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Master's Program Requirements

A student may choose a program with a thesis or a comprehensive examination. In a thesis program, a minimum of 30 credits must be completed, 24 credits in course work and 6 credits in Psychology thesis. In a program involving a comprehensive examination, a minimum of 30 credits in course work and the comprehensive exam must be satisfactorily completed.

For all students, the following courses are required:

Required (preferably in the first semester of attendance):

  • PSY 500 - Design and Analysis in Psychology

At least one of the following:

  • PSY 501 - Thinking and Learning
  • PSY 503 - Cognition and Memory
  • PSY 504 - Topics in Perception
  • PSY 505 - Contemporary Theories in Motivation
  • PSY 583 - Seminar in Comparative Physiological Psychology

At least one of the following:

  • PSY 502 - Problems in Psychology
  • PSY 512 - Theories and Issues in Developmental Psychology
  • PSY 517 - Seminar in Social Psychology
  • PSY 526 - Theories and Research in Personality


  • PSY 527 - Abnormal Child Psychology
  • PSY 528 - Psychopathology
  • PSY 537-538 - Practicum in Clinical Psychology Services I, II
  • PSY 539 - Field Work in Psychology Research
  • PSY 543 - Clinical Methods in Psychology: Cognitive Assessment
  • PSY 544 - Clinical Methods in Psychology: Personality and Social Assessment
  • PSY 546 - Practicum in Psychological Assessment and Report Writing I
  • PSY 554 - Psychotherapy and Behavior Change
  • PSY 557 - Behavior Modification and Therapy
  • PSY 560 - Seminar in the Psychology of Women
  • PSY 589 - Thesis Seminar
  • PSY 590 - Thesis Proposal (Thesis Option only)
  • PSY 591 - Thesis (Thesis Option only)
  • PSY 592 - Issues in Psychology, Law and Ethics
  • PSY 599 - Special Topics
  • PSY 600 - Independent Study or Research

A student may elect up to 6 credits of graduate courses from related disciplines with the approval of the graduate coordinator. Not all courses will be offered each semester, but will ordinarily rotate on a two-year plan.


Students planning to apply to doctoral programs or anticipating a career in research are encouraged to select thesis as an option. Normally, the thesis option is granted to students who have accumulated at least 15 graduate credits in psychology at Southern Connecticut State University with a grade point average of "B+" (3.3).

It is the candidate's responsibility to have formulated a preliminary idea to be researched and to seek out a faculty member in the psychology department who is interested in serving as a thesis sponsor. The normal sequence is to register for thesis after securing a sponsor. The first semester is devoted to developing a proposal; after approval by the sponsor, graduate committee, and graduate dean, the thesis is then completed during the second semester. The completed thesis is reviewed for acceptance by the sponsor, department graduate committee, and the graduate dean.

Comprehensive Exam

A written comprehensive examination is required in addition to 30 credits of course work. Students should select their courses so that they are well prepared for the different sections of the exam. The comprehensive exam will be scheduled twice a year, in April and November. Students selecting this option should apply to the Graduate Coordinator no later than the second week of classes of the semester in which they intend to take the exam.