Curriculum | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA) Curriculum

The Chatham University Master of Arts in Psychology degree is a 36 credit hour degree that provides graduate level education and training in psychology. The mission of the MA in Psychology degree is to provide women and men a foundation in the study of human behavior and skills for working with people. Graduates of the MA in Psychology program are able to use their understanding of psychological science and theories to further their professional careers in many ways, including work in research settings, in human service, health, or educational organizations, and in doctoral programs in psychology. Students also benefit from the rich and stimulating environment of Chatham University.

Chatham's MA in Psychology program offers small classes with individualized attention, knowledgeable and experienced faculty, opportunities to conduct research, and activities fostering leadership skill. The program emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, self-awareness, attention to socio-cultural diversity, application of knowledge, and both collaborative and independent work. The degree does not provide the education needed for licensure as a psychologist or counselor.

Program Requirements

+Core Courses for MA in Psychology Degree

Required for both concentrations

PSY501 Foundations of Counseling Psychology

The course focuses on historical, theoretical, ethical, and practical aspects of the counseling psychology field. Students will write a research paper, using the American Psychological Association Publication Manual and library resources commonly used by counseling psychologists. The course will also introduce students to the theory and practice of basic counseling skills.

PSY503 Applied Biological Psychology

The course addresses biological aspects of human psychology, including the biological basis of neurological deficits and mental disorders, and the use psychotropic medications for treating mental illnesses. Topics also include stress and health, mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, and contemporary issues in biological psychology.

PSY555 Statistics and Research Methods

The course provides a basic review of descriptive and inferential statistics and how these techniques are used with research methods in counseling psychology. Students will become proficient in computer analysis of data sets, designing and evaluating research designs and techniques, and understanding primary research in counseling literature

PSY617 Psychology of Culture and Identity

The course offers theories and techniques related to the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests measuring psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits. It does not involve actual test design, administration and interpretation, but does explore theories and techniques related to these activities.

PSY629 Human Development across the Life Span

The course explores cognitive, social, emotional and physiological development throughout the life span. While including concentration on the major theoretical approaches to life span development, an equally significant focus will be on practical application of material.

PSY642 Assessment

The course covers the basics of psychological assessment. The importance of integrating information from various sources when formulating hypotheses and diagnostic impressions and when developing treatment plans is emphasized. Other topics include interviewing, mental status examinations, psycho-physiological strategies, psychological tests related to various diagnostic groupings, and program evaluation.

PSY657 Psychopathology & Resilience

The course provides an overview of psychopathology. Students learn to recognize the complex biological, cultural, and environmental contributors to mental illness, and to diagnose mental disorders using standarized criteria. Students will also study the concept of resilience and its role in contributing to health and well-being.

PSY658 Evidence-Based Practice

This course provides an introduction to evidence-based practice in applied psychology, emphasizing a counseling psychology perspective to understanding human problems. The course focuses on the methodological issues in developing an empirical basis for psychological treatments, and understanding the evidence base for treatment, therapist, client, and therapeutic relationship effects.

PSY662 Theories and Techniques of Counseling

This course explored a variety of counseling theories and techniques to provide a foundation for the practice of professional counseling from a culturally sensitive perspective. The course emphasizes current professional research and practice related to counseling theories and techniques, and provides opportunities for skill practice.

PSY672 Group Counseling

The course explores the theory and practice of group experience from the perspectives of a member and observer. Topics include basic elements of group dynamics, interpersonal styles as they affect or hinder group functioning, role identity, leadership style, and application of group skills in organizations.