Psychology, M.A.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the completed application form with all requested supplemental materials, official transcripts from degree-granting institutions, official transcripts of all previous graduate coursework, official report of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (scores may not be more than five (5) years old), and three letters of recommendation. Completed applications along with all supporting materials must be received by the program’s deadline to be considered for admission. It should be noted that the application process is competitive. It is recommended that scores on the GRE Verbal section not be lower than 146 and scores on the Quantitative section not be lower than 140. Likewise, it is recommended that applications have a minimum combined total on those two sections of 297 (revised scoring beginning in Fall 2011). Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all previously completed undergraduate university work. Completion of the following prerequisite courses is required for admission to any M.A. psychology program: Elementary or Introductory Statistics, Experimental Psychology or Research Methods; Abnormal Psychology; Learning, Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology. These prerequisite courses must have been passed at the undergraduate level with a grade no lower than a B.

Admission Priority Deadlines

Applications for admission to the General Psychology Master’s, School Psychology Emphasis, and Behavioral Statistics Certificate programs are due by the following dates:

Domestic Applicants

Term Due Date
Fall August 1
Spring December 1
Summer May 1

International Applicants

Term Due Date
Fall June 15
Spring October 15
Summer March 15

Priority Deadline for the Clinical Emphasis and Post Master’s Certificate is January 31st for Fall Term.

Application Process

All applicants should follow the admissions process described in the Graduate Catalog. Application materials and current program information can be obtained by contacting the Marshall University Psychology Department, the Marshall University Graduate College Admissions office website at www.marshall.edu/graduate/admissions/how-to-apply-for-admission, or by consulting the Psychology Department website at www.marshall.edu/psych/. (Submit all materials to the Graduate Admissions Office.)

Conditional Admission

Students may be admitted to the general psychology master’s program with “Conditional” status if they are missing certain official documentation supporting their application. Examples of such official documentation include a final transcript from their college or university documenting the successful completion of the bachelor’s degree. This may occur when a student applies to the general psychology master’s program while completing the final semester or quarter of their undergraduate program. Another typical situation includes official documentation of GRE scores. Other situations may also occur requiring an applicant to be admitted with “Conditional” status. Once the missing documentation is received by the graduate admissions office the applicant’s status may be changed from “Conditional” to “Full” status.

Provisional Admission

Students may be admitted to the general psychology master’s program with “Provisional” status if either the GRE admission criterion or the GPA criterion is met. (Students who do not meet either criterion are not eligible for admission to the program.) Provisionally admitted students will be fully admitted to the program when they have completed 12 hours of classes (which must include PSY 517 Inter Behavioral Stat and PSY 506 Psychometrics) from the core courses listed below with no grade being below a B. A student who earns a C or lower in any of the listed core classes during the period of provisional status will not be permitted to take further graduate hours within the psychology department. Students who meet the undergraduate GPA and GRE test score requirements but who are missing no more than two of the required undergraduate prerequisite classes listed above may also be granted provisional admission status. They will then be able to take some graduate classes with the approval of their advisors while completing the undergraduate prerequisites. However, they may only enroll in graduate classes for which they have taken the prerequisite as an undergraduate. For example, a student who has not had elementary statistics cannot enroll in Intermediate Statistics (PSY 517 Inter Behavioral Stat); a student without an undergraduate social psychology course cannot take Advanced Social Psychology, etc. Students granted provisional admission status because of missing course prerequisites will be fully admitted to the program upon successful completion of the missing prerequisites and of any graduate courses taken during the provisional period. Students will not be provisionally admitted to the area of emphasis in clinical psychology or the post master’s certificate in clinical psychology.

Students granted provisional admission status must take:

PSY 517Inter Behavioral Stat3
PSY 506Psychometrics3
Select two of the following:6
Biological Bases of Behavior
Cognition and Emotion
Adv Social Psychology
Applied Social Psychology
Adv Developmental Psychology
Applied Dev Psych

No student may take more than 18 hours in the psychology department without receiving full admission to the department.

Provisional students will be assigned an advisor who must approve all course registrations. Provisional students will have a departmental hold placed on their registration to assure advisor approval and compliance with this policy. This hold will be permanently removed upon full admittance.

Program Requirements

General Requirements

The general psychology M.A. program requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours, though students may complete significantly more, depending upon their objectives. A common “core” of 24 credits is required of all students. The remaining hours are selected in consultation with an advisor to help meet students’ academic and professional goals. The Clinical Psychology area of emphasis (see below) requires a minimum of 26 specified credits beyond the core of 24 credits for a total of 50 credits.

