Graduate Catalog

Department of Psychology

Faculty: Bacheller, DesRosiers, Hall, Koncsol, Lauro, Murray, Muscarella (Chair), Wated, Wondra

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Psychology is derived from the mission of the University. Grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts, the study of psychology offers students the opportunity to engage in scientific inquiry into human thought, emotion, and behavior in order to formulate important questions and discover meaningful answers. The faculty encourages students to apply their skills and knowledge for the betterment of local and global communities as well as for personal growth. Students are guided to solve individual, interpersonal, and societal problems with sensitivity to diversity and awareness of their own values. Thus, the mission of the Department of Psychology is to prepare students to be thoughtful, contributing citizens of the world committed to engaging in collaborative service and social justice.

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

The overall mission of the Master of Science degree program in Clinical Psychology is to educate students using the scientist-practitioner model of training with faculty actively involved in research and clinical practice. This offers students the opportunity to obtain the theoretical, scientific, technical, and personal experience necessary to enter into the practice of mental health evaluation and treatment of diverse populations with appropriate guidance and supervision, or to enter into doctoral-level training. Training is provided in an environment that promotes knowledge of the discipline, basic clinical skills, and the establishment of an identity as an ethical professional in the field of psychology.

The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology was first offered in fall 1982 to respond to community needs for mental health services. There are two options for completing the degree.

  1. The 60‑credit option is designed to prepare the student to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in the State of Florida. The student may also choose to pursue doctoral study after completing the 60‑credit option. A Forensic Psychology Specialization can be completed with an additional 6 credits of course work and other specified requirements.
  2. The 36‑credit option is the core of the 60‑credit option but is not sufficient by itself for licensure. The student who decides to pursue doctoral study with less than a 60‑credit master’s degree, or who decides to embark upon an alternative career path, can choose the 36‑credit option.

Program Goals

  1. To assure that the program curriculum is consistent with the scientist-practitioner model of training as described by the American Psychological Association. This includes study of the core areas of psychology, opportunities for participation in ongoing research, and completion of an independent research project (thesis) that contains an acceptable experimental method and design, data collection, and statistical analysis. Students are encouraged to submit their work for presentation or publication in a professional venue. To this end, also consistent with the scientist-practitioner model, students learn to read psychological research and to apply it to practice in both the conceptualization of psychopathology and the use of appropriate treatment interventions.
  2. To offer didactic instruction and clinical skills training in psychological evaluation and reporting, including diagnostic interviewing, intellectual assessment, and objective personality assessment.
  3. To offer didactic instruction and clinical skills training in psychiatric diagnosis using the most current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
  4. To provide clinical skills training in the general and specific technical skills associated with the practice of standard psychologically based therapy.
  5. To assure that all aspects of training emphasize issues of ethical practice and individual and cultural diversity.
  6. To assure that the 36‑credit master’s degree option provides the academic and clinical training most useful for entry into a doctoral program in clinical psychology.
  7. To assure that the 60‑credit master’s degree option curriculum meets the State of Florida guidelines for licensure as a mental health counselor.
  8. To assure that students in the Forensic Psychology Specialization are trained in the most current psycholegal theory, research, assessment and intervention techniques applicable to clinical work in the legal system.

Expected Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, based on the scientist-practitioner model, all graduates will have acquired the ability to do the following with awareness of individual and cultural diversity and an understanding of the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association:

Psychological Research: Students will conduct ethical empirical research resulting in a master’s thesis: They will write an integrative literature review, formulate a rationale for the study, generate hypotheses, and devise an appropriate method. They will compute and report statistical results and discuss the results. The format will be according to the style of the American Psychological Association.

Psychological Assessment: Students will demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of ethical psychological assessment: They will perform a clinical interview, intelligence test, and personality tests. They will write an integrated psychological report; give a multiaxial diagnosis based on the most current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual; and develop a clinical conceptualization, treatment goals, and a treatment plan to achieve those goals.

Psychological Intervention: Students will demonstrate proficiency in the ethical use of basic psychological interventions including crisis intervention, individual psychotherapy, and group psychotherapy: They will establish rapport, engage in reflective listening, facilitate ventilation of feelings, make psychological interpretations, apply the technique of cognitive restructuring, guide in problem solving, teach stress reduction techniques, and facilitate group processes. They will critically evaluate research for the most appropriate interventions for specific problems.

Graduates who complete the 60-credit option will receive an additional 24 credits of education and advanced clinical training to prepare them to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in the State of Florida.

Graduates who complete the Forensic Psychology Specialization will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to provide clinical services within the legal system.

Admission Requirements and Policies

  • See School of Arts and Sciences requirements, graduate section.
  • Prerequisites in lifespan developmental psychology, theories of personality, tests and measurements, physiological psychology, and abnormal psychology (15 undergraduate credit hours).
  • Scores at a minimum of the fiftieth percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE are preferred.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Students are admitted for the fall semester only.
  • Application deadline is February 15. After that date students may be admitted on a space-available basis.

Additional Requirements and Technical Standards for Admission, Enrollment, and Graduation

The Department of Psychology has a responsibility to society and the profession to admit and graduate students who will be competent master’s-level psychologists and mental health professionals. Therefore, students must adhere to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association. Students in the Clinical Psychology Program are under continuous evaluation by the faculty to ensure that they have the intellectual, psychological, emotional, and interpersonal readiness to engage in professional activity with the public. Thus, the faculty in the Clinical Psychology Program reserve the right to require entry into personal counseling or psychotherapy for assessment and/or treatment as a condition of continuation in the Clinical Psychology Program. The faculty also reserve the right to dismiss from the Clinical Psychology Program any student whose behavior suggests potential harm to the public in the role of a mental health professional. The technical standards that follow are required for admission, enrollment, and graduation from the Clinical Psychology Program:

  • Ability to participate in oral demonstrations, presentations, and role-plays of clinical situations.
  • Ability to participate in the audio and video recording of simulated and actual clinical situations for the purpose of practice and supervision.
  • Ability for effective oral communication.
  • Ability for effective written communication.

Graduation from the program is recommended when students are personally and academically ready for entry into the profession. In cases of misconduct, including legal, ethical, or academic violations, the faculty will refer the case to the University Judicial Board.

Practicum and Internship

Although students are assisted in identifying program-approved practicum and internship sites, students are accepted by sites based on their own merits and qualifications. Most sites require that students be present during regular daytime working hours, Monday through Friday. Drug screening and criminal background checks, including fingerprinting, may be required by some sites. Students are charged a fee for liability insurance coverage for each semester they are enrolled in clinical psychology practicum or internship.

Dismissal

The following are academic causes for dismissal:

  • More than two C and/or NC grades
  • Any one grade lower than C
  • A C and/or NC in a repeated course

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete the degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) with no more than two Cs for the duration of the program. If a student earns a C in any of the following courses, the course must be repeated: PSY-596, PSY-602, PSY-610, PSY-615, and PSY-628. No more than two courses may be repeated. The 60‑credit Clinical Psychology option requirements may be adjusted due to changes in the licensing law.