Masters of Science Degree in Psychology
The department offers two tracks that lead to a Master of Science degree in psychology.
The General Psychology track requires 36 credit hours and is intended to provide a background similar to that given in many Ph.D. programs. This track is organized around a general core of courses designed to educate the student in all areas of psychology. In addition, the thesis and elective hours permit the student an opportunity to pursue an area of interest such as physiological, experimental, neuropsychological, or social psychology. This track is especially useful for those students whose goals include either entering a Ph.D. program or working in a non-clinical position (research, etc.) upon completing the master's degree. This track is designed so that it may be completed in one year (including summer semester); however, most students prefer to take four or five semesters to complete the thesis and oral examination.
The Clinical Psychology/Counseling track is a 67 credit-hour emphasis area that is unique in that it is one of the few programs in the U.S. providing comprehensive training in psychological training and assessment. This emphasis area takes a minimum of two years (including summer semesters) to complete. In addition to the general core of courses required in the general psychology emphasis area, this track provides the opportunity to gain solid psychological testing and assessment skills in four areas: neuropsychological, behavioral, intelligence, and personality. This clinical psychology/counseling track is designed to prepare students to continue their education at the doctoral level or to work as a master-level clinician. The student successfully completing this track will qualify for licensure as a counselor in the state of New Mexico as well as a master level clinician in approximately 40 other states.
Both options emphasize the science of psychology. Students will be expected to graduate from the programs with the skills and knowledge necessary to plan, conduct, analyze, and report sound scientific research. Students in both programs are required to complete a research-based thesis to practice these skills and demonstrate this knowledge. Neither option is appropriate for students whose only area of interest is the provision of psychotherapy.