Psychology, M.A.

Degree:Master of Arts (M.A.)
Specializations:Applied Experimental Psychology
Counseling Psychology - Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Building 41, Room 250
College:Usha Kundu, MD College of Health
CIP Code:42.0101
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 36-60

The M.A. in Psychology provides students with the study of human behavior. Graduate training in Psychology entails in-depth exploration and understanding of the core foundations of the biological bases of behavior, the social bases of behavior, the acquired bases of behavior, and the individual bases of behavior. As a scientific discipline, the study of psychology also requires competence in research methodology, statistics, and critical thinking. Psychology is an applied discipline, with applications in clinical health and mental health settings, business settings, and educational settings. Students completing a master’s degree in Psychology will be prepared to pursue a wide range of careers at the master’s level or to pursue advanced training at the doctoral level. There are several areas of concentration in the master’s program: Applied Experimental, Counseling-Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Industrial-Organizational. Students seeking to complete the M.A. degree in Psychology must meet the general University requirements, the Department of Psychology graduate core requirements, and the specialized requirements of the student’s chosen area of concentration. 

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission for summer and fall semesters are due on the preceding February 1st. This application is for the Department of Psychology only, and supersedes all other published deadlines. Files completed after the published deadline may not be reviewed in time to enroll in the desired semester.

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the school bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the following criteria are used to assess the potential success of each applicant:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal and Quantitative score
  • Undergraduate institutional GPA
  • Psychology undergraduate GPA
  • Grades received in undergraduate major coursework
  • Submission of letter of intent
  • Submission of three letters of reference
  • Program prerequisites
  • Field experience or skill sets
  • Oral Interview, if applying to the Counseling specialization

Applicants can assume that their files are incomplete until they receive a notice from the Department of Psychology indicating that files are complete.

The following are the minimum admission requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in psychology (preferably) or a bachelor’s degree with the completion of at least general/introductory psychology, psychology research methods sequence, three semester hours of statistics, and a psychology course in the area of intended master’s emphasis. Any of these requirements may be waived if the student demonstrates competence in the area. Although a student may be admitted with deficiencies, the requirements must be fulfilled before the student is admitted to any 6000-level course. In addition, certain graduate courses have specific undergraduate prerequisites.
  • If admitted, students who do not have an undergraduate degree in Psychology must have the specified prerequisites for all graduate courses. For example, these students need to complete EXP 4404 Psychology of Learning, or its equivalent, before taking EAB 5705 Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
  • If admitted, students who have an undergraduate degree in Psychology are considered to have met the prerequisites for courses in the graduate core.

Non-Degree Students

The department may be petitioned to apply up to 12 sh earned at UWF as a non-degree student toward the M.A. degree, if the student is later admitted into the graduate program. See the Non-Degree Seeking Status policy.

Degree Requirements

In addition to general University requirements, students seeking the M.A. in Psychology must meet the requirements listed below.

Graduate students should develop their degree plans with their advisors during the first semester of graduate work. All students must complete University requirements and a planned degree program (36 sh for Applied Experimental Psychology Specialization, 42 sh for Industrial-Organizational Psychology Specialization, 60 sh for the Counseling-Licensed Mental Health Counselor Specialization) with at least a 3.0 GPA and with these stipulations:

  • Only with approval of the advisor and department chairperson may courses outside the Psychology Department (except required courses) be taken toward the total sh requirement.
  • All students must complete PSY 6217 Research Design in Psychology;  EXP 5735 Experimental and Correlational Statistics for Psychology or an advisor approved elective and at least one course from each of the four core areas.

All graduate students must receive a B- or higher in all graduate coursework.  If a student receives a C+ or lower in a psychology graduate course, they must repeat the course or an equivalent approved by the Department Chair.

With the advisor’s approval, a student may apply a maximum of 6 sh of graduate work taken at another University toward the degree. With the approval of the department chairperson, a maximum of 10 sh of transfer credit may be accepted toward the degree.

All master’s work must have been taken within six years preceding completion of the degree requirements or the student will be required to retake any expired coursework.

Graduate students cannot withdraw from more than 2 classes.  If withdrawing from 2 classes, those 2 classes cannot meet the same program requirement.  Exceptions may be made for medical or other extenuating circumstances with the approval of the Program Coordinator and Department Chair.

