Health Psychology Program Requirements & Standards

The forte of our health psychology master's of science program is to prepare you for successful application to doctoral programs in clinical and health psychology or to begin your career as a research assistant or coordinator in clinical health psychology. Our program has a mentorship model.  We match thesis students to faculty with similar interests in order to maximize the research opportunities for our students and for them to gain more experience and knowledge in particular areas of health psychology.

The health psychology master's of science program trains you the basics of clinical research and introduces you to theories regarding health behavior change. We do so in the context of a low-stress environment and a supportive atmosphere that ensures that you will excel and reach your maximum potential in preparation for a doctoral program.

If you do not want to pursue the doctoral degree but do want to work in psychology and the health care field, obtaining the master's degree will give you the basic set of qualifications to begin work in research settings.

Prerequisites for Admission

To apply for admission to the masters of science program in health psychology, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and a 3.2 or higher in your undergraduate major
  • Be fluent in both written and spoken English
  • Twelve credit hours in psychology, including:
    • Introductory Psychology
    • Research Methods
    • Statistics
    • One additional psychology course

If you lack these requirements, you may be able to fulfill them through additional coursework in the MS program.

Coursework

Through a combination of coursework and research experiences, you will acquire a thorough background in the psychological theory of mental and physical health, behavioral medicine, research methods, legal and ethical issues, assessment, and cognitive-behavior therapy.

Courses emphasize current issues and state-of-the-art research. You will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge in research labs on campus.  Students work closely with our faculty.

Degree Program Options:

MS Thesis Option (Full-time and Part-time)

The MS thesis degree program is designed for students who will pursue a PhD. The thesis track requires 37 credits of coursework and research for graduation. The MS thesis curriculum requires 10 research credits, which include writing and defending an empirical thesis. It requires fewer practice-oriented credits than the non-thesis track.

The curriculum is designed so that full-time students can complete the program in two years. Courses are ordered so that students acquire skills and knowledge in a sequence that maximizes learning. All students begin their course work in the Fall semester.

The part-time option is designed for working professionals who are willing to complete the program in more than two years. Whether you enroll in the part-time program or the full-time program, the curriculum is identical.

MS Non-Thesis Option (Full-time and Part-time)

The MS non-thesis degree program is designed for students intending to pursue a higher degree in a health related field (e.g., medicine) or for those who wish training in health psychology to supplement their current training. The non-thesis track requires 36 credits of coursework and one semester of research for graduation.

The non-thesis curriculum includes extra electives (2) enabling students to tailor their coursework closely to their interests. A required semester of research ensures that all students gain experience and exposure to applied experimental or clinical health research.

The curriculum is designed so that full-time students can complete the program in two years. Courses and research experiences are ordered so that students acquire skills and knowledge in a sequence that maximizes learning. All students begin their coursework in the Fall semester.

The part-time option is designed for working professionals who are willing to complete the program in more than two years. Whether you enroll in the part-time program or the full-time program, the curriculum is identical.