Academic Catalog

Psychology, M.A.

Program Description

Medaille College’s M.A. in Psychology is a 36-credit course of study in which students take 3-credit courses:

  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Research Methods
  • Assessment
  • Counseling
  • Statistics
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology, and
  • Psychopathology.

In addition to this coursework, students must also successfully complete either a thesis of potentially publishable quality (6 credits) or an internship (6 credits) in order to earn the M.A. degree. Students may enroll in either the on-campus or online program.

Program Objectives

The M.A. in Psychology is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in advanced principles and methods of psychology at a graduate level suitable for building careers in business, education, research, and government. The objectives include providing students with an opportunity to:

  • explore several sub fields of psychology
  • learn more about the science and practice of psychology and focus their interest
  • gain advanced training in each of the core areas of study
  • develop the analytical tools necessary to successful careers and/or further study in psychology at the doctoral level

Those students with a goal of continuing to doctoral-level study will have the opportunity to strengthen their credentials and to gain a more advanced background to facilitate continued learning. See the Master of Arts in Psychology Handbook for further information.

Optional Concentration in Sport Psychology

Students in the M.A. in Psychology may pursue an optional concentration in “Sport Psychology”. The concentration in Sport Psychology is designed to provide students advanced coursework to pursue sport psychology and coaching as a vocation. Content will focus on fundamental principles in the area of sport psychology, sport counseling and intervention, psychological factors in rehabilitation and coaching and performance. This advanced study will also serve professionals in the field of sport performance, coaching, health, fitness and wellness. Students will declare upon entering Program or at the end of First Semester in attendance.

On-Ground Program Schedule

The on-campus Master of Arts in Psychology is a full-time program. Students take 4 courses per semester for one year (fall, spring, summer). Each course is 3 credit hours for a total of 12 credit hours per semester or 36 total credit hours.

Fall Semester /Spring Semester

Students will take 4 courses in the following formats:

  • 1 Online Course for 15 Weeks (Online Course Format)
  • 1 On-Campus Course for 15 Weeks (15 Week Course Format)
  • 2 Half Semester Courses for 7 weeks each (7-1-7 format)

Summer Semester

Students will take 3 courses in the following formats:

  • 1 Course for 15 Weeks (PSY 797 Thesis Guidance or PSY 677 Internship)
  • 2 Half Semester Courses for 7 weeks each (7-1-7 format)

Course Formats

Online: Students will take one 15-week online course in the fall semester and one 15-week online course in the spring semester.

15 Week: On- ground classes that run over the entire semester (15 Weeks) meet one night per week for 3 hours, from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

7-1-7: Each 15-week semester is divided into two 7-week course cycles with a 1-week break separating each cycle. Each class taken in the 7-week format meets one night per week from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Students take one 7-week on-campus class in the first cycle and a second 7-week on-campus class in the second cycle.

Note: Classes also meet the first and last Saturday of the course for 4.5 hours on a Saturday (A total of 2 Saturday sessions per course or 4 Saturday sessions per semester). Thus, the 7-1-7 courses start with a Saturday orientation and end with a Saturday conclusion set aside for assessment and competency.

Delivery Format

The On Ground delivery model includes 7 Week (7-1-7) and full semester, evening, online, and day classes. The Online Program includes a combination of 7-week and 15-week online courses. Students take 12 credits per semester, but may develop a half-time plan by taking 6 credits per semester. In the summer, students take two consecutive 6-week courses and register for either Thesis Guidance or Internship. Meeting times for Thesis and Internship are arranged with the student’s supervisor.

Because the coursework is sequentially arranged, it is strongly recommended that students start the program in the fall semester. However, students will also be accepted at the beginning of the spring term with the understanding that they are entering a coherent and unified program midstream. No student shall be allowed to begin the program during the summer semester.

Graduate Placement Data

Psychology 2009 2010 2011 2012
Employed 83% 100% 100% 78%
Employed in Field Related to Degree 83% 50% 83% 78%
Furthering Education 33% 50% 17% 39%
Placement Rate 83% 100% 100% 100%

The Master's Thesis

The Master of Arts with Thesis candidate must successfully complete a thesis. There will be a thesis advisor (1) who encourages the student in the design and execution of the research program and in the writing of the thesis. During the time the thesis is being completed, the student must register with the advisor or an assigned research director for a total of six (6) semester hours of thesis credit (PSY 797 Thesis Guidance).

The thesis must be approved by the advisor in consultation with the student. Students are required to engage a thesis second reader: This Second Reader serves as the secondary expert who reviews the thesis for appropriate content, theory, and method. Note: The Second Reader is only required to read one draft of the thesis late in the process as the student prepares their final draft.

Students should identify a thesis advisor from faculty in the program by April 1. Students who would like to work with an advisor from the community may make this request of the Program Director. All thesis advisors must hold doctoral degrees in the behavioral or biological sciences or in health or mental health fields. Students must notify the Program Director once the advisor has agreed to work on the project. The Program Director can help identify potential thesis advisors.

