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M.S. in Applied Psychology

The Department of Psychology offers a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology (MAP). The program emphasizes the application of psychological principles and methodologies to real world problems. The program was designed to provide coursework aimed at three primary purposes for students:  1) career advancement, 2) training to enter a new career/profession, and/or 3) preparation for doctoral study. The coursework offers a balance of theory, application, and methodological skill sets used in the workplace. The program is delivered 100% online in an accelerated format so that it can be completed in one year (12 months) of full-time study or two years of part-time study.  In consideration of students’ busy and varying schedules, we have rolling admissions so you can begin and complete the program in any term. A total of 10 courses (30 credits) of graduate work is required for the MAP degree. 

Get started on your graduate application.

For questions contact:

Dr. Thomas Hatvany
Graduate Program Coordinator
FSC 111



Who Will Benefit from an M.S. in Applied Psychology?

Recent college graduates may benefit from an online M.S. in Applied Psychology (MAP) as a way of developing more specialized knowledge and skills in psychology. For postgraduates interested in helping individuals with learning or social impairments (e.g. autism), our Behavior Specialist Certificate can be a first step towards becoming a Licensed Behavior Specialist (BSL). Many of our former students are making their mark in the Applied Behavior Analysis field.

Similarly, for those working in social and direct services positions like “Therapeutic Support Specialists,” the MAP degree and/or Behavior Specialist Certificate may open new career paths or present advancement opportunities for one’s current position.

Secondary school educators who teach psychology or similar social science courses will be able to expand their career and educational opportunities by obtaining an M.S. degree in Applied Psychology. Teachers will not only benefit from acquiring topical and cutting-edge knowledge in psychology but will also expand their teaching and educational career opportunities by earning a MAP degree.

Federal, state, and county-level employees who are interested in career advancement and expanding their knowledgebase may benefit from a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology. We offer several courses and topics that focus on psychological issues in the workplace like program evaluation, Six Sigma techniques, group dynamics, and human factors.

Individuals who work for non-profit organizations may similarly be interested in advancing their career opportunities by focusing on these workplace areas and other courses related to community psychology and survey research.

Resources for Prospective Students

Prospective students must have: 1) completed at least three semester hours of undergraduate work in psychology, 2) completed an undergraduate statistics course, and 3) submitted a graduate application containing the Goal Statement Form listing their personal and professional goals.

Majors from any field are welcomed to apply as long as the admission requirements are met. In the recent past, students with undergraduate degrees in the following fields have been admitted to our program:  biology, business, communications, criminal justice, education, exercise science, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

The curriculum combines a sequence of required courses in research methodology, psychology courses with an applied emphasis across a variety of content areas, electives, and a Capstone course.  We routinely examine market forces, trends, and patterns to gauge the relevance of our curriculum offerings and delivery to best position our students for success. And, we have consistently adapted to the changing times to better prepare students for an ever evolving work environment. 

The course requirements include three methodology courses, four core courses (one course from each core), two electives, and the Capstone course.  All courses are 8-weeks in duration except for the Capstone course which is 10-weeks. The Capstone course is taken during the last semester and is a culmination of the coursework and experiences in the program.  Students can begin and end the program during any semester. All students are assigned an academic advisor upon enrollment in the program.

Behavior Specialist Certificate

 The Psychology graduate program also offers a Behavior Specialist Certificate (BSC) which fulfills some of the requirements for a Behavior Specialist License (BSL) in Pennsylvania. This can be taken as part of the MAP degree requirements, with no additional courses necessary (i.e. you can still complete the MAP in 30 credits), or as a post-graduate certificate for those that already have a graduate degree. The certificate requires the completion of three courses:

  • PSY 518 Behavior Analysis
  • PSY 539 Community Psychology
  • PSY 543 Behavioral Treatment and Systems Support

In summary, the requirements for a BSL in Pennsylvania are: 

  • A Master’s (or higher) degree or a Post Master’s Certificate in certain specified fields
  • 90 hours of evidence-based coursework in eight specified content areas
  • 1,000 hours of in-person clinical experience
  • One year of experience involving Functional Behavior Assessments

The department provides a master’s degree and the evidence-based coursework. The student is responsible for gaining the necessary 1,000 hours of clinical experience and 1-year experience involving functional behavior assessment. 

The MAP program does not provide specific training or accreditation for those interested in employment in the areas of Clinical or Counseling Psychology. If Clinical or Counseling Psychology is your area of interest, please see the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel at Shippensburg University. If Clinical Social Work is your area of interest, please see the Social Work Master's Program at Shippensburg University.

Alumni and Workforce Analysis

The Psychology graduate program at Shippensburg University has existed for over 35 years and we have some distinguished alumni that make us very proud.  Our primary objective is and will always be the success of our students.  Graduates have continued or began careers in business, government, health and human service, and education settings.  The following provides 2 lists; one is a list of some of the job titles of our recent graduates and the second includes doctoral programs that have accepted our recent graduates. 

Job titles

Doctoral programs 

Analysis Manager

Miami University

Associate Consultant

Southern Illinois University

Associate Director-Institutional Research and Assessment

SUNY - Albany

Behavior Consultant

SUNY – Binghamton

Behavior Services Trainer

SUNY- Stony Brook

Behavior Specialist

University of Massachusetts at Lowell

Business Analyst

University of North Dakota

Category Analyst

Utah State University

Clinical Director of Behavioral Services

Virginia Tech University

Data Analyst

West Virginia University

Data Scientist

Western Michigan University

Event Manager

Wright State University

Health Program Manager


Market Researcher


Mobile Therapist


Operations Research Analyst


Program Evaluator


Project Manager


Publications Manager


Quality Assurance Specialist


Quality Control Analyst


Sales Manager


Senior Consultant


Survey Researcher





The types of jobs our graduates have secured are in demand and projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the growth rates for most of these fields are far above average and are projected to continue to thrive during the next 10 years. A recent workforce analysis (June, 2019) was conducted which predicts strong demand for graduates of our program. Specifically, the number of job postings that identified occupations appropriate for students with a master’s degree from a program like ours was 20% greater than the national average.  The same analysis also indicated that the median salary for these positions was $72,000/year.  The vast majority of our alumni indicated that an emphasis on applied aspects of psychology and specific methodology courses provides a competitive edge in the marketplace.  Thus, our curriculum is structured on the comments made by successful alumni, consistent skills identified in job postings, industry trends, and faculty expertise. 

Contact the Department of Psychology Franklin Science Center 114 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1657