2022-2023 Course Catalog

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

The Chatham University Master of Arts in Psychology degree is a 36 credit hour degree that provides graduate level education and training in psychology. The mission of the MA in Psychology degree is to provide women and men a foundation in the study of human behavior and skills for working with people. Graduates of the MA in Psychology program are able to use their understanding of psychological science and theories to further their professional careers in many ways, including work in research settings, in human service, health, or educational organizations, and in doctoral programs in psychology. Students also benefit from the rich and stimulating environment of Chatham University.

Chatham's MA in Psychology program offers small classes with individualized attention, knowledgeable and experienced faculty, opportunities to conduct research, and activities fostering leadership skill. The program emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, self-awareness, attention to socio-cultural diversity, application of knowledge, and both collaborative and independent work. The degree does not provide the education needed for licensure as a psychologist or counselor.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadline

Fall Recommended Deadline - July 1*
*Rolling admission for Fall entry until August 1
Spring Recommended Deadline - November 1


  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of a 3.0
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate psychology course with at least a B grade

Application Requirements

Applicants to the MA in Psychology program must submit the following information to the Office of Admissions for review:

  • Completed online application
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended including those in which you may have transfer credits
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Two (2) Academic or Professional Letters of Recommendation
  • In approximately 500 words, please explain why you are interested in pursuing this degree.  How will the degree impact your future personal and career goals? 

Admission Process

After verifying that the minimum academic requirements are met, the program utilizes a holistic approach in reviewing the candidate's entire application. This process is intended to seek talented and qualified individuals of all backgrounds. Taking multiple factors into consideration during our admissions process positively achieves the educational benefits of a student body that is both diverse and academically excellent. This approach includes an evaluation of each candidate's academic achievement as well as their personal characteristics, attributes and experiences. As part of the holistic review, Chatham reserves the right to request a background check prior to offer of admission.

A phone interview will be required of all applicants. This process will take place after your application has been completed and has been given to the faculty admission committee for evaluation.

Applicants will be informed by the Office of Admissions about whether or not they have been accepted into the MAP program.

International Applicants

International Applicants to the MA in Psychology program must submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions.

A list of these documents can be found on the International Admission web pages.

Integrated Degree Program

Chatham University undergraduates applying through the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) must complete all requirements outlined on their respective admission or track tab on the IDP Portal Site. All IDP applicants should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure they are meeting all requirements according to their IDP course of study.

Learning Outcomes

Masters of Counseling and Psychology Accreditation Council 2017 Standards

  1. Professional identity, and ethical and professional standards
    1. Ethical/Legal Standards and Policy: Demonstrates knowledge and application of ethical concepts, and awareness of legal issues regarding professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations
      1. Knowledge of ethical, legal and professional standards and guidelines: Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of relevant ethical/professional codes, standards and guidelines, laws, statutes, rules, and regulations
      2. Awareness and application of ethical decision making: Recognizes situations that challenge adherence to professional values and applies an ethical decision-making model to ethical dilemmas
      3. Ethical Conduct: Integrates ethical values into professional conduct

    2. Professional Values and Attitudes: Exhibits behavior and comportment that reflect the values and attitudes of counseling and psychology
      1. Evidences adherence to professional values throughout professional work
      2. Demonstrates understanding of counseling and psychological practice as an applied behavioral science
      3. Maintains professionally appropriate communication and conduct across different settings
      4. Assesses personal accountability and accepts responsibility for own actions
      5. Demonstrates concern for the welfare of others
      6. Displays an appropriately defined professional identity

  2. Evidence-based theories and practice of counseling and psychotherapy
    1. . Knowledge: Demonstrates knowledge of individual and group theories of counseling and psychotherapy consistent with program orientation and goals

    2. Relationships: Relates effectively with individuals, groups, and communities
      1. Forms and maintains productive and respectful relationships with clients, peers/colleagues, supervisors, and professionals from within and across disciplines
      2. Demonstrates understanding of counseling and psychological practice as an applied behavioral science
      3. Negotiates differences and handles conflict satisfactorily
      4. Provides effective feedback to others, receives feedback non-defensively, and integrates feedback appropriately
      5. Communicates clearly using verbal, nonverbal, and written skills in a professional context; demonstrates clear understanding and use of professional language

    3. Intervention: Applies evidence-based intervention and prevention strategies designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations (e.g., career, group, family, and/or systems-level interventions)
      1. Formulates and conceptualizes cases; plans and implements interventions utilizing at least one consistent theoretical orientation
      2. Displays skills in developing the therapeutic alliance
      3. Evaluates intervention progress and modifies intervention or prevention strategies on the basis of evaluation of clients’ or groups’ progress and/or client feedback

  3. Multiculturalism and diversity
    Demonstrates knowledge, self-awareness, and skills in working with individuals, groups, and communities who represent various cultural and personal backgrounds and characteristics
    1. Knowledge and Self-Awareness:
      1. Demonstrates knowledge and awareness of self, as shaped by individual and cultural diversity (e.g., cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status) and context.
      2. Demonstrates knowledge and awareness of others, as shaped by individual and cultural diversity and context.