Because of the fast-paced nature of the program, it is highly recommended that students begin researching their thesis topics early in the spring semester. Students should expect that the writing process will take a minimum of 3-4 months.

Use of Human Subjects

If human participants are involved in thesis research, the student must obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board at Medaille College. Application materials and instructions are available from the Program Director, and students should consult with the Program Director in preparing these materials. Data may not be collected for the Master's thesis before human subjects’ approval has been granted.

The Oral Examination

The final oral examination may be requested by the student, the thesis advisor, or the second reader of the thesis. A final oral examination on the Master's thesis shall be held when the student has completed the thesis to the satisfaction of the student's advisor, provided all other requirements for the Master of Arts degree have been completed and a 3.0 grade point average has been maintained throughout the student's coursework. An oral examination committee conducts the oral examination. The chairperson of the examination committee selects the time and place of the oral examination and is responsible for notifying the other members of the committee and the candidate. Members of the oral examination committee must be given a minimum of seven (7) business days to review the student's thesis prior to the oral examination. The duration of the oral examination is approximately one (1) hour. The decision to accept the oral examination as satisfactory must be unanimous. Students may present themselves for oral examination only twice.

The Master’s Internship

The MA Psychology Internship is designed to provide an introduction to the role that psychologists play in varied settings. Under the guidance of both on-site and campus supervisors, students gain hands-on practical experience by shadowing professionals and/or by providing entry-level mental health services at a site of their choice. The experience provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply acquired knowledge, theories, and concepts of psychology in a 180-hour placement developed in consultation with the faculty advisor. It can take place

  • in a traditional mental health setting (community mental health agency, health care facility, psychiatric hospital etc.,)
  • in a human services setting (correctional facility, business setting, law enforcement agency, etc.,) or
  • in a research setting.

Students have the flexibility to focus on areas of interest, which may include administrative, clinical, advocacy, or research activities. Supervision includes at least one-hour of individual weekly meetings with the Site Supervisor and participation in a biweekly seminar with the assigned campus supervisor.

The following applies to all students:

  • Students may not complete the internship in settings in which they are employed.
  • All students enrolled in practicum must be covered by Professional Liability Insurance.
  • The Program Director, in conjunction with the student’s advisor has the authority to determine a student’s readiness for practicum.
  • In order to register for internship, students must be in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.)
  • The final grade is determined by the Campus Supervisor in consultation with the Site Supervisor, who completes a final evaluation of the student’s performance at the site.

Time Limits

All requirements for the degree of Master of Arts must be completed within three years of the date of admission to the Department of Psychology Graduate Program. All graduate students must be registered for a minimum of six credit hours during each fall, spring and summer semester. Graduate students in good academic standing who cannot maintain continuous registration should apply for a withdrawal by the beginning of the semester in which the leave is to begin. Students who do not apply for a withdrawal will be required to reapply for admittance into the program after being out of the program for one year.

Registration Requirements

All master’s students are required to register every semester for at least one credit hour. When all other requirements have been completed except for the completion of the thesis and/or passing the oral examination or completion of the Internship, students may have an automatic one-term extension at the discretion of the thesis or internship supervisor. After one term, students are required to file for an extension and register for a minimum of 1 credit of PSY 797 Thesis Guidance or PSY 677 Internship.

Course Requirement Waiver

In extraordinary circumstances, a course requirement waiver may be requested based on coursework taken at Medaille College or at another institution. To petition for a course requirement waiver, the student must submit a formal request for a Waiver of a Course Requirement with accompanying documentation to the Advisor. When a course requirement is waived, the student is still responsible for meeting all program credit requirements.

Concerns or Questions About a Course, Grade or Program Requirement

In the event that a student has a concern or question about a course, the instructor of the course should be consulted before bringing concerns to the Program Director. If the situation is not resolved in consultation with the instructor, concerns and/or questions should be brought to the attention of the Program Director. If the concerns cannot be resolved, the issue may then be brought to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee is final.

Grade Point Average Requirements

A student earning less than C in any course is required to repeat the course, and a student may carry a maximum of two C grades on their transcript during the program. Should a student receive a grade lower than a C, the class must be repeated. A student may repeat any course in an effort to earn a higher grade. The later grade will be used in computing the grade point average.

Continuation in graduate studies requires satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree. Evidence of such progress includes maintenance of a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average each term. The progress of each student is reviewed each term by a committee designated by the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee. Failure to maintain the minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average will result in being placed on probation. Any student on probation must not only achieve a 3.0 cumulative average within two successive terms following the term in which the deficiency occurred but must also maintain at least a 3.0 term average in any term in which he or she is on probation. Failure to meet either of these requirements will result in dismissal from graduate studies at Medaille.

