Online Master's Degree in Psychology Courses & Classes

Pursue your Master of Arts in Psychology. Take courses in developmental, social, and counseling psychology. Learn how to use psychological theories in any professional endeavor. You will also evaluate the scientific merit of psychological research and literature.

Course Requirements

(36 credits, all courses are 3 credits. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

PSY 600 Introduction to Graduate Study in Psychology
This course provides an introduction to graduate study at Ashford University in the field of psychology. Students will explore psychology as a science and profession. They will examine professional roles and organizations, ethics and professional standards, theoretical perspectives, and contemporary practical applications of psychology to real-world situations.  

PSY 605 Developmental Psychology
This course will cover developmental and contextual experiences of humans across the lifespan. Emphasis will be placed on issues and questions that have dominated the field over time and continue to provide impetus for research. Interactions will focus on articles that describe and illustrate current theories and trends. Students will read selected research articles and self-select additional readings related to weekly topics and personal interest. These topics include theoretical trends and foundations in research, policy and ethics, health and wellness, human developmental context, and end-of-life issues.

PSY 610 Applied Social Psychology
This course provides a comprehensive examination of the science of social psychology as well as how it is applied to manage and aid the understanding of contemporary social issues. Topics include social quandaries encountered in the fields of mental and physical health, the workplace, the education system, and the legal system. Students will study seminal theories and research that informs the practical application of social psychology to real-life situations. Students will also apply social psychology theory and research to explain current social issues.

PSY 615 Personality Theories
This course provides an overview of the basic concepts and principles of the major theories of personality. Students will assess the scientific worth and validity of these theories based on case studies that show how these theories are applied to the treatment of psychological disorders and how personality assessments are applied in different settings. Detailed descriptions of healthy and unhealthy personality types will be stressed, and students will be challenged to evaluate various assessment tools as they relate to the respective theories being presented.

PSY 620 Learning & Cognition
This course introduces students to multiple dimensions of learning and cognition, which range from the basic processes underlying learning to the contexts that promote self-regulation and metacognition.  As the foundation of cognitive psychology, learning and cognition encompasses many topics including attention, memory, categorization, problem solving, epistemology, language acquisition, and recognition of diversity.  During the course, students will study a broad range of content through an eclectic collection of peer-reviewed articles focusing on the different aspects of learning and cognition. This course highlights main findings, established facts, and skills in learning and cognition that are applicable to a wide range of contexts.

PSY 625 Biological Bases of Behavior
In this course students will explore the detailed anatomy and physiology of the brain, including cellular physiology, synaptic transmission, and clinical neuroanatomy. Theories that focus on the relationship between brain function and behavior will be reviewed, and students will illustrate their understanding of important brain networks, including those involved in sensation/perception, language, memory, movement, and emotions. Through a review of the history of behavioral neuroscience, students will learn about the relationship between symptom presentation and underlying theories of neuroanatomy/neurophysiology as well as how these concepts have evolved over time. Students will also become familiar with important research methods used in neuroscience by analyzing current concepts in brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. For the final assignment in the course, students will design a grant proposal that focuses on a particular disorder/syndrome in the area of neurophysiology.

PSY 630 Psychopharmacology
Students will examine the activity of drugs, both therapeutic and recreational, on the body with an emphasis on the brain.  Theories of the biological basis of psychiatric disorders will be explored as a basis for examining the professional standards behind therapeutic drug use.  The history of drug use, research methods and ethical concerns will be examined.

PSY 635 Research Design & Methods
This course reviews the basic concepts of common quantitative research methods and introduces research design using qualitative and mixed methods. In the review of quantitative methods, emphasis will be placed on experimental research designs. Students will be challenged to select appropriate research designs and methodologies for various research questions. The course will culminate in a detailed research proposal on topics chosen by the students.

PSY 640 Psychological Testing & Assessment
The course includes an overview of individual and group approaches to testing in psychology. Students will review psychological assessments utilized to evaluate personality, intelligence, achievement, and career-related interests and skills in a variety of work settings. The course will provide students with opportunities to analyze psychometric methodologies typically employed in the development and validation of psychological and educational tests. Students will apply knowledge of psychological measurement principles to testing and assessment data with an emphasis on ethical and professional interpretation. Issues and challenges related to testing and assessment with diverse populations will be integrated into the course.

PSY 645 Psychopathology
This course introduces students to objective and phenomenological understandings of psychological symptoms and disorders. Students will draw from various theoretical and historical perspectives to build their understanding of diagnostic and treatment methods for psychological disorders and develop their appreciation for evidence-based practices. Additionally, students will be encouraged to conceptualize psychopathology from a socioculturally sensitive standpoint through the examination of culture-related syndromes. Diagnostic manuals and handbooks will be discussed and used throughout the course.

PSY 650 Introduction to Clinical & Counseling Psychology
This course examines similarities and differences in clinical and counseling psychology, with an emphasis on professional roles and activities. Students will gain greater awareness of their attitudes toward various ethical and professional issues, psychotherapy modalities, theoretical orientations, and clinical interventions through case studies. Evidenced-based practices and psychotherapy integration will also be covered during the course.   

PSY 699 Master of Arts in Psychology Capstone
The capstone course is the culminating educational experience for the Master of Arts in Psychology. In this course, students will integrate and apply what they have learned throughout the program to meet competencies as outlined in the program learning outcomes. Students will be exposed to a holistic view of psychology as a discipline, and they will be encouraged to think critically about the broader themes that link various subfields of psychology. Students will reflect on the experience of the program as a whole and will consider how the program’s themes apply to a variety of civic and professional settings. The capstone affords students a final opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills they will need to succeed after graduation.

If this psychology program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.