The Master of Arts (MA) program enables students to pursue advanced study in psychology that can lead to careers in the helping professions, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. The program also provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for doctoral-level study.

Goals of the MA Program in Psychology

The goals (referred to as Student Learning Outcomes) of the Master of Arts in Psychology degree program are as follows:

General Degree Requirements

The master's degree requires a total of 36 credit hours at the graduate level beyond the bachelor's degree.

The University may accept a maximum of 6 semester credit hours in transfer toward the master's degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of "B" or better.

All master's degree programs have the following graduation requirements:

Completion Period for Master's Degrees

Northcentral allows five years to complete all 36 credit hour master's programs. 

Students who are unable to complete a degree program within the stated time limit are dismissed. Students who believe they have extenuating circumstances may document the circumstances in a request for special consideration to their respective School Dean or designee. Exceptions to this policy are determined on a case-by-case basis and are granted only once.

Normal time to completion for this program is 47 months. Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most Northcentral students are working adults balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.

The normal time disclosed above reflects the experience of students who may have entered under different program requirements. In the quest for continuous improvement, academic leadership has revised the program to optimize curriculum and pace, facilitate student learning, and improve chances for success. Therefore, the program is now designed for students enrolling today to take advantage of these revised course structures, lengths, and schedules. New students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 18 months.

MA Specializations

Students are required to select one of four specializations within the Master of Arts in Psychology degree program, each of which is described in further detail below:

Course Length

All courses in the Master of Arts in Psychology program are eight weeks in length, with the exception of practicum courses (PSY6901 and PSY6902).

Master of Arts in Psychology Degree Plan

36 Credit Hours

Foundations - 21 credit hours

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Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology


History and Systems of Psychology


Professional Ethics, Law, and Psychology


Theories of Human Development and Functioning


Social Psychology




Research Design

These courses must be completed prior to enrolling in other graduate courses in psychology.

Required Specialization Courses – 15 credit hours  

See Specialization options below.

Gender Diversity Studies Specialization

The purpose of the Gender Diversity Studies specialization is to provide an in-depth understanding of the social, cultural, and biological foundations of human sexuality, gender, and sexual orientation.

Required Specialization Courses - 15 credit hours


Psychology of Sex and Sexuality


Psychology of Gender


Introduction to Gender Variance


LGBTQ Affirmative Psychology


Capstone Course: Gender Diversity Studies

General Psychology Specialization

The General Psychology specialization allows students to select courses from a broad range of electives to fit their personal and professional goals.

Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours for the specialization in General Psychology (12 of these credits are from elective courses and 3 from a required Capstone course). Students may take psychology courses at the 5000, 6000, 7000, or 8000 level including up to two courses from other fields (MFT, Business, and/or Education) courses levels to fulfill their specialization requirements (note: if practicum courses are selected, only one may count towards the degree – see practicum information provided at the end of this section). Additional courses (i.e., more than two courses) from other disciplines may be considered to fill this requirement, with Dean approval.

Recommended Specialization Courses - 15 credit hours


Theories of Personality*


Multicultural Psychology*


Human Communication: Interviewing Skills*  


Positive Psychology*


Capstone Course: Psychology

*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.

Health Psychology Specialization

The purpose of the Health Psychology specialization is to provide an in-depth understanding of the total matrix of factors influencing psychological and physical health and illness.

Required Specialization Courses – 15 credit hours  


Health Psychology


Behavioral Nutrition


Stress and Coping


Coaching for Health and Wellness


Capstone Course: Health Psychology

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Specialization

The purpose of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology specialization is to provide an in-depth understanding of people in the world of work. Training is provided in conducting basic and applied research and in the application of theory and research to organizational and human resource management issues.

Required Specialization Courses – 15 credit hours   


Industrial/Organizational Psychology


Applied Statistics   


Tests and Measurements in Industrial/Organizational Psychology


Small Group Theory and Team Processes


Capstone Project: Industrial/Organizational Psychology