The Master of Science (MS) Degree in Psychology provides advanced education in psychology and prepares students for doctoral programs in experimental psychology, clinical psychology or closely related fields such as neuroscience, cognitive science, and behavior analysis. 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.

In addition to coursework, students complete a capstone project, consisting of either a comprehensive written work on a topic in psychological science or a fully designed and implement experimental master's thesis. For students pursuing the thesis option, additional information on the thesis process is provided below.

Click here for information on admission and program requirements.

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.

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"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

Faculty Research Interests

Faculty research interests in the Department of Psychological Science vary considerably. 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. 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 and operant chambers for rodent research
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) neuroimaging
  • 64 channel electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Optogenetic Imaging Equipment
  • Eye tracking equipment
  • Equipment for psychophysiological measures such as SCR, ECG, EMG, and respiration
  • Driving simulator
  • Confocal Microscopy

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
  • 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 (see Thesis Information link below)

Forms for thesis committee, proposal, and final thesis are here.


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. 


MS Psychology Program Handbook

Handbook for MS Psychology Students

The MS Psychology Program Handbook provides an in-depth coverage of the program, along procedures, sample plans of study, suggested timelines for projects, links to forms, and other helpful information.