Experimental Psychology (MA)

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Experimental psychology MA

The Master of Arts (MA) in Experimental Psychology offers two options for students: (1) Experimental Psychology, general; and (2) Experimental Psychology, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) concentration. The master’s degree in experimental psychology, general is designed for students who wish to pursue further doctoral work in a non-clinical field of psychology. Upon graduation, students are likely to pursue careers in academia or research. The master's degree in experimental psychology, BCBA is for students who wish to achieve certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This course of study allows completion of coursework and supervised experience to become eligible to sit the international certification exam.

Graduates of the general experimental psychology program will be prepared to pursue a doctorate in one of the areas of experimental psychology or provide research support to ongoing public or private projects. The experimental psychology option is designed to help a student advance to a Ph.D. program. The graduate will be able to teach at the post-secondary level. With work experience gained in one’s already-established career path, the M.A. in experimental psychology may lead to enhanced career opportunities.

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among natinal universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Undergraduate course in statistics and/or research methods with a grade of B or higher.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Letter  of  Intent  (400-500  words)  detailing  professional  goals  and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree.
    • Three  letters  of  recommendation  from  professional  or  academic sources.
    • GRE General Test. Preferred minimum scores: 153 Verbal and 144 Quantitative. GRE test scores are valid for 5 years. A waiver of the GRE requirement will be granted to applicants who show proof of completing a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral).

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Jason Popan

    Phone:(956) 665-7879

    Office: Edinburg Campus, LABN 358A

    E-Mail:jason.popan@utrgv.edu

     

     
  • Deadlines

    Fall Spring Summer I Summer II
    Application Deadline: March 31 N/A N/A N/A
  • Course Requirements

     
    Required Courses 9
    PSYC 6301: Psychological Statistics 3
    PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning 3
    PSYC 6332: Research Design 3
     
    Electives 21
    Selected in conjunction with graduate advisor
    (The Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate can be added as part of the 21 hours of electives.)
     
    Capstone Requirement 6
    Thesis
    PSYC 7300: Thesis I 3
    PSYC 7301: Thesis II 3
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 36
     

    Course Descriptions

    PSYC 6174: Special Topics in Psychology: Journal and BCBA Review               [1‐0]

    This course is designed to monitor progress of students in the BCBA concentration of the M.A. Experimental Psychology program and to provide a format to review recent literature in Applied Behavior Analysis.

    PSYC 6274: Special Topics in Psychology: Journal and BCBA Review              [2‐0]

    This course is designed to monitor progress of students in the BCBA concentration of the M.A., Experimental Psychology program, and to provide a format to review recent literature in Applied Behavior Analysis.

    PSYC 6301: Psychological Statistics               [3‐0]

    This course will provide an advanced introduction to statistical methods commonly used in psychological science.

    PSYC 6305: Advanced Studies in Psychopathology               [3‐0]

    Students will study the classification, etiology, and treatment of abnormal behaviors. Supporting outside readings will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Graduate status in clinical psychology or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6311: Advanced Studies in Personality Theory               [3‐0]

    The theories and approaches reviewed are the foundations of conceptualizing personality development and change; they are foundations of therapeutic interventions and methods of assessing personality structure and process.

    Prerequisite: Graduate status in clinical or experimental psychology or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6315: Applied Behavior Analysis              [3‐0]

    Principles and techniques of modifying behaviors across therapeutic, institutional, and natural settings. Following a review of behavioral principles and functional analysis, practical, educational, and clinical aspects of behavior interventions will be emphasized.

    Prerequisites: PSYC 3405, PSYC 4318, PSYC 6325, or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6320: Neuropsychology              [3‐0]

    An In‐depth study of the relationship between biological events and behavior will be covered. Emphasis is placed on the physiological substrates of learning, memory, emotion and motivation.

    PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning              [3‐0]

    A study of the principles of laws of respondent and operant conditioning in determining behavior will be covered. Emphasis will be placed on the experimental analysis of behavior with attention to other learning theories that have been extensively studied in the laboratory and productively applied to problems of human behavior.

    Prerequisites: PSYC 3405, PSYC 4318, or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6330: Developmental Psychology               [3‐0]

    The study of growth and development processes throughout the life cycle. Physical, social and psychological factors involved in life changes are addressed. An overview, as well as selected current special topics within lifespan human development will be addressed.

    PSYC 6332: Research Design              [3‐0]

    Overview of single and multiple factor correlational and experimental designs and their analysis will be covered. The course covers various central design issues including control, internal and external validity, group comparisons and small‐n designs.

    PSYC 6334: Single Subject Designs              [3‐0]

    A comprehensive examination of single‐subject designs and methods used to evaluate behavior change as a unique strategy in the experimental analysis of behavior and applied behavior analysis.

    PSYC 6336: Advanced Psychological Measurement              [3‐0]

    Reviews current theoretical and technical aspects of test construction focusing on standardized tests used in industry and health care settings. Instruction and practice in standardized test administration and scoring, with emphasis on the Wechsler and achievement tests.

    Prerequisite: Admission to a graduate program in psychology. Prerequisite: Graduate status in clinical psychology or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6340: Cross Cultural Psychology              [3‐0]

    The course emphasizes the major areas of current research on cross‐cultural psychology; these include the study of personality across cultures, Western and non‐Western definitions of abnormal behavior and international research on attitudes and values.

    PSYC 6350: Behavioral Assessment              [3‐0]

    Theory and methods of the behavioral measurement and assessment of individuals and systems with an emphasis on direct observation of overt behavior, environmental assessment, functional analysis, task analysis, needs assessment, experimental analysis of behavior, program monitoring, and evaluation.

    Prerequisites: PSYC 3405, PSYC 4318, or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6352: Personality Assessment               [3‐0]

    Development of personality testing. Study and administration of personality assessment techniques.

    Prerequisites: Graduate status in clinical psychology, PSYC 6311, PSYC 6305 or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6354: Individual Psychotherapy               [3‐0]

    Current and historical approaches to psychotherapy will be reviewed. Instruction and practice in techniques of individual psychotherapy, case presentation and report writing.

    Prerequisites: Graduate status in clinical psychology, and PSYC 6305.

    PSYC 6356: Group Psychotherapy               [3‐0]

    Instruction and practice in techniques of group psychotherapy.

    Prerequisites: Graduate status in clinical psychology, PSYC 6305, and PSYC 6311.

    PSYC 6363: Contemporary Professional Issues and Ethics in Psychology               [3‐0]

    Mastering principles in the practice of professional psychology according to the ethical standards established by the American Psychological Association and American Counseling Association with attention to related legal issues as well as the specific guidelines for responsible conduct and disciplinary standards as articulated by the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board will be addressed.

    PSYC 6365: Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum I            

    Placement and supervised experience of applied behavior analysis and intervention in an educational, family, institutional, or clinical practice site. May be repeated 5 times for credit.

    Prerequisites: Completion of at least 6 BCBA course credits.

    PSYC 7100: Thesis III              [3‐0]

    Conduct original research initiated in PSYC 7300 and PSYC 7301 for students who are completing the thesis requirement. This is only a one‐credit course.

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

    PSYC 7300: Thesis I              [3‐0]

    Conduct original research project leading to the production of a formal written thesis. Six credit hours of thesis are required for graduation.

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

    PSYC 7301: Thesis II               [3‐0]

    Conduct original research project leading to the production of a formal written thesis. Six credit hours of thesis are required for graduation.

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.