Master of Arts in Psychology

The Master of Arts in Psychology is designed to prepare graduates to enter into their area of psychology with the professional skills necessary to advance their career goals, their personal development, and to make a positive impact on the communities in which they live and work. The goal is to meet each student where they are in their development as scholar, psychologist, and advocate for social justice.

As a result, in our work together, we will create a learning experience that meets every students’ unique needs.

About Goddard

Education for real living, through the actual facing of real life problems

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The Goddard Difference

Our philosophy starts with the idea experience and education are intricately linked

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Transferring

Our credit transfer policy is generous and saves you time and money

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Concentrations

Students pursing the Master of Arts in Psychology may add to their degree one of two concentrations:

Location

Twice a year, at the start of each semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency at the College’s Plainfield, Vermont campus. Residencies are a rich time of exploration, connection, and planning.

Certification and Licensure

Many graduates earning the Master of Arts in Psychology go on to become licensed at the master’s level as therapists. Licensure (e.g., LMHC) is granted by the individual states in the U.S. and by provinces in Canada, in which the therapist practices; these entities determine their licensure requirements. There are national organizations in the U.S. that certify individuals (this is different from licensure). One of the most important is the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). 

States review and update their licensure requirements. The frequency with which states do this varies widely. Students need to be aware of, and stay current with, changes to their state’s licensure requirements to ensure their planned studies at Goddard will address their state’s requirements. This process of review and update is something that happens throughout a practitioner’s career, as part of their continuing education credentialing process to renew their license or certification and is best begun as a graduate student. 

Meeting state license or external certification requirements is solely the responsibility of the student. Students should be sensitive to the requirements and limits the state places on the number of internship hours that can or must be accrued pre- and post-graduation. Some states require internships be done for credit, some do not. Students are encouraged to join and participate in their state mental health counselors’ organization. These voluntary organizations empower practitioners politically and professionally.

Faculty members will make every reasonable effort to work with students to create study plans and course contracts that give students opportunities to do work that helps meet professional goals. Students often create study plans and course contracts that reflect the requirements of their state licensure laws and/or NBCC guidelines. 

Further information is available in the MA in Psychology Handbook Addendum.

Curriculum

Students must complete a minimum of 48 credits (and to 60 credits) to earn the Master of Arts in Psychology. Students making satisfactory progress toward the Master of Arts in Psychology will, in the course of their studies, complete eight required courses, an internship for credit, elective courses, and either capstone or thesis (called a final product). The number of elective courses is determined by the number of semesters required to fulfill requirements for a concentration or the specific licensure criteria in a student’s intended state/province of employment.

Core Course Requirements

The following 24 credits are required of all students pursuing the MA in Psychology.

Course No.Course NameCredits
PSY 510Ethics and Professional Orientation3
PSY 600Human Lifespan Development3
PSY 610Social and Cultural Foundations3
PSY 621Cognition and Learning3
PSY 630Biological Bases of Behavior3
PSY 700Psychopathology3
PSY 720Assessment and Evaluation3
PSY 730Research Methods3
PSY 810, 811, 812Supervised Internship for Credit3

Electives

Because students seek licensure throughout the U.S. and in Canadian provinces, they may use elective credits to design courses that meet the credentialing requirements in their home state or provinces. In addition to the courses listed below, students may also use their elective credits to pursue the Sexual Orientation Concentration (see page ##) or Expressive Arts Therapy Emphasis (see page ##).

Students generally complete a minimum of 12 elective credits.

Course No.Course NameCredits
PSY 800-809Student-Initiated Elective3
PSY 810-812Supervised Internship for Credit3

Thesis or Capstone

(12 credits)

In addition to successfully completing the required course work and an internship, all students complete a culminating project. Students have two options:

  • Thesis: A culmination of a student’s studies that documents both their ability to do work within the field and communicate it in an appropriate format and style.
  • Capstone Process: During the final semester, students may work with their academic advisor on two designated courses (6 credits).

There are 12 credit hours devoted to the final product, the equivalent of one semester. Students who complete the Capstone Process generally require two additional elective credits, most often Student-Initiated Elective courses or Supervised Internship for Credit.

Course No.Course NameCredits
PSY 852Thesis I6
PSY 853Thesis II6
PSY 807Capstone Personal Process Course3
PSY 808Capstone Professional Process Course3

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