The Psychological Science concentration of the Master of Science in Psychology is a 2-year, 36-credit hour research mentorship concentration designed to prepare individuals for continuation in a Ph.D. program and/or for positions where strong research and quantitative skills are needed. You may choose from one of four focus areas allowing specialization in clinical, cognitive, developmental, or biobehavioral psychology, or you may design a focus area (9 hours) that best fits your interests (subject to approval by your advisor and the concentration coordinator). A thesis is required. You should refer to faculty research interests identified on the Research Labs webpage and apply specifically to work with up to three faculty members whose research is of particular interest to you. Note that the number of students who can work in any one lab is constrained by lab space and other factors.
This concentration offers research opportunities in learning and memory, perception, neuroscience, child development, cognitive aging, social psychology, sport psychology, emotion, and educational psychology. The concentration is designed to strengthen your quantitative skills and provide you with research experience that will make you more competitive when applying to Ph.D. programs in psychology and/or for positions where these skills are required. Strong research and quantitative skills are particularly important for students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree. A survey of graduate school selection committees showed that research experience was rated as the most important criterion for admission into a doctoral program after the three primary selection criteria of GRE scores, undergraduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation (Keith-Spiegel, Tabachnick, & Spiegel, 1994). The survey also indicated that research experience was equally important for experimental and clinical doctoral programs.
The success of our graduates is based on three integrated components of the concentration:
For general information on graduate programs at WKU visit the Graduate School.
References: Keith-Spiegel, P., Tabachnick, B.G. & Spiegel, G.B. (1994). When demand exceeds supply: Second-order criteria used by graduate school selection committees. Teaching of Psychology, 21, 79-81.