    2. Skills: Applies knowledge of self and others as cultural beings in assessment, treatment, consultation, and all other professional interactions; is able to work effectively with diverse individuals in assessment, treatment, and consultation.

  4. Theories of psychopathology and relevant classification systems
    1. Knowledge:
      1. Demonstrates knowledge of theories of psychopathology, including but not limited to, biological and sociocultural theories
      2. Demonstrates knowledge of classification systems of behavior and evaluates limitations of those systems

    2. Skills: Applies concepts of normal/abnormal behavior to case formulation, diagnosis, and treatment planning in the context of stages of human development and diversity

  5. Tests, measurements, and other assessments of behavior
    1. Knowledge:
      1. Demonstrates knowledge of content, reliability and validity, and purposes of assessment measures frequently used by counselors and psychological practitioners.
      2. Evaluates strengths and limitations (including cultural limitations) of administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessment measures.

    2. Skills: Selects and utilizes appropriate assessment measures across domains of functioning, practice settings, and cultural groups.

  6. Research methods and program evaluation
    1. Knowledge:
      1. Demonstrates knowledge of scientific methods commonly used by counselors and psychology practitioners in their clinical work
      2. Demonstrates knowledge of use of scientific methods to add to the knowledge base of counseling and psychology
      3. Demonstrates knowledge of application of scientific methods to evaluating practices, interventions, and programs

    2. Skills: Critiques published research effectively

  7. Career development and/or the role of work in peoples’ lives
    1. Demonstrates knowledge of the role of work in peoples’ lives

    2. Demonstrates understanding of the development of work and career choices across the life span

  8. Biological basis of behavior
    1. Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the relationship between biological factors and human functioning

  9. Developmental basis of behavior
    1. Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of human development, wellness, and learned bases of behavior across the lifespan.

  10. Social/organizational/community basis of behavior
    1. Demonstrates knowledge of individuals in the context of their environment and how the environment (e.g., geographical, ideological, demographic, familial, institutional) affects functioning. Demonstrates understanding of the use of systems changes (whether by prevention or intervention) to enhance the functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and/or institutions.

  11. Understanding and use of supervision during applied experiences
    1. Knowledge: Demonstrates understanding of the role and practice of supervision.

    2. Skills
      1. Responds appropriately to supervision
      2. Engages in reflective practices by synthesizing supervisor feedback and experience in applied work
      3. Engages in appropriate self-care strategies


+Core Courses for MA in Psychology Degree

Required for both concentrations

PSY501 Foundations of Counseling Psychology

The course introduces students to the field of counseling psychology, including the historical roots, current values, and training curriculum. The course also engages students in experiential learning of the theory and practice of basic counseling skills.

PSY605 Biopsychology

This course focuses on the development of the brain and nervous system, interconnections between the human body's biological systems, and types and mechanisms of psychopharmacological interventions for psychological disorders.

PSY555 Statistics and Research Methods

The course provides a basic review of descriptive and inferential statistics and how these techniques are used with research methods in counseling psychology. Students will become proficient in computer analysis of data sets, designing and evaluating research designs and techniques, and understanding primary research in counseling literature.

PSY617 Psychology of Culture and Identity

The course addresses issues of culture and identity, as related to counseling and therapeutic relationships. Sociopolitical, socioeconomic, familial, and psychological aspects of diversity, identity, and culture are explored through readings, seminars, and experiential exercises. Students challenge underlying assumptions and develop effective skills to work with diverse populations.

PSY629 Human Development across the Life Span

The course explores cognitive, social, emotional and physiological development throughout the life span. While including concentration on the major theoretical approaches to life span development, an equally significant focus will be on practical application of material.

PSY642 Assessment

The course covers the basics of psychological assessment. The importance of integrating information from various sources when formulating hypotheses and diagnostic impressions and when developing treatment plans is emphasized. Other topics include interviewing, mental status examinations, psycho-physiological strategies, psychological tests related to various diagnostic groupings, and program evaluation.

PSY657 Psychopathology & Resilience

The course provides an overview of psychopathology. Students learn to recognize the complex biological, cultural, and environmental contributors to mental illness, and to diagnose mental disorders using standardized criteria. Students will also study the concept of resilience and its role in contributing to health and well-being.

