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Online Psychology Courses

Online Psychology Courses

The online psychology courses of the Master of Applied Psychology consist of a research-driven core curriculum built on a scientist-practitioner model, covering fundamental psychological concepts. Choose from three concentrations: Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Community Psychology or General Applied Psychology.

You will complete 12 courses totaling 38 credit hours. The entire program consists of:

  • Six foundational courses
  • Four concentration courses
  • Two capstone courses

Through the capstone options, you also have the ability to implement a real-world psychological research project or begin the research and developmental groundwork for doctoral work in psychology.

For the final capstone courses, there are two two-course options resulting in doing the following:

  • Complete an exam/essay. You will perfect your research, analysis and writing skills by reviewing course material and writing several essays for each course in the program.
  • Participate in a role immersion project. This option provides networking and real-world experience in the applied psychologist role with 100 hours of supervised field and observation work.

Online psychology courses are available in an asynchronous format. There are six terms per year, each eight weeks in duration.

The following is an outline of the MS in Applied Psychology curriculum.

Prerequisite Course Credit Hours
PS 450 Foundations for Psychological Science 4
Core Curriculum (6 courses, 20 credits) Credit Hours
PS 500 Foundations of Applied Psychology 4
PS 520 Developmental Issues Across the Life Span 3
PS 525 Identifying and Managing Psychopathology in Community Settings 3
PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics 4
PS 551 Individual Psychological Assessment and Appraisal 3
PS 552 Program Development and Evaluation 3

 

Concentrations (4 courses, 12 credits)

 

Industrial Organizational Psychology Credit Hours
PS 530 Personnel Psychology 3
PS 531 Organizational Behavior 3
PS 532 Job Analysis, Competency Modeling and Criterion Development 3
PS 533 Employee Training and Development OR appropriate BU course 3
Community Psychology Credit Hours
PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology 3
PS 541 Theories of Counseling and Personality 3
PS 542 Counseling Methods and Techniques 3
PS 543 Community Health Psychology 3

 

General Applied Psychology
This option consists of four electives, chosen in consultation with an academic advisor from above concentrations.

Capstone Experience (2 courses, 6 credits)

The capstone experience for the MS in Applied Psychology program is six credits. You can choose one of the two following options:

Capstone Experience: Option I Credit Hours
PS 590 Comprehensive Exam 3
PS 595 Capstone I  3
Capstone Experience: Option II Credit Hours
PS 590 Comprehensive Exam 3
PS 596 Capstone II 3
   

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PS 450 Foundations for Psychological Science – 4 Credits This course is designed to provide those that did not major in Psychology with a scientific foundation of psychology theory. It is a required prerequisite course that may be waived, by the director, if sufficient past coursework has been completed. A minimum grade of B is required to continue to PS 500.

PS 500 Foundations of Applied Psychology – 4 Credits This course focuses applying psychology to the workplace and community setting. There is additional focus on ethical and legal psychological issues, as well as emphasis on multiculturalism.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Understand how psychology makes a significant difference in our lives.
  2. Grasp the various career opportunities that a background in psychology can contribute to.
  3. Learn how multiculturalism relates to psychology.
  4. Learn the barriers to understanding multicultural identity within human behavior.
  5. Identify various models of cross-cultural differences in practicing effective multiculturalism.
  6. Understand the power and impact our own background has in how we interact with others in a diverse world.
  7. Understand the APA ethical guidelines and be able to apply these guidelines in novel situations.
  8. Learn how to avoid conflicts of interest and make ethical decisions regarding various situations in the world of applied psychology.
  9. Understand the value and opportunities that now exist for applying psychological science toward social and human betterment in the 21st century.

