The Master of Arts in Psychology offers access to high quality graduate education within the discipline of psychology. The MA program trains people to work with communities and organizations to help them develop, implement and evaluate innovative solutions to social problems (the program is not a clinically-oriented program or a licensure granting program). The MA program educates students in the systematic application of psychological theories, research and intervention methods to understand, prevent and ameliorate problems, such as violence, substance abuse, obesity, interpersonal conflict, toxic environments, political participation, bullying, safety and other relevant topics. Prevention (rather than treatment) is a primary focus in this program along with empowerment, health promotion, and community development. Emphasis is placed on interventions that are designed around the needs and strengths of the community, rooted in the wisdom and work of the members of each community, and validated by empirical research.
The MA in Psychology is a 36-credit graduate degree program with an emphasis on psychological science, community and social psychological theory, empirical research, social justice, multiculturalism and hands-on applications of knowledge. The core courses in the program cover applied research methods and analysis and social and community psychology theories relevant to understanding groups, communities and organizations. Students supplement the core courses with electives that are tailored to their professional goals, such as prevention, group dynamics, cross-cultural psychology, attitudes and social influence, peace psychology, and political psychology. A master's thesis or project, as well as an optional practicum experience, allow students to hone their research and intervention skills.
Classes are lively, informal and small. Students in the program study together with other talented students from varied life backgrounds and with nationally-recognized faculty who have extensive experience in teaching, research, and working with diverse organizations and communities. The program is intended for both full-time (two classes a semester) and part-time students (one class a semester).