Sep 22, 2023  
Mercy College 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
Mercy College 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, M.S.

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Rebecca Trenz, Ph.D., Program Director

Courses also offered online

Degree Requirements

The 36-credit Master of Science Degree in Psychology is organized as follows:

Core Courses 24 credits
Capstone 12 credits
Total 36 credits


Core courses are as followsPSYN 603 PSYN 604 PSYN 616 PSYN 617 PSYN 630  or PSYN 633 PSYN 644 *PSYN 654 PSYN 665  (24 credits)
*PSYN 644 Group Experience  is the core course for the M.S. Psychology program and must be taken at a registered campus. 

Capstone: 4 PSYN electives and the Comprehensive Exam OR 2 PSYN electives and PSYN 709 

Completion of at least 18 credits, including PSYN 644 Group Experience , a GPA of 3.0, and permission of the Program Director is required prior to registration in PSYN 630 Practicum I . The practicum course must be applied for the semester prior to course registration.     


The purpose of the Master of Science in Psychology Program is to provide graduate education in psychology through a course of studies designed for students who wish to extend their knowledge of psychology, who desire to qualify for employment requiring psychological skills, and/or plan to pursue eventual doctoral study. Professional concerns are emphasized throughout the program.

Expectations of the Graduates

Graduates of the program are expected to:

  • Develop a broad understanding of the prominent theories and strata of practices of psychologists who seek to identify, understand, and explain behavior and events in the general and specific populations.
  • Become a provider of psychological services able to apply knowledge and preparation in the workplace, under supervision, in agencies, hospitals, and other therapeutic environments.
  • Be competent in the critical evaluation of psychological research and capable of designing and investigating studies to further the base of knowledge in the field.
  • Understand and abide by the accepted American Psychological Association Code of Ethics governing professional and personal behavior.
  • Be prepared to embark upon further professional studies.

Admission Requirements

Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Admissions  section of this catalog.

Program Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology, Sociology, Behavioral Science or Education. Students are required to have completed 12 undergraduate credits in Psychology including a Psychology Statistics course with a grade of B or higher. In special cases other majors will be accepted.
  • Two written letters of recommendation from instructors in major area of study and/or professional letters from employers.
  • Interview with the Program Director or the Chair.
  • A current résumé.
  • A 2–3 page personal statement, please address the following:
    • Describe your interest in studying Psychology as a discipline.
    • Describe why you are pursuing a Masters in Psychology.
    • Explain why you have chosen Mercy College to pursue this degree.
    • Discuss how you plan to use your Master’s degree in Psychology to meet your personal career goals.

      ​Statement Format
    • Times New Roman, 12 pt. font
    • 2 pages (minimum) to 3 pages (maximum)

**Please note, your personal statement will be used as an indicator of your writing skills. Be sure to check for format, spelling, and grammar.**


Students in the Psychology program must meet with the Program Director and/or PACT mentor to review the plan of study prior to course registration. Students will choose their elective courses in consultation with the Program Director and in consideration of individual interest. The following is a set of suggested academic plans that students may choose from depending on individual career goals.

General Advising Plan

The purpose of this academic plan is to allow for the most flexibility and choice in course selection. Students must complete the required core courses in the program and choose a capstone option - 4 PSYN elective courses (12 credits) and the comprehensive exam or 2 PSYN elective courses (6 credits) and PSYN 709 . The general academic plan can also be taken as a fully online option.

Professional Advising Plan

The purpose of this academic plan is to prepare students for employment following the completion of the M.S. Psychology degree. Students who choose to follow the Professional Academic Plan should complete the required core courses in the program, 4 PSYN elective courses, and the comprehensive exam as the capstone. PSYN 630 Practicum I  is recommended for the Professional Advising Plan.

