Master of Arts in Psychology

Master of Arts in Psychology Student

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. We have the goal of meeting each student where they are in their development as scholar, psychologist, and advocate for social justice.

We will work with students to provide them with appropriate opportunities to overcome whatever challenges they face in their development in these areas, as our resources permit, and to identify those for whom our program is not appropriate as soon as we are reasonably able to do so. We also work with students to create expectations for their work that reflect not only their passions and interests, but also the demands for proper training that the ethical principles of our profession demand of us as faculty members.

In our work together, we will create a learning experience that meets students’ unique needs, within the limitations under which the field and we, as practitioners and teachers, exist.

Request more information from an Admissions Counselor.

The Faculty

The Psychology and Counseling Faculty members work one-on-one with students as faculty advisors throughout the semester, as well as facilitating group studies, teaching workshops at residency, and acting as second readers to students’ final projects. Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioners with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning. Faculty members’ work with students is focused, clear, and rigorous.

Learn more about our faculty.

Concentrations

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

  • Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration: In this concentration students learn how to infuse work within the discipline with a range of expressive arts practices – including drama, storytelling, dance, movement, music, poetry, painting and photography. New research in neuroscience identifies practices such as these as “brain-wise” approaches to counseling.The Expressive Arts Concentration may contribute to your pursuit of becoming approved as a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist or as a Registered Consultant/Educator through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.
  • Sexual Orientation Concentration: There is a great need in today’s society for counselors and mental health workers who have specialized knowledge of issues relating to sexual orientation. This concentration has been designed to encompass the broadest scope of sexuality. Integral parts of the concentration’s respectful inclusiveness are bisexuality and heterosexuality, as well as the perspectives of people who identify as trans,* intersexed, celibate or asexual, androgynous, and queer. Students in this concentration research and analyze issues around sexual orientations and identities, and they have the opportunity to get counseling skills related to these issues.

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.

Low-Residency Model

At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.

Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.

Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.

This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor and course mentors.

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 for MA in Psychology

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

Course No. Course Name Credits
PSY 510 Ethics and Professional Orientation 3
PSY 600 Human Lifespan Development 3
PSY 610 Social and Cultural Foundations 3
PSY 621 Cognition and Learning 3
PSY 630 Biological Bases of Behavior 3
PSY 700 Psychopathology 3
PSY 720 Assessment and Evaluation 3
PSY 730 Research Methods 3
PSY 810, 811, 812 Supervised Internship for Credit 3

 

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 Name Credits
PSY 800-809 Student-Initiated Elective 3
PSY 810-812 Supervised Internship for Credit 3

 

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 Name Credits
PSY 852 Thesis I 6
PSY 853 Thesis II 6
PSY 807 Capstone Personal Process Course 3
PSY 808 Capstone Professional Process Course 3

Prerequisites for Admission

In order to enroll in the Master of Arts in Psychology program, a student must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Further, students need to know the concepts and language of the basic domains in psychology.

In general, students must have completed coursework in the following prerequisite areas:

Content Area/Course Credits
History & Systems of Psychology 3
Biological Bases of Behavior 3
Social Bases of Behavior 3
Human Development 3
Personality 3
Learning & Cognition 3
Abnormal Psychology 3
Research Methods 3

 

Pre-Graduate Semester

Students who otherwise demonstrate promise to succeed at the graduate level, but do not have the prerequisites above may receive provisional admission. Provisional acceptance requires completion of a single undergraduate semester. This semester will be designed by the student and their faculty advisor to address needed learning in recent issues of academic psychology. Those pre-requisites most relevant to the student’s strengths and needs will constitute this full-time term and, if successfully completed, lead to a seamless transition to the graduate-level Psychology program.

This option is ideal for professionals changing careers or those returning to school after a long time in the workforce.