Experimental Track | Department of Psychology


You are here

Psychology students demonstrating use of skull cap to read brain activity

Experimental Psychology encompasses a variety of experimental research areas within psychology.Our faculty have background and current research interests in:

  • Biopsychology
  • Cognition
  • Social psychology
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Perception and action
  • Psycho-linguistics
  • Graduate students are prepared for doctoral-level programs in various areas of psychology, as well as careers in research and academic instruction.

Please refer to the general admission requirements for all applicants to our program.  The experimental track does not have any additional requirements.  

Please view the the Experimental track curriculum to learn more about the courses students in this track will take.

As part of this coursework, students will complete a 6 credit Plan B Research Project in Psychology, which involves conducting an empirical research project or meta-analysis under the direction of a faculty advisor. The project must be designed and conducted by the individual student; the topic, however, may be based upon the research program of the faculty advisor.

Year 1 (18 credits)
8103 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Psychology (0)
5052 Advanced Statistics 1 (3)
5021 Advanced Developmental Psychology (3)
5631 Biological Bases of Behavior (3)
8021 Research Methods and Evaluation (3)
5401 Advanced Social Psychology (3)
Elective (3)

Year 2 (18 credits)
5621 Cognition & Emotion (3)
8052 Advanced Statistics II (3)
8099 Research Project in Psychology (6)
Elective (6)

Example Electives: PSY 5111 Advanced Personality, PSY 5131 Psychopathology, PSY 5130 Mind-Body, PSY 5131 Evolutionary Psychology

It is expected that students will complete the program in two years. Students will be expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better and must earn a grade of B or better for each course. Furthermore, students must not have more than 8 credits or two courses with an incomplete for longer than two semesters.

The Director of the MAPS Program (DGS) will advise newly admitted students during their first semester in the program. Before mid-term of the second semester in which the student is enrolled in the program, the DGS will be responsible for assuring that all students select a faculty advisor and establish an examination committee. The DGS will also be the instructor of record for the Introduction to Graduate studies course.

A final oral examination covering the Plan B project will be given at the end of the student’s academic program. The oral examination will be conducted by the student’s advising/examining committee. The examination will require the student to demonstrate an understanding of the theories, methods, and analyses employed in his or her research project.

For more information on faculty in this track, please click on the names below.
Aydin Durgunoglu
Rebecca Gilbertson
Eric Hessler
Bob Lloyd

Please view the Experimental curriculum below to learn more about the courses students in this track will take. As part of this coursework, students will complete a 6 credit Plan B Research Project in Psychology, which involves conducting an empirical research project or meta-analysis under the direction of a faculty advisor. The project must be designed and conducted by the individual student; the topic, however, may be based upon the research program of the faculty advisor. Research projects will be advised by a faculty advisor, who will be assigned during the first semester.

Year 1

PSY 8103 - Introduction to Graduate Studies (0.0 cr) This course will orient new students to key facets of graduate studies in the Master's in Psychological Science Program. Program expectations, requirements, and timelines will be clarified to enable students to make progress in formulating goals in their chosen tracks.  This course will provide students with a basis for academic collaboration and professional development by facilitating student interactions with peers and the faculty in psychology.

PSY 5052 - Advanced Statistics I (3.0 cr) Advanced statistics used for experimental and correlational research in psychology; analyze data from simple and complex research designs analysis of variance and linear regression techniques; hypothesis testing; nonparametric statistics; assumptions of tests and diagnosis of assumption violations; interpretations of results; use of common statistical software (e.g., SPSS or R).

PSY 5021 Advanced Developmental Psychology (3.0 cr) Course format involved reading and discussion of reviews and journal articles about theories, research methodology, and topics central to the scientific study of human development from conception through adulthood.  The role of theory as a guide for research and practice, and classical as well as contemporary theories will be examined.  Normative changes and individual differences will be examined.  Theoretical frameworks in the domains of social, cognitive, language, and temperament/personality development will be examined.

PSY 5631 Biological Bases of Behavior (3.0 cr) Understanding how communication within the body (neuronal, endocrinological, immunological) affects behavior and psychological processes and how these systems interact to influence these processes.  Examining how perturbations within these systems lead to mental illness and/or problematic behaviors.  How psychoactive drugs affect these systems, with respect to clinical treatment and abuse.  The neurological mechanisms of reward and drug dependence (withdrawal, cravings) will be investigated.

PSY 8021 - Research Methods and Evaluation (3.0 cr) Examination of quasi-experimental and experimental designs within psychological science.  The course will provide comprehensive coverage of the assessment of reliability and validity of measures, methods, and research designs to facilitate the development of a research proposal.  A wide variety of quantitative and qualitative research designs, measurement techniques, and methods will be described and evaluated in terms of internal, external, construct, and statistical conclusion validity.

PSY 5401 Advanced Social Psychology (3.0 cr) Examination of core content areas and topics within experimental social psychology with a focus on application within both clinical and industrial/organizational psychology.  Topics include attitude formation and attitude change, attribution theory, the self, conformity, prejudice, aggression, and prosocial behavior.

Elective (3)

Year 2

PSY 5621 Cognition & Emotion (3.0 cr) Students in this course will read and discuss scholarly reviews and journal articles on theories, research methodology, and topics central to the scientific study of human cognition, emotion, and their applications.  There will be discussions on the models of cognitive (perception, memory, language, thinking, and reasoning) and emotional processes and their interrelatedness.  Consideration will be given to how these contemporary models are developed and evaluated through empirical studies.  Finally, how these theoretical models can be applied to educational, clinical, legal, and workplace settings will be examined.

PSY 8052 Advanced Statistics II (3.0 cr) Advanced statistics used for experimental and correlational research in psychology; analyze data using advanced univariate, basic multivariate, and meta-analytic techniques; assumptions of test; diagnosis of assumption violations; interpretation of results; use of common statistical software (e.g., SPSS or R).

PSY 8099 Research Project in Psychology (6.0 cr) This course provides a capstone experience for students to integrate all they have learned in order to produce scholarly work.  Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, students will plan, design, conduct, and present an original project.

Elective (6)