The Master of Science (MS) Degree in Psychology provides advanced education in psychology and prepares students for doctoral programs in psychology or closely related fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science. This program provides:

  • intensive student-initiated research experience in a variety of areas of psychological science
  • statistical and methodological training required to examine basic or applied topics in psychological science
  • background in psychological history and theory across subdisciplines of psychological science.

Click here to link you to the specific required courses for this degree. 

We admit students annually for the Fall semester of each year. The review of applications will begin on February 1st. Applications submitted after this date will be considered on a rolling basis.

Admissions Requirements

Applications for admission to the Psychology MS program are accepted from students holding a Bachelor's degree and have taken a course in introductory psychology and a course in statistics. Students must also meet the Graduate Education and Research Office admission requirements consisting of a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants should submit a formal letter of application outlining goals, expectations, and potential faculty mentors as well as two letters of reference. GRE scores are not required.

The graduate admissions committee in the Department of Psychological Science will review applications for the fall semester. Preference will be given to applications received prior to February 1st.

Degree Requirements

Total Credits Required for Degree - 32

Core 6 credits

PSY 505 Advanced Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)                               

PSY 506 Advanced Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)                                                     

Electives20 credits

Thesis - 6 credits

PSY 593 Research Development (3 credits)

PSY 599 Thesis (3 credits)    

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Katie portrait

"I came to NMU for its very unique M.S. in Psychological Science program. This program is one of a kind and provides students with the necessary assets and experiences to pursue Ph.D.’s in highly competitive areas. The research and mentoring received under this program are unmatched. Although I came here for school, the scenery Marquette proves is a huge plus."

Katie Elwell

Masters of Psychology Alumna

General Thesis Process

  • Obtain thesis advisor
    • Oversees work on thesis
    • Serves as Thesis Committee Chair
  • Form thesis idea (this might come before picking out an advisor)
  • Form thesis committee
    • Work with advisor to determine committee members
    • Obtain thesis committee form
    • Have committee members sign form agreeing to serve on the committee
    • Submit signed form to Dept Secretary
  • Propose thesis to committee
    • Written proposal with literature review, hypotheses, proposed methods, and proposed analytic plan
    • Oral proposal/presentation to thesis committee
  • Obtain IRB or IACUC approval, if needed (this may occur before or in parallel with the proposal)
  • Conduct thesis project
    • Funding options (go here for opportunities)
      1. Department support may be available
      2. Spooner Grant
        • Normally due 9/15, 1/15, or 3/15 each year
      3. Excellence in Education Grant
        • Normally due 2/15 each year
  • Write thesis in consultation with thesis advisor
    • Follow APA style
  • Present and defend thesis
    • Public oral presentation, which may contain a private defense with the committee
  • Make thesis revisions if necessary
  • Turn in thesis to Graduate College

Links to Thesis forms and materials:


A thesis research proposal will be evaluated by the student’s thesis committee before thesis research may formally begin and before the student is advanced to candidacy. The thesis committee includes:

  • the student’s adviser (chair of the committee),
  • one other member of the Department of Psychological Science,
  • and an appropriately qualified member from outside the department.

A faculty member in another department may substitute for the department member, with approval of both the thesis adviser and the department. An open oral defense of the thesis is required. The thesis will demonstrate the student’s capacity for independent work of acceptable scientific caliber. It must be completed within three years of completion of all course requirements.

Faculty Research Interests

Faculty research interests in the Department of Psychological Science vary considerably. Ranging from the study of simple stimulus-response relationships to the study of complex social interactions in real-world environments. Ranging from the study of psychopharmacological effects on specific cellular-level neurotransmitter receptors to the study of system-level brain activity using functional and structural neuroimaging. Faculty interests include the study of brain, cognitive, social, affective, and clinical processes in both human participants as well as vertebrate and invertebrate non-human animal subjects. Faculty in the Psychological Science program study psychological science from behavioral, social, and cognitive perspectives as well as from a brain-based biological perspective.  More specific information on faculty interests can be found on the faculty bio pages by clicking here. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to explore our program faculty as well as their areas of specialization and research interests to identify a potential thesis advisor and research mentor. Students with research interests closely aligned with faculty members will benefit from this shared interest.

Facilities & Equipment

Each faculty member in the Department of Psychological Science has a research lab with equipment for conducting research in their area of specialization. The department also contains several shared research facilities and has access to additional facilities and equipment outside the department.

Examples of equipment include:

  • Individual testing rooms with response boxes for human research
  • Radial arm maze, Skinner boxes, and serial response time task for rodent research
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) neuroimaging
  • 64 channel electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Optogenetic Imaging Equipment
  • Voltage stimulator for human fear conditioning research
  • Equipment for psychophysiological measures such as SCR, ECG, EMG, respiration, etc
  • Driving simulator
  • A number of devices for haptic stimulation
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • MRI at the Upper Peninsula Health System – Marquette