Feb 27, 2024  
Mercy College 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
Mercy College 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, M.S.

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Rebecca Trenz, Ph.D., Program Director

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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.

Program Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology, sociology, behavioral science or education. Students are required to have completed undergraduate statistics and 12 undergraduate credits in psychology with a grade of B or higher. In special cases other majors will be accepted.
  2. Two written letters of recommendation from instructors in major area of study and/or professional letters from employers.
  3. Interview with the Program Director or the Chair.
  4. A three- to five-page essay of the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the Master’s degree in psychology.
  5. A current résumé.

Four-Plus-One Program

The Psychology Program’s Four-Plus-One option offers a unique opportunity to qualified undergraduates in Psychology who wish to pursue their master’s at an accelerated pace. Applicants must meet the admissions criteria for the master’s program in psychology, including a 3.0 GPA, a grade of B or better in statistics, and completion of 90 undergraduate credits. Students may apply in their junior year to the M.S. in Psychology at Mercy College. If accepted these students may then take three graduate credits each semester of their senior year (a total of six credits), which will apply to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Upon completing their bachelor’s in psychology, these students will be able to complete their master’s in psychology within a single year of full-time enrollment.


Students in the psychology program must meet with the Program Director, or Chair to plan his/her courses and 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.

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.

Capstone Requirement:

After completing 27 credits, including all of the program’s required courses, students may make arrangements to complete their capstone requirement. Students may elect either to conduct a thesis project or to take a comprehensive examination.

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.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is a 3.0.

Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the academic average for the semester falls below 3.0 the student will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation

All students who have a term or cumulative GPA of below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. If a student will not be able to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 within a reasonable time, the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student receives a grade of F or FW in any course the student may be subject to dismissal from the College. For all students on probation, future registrations must be reviewed and approved by the director of the student’s program as well as the school 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 better. If the 3.0 or higher is not achieved the student will be dismissed. Students who receive a grade of less than B will be required to repeat the course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course only once.

Degree Requirements

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

Comprehensive Requirement

The psychology degree requires completion of a written comprehensive based upon course content in the program or the production of a six credit thesis. Please see the program director or chair for further details on either option.

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.

Program Design

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

Core Courses 24 credits
Electives 6–12 credits (6 credits for four-plus-one students, 12 for all others)
Total 36 credits

Completion of at least 18 credits, including PSYN 644 - Group Experience (cc) * is required prior to registration in PSYN 630 - Practicum I in Psychology . The Fieldwork course must be applied for the semester prior to course registration. A 3.0 GPA is required to register in PSYN 630 .



Core Course Requirements

Total Credits: 24

Elective Courses

Determined by Capstone option

Total Credits: 6–12


Option A: Written comprehensive + 12 elective credits = 36 credits
Option B: Completion of PSYN 709  + 6 elective credits = 36 credits

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