College of Education and Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Psychology

The Master of Arts in Psychology has been designed as a flexible, multipurpose degree program with professional psychology as its foundation. Degree programs are structured to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify students for specialized employment opportunities and/or the preparation necessary to pursue the doctoral degree in psychology. Within this program, students may select from the following majors:

Admission

All graduate programs require that you submit a completed application to the Jackson College of Graduate Studies.

Counseling

The Counseling Program major prepares graduates to provide services in diverse settings including community mental health centers, youth and family service agencies, marriage and family counseling centers, child guidance clinics, university counseling centers, psychiatric hospitals, drug and alcohol treatment centers, shelters and centers for child abuse and domestic violence, and private practice. Some graduates complete additional training at the doctoral level.

Students in the program are expected to:

  • Develop an understanding of the ethical and legal standards of behavior for counselors and consistently function in an ethical, professional manner
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in creating effective professional relationships that facilitate the counseling process
  • Develop and demonstrate effectiveness in working with diverse models, theories, and techniques that contribute to positive outcomes in counseling including evidence based treatments
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in conducting effective assessment and treatment of children, couples and families while being sensitive to the special needs and considerations of these client populations
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of the science of psychology, applied research, and scientific inquiry and their contributions to the counseling process
  • Develop and demonstrate skills in working in gender and culturally diverse contexts and with individuals who are culturally diverse
  • Demonstrate an understanding of empirically validated group psychotherapy theory, techniques and process dynamics
  • Demonstrate a pantheoretical understanding of the development, diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology.

The Counseling major requires a minimum of 60 graduate hours. In addition to the core courses required for all M.A. students, the program also requires that students complete coursework in counseling (individual, group, and couples and families), psychological assessment (intelligence, educational, and personality), legal and ethical aspects of counseling, psychopathology, and other counseling-related courses.

Training in the Counseling program culminates in a two consecutive semester practicum. During practicum, students provide supervised services to a diverse clientele in a faculty approved setting. Pre-practicum meetings are held prior to each semester's practicum placement to provide information to students about the applications that will be submitted to the Counseling Training Committee (CTC; the Counseling faculty). Students must submit an application, an official transcript, and a curriculum vita. In addition to submitting the required materials, students must have completed all of the specified counseling and assessment courses and have no more than nine hours of coursework (not including practicum) remaining. Students who apply for practicum experience but have not completed their coursework at UCO must submit to additional review by the CTC and may require further preparation as deemed necessary. Once applications have been submitted and minimum requirements have been met, the CTC will review applications and notify students of their status. Students' performance during their course of study will be used to assess whether the student has acquired the minimum counseling and assessment skills necessary for practicum placement. Concerns about students' readiness will be addressed by the CTC and students will be notified concerning any remediation necessary. Due to the serious nature of providing counseling and assessment services, students in the Counseling Program will be reviewed periodically by the CTC regarding their personal and professional readiness to apply for practicum.

Students in the counseling program are typically working towards Licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) or Behavioral Practitioner (LBP). Each license requires that applicants complete a Master's degree with at least sixty (60) hours of counseling related coursework. Further information concerning licensure may be obtained from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Application Process
To be considered for admission into the M.A. in Psychology - Counseling candidates must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher OR a 3.0 in the last 60 hours attempted.  Candidates must also meet the minimum GRE score of 900 combined Verbal and Quantitative OR a 3.5 Writing.

To apply for admission into the M.A. in Psychology - Counseling candidates must complete the following steps:

  • submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and official GRE scores
  • submit a supplemental application to the Psychology department (Please note: the supplemental application packet must include all documents listed on the last page of the application)

The application deadline for the M.A. in Psychology - Counseling is January 15 for the following fall admission.

Dr. Lorry Youll - Program Coordinator

Experimental

The Experimental major is a flexible, multipurpose degree program. One of its major strengths is in preparing students to pursue the doctoral degree in psychology. The program is also structured to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify students for specialized employment opportunities.

The Experimental major requires a minimum of 40 graduate credit hours. In addition to the core courses required for all M.A. students, students exercising the Experimental major must also enroll in PSY 5343 Psychological Science; and PSY 5383 Multivariate Analysis w/SPSS, and additional course work as required by the advisory committee.

Students enrolled in this major must submit a thesis in partial fulfillment of their degree requirements. The student's advisory committee, with the addition of one faculty member from outside the department, will constitute the reading committee for the master's thesis. The member from outside the department, will, at the request of the student, be appointed by the graduate dean along with confirmation of the total committee as the thesis is begun.

The master's thesis is a research project which has the potential for publication in a psychological journal. For clarification of what qualifies as research in the field of psychology and for matters of concern regarding the design and reporting of research, the student is referred to the publication manual of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Mickie Vanhoy - Program Coordinator

Forensic Psychology

The program emphasizes scientific research in experimental psychology and applications to forensics issues. It is a nonclinical program that trains students in quantitative methods of scientific inquiry.

In addition to the core courses required for all Psychology M.A. students, students in the Forensic Psychology major will take classes in the Psychology Department as well as the Forensic Science Institute.

