
  • Denise Cothren - Project Manager at Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • James Evans - Ph.D. student at SUNY Binghamton
  • Michael Hamel - Ph.D. student at Southern Illinois University
  • Rachel Hamel - Ph.D. student at Southern Illinois University
  • Brittany Harmon - Ph.D. student at SUNY Stony Brook
  • Sophia Hou - Employment Specialist at Keystone Human Services
  • Stephanie Kazanas - Ph.D. student at SUNY Albany
  • Kara Kessel - Program Director at New Story Behavioral Health
  • Jill Kessler - Epidemiology Researcher at Johns Hopkins University
  • Dan Klanica - Licensed Behavior Specialist at Wesley Spectrum Services
  • Andrew Miller (BCBA) - Behavior Analyst at Verbal Beginnings
  • Kara (Pogue) Kessel (BCBA, LBS) Program Director at Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services
  • Ross Rogers - Ph.D. student at Ohio University
  • Chris Sheipe - Data Manager at Ahold Corporation
  • Alexandra Toms - Adjunct Professor at Shippensburg University and Wilson College
  • Samantha Troy - Adjunct Professor at Shippensburg University and the Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Denise Yarwood - Associate Dean at Shippensburg University
  • Brandon Yorty (BCBA) - Behavioral Consultant at The Vista School and Adjunct Professor at Shippensburg University

Resources for Prospective Students

Resources for Current Students

Thesis Information

Applied Track Information

Additional Resources