PSY658 Evidence-Based Practice

This course provides an introduction to evidence-based practice in applied psychology, emphasizing a counseling psychology perspective to understanding human problems. The course focuses on the methodological issues in developing an empirical basis for psychological treatments, and understanding the evidence base for treatment, therapist, client, and therapeutic relationship effects.

PSY662 Theories and Techniques of Counseling

This course explored a variety of counseling theories and techniques to provide a foundation for the practice of professional counseling from a culturally sensitive perspective. The course emphasizes current professional research and practice related to counseling theories and techniques, and provides opportunities for skill practice.

PSY672 Group Counseling

The course explores the theory and practice of group experience from the perspectives of a member and observer. Topics include basic elements of group dynamics, interpersonal styles as they affect or hinder group functioning, role identity, leadership style, and application of group skills in organizations.

PSY681 Professional Integration Seminar

The course explores ethical conceptualization, analysis, and practices of applied and counseling psychologists. Topics include the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association, the history of applied psychology, and the developing mental health counseling movement. Certification, licensure, and regulatory practices are also discussed.


+Elective Courses

PSY530 Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts and intervention techniques of sport and exercise psychology. Topics covered will include motivation theory applied to sport, team dynamics, an introduction to psychological skills training, the psychology of sport injury, and issues pertinent to exercise adoption, adherence, and drop-out.

PSY602 Sport and Exercise Psychology Interventions

Students in this course will become competent in the understanding and application of the core mental skills of sport and exercise psychology across settings and across the lifespan.

Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PSY530 Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • 3
    PSY621 Advanced Seminar in Diversity Issues

    The course further develops the multicultural competency of counselors in relation to specific selected topics related to diversity and counseling. This is an elective course.

    PSY632 Positive Psychology

    Positive Psychology is the study of how humans do well and flourish. This course is an introduction to positive psychology theories and techniques. Didactic, experiential, and interactive elements will be used to explore concepts, research, interventions, and exercises that positive psychology has contributed to the larger field of psychology.

    PSY663 Foundations of Health Psychology

    Students will explore how psychological processes influence physical health. Further, the psychological sequelae of physical illness will be examined. Students will delve into the mind-body connection with consideration given to the cultural context. The role of the counseling psychologist as a member of the healthcare team will be explored.

    PSY665 Addictions Counseling

    The course addresses a variety of addiction topics, including chemical dependency, eating disorders, sexual addiction, the chemically dependent offender, and women's issues in addiction. Several treatment models are explored, with emphases on effectiveness of treatment approaches and on multicultural sensitivity.

    PSY668 Crisis, Trauma and Recovery

    The course is an introduction to the field of psychological trauma, examining the historical development of trauma as a clinical entity and an overview of theories and strategies for treating trauma. Students will learn to identify and work with their own reactions to clients who present trauma issues.

    PSY671 Mindfulness Counseling

    This course explores mindfulness and acceptance based approaches to counseling and discusses the integration of art and science when utilizing these approaches. Students will examine current research about efficacy of such approaches, and also develop beginning skills in these approaches.

    PSY673 Couples Counseling

    This advanced course covers selected theories and techniques related to couples counseling. The emphasis in the course is on practical application of the theories.

    Pre-requisites Complete all 2 of the following courses:
  • PSY501 Foundations of Counseling Psychology
  • PSY662 Theories and Techniques of Counseling
  • 3
    PSY676 Counseling Children and Adolescents

    The course focuses on issues and concepts related to counseling children and adolescents with social and/or emotional problems. Topics include significant differences between children/adolescents and adults; theories of normal child development and temperament; and conceptualization and effective treatment of problems.

    PSY677 Grief Counseling

    The course introduces students to the techniques, strategies, and treatment modalities counselors use to work with adults, children, and families dealing with bereavement. The class focuses on psychological, somatic, cultural, and spiritual aspects of grief and loss. Other topics included are interventions, community resources, and diverse religious and cultural practices.

    PSY678 Risk and Resilience in Childhood

    The course covers child/adolescent psychopathology and psychological assessment of children and adolescents. Specific topics include diagnostic and assessment issues specific to children and adolescents; psychological and developmental disorders specific to children and adolescents; and related social and cultural issues.

    PSY693 Independent Study

    Independent Study

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • XXX123 Permission of Instructor
  • 3
    PSY718 Psychology and Sustainability

    The course presents the interface between environment and sustainability issues and the discipline of counseling psychology. Students review psychological literature about the relationship between environmental problems/solutions and human health and well-being, as well as implications of this for psychologists' work with individuals, families, and communities.