In order to switch tracks, students must meet with the program coordinator of both tracks.  Students must also submit a new letter of intent describing their career goals and how the track will help them in their pursuit of these goals.  Students will be re-evaluated for the new track based on their current class performance and new letter of intent.  Students who receive approval to switch tracks must meet with an advisor from the new track to review degree requirements.  Students may apply for a track change only once.

Psychology Graduate Core (18 sh)

Students must complete one course in each area as identified by their specialization.

Biological Bases of Behavior Core-choose one of the following:3
Advanced Sensation and Perception
Human Factors Psychology (I/O only)
Cognitive Neuroscience
Social Bases of Behavior Core-Choose one of the following:3
Multicultural Counseling (LMHC only)
Advanced Social Psychology
Advanced Organizational Psychology (I/O Only)
Acquired Bases of Behavior Core-Choose one of the following:3
Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Advanced Cognitive Psychology
Training and Development (I/O Only)
Individual Bases of Behavior Core-Choose one of the following:3
Developmental Psychology
Personnel Selection and Appraisal (I/O Only)
Theories of Individual Counseling (LMHC Only)
All students must complete:3
Research Design in Psychology
And either:3
Experimental and Correlational Statistics for Psychology (or)
advisor approved elective
Total Hours18

Toward the end of graduate work, the student must have an integrative experience consisting of 6 sh of one of the following courses:

PSY 6917Supervised Research1-6
PSY 6948Internship *1-6
PSY 6971Thesis1-6
PSY 6953Research Capstone 13
PSY 6954Research Capstone II3

A maximum of 6 sh of supervised research, thesis, or internship credit may be counted toward the total sh degree requirement.

Consistent with the University's Continuous Enrollment Policy for Thesis Students, students registered for thesis, supervised research (TeRP) or internship must be continuously enrolled at UWF (not including summer) after they have registered for their first capstone credit hour.  A student may satisfy the intent of continuous registration by registering for thesis credits, supervised research, internship, or graduate coursework.  Students who fail to do so will receive a warning letter from the Department of Psychology Chair suggesting that they may be removed from the program or required to start their Capstone project over.

Once a student has registered for six hours of thesis, supervised research (TeRP), or internship, that student must show continued satisfactory progress.  After the first semester (following the completion of six hours) students are enrolled, any students who fail to make satisfactory progress will receive a warning from their advisor stating that they must show satisfactory progress in the next semester or potentially be removed from the program.  These students must also meet with their committee to discuss how they plan to complete the project if allowed to remain in the program.  Following a second semester in which students fail to make progress, a letter will be sent to those students by the Department of Psychology Chair.  This letter will detail the milestones that MUST be met by the end of that semester.  If the student fails to meet the milestones (as judged by the student's committee) after the third semester, then those students will receive the grade of "U" and will not be permitted to continue in the program.  Students may petition for a waiver under extraordinary circumstances such as health issues or other life crisis.

Students doing an internship are required to submit a portfolio and/or paper, depending on the specialization, as described in the Psychology Graduate Student Handbook. Upon completion of the thesis or internship, the student must present an oral defense to a master’s committee of at least two psychology faculty members.

The Supervised Research integrative experience is the Terminal Research Project (TeRP). This can be accomplished by students completing 6 sh of PSY 6917 Supervised Research. This option allows students to design and complete an independent empirical study under the supervision of a two member faculty supervisory committee with the committee head being a tenure track faculty member from the Department of Psychology. The terminal experience for students who choose this option will consist of three elements:

  • Completing an empirical study and having an initial defense before the TeRP committee
  • Making an oral presentation to the students and faculty of the Department and invited guests
  • Preparing a manuscript intended for publication in a refereed academic journal

Applied Experimental Psychology Concentration

The Applied Experimental Specialization is designed for those students who wish to do graduate work with a focus on research and its application in areas of psychology such as biological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, experimental psychology, health psychology, or human factors psychology. Graduates from the Applied Experimental Specialization are expected to matriculate into doctoral programs at major universities or find employment in community college teaching, research centers, public agencies, or industry.

The 36 sh curriculum provides coverage of the basic content areas of psychology (e.g., biological, cognitive, developmental, social), the research tools of psychology (e.g., research design, statistics), and in the student’s field of interest through electives, independent study, supervised research, and the thesis for terminal research project. Examples of areas of possible student specialization include behavior modification, biological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, health psychology, human factors, sensation and perception, social psychology, and family science.