2-C Rule

Master’s-level coursework and doctoral coursework are viewed separately in terms of this policy. In essence, a student may only receive one (1) grade of C per degree program (M.A., post-M.A. within Psy.D.) In the event of the second C the student will be dismissed from the program.

Having one (1) grade of C or lower in any particular program (i.e., General M.A., clinical certificate, Clinical M.A., or Psy.D.) will not disqualify the student completing the degree program successfully. After receiving the first C grade the student must meet with his/her advisor and the professor of that particular course in order to identify and address issues/behaviors of concern. A form will be signed by the student, professor, and advisor. If the student is enrolled in one of the designated clinical courses listed in the subsequent section, the course must be repeated but the grade of C or lower will still stand on the record as a first obtained C. In other words, the grade cannot be replaced. If the student completes the remaining master’s-level coursework without a second graduate of C or lower, s/he will begin the post-M.A. coursework with a “clean slate.”

Note: For the purposes of clarification, if a student is enrolled in a terminal master’s program, all coursework required for completion of the degree is considered master’s-level coursework. Students who are admitted to the Psy.D. program but have not completed an M.A. or M.S. in psychology prior to admission will have all coursework completed within the first 56 hours considered as master’s-level coursework. Students who enter the Psy.D. program with a completed master’s degree will have the coursework used to complete the master’s degree at the prior institution considered as master’s level coursework.

Consequences of a second C in terminal master’s in psychology programs or certificate programs: If a student receives a second grade of C or lower prior to completing the master’s-level coursework, s/he will be dismissed from the master’s program. If a student has completed a master’s program in psychology and has a grade of C or lower in required psychology coursework, and then applies for admission to the Clinical Emphasis certificate program, the grade of C or lower earned in the master’s program will count as the first C. As noted previously, if the C was earned in designated clinical coursework, the course must be re-taken.

Consequences of a second C in the Psy.D. program: If the student is enrolled in the Psy.D. program and receives a second grade of C or lower in master’s-level coursework (see definition above), s/he will dismissed from both the psychology master’s and Psy.D. program and will not be allowed to complete the master’s degree. If the student completes the master’s-level coursework without an additional grade of C or lower, and that student is enrolled in the Psy.D. program, s/he will be allowed to move on to the post-M.A. portion of the Psy.D. program with a “clean slate.” The post-M.A. portion of the Psy.D. program is defined as all hours taken after the 56th hour that are required for the completion of the Psy.D. program.

Once admitted to the post-M.A. portion of the program, a student who earns a grade of C or lower will be required to meet with his/her advisor and the professor of the course in which the grade was earned to discuss issues of concern. If the course is one of the designated clinical courses listed in the subsequent section, the student will be required to repeat the course. A second grade of C or lower in the post-M.A. portion of the program will result in dismissal from the doctoral program without the awarding of the Psy.D. degree.

Ethics and Student Behavior

Students in all programs are expected to behave in accordance with the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct. Consequences for violations may include suspension or dismissal from the student’s program of study. When students in the clinical area of emphasis (M.A. program) exhibit behavior indicating inability or limited capacity to successfully perform clinical roles and functions, they may be suspended or dismissed from their program of study.

Plan of Study

Before registration for the 12th graduate credit hour, all graduate students must complete an official Plan of Study form to be approved by the Graduate Director and/or Department Chair and submitted for approval to the Graduate College Office.

Comprehensive Evaluation

A written comprehensive examination is required of all students in the M.A. program. Details about the exam are available from advisors and the program coordinator. In addition, students in the Clinical Psychology certificate program must, as part of their clinical internship, complete a comprehensive evaluation based on identified clinical competencies.

Additional Coursework

The general psychology M.A. program requires a minimum of 12 additional credit hours beyond the required core. These are to be selected in consultation with the advisor. With the advisor’s approval, courses from other departments that are consistent with the student’s academic and career goals may be included in the required 12 additional credits. Students may, and often do, take more than 36 credit hours as part of their degree programs; in preparing their plans of study, students should carefully discuss their academic and career goals with their advisors and other faculty members.

