Content Top Nav Left Nav Utility Nav Site Search
Mobile Menu

Graduate Studies

More Links

Psychology

The Psychology Department offers courses leading to the Master of Science degree in psychology. Included in the curriculum are a broad range of behaviorally focused courses. The purpose of this degree is to prepare students for careers in the application of behavior analytic techniques to the behavioral habilitation of diverse populations.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (http://www.bacb.com/) has approved the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®: PSY 511, PSY 521, PSY 528, PSY 529, and PSY 530. Applicants will have to meet additional experience requirements to qualify. 



Required Application Materials

Applicants for the MS with a major in psychology must submit all of the following documentation to the College of Graduate Studies, Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265-1602, to be considered for admission:
  1. Completed JSU Graduate Application for Admission
  2. Non-refundable $35.00 application processing fee
  3. Official transcript(s) from all postsecondary institutions attended
    (students who have previously attended only JSU need not request a transcript from the university)
  4. Official scores on the General Test of the GRE taken within five years immediately preceding enrollmen
  5. Three (3) "Graduate Reference Forms" completed by individuals who can provide qualitative assessment of the applicant’s potential for success in graduate course work
  6. A curriculum vitae including education, employment, and other applicable psychology-related experience/skills (e.g., practicum/research experience, presentations, publications)
  7. Letter of intent describing reasons for pursuing a master’s degree with a major in psychology at JSU
  8. If English is not the applicant's native language, the applicant is required to submit an official TOEFL score report, an IELTS score report or a PTE score report.

See the College of Graduate Studies website for forms and fee information. All items must be sent to the College of Graduate Studies, Jacksonville State University, 700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265-1602. Applications are considered for admission for the fall semester only and all materials must be received in the College of Graduate Studies by August 1. Applications received before April 15 will be given priority consideration. Applications completed after August 1 will be considered for admission in the fall semester of the following year.



Admission Requirements

The Psychology Graduate Committee will evaluate each student’s undergraduate coursework and experience to determine which foundation courses are required in addition to graduate coursework. Although grades achieved in undergraduate foundation courses will not be included in the computation of the graduate GPA, students must earn a grade of B or better in each foundation course if taken after completion of their bachelor’s degree. Foundation courses must be completed during the first year of graduate study. 

 

Undergraduate Foundation Courses:

  PSY 201 Principles of Psychology
  PSY 300 Statistics for Life Sciences
  PSY 310 Research Methods



Non-Thesis Option A minimum of 39 graduate semester hours of psychology courses, plus additional foundation courses for students without adequate undergraduate preparation; successful completion of a comprehensive examination; and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all graduate coursework is required.  The 39 graduate semester hours of psychology courses for the non-thesis option must include the following courses:
  1. Seven Core Requirements (21 hours):

    PSY 511 Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis (3)
    PSY 521 Functional Assessment (3)
    PSY 528 Applied Behavior Analysis I (3)
    PSY 529 Applied Behavior Analysis II (3)
    PSY 530 Single-Subject Research Methods (3)
    PSY 534 Experimental Analysis of Behavior (3)
    PSY 538 Ethics and Professional Development (3)
  2. Six Electives Courses (18 hours):

    The remaining 18 hours are electives in psychology chosen from psychology graduate courses listed on the following pages and must meet the following requirements:
    • Students must complete PSY 504 as an additional one credit elective and earn a grade of B or better if they have not taken PSY 221, Behavior Analysis Lab, or an equivalent laboratory course at the undergraduate level. If students have already received credit for this course at the undergraduate level, they may not enroll and receive graduate credit in it.
    • Students must complete PSY 450G as an elective if they have not taken PSY 450, History and Systems of Psychology, or an equivalent course at the undergraduate level. If students have already received credit for these courses at the undergraduate level, they may not enroll and receive graduate credit in them.
    • Only 6 hours in PSY 570-595 may count towards degree requirements.

39 Graduate Semester Hours Required for the Non-Thesis Option



Thesis Option

A minimum of 39 graduate semester hours of psychology courses, plus additional foundation courses for student without adequate undergraduate preparation; successful completion of a thesis defense; and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all graduate coursework is required.  The 39 graduate semester hours of psychology courses for the thesis option must include the following courses:

  1. Seven Core Requirements (21 hours):

    PSY 511 Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis (3)
    PSY 521 Functional Assessment (3)
    PSY 528 Applied Behavior Analysis I (3)
    PSY 529 Applied Behavior Analysis II (3)
    PSY 530 Single-Subject Research Methods (3)
    PSY 534 Experimental Analysis of Behavior (3)
    PSY 538 Ethics and Professional Development (3)
  2. Four Electives Courses (12 hours) chosen from psychology graduate courses listed on the following pages and meeting the following requirements:

    • Students must complete PSY 504 as an additional one credit elective and earn a grade of B or better if they have not taken PSY 221, Behavior Analysis Lab, or an equivalent laboratory course at the undergraduate level. If students have already received credit for this course at the undergraduate level, they may not enroll and receive graduate credit in it.
    • Students must complete PSY 450G as an elective if they have not taken PSY 450, History and Systems of Psychology, or an equivalent course at the undergraduate level. If students have already received credit for this course at the undergraduate level, they may not enroll and receive graduate credit in it.
    • Completion of PSY 570-595 will not count towards degree requirements for student completing the thesis option
  3. PSY 599 Thesis I and II (6 hours)

