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Western Kentucky University

MS in Psychology - Psychological Science

Psychological Science Concentration Courses and Schedule

A total of 36 credit hours (i.e., 30 hours of course work and 6 thesis credits) are required for the Psychological Science concentration. The required courses are as follows:

  • Research Methods, Measurement, & Statistics - 12 credits
    • PSYS 510 Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
    • PSYS 512 Analysis of Variance
    • PSYS 513 Correlation and Regression Analysis
    • PSYS 518 Statistics and Psychometric Theory
  • Scientific Writing - 6 credits
    • PSYS 599 Thesis Research and Writing (taken twice)
  • Science of Behavior - 3 credits (chosen from the following courses)
    • PSYS 521 Advanced Child Psychology
    • PSYS 530 Conditioning and Learning
    • PSYS 533 Advanced Topics in Cognition
    • PSYS 552 Advanced Social Psychology
    • PSYS 567 Advanced Physiological Psychology
  • Ethics - 3 credits
    • PSYS 581 Professional Issues and Ethics in Psychological Science
  • Practicum - 3 credits
    • PSYS 595 Practicum in Psychological Science
  • Focus Area - 9 credits
Biobehavioral Focus Area
(3 courses required)
  Clinical Science Focus Area*
(3 courses required)

Take both of the following courses:
 
Take both of the following courses:
     PSYS 565: Cognitive Neuroscience        PSYS 640: Psychopathology
  PSYS 567: Advanced Physiological Psychology               PSYS 641: Theories of Psychotherapy
Choose 1 course from the following:   Choose 1 course from the following:
  PSYS 530: Conditioning and Learning     PSYS 520: Individual Differences and Human Diversity
  PSYS 590: Readings/Research in Psychology               PSYS 521: Advanced Child Psychology
  PSYS 463G: Evolutionary Psychology     PSYS 552: Advanced Social Psychology
  PSYS 465G: Psychopharmacology     PSYS 590: Readings/Research in Psychology
                                                                                  PSYS 465G: Psychopharmacology
     
*Note: This concentration does not make students license eligible as a clinical psychologist; rather, it provides intensive research training in psychology and clinical science to better prepare students for doctoral programs.
         
Cognitive Psychology Focus Area
(3 courses required)
  Developmental Science Focus Area
(3 courses required)

Take both of the following courses:
 
Choose 1-2 courses from the following:
  PSYS 533: Advanced Topics in Cognition     PSYS 521: Advanced Child Psychology
  PSYS 565: Cognitive Neuroscience     PSYS 424G: Topics in Developmental Psychology*
Choose 1 course from the following:     PSYS 423G: Psychology of Adult Life and Aging*
  PSYS 530: Conditioning and Learning     *Note: Only 1 400G course permitted.
  PSYS 552: Advanced Social Psychology   Choose 1-2 courses from the following:
  PSYS 590: Readings/Research in Psychology     PSYS 533: Advanced Topics in Cognition
  PSYS 412G: Psychology of Motivation and Emotion     PSYS 540: Behavioral Problems of Childhood and Adolescence
  PSYS 431G: Psychology of Language     PSYS 545: Child Clinical Psychology
        PSYS 552: Advanced Social Psychology
        PSYS 590: Readings/Research in Psychology

The required courses are arranged below by the semester in which the course is typically offered/taken. Students should consult the Psychological Science Concentration Program Guide and TopNet to determine when Science of Behavior and Focus Area courses will be offered. For some courses, students are required to enroll in sections specifically designated for the Psychological Science concentration. Grades lower than "B" may not be used to satisfy requirements for courses in the Research Methods and Statistics Core (i.e., PSYS 510, PSYS 512, PSYS 513, and PSYS 518), PSYS 581, or PSYS 595.

Fall: First Semester

    • PSYS 510 Advanced Research Methods in Psychology: In this course, students examine methodological concepts and issues in the conduct of psychological research. Students who excel in this class may be given the opportunity to serve as a laboratory instructor for the undergraduate research methods course in their second year.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.

Spring: Second Semester

    • PSYS 512 Analysis of Variance: In this course, students will examine the theory behind and application of between- and within-subjects designs, mixed designs, and other data analytic techniques with an emphasis on analysis of variance.
    • PSYS 581 Professional Issues and Ethics in Psychological Science: The focus of this course is to discuss ethics, legal issues,  professional issues (e.g., confidentiality, areas of competency) that graduate students are likely to encounter both during and after the completion of a degree in Psychological Sciences.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.

Summer: Following First Year

Selected courses meeting degree requirements may also be offered during the summer. Students should consult with their advisor to select an appropriate course. (Note that students are not required to enroll in a summer course.)

Fall: Third Semester

    • PSYS 513 Correlation and Regression Analysis: The focus of this course is to learn about advanced analysis techniques appropriate to psychological research, with an emphasis on regression analysis, partial correlation, moderated multiple regression, and analysis of covariance.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.

Spring: Fourth Semester

    • PSYS 518 Statistics and Psychometric Theory: This course focuses on statistical techniques related to reliability and validity assessment, test construction, and measurement theory.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.
    • Any Course Meeting Degree Requirements: This could include: a) a Science of Behavior course, b) a Focus Area course, c) PSYS 595 (Practicum in Psychological Science), or d) PSYS 599 (Thesis Research and Writing). See the list of acceptable courses at the bottom of this page. Students should consult with their advisor to select the most appropriate course.

Below are the courses that do not follow a regular course rotation. Students should consult the Psychological Science Concentration Program Guide and TopNet to determine which of these courses will be offered in a given semester.

    Science of Behavior - 1 course required (may not be repeated in the Focus Area):

    • PSYS 521: Advanced Child Psychology
    • PSYS 530: Conditioning and Learning
    • PSYS 533: Advanced Topics in Cognition
    • PSYS 552: Advanced Social Psychology
    • PSYS 567: Advanced Physiological Psychology

    PSYS 595: Practicum in Psychological Science - 3 credits required

    • The Psychological Science faculty and students meet weekly for colloquium presentations of individual research (given by both faculty and students). This provides researchers with an opportunity to receive valuable feedback regarding their research design or other aspects of their study. First-year and second-year students are required to attend.

    PSYS 599: Thesis Research and Writing - 6 credits required

    • Students are encouraged to propose their thesis before or during the Fall of their second year in the program.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14