Area of Emphasis in Clinical Psychology

The Clinical Psychology area of emphasis consists of 26 credit hours of clinical coursework and supervised clinical experience beyond the required department core. (Note: These 26 credits will meet the requirements for 12 additional credits as noted above in Additional Coursework.) It is designed to prepare graduates for master’s degree level clinical roles within professional psychology. It is open to individuals who have received a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college / university or who already hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a non-clinical area of psychology and whose courses meeting the required core courses were completed more than seven (7) years prior to admission, as these courses will no longer be considered for transfer. Any student who is fully admitted to the Psychology M.A. program may apply for admission to the clinical psychology area of emphasis (please see Note under “Application Process.”) More information and application materials are available from advisors and from the Clinical area coordinator.

Required Courses

Those courses marked with 1 are restricted to students in the clinical track. It is important to note that students in the clinical area of emphasis must complete the entire track to receive any letters of support or other indication from individual faculty members, the department or the university that the student has achieved appropriate competence in the skills or knowledge bases associated with master’s level clinical training, and such students must complete the entire sequence for the Clinical Psychology Area of Emphasis to appear on their transcripts.

Area of Emphasis in School Psychology

The School Psychology area of emphasis consists of 36 hours. It is designed to prepare students for entry into the School Psychology Education Specialist (Ed.S.) program. Any student who is fully admitted to the Psychology M.A. School Psychology area of emphasis may apply to the Ed.S. program in School Psychology in the spring semester of his/her first year.

Two-C Rule and Student Behavior

The following two statements are applicable to all psychology graduate programs:

  1. 2-C Rule: Psychology students cannot be admitted to, or continue in, a graduate program in psychology if they earn more than one grade of “C” or lower in any graduate course in psychology or any course included in the plan of study. Such students will not be permitted to continue taking courses or to work on a doctoral research project. Please see the complete description of the 2-C Rule on the second page of the M.A. in Psychology section.
  2. Ethics and Student Behavior: Students in all programs are expected to behave in accordance with the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct. Consequences for violations may include suspension or dismissal from the student’s program of study. When students in the clinical area of emphasis (M.A. program) or the Psy.D. program exhibit behavior indicating inability or limited capacity to successfully perform clinical roles and functions, they may be suspended or dismissed from their program of study.

Plan of Study

Thesis Option

Students have the option of completing a research thesis. The department has established a set of criteria and procedures for doing a thesis; these are available from advisors. These may be good choices for students intending to continue their education in research-oriented Ph.D. programs. This issue should be carefully discussed with the advisor. Up to 6 credits of PSY 681 Thesis may be included as “additional coursework” discussed below.

Curriculum

Core Requirements
PSY 517Inter Behavioral Stat 13
PSY 674Biological Bases of Behavior3
PSY 672Cognition and Emotion3
Select one of the following:3
Adv Social Psychology 2
Applied Social Psychology 2
PSY 615Adv Developmental Psychology3
or PSY 617 Applied Dev Psych
PSY 506Psychometrics 33
PSY 605Ethic Legal & Prof Issue Psych3
PSY 692Seminar3
Total Credit Hours24

Area of Emphasis in Clinical Psychology

Requirements Beyond the Core
PSY 731Psychotherapy I 13
PSY 732Psychotherapy II 13
PSY 608Differ Diagnosis & Treat Plan 13
PSY 633Individual Psychotherapy 13
PSY 610Assessment of Adults 13
PSY 611Assessment of Children 13
PSY 620Assessment Adults Practicum 13
PSY 621Assessment Children Practicum 13
PSY 634Group Therapy 13
PSY 670Clinical Practicum 13
PSY 680Clinical Internship 13
Electives
Psychotherapy with Children 1
Adult Diagnosis & Therapy 1
Child/Fam Diagn Therapy 1
Clinical Practicum 1
Total Credit Hours33

Area of Emphasis in School Psychology

The following courses are required for the School Psychology area of emphasis. Most of these courses are offered on the South Charleston campus.

Core Requirements
PSY 674Biological Bases of Behavior3
or SPSY 674 Bio Bases School Psych
PSY 623Experimental Design3
PSY 672Cognition and Emotion3
or SPSY 675 Cognitive/Emo Bases Sch Psy
PSY 526Cross Cultural Psychology3
PSY 615Adv Developmental Psychology3
or SPSY 616 Typ & Atyp Child Dev
PSY 605Ethic Legal & Prof Issue Psych3
PSY 506Psychometrics3
or SPSY 621 Data-Based Decision I
PSY 692Seminar3
Area of Emphasis Requirements
SPSY 601Prof Comp I Schools3
SPSY 617Ind Svc I Consultation3
SPSY 618Dir Svc I Instruct & Bmod3
SPSY 619Dir Svc II-Ind Grp Csl3
or PSY 619 Psychotherapy with Children
Total Credit Hours36