Psychology M.S.

Graduate Arts and Sciences

Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., Director
Graduate Psychology Program

Post 223
610- 660-1806

jmindell@sju.edu

Program Description

The Saint Joseph’s University graduate program in psychology offers students a general curriculum of study emphasizing experimental psychology. The program is designed to complement the strengths and interests of the present psychology faculty and facilities and reflects the current state of the discipline of psychology. It consists of a traditional and academically oriented forty-eight credit curriculum and requires the successful completion of a qualifying comprehensive examination and an empirical thesis project. The program is designed for successful completion over two academic years. Additionally, a five-year combined Bachelor/Master of Science degree is offered.

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Students are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree with either a major or minor in psychology. For those students without a psychology major/minor, a minimum of twelve undergraduate credits in psychology (including courses in Introductory Psychology, Research Methods, and Statistics) must be completed.

Applicants should submit or have sent to the Office of Graduate Operations the following:

  • a completed Saint Joseph’s University graduate application.
  • Official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate and graduate coursework. If you are an SJU graduate the Office of Graduate Operations will obtain your SJU transcripts for you.
  • a current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • two letters of recommendation from at least two faculty appraising the candidate’s promise and capacity for graduate study, reflecting, from a professional’s point of view, the candidate’s ability to pursue a rigorous, independent course of study at the graduate level.
  • a personal statement outlining the candidate’s professional goals and educational objectives for the program, including the applicant’s rationale for program choice and professional study.
  • General GRE scores.
  • $35 application fee – waived if attended an Open House or are  a SJU graduate.

All application materials are due by March 1st. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.25 may be admitted on a probationary basis. A non-refundable deposit equivalent to one graduate credit, which is applied to tuition, is required upon the student’s acceptance of admission.

Undergraduate psychology majors at Saint Joseph’s apply for the five-year combined BS/MS program by March 1st  of their junior year. These undergraduate applicants will be asked to submit:

  • a completed Saint Joseph's University online graduate application, www.sju.edu/gradapplynow.
  • a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • two letters of recommendation from at least two faculty appraising the candidate’s promise and capacity for graduate study, reflecting, from a professional’s point of view, the candidate’s ability to pursue a rigorous, independent course of study at the graduate level.
  • Acceptance into the five-year program will not affect the Core Component or the University Distribution Requirement of the General Educational Requirement.

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of a graduate research assistantship stipend is awarded on the basis of merit for students in their second year of graduate study. Other forms of financial assistance are also available through the Office of Hawk Central.

Academic Dismissal

Students enrolled in the graduate psychology program who receive 2 grades of C+ or below will be dismissed from the degree program. Students who receive a grade of C+ or below in any of the Common Core Courses (i.e., PSY 551 PSY 552) must repeat the course and receive a grade of B- or higher.

It is anticipated that students will complete the graduate psychology program in two academic years. Students who do not complete the program by the end of their second year of enrollment may at their request have their enrollment in the program extended by one academic year. In order to obtain an extension, a student must request one in writing in a letter to the director of the graduate psychology program before the end of the student’s second year of study. Failure to complete the requirements of the program by the end of this additional year will result in dismissal from the program.

If due to unforeseen circumstances a student anticipates that he/she will not complete the requirements of the program before the end of the additional year, the student may apply for a one-time extension of the deadline. The student must request the extension in writing before the end of the additional year in a letter to the director of the graduate psychology program. The letter must be co-signed by the faculty member supervising the Master’s thesis research of the student. The letter must include a date by which the student will have completed the requirements of the program. This completion date must be within 180 days of the last day of the additional year. Failure to complete the requirements of the program by the date specified in the letter requesting the extension will result in the student’s dismissal from the program.

A continuing enrollment fee will be charged for each semester or portion thereof that a student remains enrolled in the graduate psychology program beyond two academic years from the time of initial enrollment.

