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M.A. in Human Sciences

The Master of Arts in Human Sciences offers an interdisciplinary approach to education in the human sciences, particularly as they relate to the problems of contemporary society and its people. The goal of the program is to enrich the understanding and skills of individuals in their professional and civic roles. It is open to qualified applicants to the Graduate School.

The curriculum includes basic courses in the social, behavioral and biological sciences. Advanced courses and a concentration in psychology are offered.

For admission information, see Graduate Admission and Program Specific Application Requirements 

Requirements for the Program 

Two routes to the master’s degree in the human sciences are available. (Not all routes are possible for all human sciences fields of study.) They are:

  • 30 to 36 credits including a master’s thesis.
  • 30 to 36 credits plus a comprehensive written examination.

Course requirements: 

Completion of three basic human sciences courses. Substitutions for these courses are not permitted. A student may be exempted from this requirement by petition to the appropriate department. The petition must be in writing and, if approved, written evidence of the exemption must be forwarded to the Graduate School by the appropriate department chair. The exemption is made a part of the student’s record.

Completion of a concentration of not fewer than 15 credits (not more than one of the basic human sciences courses may be included in the concentration). The concentration may be individually designed to meet specific needs of the student. The number of credits required for an individualized program varies with the needs of the program and course prerequisites. Under ordinary circumstances, 36 or more credits constitute an individualized program.

Basic Human Sciences Courses 

Students elect three basic human sciences courses from different disciplines. These constitute the basic component of the human sciences program. When a human sciences course is formally exempted, another course must be taken. Exemption does not constitute credit. Basic courses include:

  • ECON 551 Foundations of Economics
  • GERO 554 Social Gerontology
  • MATH 500 Statistics
  • PSY 500 Human Development as a Lifelong Process or 
  • THAN 528 Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology
  • PSY 505 Social Psychology: A Survey
  • SOC 523 Ethnicity in the United States
  • THAN 528 Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology
  • THAN 529 Historical and Multicultural Perspectives in Thanatology

Psychology Concentration 

The purpose of the concentration in psychology is to broaden the student’s perspective and increase understanding of the principles of human behavior as they apply to current roles or positions. This program does not qualify the student to become a professional psychologist or counselor, and the Department of Psychology does not hold this program to be a vehicle to the practice of psychology or counseling.

The concentration in psychology is a 30-credit program that requires PSY 500 or PSY 505, two other basic human sciences courses from two different disciplines and at least five additional graduate courses offered by the Department of Psychology for which the student qualifies. Each program may be individually designed to meet the specific needs of the student. Courses in each program are cooperatively selected by the student and the adviser. All course prerequisites will be strictly enforced. Programs of study may focus upon several themes identified by the department or upon a different theme defined by the student in consultation with the adviser.

Examples of possible programs are given below.

General/Experimental Psychology 

Three basic human sciences courses: 

  • PSY 500 Human Development as a Lifelong Process or 
  • PSY 505 Social Psychology: A Survey (required)

Two additional basic human sciences courses from different disciplines to be selected from the listing under Basic Human Sciences Courses.

Four advanced courses: 

  • MATH 500 Statistics
  • PSY 509 Psychology of Learning, Memory and Cognition
  • PSY 518 Physiological Psychology
  • PSY 519 Psychopharmacology

Three elective courses. 

Comprehensive examination. 

**Note: The General/Experimental Program requires that a minimum of 15 credits be psychology-prefixed courses. 

Helping Relationship 

Three basic human sciences courses: 

  • PSY 500 Human Development as a Lifelong Process (required)

Two additional basic human sciences courses from different disciplines to be selected from the listing under Basic Human Sciences Courses.

Four advanced courses: 

  • PSY 501 Theories of Personality
  • PSY 508 Introduction to Counseling and Helping Skills
  • PSY 511 Theories and Principles of Counseling
  • THAN 521 Mourning and Principles of Counseling the Bereaved or 
  • THAN 523 Dying and Principles of Palliative Care

Three elective courses. 

Comprehensive examination. 

**Note: The Helping Relationships Program requires that a minimum of 15 credits be psychology-prefixed courses. 

Gerontology 

Three basic human sciences courses: 

  • GERO 554 Social Gerontology
  • PSY 500 Human Development as a Lifelong Process or 
  • PSY 505 Social Psychology: A Survey (required)

An additional basic human sciences course from a different discipline to be selected from the listing under Basic Human Sciences Courses.

Four advanced courses: 

  • GERO 555 Psychological Aspects of Aging
  • THAN 520 Introduction to Thanatology
  • THAN 521 Mourning and Principles of Counseling the Bereaved or 
  • THAN 523 Dying and Principles of Palliative Care and one related course

Three elective courses. 

Comprehensive examination or Master’s Thesis. 

**Note: The Gerontology Concentration requires that a minimum of 6 credits be gerontology-prefixed courses and a minimum of 9 credits be psychology-prefixed courses.