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General Psychology

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NO Residency

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NO Group Work

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100% Online Learning

MA-PSY, General Psychology

Our General Psychology specialization helps you develop a broad base of knowledge, strong research, and critical-thinking skills, as well as an appreciation for diversity. Taught by professors who all hold doctoral degrees, you are encouraged to tailor your program to your career interests and goals. In this specialization, you will gain expertise in the biological and social bases for behavior, the fascinating process of human development and the amazing history of psychology. You’ll learn the impact of psychology on today’s culture, as well as the role of ethics in the field. Recent revisions to this program have resulted in a streamlined 30-credit program, resulting in a lower total cost than 36-credit program.

Note on Licensure: The Master of Arts in Psychology program is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology or counseling professional.


Unmatched Flexibility

NU offers weekly course starts, no scheduled lecture hours, no group assignments, weekly assignments, and the ability to schedule courses around your personal and professional obligations.

100% Doctoral Faculty

No matter the degree level you pursue, you can rest assured that you will be mentored by doctors in your field of study.

One to One Engagement

You won’t have to fight for facetime as one of many within a classroom. At NU, you’ll have the opportunity to interact one to one with your professor, receiving personalized mentoring.

Course Details

Credit Hours : 30

Courses: 10

Estimated Time to Complete: 18 months

*Credit hours and courses reflect new students meeting credit requirements and utilizing no transfer credits. Est. Time of Completion reflects new students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for the program.

In this course, students will examine, compare and contrast key personality theories. Drawing on classic and contemporary sources, students will consider Freudian, post-Freudian, behaviorism, and social learning theories. Students will also examine more contemporary theories on personality, such as those put forth by cognitive, humanistic, and positive psychology.

This course will examine the foundational theories related to cognitive and emotional influences on behavior. Themes to be traced will include process and application of memory, perception, language, problem-solving, decision-making, and creativity. The course will examine how emotion impacts cognition as well as the interactive characteristics of human cognition and affective functioning.

Select 3 courses from the following recommended* course list:

This course prepares the student to deal with essential issues in a multicultural society from both an individual and professional standpoint. Topics to be covered include the emergence of multicultural psychology, considerations for psychological research and testing, and how multiculturalism promotes a plurality of world views and communication styles. The formation and impact of stereotypes and prejudices in the light of establishing and maintaining a cultural identity in a multicultural society will also be examined. Finally, the student will become familiar with differences in access and views on physical and mental health services in different cultures.

Verbal and nonverbal communication and listening skills, as well as the ethics that apply to communication are covered in this course. Communication in the workplace, between couples, and across cultures are also key topics of this course. The student will think critically about what makes public speaking influential and also study the cutting edge in communication, electronic mediated communication.

This course will cover the broad scope of substance use and dependence, and its impact on individuals, families, and society. This includes the costs of substance misuse in terms of lives lost, health problems, and financial losses. You will explore theories and models of both the etiology and treatment of substance use disorders, including the exploration of a variety of both legal and illicit substances, as well as the physiological and psychological processes of dependence. Prescription drug abuse, abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and dietary supplements will also be covered, and gender and diversity issues are highlighted.

This course provides students with a fundamental background in assessment and measurement as well as the ability to evaluate the psychometric strengths and weaknesses of individual psychological tests and measurements, using both conceptual and applied. This course focuses on psychometric principles (e.g. validity and reliability), test and items analysis, test construction, and applications of psychological testing in a wide variety of settings.

This course examines theories and techniques of psychotherapy and counseling in general and their effectiveness when applied to specific diagnoses and special populations. Approaches reviewed include psychoanalytic, client-centered, behavioral, cognitive, existential, Gestalt, contemplative, and integrative. The course also examines proposed models of cultural psychotherapy. Historical bases, underlying personality theories, applications, and case studies for each approach will be considered.

Required Capstone Course

The Capstone course in Psychology is an opportunity to demonstrate a range of professional competencies and communication skills, reflecting the knowledge, critical thinking, sensitivity to ethics and diversity, and appreciation of research that has been acquired during the MA program. The Capstone course culminates in a review of the evidence-based practices related to your specific interests.

*Courses listed are examples and upon acceptance to the program the initial degree plan will include these courses. Students are encouraged to choose their specialization courses based on personal and professional goals and to work with their Academic Advisor to revise their degree plan. Additionally, courses from the Department of Psychology Master of Science Programs cannot be used for specialization courses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Model clear and effective communication for fellow professionals and the public
  • Examine diversity issues in professional contexts
  • Relate ethical principles of psychology in academic and professional issues
  • Apply psychological principles and research in personal, social, and organizational issues
  • Examine research methods and data analysis in psychology
  • Analyze theories and principles in psychology to inform professional contexts
Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.