PS 520 Developmental Issues Across the Life Span – 3 Credits This course will explore human development from childhood to old age, with a focus on developmental milestones and their influence on behavior in applied settings.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge representing appropriate depth and breadth regarding historical theories of development across the lifespan.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge representing appropriate depth and breadth regarding contemporary perspectives on developmental psychology.
  3. Be able in writing and orally to use the concepts and language to account for developmental challenges across the lifespan.
  4. Describe and identify basic research methods used in researching developmental psychology.
  5. Identify areas of interest for further research and identify methods to research these topics of interest.
  6. Evaluate the appropriateness of conclusions derived from research on developmental issues.
  7. Engage in critical thinking regarding developmental psychology.
  8. Recognize, develop, engage and criticize arguments surrounding issues in developmental psychology.
  9. Apply concepts, theories, and research findings to everyday life challenges across the lifespan.
  10. Recognize complex situations in the application of developmental principles.
  11. Recognize the need for ethical behavior.
  12. Tolerate ambiguity in psychological situations.
  13. Identify issues of cultural and ethnic diversity and understand critical values when evaluating research and theory.

PS 525 Identifying and Managing Psychopathology in Community Settings – 3 Credits In this course, students learn to identify those at risk of psychopathology in the community and to determine appropriate management and referral of these individuals.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explain the elements of psychopathology including diagnosis, assessment, etiology, theoretical models, treatment alternatives, and legal, ethical, and multi-cultural issues;
  2. Apply the elements of psychopathology including diagnosis, assessment, etiology, treatment alternatives, and legal, ethical and multi-cultural issues to several different case studies;
  3. Use and apply the DSM-IV-TR appropriately and professionally in a variety of community mental health settings;
  4. Conceptualize, write, and orally present a case including all the essential elements of diagnostic psychopathology;
  5. Use the language of psychopathological signs and symptoms appropriately.

PS 530 Personnel Psychology – 3 Credits Examines the application of psychological research, employment law, and ethical principles to human resource issues. Particular attention is given to hiring practices.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Describe the theories, methods, and best practices in personnel psychology/ human resource management.
  2. Conduct job analyses, design and implement valid and legally defensible, and ethically compliant recruiting strategies, selection procedures and performance appraisal instruments.
  3. Comply with ethical and legal guidelines in the practice of personnel psychology.

PS 531 Organizational Behavior – 3 Credits Explores behavior in organizations at individual, interpersonal, group, intergroup, and organizational levels of analysis. Emphasis is on identifying effective ways to achieve organizational goals.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Understand why they themselves and other people act as they do in organizations.
  2. Understand the effect of cultural socialization and values on people's behavior.
  3. Articulate how management practices may vary in different cultures.
  4. Apply their understanding by analyzing specific organizational behavior problems and recommending appropriate actions.
  5. Assess and improve group processes to achieve organizational goals.

PS 532 Job Analysis, Competency Modeling and Criterion Development – 3 Credits Students will learn how to conduct job analysis and competency modeling and how to use the results for designing personnel selection systems and performance appraisal instruments. Prerequisite: PS 530 Personnel Psychology

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explain and differentiate among the various job analysis methods and competency modeling.
  2. Conduct a job analysis and write a job analysis report and a job description.
  3. Make appropriate recommendations for selection procedures and training based on the outcomes of a job analysis.
  4. Make appropriate recommendations for job evaluation, performance appraisal, and job design based on the outcomes of a job analysis.

PS 533 Employee Training and Development – 3 Credits Examines theory and techniques used to design, conduct, and evaluate instructional programs based on theories and principles of adult learning.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explain theories of adult learning as they apply to employee training.
  2. Measure performance effectiveness, identify performance gaps, and design training programs to address those gaps.
  3. Explain and differentiate among various methods of training and choose the most appropriate ones for different training goals.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of training techniques in their organizations.

PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology – 3 Credits This course considers the legal, ethical, and practical issues that arise when providing counseling in community settings, and provides an overview of the entire process.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Understand the core concepts and terminology used in Community Psychology, the practice of Community Psychology, and the historical context in which Community Psychology was created.
  2. Understand how research applies to programs and program evaluation and the strengths and weaknesses of different types of research designs.
  3. Apply the concepts of conducting a needs assessment and program implementation and evaluation by assessing an existing program.
  4. Understand the primary theories and models that apply to Community Psychology, such as Ecological Systems Theory, Socioecological Theory, Social Cognitive Theory, coping, stress, resilience, and empowerment perspectives.
  5. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of prevention vs. intervention strategies.
  6. Understand the importance of social justice, social change, and issues of diversity.
  7. Apply the Community Psychology principles to several domains, including: education, childhood environments, social services, underserved populations, poverty, the legal system, community mental and physical health, preventive medicine, and health care.

PS 541 Theories of Counseling and Personality – 3 Credits This class will cover the major approaches to personality and the schools of psychotherapy that have developed out of each. Students will critically evaluate each approach. Prerequisite: PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Be thoroughly familiar with the theoretical perspectives of the six domains of personality theory: Disposition, Biology, Psychodynamic, Cognitive, Social/Cultural, and Adjustment.
  2. Understand and be able to explain and describe the contemporary controversies in the field of personality theory.
  3. Apply the theoretical understanding of the domains to clinical practice.

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PS 542 Counseling Methods and Techniques – 3 Credits This class will teach students to recognize and apply basic counseling responses common across all approaches as well as those specific to each approach studied. Prerequisite: PS 541 Theories of Counseling and Personality

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Accurately explain the strengths and limitations of the major approaches to psychotherapy with a nuanced understanding of how the approaches are suited to particular clients or psychological disorders.
  2. Accurately describe each therapeutic approach’s perspective on psychopathology, curative components of therapy, and specific techniques used.
  3. Understand the importance of building the therapeutic relationship as part of psychotherapy and the ability to accurately describe a variety of verbal and nonverbal techniques used to foster a safe, validating therapeutic environment that promotes client trust and self-disclosure.
  4. Describe in detail the specific techniques used in psychotherapy to bring about cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal change, and accurate application of these techniques to specific clinical cases in a sophisticated manner that is tailored to each case.
  5. Understand the importance of the scholar-practitioner model and its application to psychotherapy.
  6. Understand past clinical research and the ability to apply appropriate research methods to evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of different approaches to psychotherapy.
  7. Understand the major types of clinical assessment, clinical interviewing techniques, and specific assessment tools, as well as how they are used in a clinical setting with different types of clients/patients.

PS 543 Community Health Psychology – 3 Credits This course will examine the multidimensional field of community health psychology, developing student skills in advocacy, community organizing, health promotion, and social change regarding health. Prerequisite: PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Understand the framework for community health.
  2. Explain the leading causes of death: looking toward the future.
  3. Apply theoretical concepts to their personal behavior and lifestyles.
  4. Understand the underserved populations in community health.
  5. Identify and compare acute and chronic illness.
  6. Compare and describe the insurance industry as it relates to care.
  7. Understand medication as it relates to mental illness and addiction.
  8. Recognize and argue differences ethnicity and diverse populations.
  9. Explain the effects of behavior as it relates to women’s health.

PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics – 4 Credits This course provides an overview of the basic principles of applied psychological research with a focus on conducting research in community settings.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Learn all the steps in conducting empirical psychological research.
  2. Explain the differences among various research methods that are commonly used in applied settings.
  3. Conduct a small-scale empirical research study and present their findings in a formal research paper.

PS 551 Individual Psychological Assessment and Appraisal – 3 Credits This course is designed to improve the knowledge, understanding and practices of those who take tests, construct tests, and administer tests in applied settings.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the theories, assumptions, and techniques including diagnostic statistical approaches to the construction, administration, and interpretation of psychological and educational assessment procedures.
  2. Develop an understanding of the technical concepts in psychometrics in order to appropriately evaluate formal test data including the appropriate application of statistics, measures of reliability and validity, and the uses of correlational data when making assessment decisions.
  3. Develop knowledge of the major tests in educational, clinical, and business settings. The student will have first-hand experience with sample tests and selected items from various standardized tests in each of the employment settings.
  4. Effectively implement and revise instruction to meet student needs using various performance measures. To implement and revise program facilitation and changes in clinical, rehabilitation, and business settings.
  5. Be aware of appropriate techniques to evaluate students and clients based on criteria commensurate with instructional objectives or to address the evaluative needs of the referral source.

