The Research Psychology option is a 36-credit MA program that requires two years of full-time study. This program is designed to prepare students for doctoral work in psychology and related fields as well as for careers in research requiring a masters’ level education.
The program combines coursework in basic areas of psychology with research skill objectives, such as critically analyzing research and designing studies. This coursework provides the basis for collaborative research with faculty members.
An outstanding feature of this program is the opportunity for close interaction with faculty, both in the classroom and in the laboratory, because of the low student to faculty ratio. Faculty have a broad range of research interest areas and are willing to consider student proposals for a specific interest area.
Career opportunities for psychology researchers
Upon graduation, psychology researchers typically find jobs in fields focused on human interaction, inside a classroom, or in a laboratory.
- government agencies
- marketing departments
- private research organizations
- non-profit organization
MA in Psychology students may also choose concentrations in
Full-time students in the research psychology option must have a thesis advisor by the end of spring break of their first year. You will be enrolled for thesis credit after you have completed your first year in good standing.
In addition to the Graduate Degree Requirements, students in the Research Psychology Option must pass at least 5 of the 6 required courses with a B- or better in each course.
- completion of coursework
- successful thesis proposal & thesis defense
- completion of thesis edits from advisor and committee (provided after defense)
- thesis formatting approval from the Office of the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies
- submission of thesis to the UMass Dartmouth Library (via email)
Typically students will complete the 36-credit MA program in two years of full-time study. There are four required content courses, one offered each semester of students’ careers. Each of these courses have their own skill objectives that are required for successful research careers—analyzing research, writing literature reviews, developing ideas for research, and presenting research.
First year students also take a two-semester sequence in statistics and research design. Second year students enroll in thesis credits both semesters. Students round out their curriculum with elective courses and independent study.
A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.
International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.
Psychology: Research Faculty
Our faculty study a variety of topics, from the highly theoretical to highly applied research, such as:
- Clinical psychology: eating disorders and obesity; health behavior change; youth health-risk behaviors such as substance use, self-injury, self-criticism, and perfectionism
- Cognitive psychology: skill learning in educational settings, problem solving, creativity
- Developmental psychology: cognition and mental health in aging, emotional development, autism
- Forensic psychology: risk assessment of sexual and violent offenders, treatment of trauma in military and veteran populations
- Health psychology: health and functioning during emerging and older adulthood
- Social psychology: resilience and forgiveness in close relationships, nonverbal communication, emotion perception, facial expressions