Dr. Robert Mather – Program Coordinator

General Psychology

The Master of Arts in General Psychology is a 32-hour degree that is designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of students. This degree would be ideal for the student who desires a graduate degree for career advancement in the business world, or for the student who already has a master's degree but is returning to take additional hours for certification or licensure in the mental health or school services fields. The 32-hour MA would also be appropriate for those who wish to obtain more advanced knowledge in psychology but do not necessarily want to become a counselor or complete a thesis.

The General Psychology major requires the same core courses as the other options yet has more opportunity for elective coursework and course substitutions.

School Psychology

The School Psychology Program major requires a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours. In addition to the core courses required for all M.A. students, students choosing the School Psychology major must also enroll in 9 hours of diagnostic courses, 6 hours of counseling, and other course work as determined by the advisor/s.

The program prepares graduates to provide psychological services in public and private schools and other mental health agencies.

By the end of their training, students are expected to:

  • Have and use various models and methods of assessment to yield information useful in data based decision making
  • Have and use knowledge of behavioral, mental health, collaborative, and/or other consultation models and methods to effectively collaborate with others in planning and making decisions at the individual, group, and system levels
  • Work with others in developing appropriate cognitive and academic goals for students with different abilities, disabilities, strengths and needs
  • Apply techniques to assess socialization and developmental life skills in order to collaborate with others in developing appropriate behavioral, affective, adoptive, and social goals for students
  • Demonstrate skills needed to work with individuals of diverse characteristics
  • Understand schools and other settings as systems in order to promote policies and practices that create safe, supportive, and effective learning environments for children and others
  • Use knowledge of human development and psychopathology and of associated biological, cultural, and social influences to provide or contribute to programs that promote mental health and physical well being of students
  • Work with families, educators and others to promote and provide comprehensive services to children
  • Practice in ways consistent with standards of their profession and seek career-long professional development
  • Access, evaluate, and use information sources and technology in ways that safeguard or enhance quality school based psychological services

Students desiring a School Psychologist Certificate must also meet certification requirements and prepare a professional portfolio as they progress through the program.

Certification requirements include a 1200 hour internship and state or national examinations.

Application Process
To be considered for admission into the M.A. in Psychology - School candidates must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher OR a 3.0 in the last 60 hours attempted. Candidates must also meet the minimum GRE score of 900 combined Verbal and Quantitative OR a 3.5 Writing.

To apply for admission into the M.A. in Psychology - School candidates must complete the following steps:

  • submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and official GRE scores
  • submit a supplemental application to the Psychology department (Please note: the supplemental application packet must include all documents listed on the last page of the application)

The application deadline for the M.A. in Psychology - School is January 15 for the following fall admission.

Dr. Mary Sweet-Darter - Program Coordinator

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. In addition to the course sequence and passing the national exam, successful completion of 1500 clock hour supervised internship is required. This course sequence is available only to those with earned Master's Degrees in related fields or those currently enrolled in Master's Degree programs in related fields.

Prerequisite:

  1. Completion of an earned Master's Degree OR acceptance into a Master's Degree. Program in a related field is a prerequisite for entrance into the program [Ex. Psychology, School Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Special Education, Speech and Language Pathology, Guidance and Counseling, Early Childhood Education, Education or Nursing.) The acceptance committee will determine applicability of degree]

General Guidelines:

  1. A Master's Degree and the course sequence must be earned before the student can apply to take the Board Certified Behavioral Analyst Examination.
  2. A Grade of C or higher must be earned on each course in the program.
  3. The 1500 clock hour internship must be completed under supervision as prescribed by the National Board
  4. Acceptance into the program is based on submission of an application, a copy of the applicant's transcript and recommendations from 2 people familiar with the applicant's suitability for serving as a Behavior Analyst.
  5. Admission to the program will be by cohort group. Each cohort group starts in a Fall semester and takes one course per semester for two years (one course is taken during the summer between year 1 and year 2). A portion of the internship may be earned during the course sequence as long as activities supervised are within the scope of the course(s) taken.

Dr. Scott Singleton, BCBA-D - Program Coordinator

School Psychometrist Certification

Completion of the required courses will enable the student to apply for official certification. This certification authorizes the holder to serve as a School Psychometrist/Educational Diagnostician in any accredited school in Oklahoma.

General Guidelines

  1. This certification track is only available to those individuals who are completing or have completed the Master of Arts in Psychology – School program at the University of Central Oklahoma.
  2. The applicant must satisfy all requirements related to formal admission to the Jackson College of Graduate Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. Applications may be completed online at http://www.uco.edu/ graduate/admissions.html.
  3. The minimum requirements for the standard Psychometrist/Educational Diagnostician certificate include a Master’s degree in one of the following areas: psychology, educational psychology, child psychology, special education, counseling, or a related field.
  4. The applicant shall pass the School Psychometry State Curriculum Examination prior to being issued a certificate.
  5. The applicant must complete a minimum of twenty-five (25) semester hours of graduate course work as outlined below, beyond the prerequisites.
  6. For recommendation by the University of Central Oklahoma, a minimum of the last nine semester hours of course work must be completed at the University of Central Oklahoma.
  7. Applicants must successfully complete all portfolio requirements as designated by the program.

See Course Catalog for required courses.