39 Graduate Semester Hours Required for Thesis Option


Plan of Study

First Year

Fall          Spring          Summer
PSY 511   3     PSY 529   3     PSY 538   3
PSY 521 3 PSY 530 3
PSY 528 3 PSY 534 3
9 9

Second Year

Fall Spring
Electives 9 Electives 9


Psychology Courses

Prefix PSY


450G.    History and Systems of Psychology (3). Examines the historical evolution of modern psychology and the conceptual systems which have been developed.
504.    Graduate Behavior Analysis Lab (1). Stresses the skills involved in specifying, observing, and consequenting behavior and teaches the standard techniques of behavioral laboratories.
511.    Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis (3). Issues underlying the acquisition, conceptualization, and understanding of valid knowledge in psychology, including the design, implementation, and interpretation of research.
521.    Functional Assessment (3). The strategies and ethics of functional assessment are presented in the larger context of behavioral assessment. Research articles relevant to indirect, descriptive, and experimental functional assessment approaches and assessment-based interventions are reviewed.
528.    Applied Behavior Analysis I (3). Pre- or Co-requisite: PSY 221 or PSY 504. An introduction to and examination of the theory, principles, and methods of modern applied behavior analysis.
529.    Applied Behavior Analysis II (3). Prerequisites: PSY 221 or PSY 504 and PSY 528. Diverse populations commonly served by applied behavior analysts (e.g., substance abuse, autism, traumatic brain injury) are examined with respect to their prevalence, defining characteristics, etiology, and current research trends. The potential for the use of applied behavior analysis in underserved populations is also discussed.
530.    Single-Subject Research Methods (3). Prerequisites: PSY 221 or PSY 504 and PSY 528. Examination of the strategies and tactics used in single-subject research to implement socially important behavior change.
534.    Experimental Analysis of Behavior (3). Prerequisite: PSY 511. A development of the paradigmatic framework of the experimental analysis of behavior, and an examination of the research and resulting body of knowledge provided by that analytical approach.
538.    Ethics and Professional Development (3). Prerequisites: PSY 530 and PSY 534. Discussion of ethical guidelines and professional skills pertinent to research and practice in behavior analysis.
540.    Analysis of Child Development (3). Prerequisites: Completion of 12 semester hours of core psychology graduate courses including PSY 530 and PSY 534. The behavior-analytic view of child development is compared and contrasted with other systems for understanding development (e.g., Piagetian theory). Students review and critically evaluate current and seminal literature related to several developmental domains (e.g., motor, language, social).
541.    Verbal Behavior (3). Prerequisites: PSY 530 and PSY 534. The conceptual foundation, empirical basis, and practical application of verbal behavior are surveyed.
545.    Social Behavior (3). Prerequisites PSY 530 and PSY 534 or equivalent. Introduction to behavior within a social context with a focus on classic and contemporary studies of social influence, group processes, persuasion, and prosocial behavior, as well as their real-world applications.
548.    Psychology of Aging (3). Prerequisites: PSY 530 and PSY 534. A survey of topics pertaining to the study of older adults and processes of aging, with emphases on neuropsychological, cognitive, and social development.
551, 552, 553, 554.    Seminar in Contemporary Topics (3,3,3,3). Prerequisities: PSY 530 and PSY 534. Various topics covering real-world applications of contemporary topics in psychology.
555.    Behavior Analytic Approaches to Instruction (3). Prerequisites: PSY 530 and PSY 534. Behavior analytic approaches to teaching, including programmed instruction, direct instruction, personalized systems of instruction, precision teaching, and curriculum-based measurement, are examined in addition to a review of general classroom behavior management strategies.
563.    Behavior Therapy (3). Prerequisites: PSY 530 and PSY 534. Principles of respondent conditioning and operant-respondent interactions, with special emphasis on practical applications of these principles. Examples include drug abuse, depression, stress, weight control, sexual disorders, anxiety disorders, and superstitions.
566.    Impulsivity and Self-Control (3). Prerequisite: PSY 530 and PSY 534. The conceptual, experimental, and economic analysis of impulsivity and self-control in both human and non-human animals.
570, 571.    Instructional Practicum (3,3). Prerequisites: Approval of the instructor. Application of psychological principles in educational settings such as undergraduate courses. Responsibilities could include lab assistantship tasks including mentoring of students, presentation of course work, organization of class materials, etc. under the supervision of a faculty member.
579, 580, 581.    Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum (3,3,3). Prerequisites: Approval of the instructor. Practice of behavior analysis in applied settings such as habilitation of individuals with developmental disabilities, modification of behavior in schools, and improvement of organization performance.
592, 593.    Independent Research (3,3). Prerequisites: Approval of the instructor. Students will conduct supervised research projects chosen in coordination with their supervisor.
594, 595.    Independent Readings (3,3). Prerequisites: Approval of the instructor. Independent readings will normally include content not offered in regularly scheduled classes.
599.    Thesis (3,3). (Grade of Pass or Fail only) Prerequisites: Approval of the instructor. Design and conduct an empirical research study, topic to be chosen in coordination with thesis committee chair, resulting in a written thesis to be defended before the student’s thesis committee.


Back to Top