Psychology (M.A.)

Psychology (M.A.)

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Why get a master’s degree in psychology?

The five-year accelerated B.A./M.A. psychology degree program is for UNH undergraduate psychology majors who wish to gain extensive research experience as behavioral scientists in preparation for doctoral programs in psychology or applied psychology careers. You’ll develop a broad knowledge of psychology and perform research in one of three areas of specialization: brain, behavior and cognition; social/personality; and developmental psychology. Advance and further specialize your psychology education in only one additional year at UNH. This master’s degree is only available to UNH undergraduates.

Why choose UNH for your psychology degree?

As a student in the psychology master’s degree program, you’ll work closely with experienced faculty while conducting research. There are active research laboratories in all areas of the graduate program and the department has strong partnerships with such nationally recognized programs as UNH’s Child Study and Development Center and the Family Research Lab. Our graduate psychology program has been recognized by the American Psychological Association for Innovation in Graduate Education in Psychology.

Potential career areas

  • Doctoral program admission
  • University or industrial research

Contact

Psychology Department
468 McConnell Hall
15 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824 

Phone: (603) 862-2360

 

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Department of Psychology also offers an accelerated B.A to M.A in experimental psychology that can be accomplished in a total of 5 years.  The basic goal of the program is the development of behavioral scientists who have a broad knowledge of psychology and can carry out sound research in an area of specialization. Although some students seek employment outside academia, the program is oriented toward developing the skills required by the research psychologist who intends to seek admission to a Ph.D. program. Students who wish to apply to this program should submit a complete graduate application to the graduate school during the fall or spring of the student's third year. As well, they should arrange to work with a particular faculty member who will serve as a preceptor for the Paper of Publishable Quality - Thesis project.

Areas in which the student may specialize are brain, behavior and cognition; developmental psychology; or social psychology/personality. The department does not offer training in clinical or counseling psychology.

The accelerated B.A. to M.A. program in experimental psychology aims to

  1. improve opportunities for excellent undergraduates to prepare for competitive Ph.D. programs or add an additional credential before entering a competitive job market; and
  2. allow students interested in experimental psychology to advance and further specialize their psychology education in only one additional year at UNH.

The MA requires 30 credits. Twelve credits will count towards both the BA and MA degree.  These three courses count as electives and do not count towards the core requirements for the undergraduate psychology major. Students must fulfill all programmatic requirements for the master's degree program, as well as fulfill all programmatic requirements for their bachelor's degree.

The first step toward applying to the program is to contact a faculty member whose research is in a topic that matches your interest in order to arrange support for your thesis or paper of publishable quality. Interested students must submit a full graduate application to the graduate school during their junior year.

For additional information, please contact Robin Scholefield at 603-862-2369 or at robin.scholefield@unh.edu.
 

The M.A. Psychology is only available as part of the accelerated B.A./M.A. program and thus not open for admission to students outside of UNH.
 

Accelerated Masters: BA/MA

A total of 30 graduate credits to include:

PSYC 805Research Methodology and Statistics I4
PSYC 806Research Methodology and Statistics II4
PSYC 907Research Methods and Statistics III4
PSYC 894Advanced Research8
or PSYC 899 Master's Thesis
A minimum of two Psychology advanced seminars8

Note: Most students complete the master’s research project in the form of a PPQ. Those selecting the thesis option should note that the thesis deadlines for the final oral and submission of the final thesis copy are about three weeks earlier than the deadlines for the PPQ option

Example BA/MA Five-year program sequence:

36 credits total in this example.
Only 30 credits are required.
12 credits count both as electives for the BA (out of 36 available in the BA) and toward
the 30 required for the MA:

Plan of Study Grid
Fourth Year
FallCredits
PSYC 805 Research Methodology and Statistics I 4
Advanced seminar or elective 4
Advanced seminar or elective 4
 Credits12
Spring
PSYC 806 Research Methodology and Statistics II 4
 Credits4
Fifth Year
Fall
PSYC 907 Research Methods and Statistics III 4
PSYC 894
or PSYC 899
Advanced Research
or Master's Thesis
4
 Credits8
Spring
Advanced seminar or elective 4
Advanced Seminar or elective 4
PSYC 899
or PSYC 894
Master's Thesis
or Advanced Research
4
 Credits12
 Total Credits36
  • Have a mastery of the field of psychology sufficient to teach introductory courses in psychology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of statistics and research design, and the ability to evaluate the quality and implications of scientific research by completing a research project (supervised by a faculty member).
  • Write empirical research reports and literature reviews in American Psychological Association style.
  • Demonstrate competence in oral communication and understanding of scholarly research by giving a conference style presentation.
  • Assessment: Each student presents an oral defense of their Masters Thesis or paper of publishable quality.

Explore Program Details

The Brain, Behavior, and Cognition program offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of cognition and brain function. Its aim is to provide students with the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to conduct independent research and to become productive scholars and teachers in this area. Mentorship comes from nine faculty members in Psychology, and can be enhanced by collaboration with faculty from other departments such as Animal and Nutritional Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Linguistics, and Zoology. The faculty in Brain, Behavior, and Cognition offers a wide range of knowledge and experience analyzing behavior and applying the techniques of traditional experimental psychology, psychophysics, and modern neuroscience to the study of related cognitive, perceptual, biological and neurological mechanisms.

Most graduate students work on research projects that are part of a faculty member's on-going research, but students are encouraged to develop independent lines of research. Currently, faculty members have interests in basic memory processes; reading comprehension; psycholinguistics; language development; physiological mechanisms that underlie certain memory, stress, and mood disorders; psychopharmacology; psychoneuroimmunology; animal learning and behavior; comparative psychology; basic visual processes including spatial and temporal properties of stereopsis illusions, color vision, and physiological optics.

Animal labs include a variety of computer-controlled apparatus for training diverse behavioral tasks. These include a Morris water maze, video tracking system for open field, automated radial arm mazes, swim stress apparatus, chambers for olfactory discrimination and memory, rodent operant chambers for training DM and DNM with retractable levers, avian operant chambers with video displays and touchscreens, serial reaction task chambers, and shuttle boxes. Additional behavioral apparatus include measures of motor function, analgesia, behavioral despair, and fear conditioning. The labs are well-equipped for stereotaxic surgery, histology, light-microscopy and image analysis, intracranial infusion of drugs, neurochemistry and receptor binding studies, assessment of immune function, and stress-controllability programs.

Vision labs are equipped with a four-channel xenon-arc-based Maxwellian view optical system, a computer-based stereo Maxwellian view optical system, and a two-channel rear projection free-view optical system.

Cognitive labs consist of state-of-the-art computers and associated equipment, including eye-tracking technology. The cognitive neuroscience laboratory is equipped with a 64-channel ActiChamp EEG system.

The Developmental Psychology program offers graduate students the opportunity to study social, emotional, cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of human development. Coursework and research in the department touches on development from infancy through old age, and encompasses both theoretical and applied perspectives. Students emerge from the program with a broad knowledge base in developmental psychology and familiarity with diverse methodologies.

Current faculty research interests include cultural and media influences on development, parenting, sexuality, social support and memory development.

The Social/Personality psychology program provides opportunities for graduate students to do research on many topics. Some graduate students work on research problems that are closely related to ongoing faculty research programs, while others develop their own research interests. Students draw on the expertise of the faculty in Developmental, Cognitive and other areas of psychology within the department, and with faculty in other departments such as Sociology, in addition to the faculty whose primary identification is with Social/Personality Psychology.

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