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.

In addition to the core graduate courses in psychology, the MA in Psychology degree offers the following areas of focus:

Health and Wellness
Science and Theories

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.

3
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.

3
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

3
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.

3
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.

3
PSY635 Concepts of Mental Health and Illness

The course provides an overview of concepts of mental health and its development, and of the etiologies of psychopathology, from a culturally sensitive perspective. Students learn to recognize the complex biological and environmental contributors to mental illness, and to evaluate effective treatment approaches for mental illness.

3
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.

3
PSY660 Counseling Theories and Techniques I

The course presents the following approaches to counseling: psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, Adlerian, interpersonal process, Gestalt, postmodern, and feminist. The course includes both theory and opportunities to develop and practice skills related to the theories.

3
OR
PSY661 Counseling Theories and Techniques II

The course presents the following approaches to counseling: behavioral, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, reality, mindfulness-informed therapies, person-centered, humanistic, existential, and integrative. The course includes both theory and opportunities to develop and practice skills related to the theories.

3
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.

3

+Health and Wellness Concentration

3 of the following courses

PSY530 Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts and intervention techniques of sport and exercise psychology. Topics covered will include motivation theory applied to sport, team dynamics, an introduction to psychological skills training, the psychology of sport injury, and issues pertinent to exercise adoption, adherence, and drop-out.

3
PSY663 Foundations of Health Psychology

Students will explore how psychological processes influence physical health. Further, the psychological sequellae of physical illness will be examined. Students will delve into the mind-body connection with consideration given to the cultural context. The role of the counseling psychologist as a member of the healthcare team will be explored.

3
PSY665 Addictions Counseling

The course addresses a variety of addiction topics, including chemical dependency, eating disorders, sexual addiction, the chemically dependent offender, and women's issues in addiction. Several treatment models are explored, with emphases on effectiveness of treatment approaches and on multicultural sensitivity.

3
PSY668 Crisis, Trauma and Recovery

The course is an introduction to the field of psychological trauma, examining the historical development of trauma as a clinical entity and an overview of theories and strategies for treating trauma. Students will learn to identify and work with their own reactions to clients who present trauma issues.

3
PSY671 Mindfulness Counseling

This course explores mindfulness and acceptance based approaches to counseling and discusses the integration of art and science when utilizing these approaches. Students will examine current research about efficacy of such approaches, and also develop beginning skills in these approaches.

3
PSY677 Grief Counseling

The course introduces students to the techniques, strategies, and treatment modalities counselors use to work with adults, children, and families dealing with bereavement. The class focuses on psychological, somatic, cultural, and spiritual aspects of grief and loss. Other topics included are interventions, community resources, and diverse religious and cultural practices.

3
Elective graduate level course approved by the program director
PSY693 Independent Study

3

+Science and Theories Concentration

PSY660 Counseling Theories and Techniques I

The course presents the following approaches to counseling: psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, Adlerian, interpersonal process, Gestalt, postmodern, and feminist. The course includes both theory and opportunities to develop and practice skills related to the theories.

3
OR (the one not taken above)
PSY661 Counseling Theories and Techniques II

The course presents the following approaches to counseling: behavioral, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, reality, mindfulness-informed therapies, person-centered, humanistic, existential, and integrative. The course includes both theory and opportunities to develop and practice skills related to the theories.

3
PSY681 Professional Integration Seminar

The course explores ethical conceptualization, analysis, and practices of applied and counseling psychologists. Topics include the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association, the history of applied psychology, and the developing mental health counseling movement. Certification, licensure, and regulatory practices are also discussed.

3
PSY682 Practicum

The course is an entry-level fieldwork course in which students obtain supervised counseling experience. They work directly under the supervision of a qualified professional and obtain experience interviewing clients and conducting sessions in group and individual formats.

3
PSY 682 is preferred if applying for our PsyD program
PSY693 Independent Study

3