CASAC-T 350-Hour Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Option

In addition to the required courses for the program, students in the Professional Academic Plan may choose to pursue a CASAC-T Credential through the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). CASAC-T Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Standardized 350-Hour Education and Training Program at Mercy College is an OASAS Certified Education Training Program. The courses have been approved by OASAS, satisfying the educational requirements for state certification. With the competitive market for counselors and mental health providers, your CASAC-T Certification paves the way for both direct patient care and supervisory positions in the area of substance abuse and addiction. The program at Mercy College will specifically prepare you for the five domains for CASAC-T preparation including assessment, counseling, case management, client, family and community education, and professional responsibility. Mercy College students receive the professional training and ethical knowledge base, which will enable them to provide alcoholism and substance abuse counseling in the field.

Research and Academic Advising Plan

The purpose of this academic plan is to prepare students for careers in research and academic pursuits beyond the master’s degree. Students who choose to follow the Research and Academic Advising Plan, should complete  PSYN 633 , PSYN 650 , 1 PSYN elective, and thesis as the capstone (PSYN 709 ).

Additional Program Information

Degree Requirements

Each candidate for a degree or certificate must have completed all coursework and program requirements.  A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses applicable to the degree is required for both good academic standing and degree conferral The words “With Distinction” will appear on the diploma and transcript of any student who completes their degree with a GPA of at least 3.75. Once the degree is conferred, the academic record is finalized and cannot be changed.

Psychology Degree Requirements

A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required and successful completion of either 36 graduate credits including PSYN 709 Master Thesis Supervision  or a written comprehensive examination.

Capstone Requirement

Students may choose twelve (12) elective credits and a comprehensive exam OR six (6) elective credits and PSYN 709 Master Thesis Supervision .
 After completing 27 credits, including all of the program’s required courses, students may make arrangements to complete their capstone requirement.

Students electing to conduct the thesis project must register for PSYN 709 Master Thesis Supervision  and select a faculty member to serve as their thesis mentor. Students electing to take the comprehensive examination should notify the Program Director of their intention to take the comprehensive exam at the beginning of their final semester.

Capstone Advisement

It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program’s culminating activity. After the student registers for all sections of their Capstone requirement, they will be given one subsequent term to complete their work.

The Maintaining Matriculation registration must be completed for this subsequent term if no other courses are taken. After this period, a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms. A student’s degree will not be released until all Maintenance of Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on a student’s record.

Course Load

Students must consult with the program director regarding required courses and electives for the psychology program. Full-time students may register for up to 12 credits per semester without special permission. Part-time students may register for either three or six credits per semester. 9 credits is considered full-time on the graduate level.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at other institutions prior to admission at Mercy College may, if pertinent to the plan of study, be credited to the graduate degree. Permission to transfer credits must be requested in writing at the time of admission and official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted to the school dean for evaluation. Transfer credit will be granted only for courses taken in the five-year period prior to acceptance in the Mercy College program and for courses in which the student earned a grade of B or above. Students may request transfer credit for up to six credits. Course with a grade of B- are not acceptable for transfer.

Maintenance of Matriculation

It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering over successive sessions. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation.

The Maintaining Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration. Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course registration will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.

Students must register for PSYN 899 Maintenance of Matriculation  in order to continue work toward their degree in semesters when they are not registered for classes.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses applicable to the degree is required for both good academic standing and degree conferral. A student admitted as a Special Matriculant is required to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 after completion of six credits. Please note, certain graduate programs may have more stringent program policies. Please check the specific program regulations. Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the academic average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses applicable to the degree is required for both good academic standing and degree conferral. All students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. If a student will not be able to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 within a reasonable time, the student may be subject to dismissal from the academic program of study. If a student receives a grade of F or FW in any course, the student will be subject to dismissal from the program. For all students on probation, future registrations must be reviewed and approved by the Academic Unit Head of the student’s program or graduate Associate Dean.

In all subsequent terms in which the student is on probation, the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or higher. If the 3.0 or higher is not achieved the student will be dismissed. Students who receive a grade of less than B may be required to repeat the course.

Time Limit

Requirements for the Master in Psychology must be completed within five years from the date of the candidate’s admission (exclusive of time spent in the Armed Forces). Exceptions will be made only if a student requests an extension of time in writing and in advance and receives the approval of the director.

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