Program Structure and Curriculum

The curriculum is composed of three major components: an eight-credit Common Core required of all students; twenty-four credits of content courses, and a sixteen-credit Research Component in which students complete the comprehensive examination and research thesis.

The graduate psychology program is a full-time course of study. Classes are primarily scheduled on weekday afternoons. Students are expected to attend these classes regularly. Attendance is also required at colloquia, lab meetings, and other functions of the Department of Psychology. In addition, students are expected to have time available during weekdays to conduct scientific research.

The comprehensive examination is taken by students during the second year. Students are eligible to sit for the exam if they have submitted an acceptable draft of their thesis proposal. The examination is scored as a 3 (superior), 2 (acceptable), or 1 (failure). A student must achieve a total score of 2 or higher to pass the comprehensive examination. If the student fails, remediation must be completed by May 15th of that year. No student is permitted to fail the examination more than once. Failure to pass or complete the comprehensive examination terminates further graduate study. Completion of the thesis must occur within two years following the completion of the comprehensive examination.

Learning Goals and Objectives

Learning Goals:

Goal 1: Students will gain fundamental knowledge and comprehension of experimental psychology.

Goal 2: Students will engage in scientific inquiry and develop critical thinking.  

Goal 3: Students will develop communication skills.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of the curriculum in the graduate program in experimental psychology, students will:

Objective 1: Demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of experimental psychology, with an emphasis on experimental methods and statistical applications.

Objective 2: Develop scientific reasoning and problem solving skills, including effective research methods and the ability to interpret, design, and conduct psychological research.

Objective 3: Demonstrate competence 
in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills. Students should be able to write a cogent scientific argument, present information using a scientific approach, engage in discussion of psychological concepts, and express their own ideas with clarity.

Objective 4: Produce research and explain scientific results.

M.S. Degree in Psychology—Curriculum

I. Common Core
PSY 551Adv Research Methods & Stats I4
PSY 552Adv Research Methods& Stats II4
II. Content Courses
Select six of the following:24
Learning and Behavior
Adv Physiological Psychology
Adv Sensory Processes
Psychopharmacology
Cognitive Science
Health Psychology
Principles of Neuropsychology
Memory Organization& Retrieval
Comparative Psychology
Hormones, Brain and Behavior
Systems Neuroscience
Gerontology
Adv Psychopathology
Assesment and Evaluation
Behavioral Medicine
Developmental Psychology
Personality and Motivation
Social Cognition
Adv. Child Psychopathology
Ethics in Psychology
Cross-Cultural Psychology
The Nature of Emotion
Psychology and the Law
III. Research Component
PSY 591Directed Studies I4
PSY 592Directed Studies II4
PSY 691Master's Research I4
PSY 692Master's Research II4

Two-Year Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallHours
PSY 551 Adv Research Methods & Stats I 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 1 4
PSY 591 Directed Studies I 4
 Hours12
Spring
PSY 552 Adv Research Methods& Stats II 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 2 4
PSY 592 Directed Studies II 4
 Hours12
Second Year
Fall
PSY 6XX: Content Course 3 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 4 4
PSY 691 Master's Research I 4
 Hours12
Spring
PSY 6XX: Content Course 5 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 6 4
PSY 692 Master's Research II 4
 Hours12
 Total Hours48

Five-Year B.S./M.S. Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
Senior
FallHours
Undergraduate course 4
Undergraduate course 4
PSY 551 Adv Research Methods & Stats I 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 1 4
PSY 591 Directed Studies I 4
 Hours20
Spring
Undergraduate course 4
Undergraduate course 4
PSY 552 Adv Research Methods& Stats II 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 2 4
PSY 592 Directed Studies II 4
 Hours20
Fifth Year
Fall
PSY 6XX: Content Course 3 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 4 4
PSY 691 Master's Research I 4
 Hours12
Spring
PSY 6XX: Content Course 5 4
PSY 6XX: Content Course 6 4
PSY 692 Master's Research II 4
 Hours12
 Total Hours64