Psychology at NMU
The Psychology Department offers two master of science degrees: one in experimental psychology and one in training, development and performance improvement. In addition, the department offers two, one-year graduate certficate programs: in facilitating training and in performance improvement. Credits from the certificate programs may be applied toward the master’s degree in training, development and performance improvement. Each master’s program has its own set of admission and program requirements.
The Psychology Department offers a master of science degree that provides students with a thorough grounding in experimental psychology, preparing the student for doctoral programs and/or positions that require the master’s degree. The MS degree in psychology at NMU provides (a) intensive student-initiated research training in a variety of areas of experimental psychology, (b) the statistical and methodological knowledge required to examine basic or applied issues and to function as an applied psychologist and (c) an appreciation of the scientific basis of all fields of psychology. Many graduates of this program will pursue training at the doctoral level while others will be prepared to work in a wide variety of occupations in which an advanced understanding of psychology, research methodology or human research is of value.
The master’s candidate may choose a thesis topic in any of these areas of specialization: behavioral analysis, biopsychology, cognitive science, developmental psychology, history of psychology, neuroscience or social psychology. As a master of science candidate in psychology, students will work closely with a primary faculty adviser who has expertise in the chosen field of experimental psychology. The program is designed such that during the first year the student should be able to complete the required course work and prepare a thesis proposal; during the second year the student should be able to complete the remaining course credits and the data-based thesis. A thesis defense, open to members of the university community, is the capstone project for the MS degree.
Program Requirements for Experimental Psychology
The degree requirements for the MS in psychology are a minimum of 32 graduate-level course credits, which must include (a) successful completion of the two core courses in advanced research methods and experimental design, PY 505 and PY 506, for a total of 8 credits, (b) successful completion (and defense) of the master’s thesis, PY 599, for a total of 4 credits and (c) a minimum of 12 credits of course work, in addition to the thesis, at the 500 level (3 courses).
Admission Requirements for Experimental Psychology
Applications for admission to the MS program in psychology at NMU, on either a full- or part-time basis, will be accepted from students holding a BA or BS degree preferably in psychology, or an appropriate equivalent. Candidates with other majors will be considered but may be required to complete certain undergraduate course work in psychology prior to being advanced to candidacy for the MS degree. Candidates must submit an authorized transcript of their BA- or BS-level work, a formal letter of application outlining goals and expectations, and at least three letters of reference from individuals who know the candidate personally. GRE exam scores, from both the general and the psychology sections, are recommended but optional.
The graduate admissions committee of the Psychology Department will review all applications and will consult with potential thesis supervisors of suitable candidates. Dossiers are evaluated in their entirety. The committee will offer full or conditional admission to the MS degree program, depending upon the candidate’s comparative strengths and weaknesses, to a limited number of acceptable applicants each year.
Training, Development and Performance Improvement
The Psychology Department offers a graduate study program leading to the master of science degree in training, development and performance improvement with a special emphasis on planned organizational change. The program is designed to prepare professionals who can function as effective leaders of successful teams in private or public agencies and organizations. Graduates of the program will be able to create and lead learning and performance improvement efforts that contribute to organizational achievement, and employ action research to identify and solve organizational problems related to the effective use of human resources. For those individuals interested in training, development and performance improvement but who do not wish to pursue the masters degree, the department offers two one-year graduate certificate programs. A 16-credit-hour facilitating training certificate and a 17-credit-hour performance improvement certificate are available to interested individuals.
Program Requirements for Training, Development and Performance Improvement
Students pursuing a graduate certificate will be admitted to the College of Graduate Studies as a non-degree student. Students pursing a master of science degree will design, in consultation with his/her adviser and the director of graduate study, a plan of study consisting of a minimum 40 credit hours. Requirements for the graduate degree program include: completion of at least 40 semester hours of approved graduate credit with a minimum grade point average of 3.0, a minimum of 28 credits taken in 500-level courses open only to graduate students, and admission to candidacy to the graduate degree.
Admission Requirements for Training, Development and Performance Improvement
To qualify for regular admission, students must complete PY 100 Introductory Psychology or the equivalent, and PY 305 Psychological Statistics or MA 171 Introduction to Probability and Statistics or their equivalent and they must meet all of the regular admission requirements for the College of Graduate Studies. Applicants who do not meet regular admission criteria may apply for conditional admission, as defined by the College of Graduate Studies.