PS 552 Program Development and Evaluation – 3 Credits Students learn how to assess the need for and then design, implement, and evaluate a program that benefits the workplace or community. Prerequisite: PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Learn program development including how to perform a needs assessment, program justification and program design with an emphasis on costs and building within a theoretical framework.
  2. Evaluate the differences between scholarly research and program evaluation.
  3. Learn methods to best communicate information to stakeholders including clients, funding resources, clinical staff, support staff, accrediting agencies and communities in general.
  4. Develop rational for prevention programs.

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Capstone Experience (2 courses, 6 credits)

The capstone experience for the MS in Applied Psychology program is six credits. You can choose one of the following options:

1. PS 590 Comprehensive Exam – 3 credits
    Capstone I (PS 595) – 3 credits

2. PS 590 Comprehensive Exam – 3 credits
    Capstone II (PS 596) – 3 credits
 

PS 590 Comprehensive Exam This is a three-credit experience that is taken as the last three credits in the Master’s program. You will take the exam in stages over an eight-week period. Each week, you will be expected to review the material for one of the program courses, then write a response (1500 to 2500 words) to a question(s) posed by the instructor. The question(s) will be comprehensive enough so that it incorporates the most important material from the course. The first six weeks correspond to the core classes in the program (PS 500, PS 520, PS 525, PS 550, PS 551, and PS 552). The last two weeks will cover the content from a combination of your concentration courses. Prerequisite: Completion of 36 (32 if PS 450 is waived) credits in graduate program

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Students will be able to identify a construct to examine that is relevant to an area of interest in applied psychology and conduct a research article search in the appropriate library journal databases to locate articles for review.
  2. Students will be able to identify areas of opportunity (e.g., gaps, trends) for a research study that will add value to the existing body of literature and move research forward in a manner that is meaningful to both the research and applied practitioner communities.
  3. Students will be able to design a well-organized, APA-formatted outline comprised of the main components of a research paper that will provide a logical framework for progression towards the final project.
  4. Students will be able to construct a well-written introduction/literature review, hypothesis statement, proposed research methodology and data analysis that are aligned with the hypothesis, and a discussion that is comprised of anticipated research challenges, expectations of value to the applied researcher and practitioner communities, and future directions for the research area.

PS 595 Capstone I This course involves the main elements of a research proposal. At the end of this course, the student should have a well-defined problem, have surveyed relevant literature and have proposed a well-thought-out program that addresses this problem. 

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Students will be able to identify a construct to examine that is relevant to an area of interest in applied psychology and conduct a research article search in the appropriate library journal databases to locate articles for review.
  2. Students will be able to identify areas of opportunity (e.g., gaps, trends) for a research study that will add value to the existing body of literature and move research forward in a manner that is meaningful to both the research and applied practitioner communities.
  3. Students will be able to design a well-organized, APA-formatted outline comprised of the main components of a research paper that will provide a logical framework for progression towards the final project.
  4. Students will be able to construct a well-written introduction/literature review, hypothesis statement, proposed research methodology and data analysis that are aligned with the hypothesis, and a discussion that is comprised of anticipated research challenges, expectations of value to the applied researcher and practitioner communities, and future directions for the research area.

PS 596 Capstone II This course has two options. Option 1: an approved special project that demonstrates the high level of application of the program materials. Option 2: field work in applied psychology. The student must complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised field work at a placement approved by the director. The student will also write weekly reflection papers that demonstrates applied theory that the student is observing at the field cite. Either option requires approval from the director of the MSAP program.

Have questions about the MS in Applied Psychology curriculum? Call us at 877-791-7181 or request more information online.

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