In addition to the 24 hours of core requirements (four Bases of Behavior (12sh), Research Design (3sh), Graduate Statistics (3sh), and an Integrative Experience (6sh)), Applied Experimental students must complete 12 hours from the following:

Concentration (6 sh)

EXP 5208Advanced Sensation and Perception *3
or PSB 5035 Cognitive Neuroscience
EXP 6085Seminar in Applied Psychological Sciences3
Total Hours6

Recommended Electives (6 sh)

EXP 5256Human Factors Psychology3
Advisor approved elective3
Total Hours6

Counseling Psychology-Licensed Mental Health Counselor

The Licensed Mental Health Counselor option is a 60 sh program with requirements comparable to the requirements established by the Florida state board for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. Attainment of the degree does not entail conferral of the license, which is governed by the state licensing board. This degree option focuses on meeting current licensure requirements, preparing the graduate for a career as a licensed mental health counselor, and requires completion of specialty coursework and a total of 1000 hours (9 sh) of practicum/internship field placement in a mental health setting.  Upon graduation from the licensure option, the individual should be in a position to qualify to register with the state licensing board as an intern and to obtain the two year post-degree supervised experience required by the board for licensure.

In addition to the 18 hours of core requirements (four Bases of Behavior (12sh - Counseling students take PCO 6216 Theories of Individual Counseling  to meet Individual Bases of Behavior portion of the core and PCO 6278 Multicultural Counseling to meet the Social Bases of Behavior portion of the core), Research Design (3sh), and Graduate Statistics (3sh)), Licensed Mental Health Counseling students must complete 42 hours from the following:

Concentration (15 sh)

PCO 6315Assessment in Counseling3
CLP 5166Psychopathology3
PCO 6246Theories of Group Counseling3
PCO 6206CEthical and Professional Issues in Counseling3
PCO 6204Pre-Practicum: Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy3
Total Hours15

Application (9 sh)

PCO 6946Practicum in Counseling3
PCO 6948Internship in Counseling1-6
Total Hours4-9

Elective (3 sh)

Licensure Courses (15 sh)

DEP 5055Developmental Psychology3
SOP 6776Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy3
SDS 6345Educational and Vocational Guidance3
PCO 6312Substance Abuse Counseling3
CYP 6005Community Psychology3
Total Hours15

Industrial-Organizational Psychology Concentration

The M.A. in Psychology provides students with the study of human behavior within the framework of the core foundations of the bases of behavior, as in the biological, social, acquired, and individual bases of behavior. To accomplish these proficiencies, the 42 semester hour Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Concentration provides active learning of these bases of behavior through personnel psychology and organizational psychology courses. Additionally, research methodology and design, data analysis and interpretation, and applied utilization of skills complete students’ training for those who seek employment at the master’s level in organizational settings as well as those who wish to pursue a doctoral program.

Completion of Masters Program Requirements for the I/O Concentration include the following required Core and Concentration courses:

Core Requirements (18 sh)

EXP 5256Human Factors Psychology (Biological Bases of Behavior)3
SOP 6669Advanced Organizational Psychology (Social Bases of Behavior)3
INP 6325Training and Development (Acquired Bases of Behavior)3
INP 6216Personnel Selection and Appraisal (Individual Bases of Behavior)3
PSY 6217Research Design in Psychology3
EXP 5735Experimental and Correlational Statistics for Psychology3
Total Hours18

Concentration Requirements (9 sh)

INP 5131Legal Issues in Industrial/Organizational Psychology3
SOP 6668Organizational Change and Development3
INP 6385Group Dynamics in Organizations3
Total Hours9

Experiential Practice (6 sh)

PSY 6971Thesis6
or PSY 6948 Internship

Electives (9 sh)

Students must choose elective courses relevant to the field of  I/O Psychology to complete the 42 semester hours of the program.
Electives are chosen in consultation with the I/O program coordinator.

Students are encouraged to take a strategic approach to their career development by choosing electives congruent with their career goals. For example, students interested in Occupational Health may take Organizational and Occupational Stress and approved courses from Health Sciences Administration or Public Health. Students interested in careers in Human Resources may choose Advanced Social Psychology (SOP 6069) and/or approved courses in Management; while students interested in Applied Analytics may take additional classes in statistics and data management.  Individualized classes such as Supervised Research (PSY 6917) are available for those interested in pursuing a PhD, while the Directed Study (INP 5905/6905) is a good choice for students headed directly to the workplace.