Any graduate student who receives a grade of F or U in any course required for completion of the M.A. degree or who indicates a lack of ability as determined by the program faculty will receive an immediate academic review by the graduate program faculty in the department. Upon completion of the academic review, the department may place the student on academic probation.

Such notice will be made in writing by the Program Director or Department Chair prior to the end of the drop/add period of the next semester and will indicate the terms of the probation and its removal. Any graduate student not meeting the written terms of their academic probation may be academically dismissed from the College.

Students who have been dismissed may apply for readmission to the Graduate Admissions Committee after the lapse of two regular semesters. Such students who then again are placed on probation must earn removal by the end of one semester or be subject to or dismissal.

If a student wishes to appeal an academic standards decision, he or she may appeal through to the Academic Affairs Office. The initial appeal must be in writing within 14 calendar days of notification or by the end of the first week of the next semester (whichever comes first) and state, in specific terms, the student's case for appeal.

Graduation Requirements

In order to qualify for graduation, graduate students must have

  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average within their academic program
  • no current grades of F or U.

The computation of academic standing is based on hours earned each term. The most recent grade for each course is used to determine eligibility to graduate.

Students should complete an Application for Graduation the semester prior to finishing the program. This will allow the Registrar to review the student’s transcript and confirm that the student has met the requirements for graduation or indicate what needs to be completed before the degree can be conferred. Application for graduation information can be found here:

Policy on Incompletes

Under very rare circumstances, a student may request an Incomplete for a particular course. Incompletes

  1. may be granted by the instructor only if the student is passing the course
  2. must be completed within one semester after the course ends and
  3. must be requested, in writing, using the College’s “Request for an Incomplete” form.

Students may receive a maximum of two (2) Incompletes during the course of their program.


The Psychology Program expects students to maintain their integrity and professionalism as students and prospective professionals. Students are expected to be psychologically sound, interpersonally effective, and able to engage with peers, faculty, colleagues, consumers, and professionals in a healthy and responsible manner. Students are expected to give and receive feedback as a part of their training and growth.

Students are not only expected to achieve academically at the graduate level, but also to manage themselves throughout the program as ethical professionals-in-training. Issues of Ethical Misconduct, Behavioral Misconduct, Impairment, and Incompetence will be dealt with swiftly and fairly as they might arise.

Course Sequence (On-Ground)

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
PSY 787 Social Psychology (full semester online) 1 3
PSY 760 Psychopathologies (full semester evening) 2 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Second Semester
PSY 531 Research Methods (Spring I) 2 3
PSY 727 Psychology of Life Span Development 1 3
PSY 607 Statistics (Spring II) 2 3
Third Semester
PSY 731 Cognitive and Affective Processes (Summer I online) 1 3
Elective (Summer II) 3
PSY 797 Thesis Guidance (full semester) 2 3-6
 Total Hours30-33

Applies to PsyD core.


Applies to required course.  Graduates of Medaille MA Psychology Program can use 18 credits toward the PsyD Program (possibly plus electives) if they take all of the common courses.

Optional Concentration in Sport Psychology

PSY 635Sport Psychology3
PSY 6453
PSY 655Psychological Factors in Rehabilitation from Injury3
PSY 6653
Total Hours12


PSY 700Psychometrics 13
PSY 720History and Systems of Psychology 13
PSY 761Assessment and Treatment of Diverse Populations 13
PSY 749Physiological Psychology 13
PSY 602ECounseling3
PSY 614Evolutionary Psychology3
Other graduate Mental Health or Psychology courses, upon advisor approval

Course Sequence (On-Line)

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
PSY 787 Social Psychology (full semester) 1 3
PSY 760 Psychopathologies (full semester) 2 3
Elective II (Fall I) 3
Elective (Fall II) 3
Second Semester
PSY 531 Research Methods (Spring !) 2 3
PSY 607 Statistics (Spring II) 3
PSY 727 Psychology of Life Span Development (full semester) 2 3
Third Semester
PSY 731 Cognitive and Affective Processes (Summer I) 1 3
Elective (Summer II) 3
PSY 797/677 Thesis Guidance (full semester) 2 3-6
 Total Hours30-33

Applies to PsyD core.


Applies to required courses.  Graduates of Medaille's MA Psychology Program can use 18 credits toward the PsyD Program (possibly plus electives) if they take all of the common courses.

Optional Concentration in Sport Psychology

PSY 645ESport Counseling and Intervention3
PSY 655EPsychological Factors in Rehabilitation from Injury3
PSY 665ECoaching & Performance3
Total Hours12
PSY 700Psychometrics 13
PSY 720History and Systems of Psychology 13
PSY 761Assessment and Treatment of Diverse Populations 13
PSY 749Physiological Psychology 13
PSY 602ECounseling3
PSY 614EEvolutionary Psychology3
Other graduate Mental Health or Psychology courses, upon advisor approval