The MA curriculum encompasses coursework, and clinical training. MA students enroll as a cohort. Courses are scheduled sequentially, and the following is a list of program courses by number reflecting the 48 credits required to achieve the degree.
Click on a title below to read the course description.
This course explores philosophical and theoretical foundations of humanistic and clinical psychology. In examining humanistic psychology as a “third force,” historical perspectives are considered in relation to behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Basic theories and concepts that are examined include the holistic and unique nature of the person, the significance of emotions, self-actualization, creativity, personal growth, and the individual as an experiencing being. Core theories, concepts and relevant readings are integrated with personal experiences.
This is a graduate level course on multicultural psychology. This course examines cultural issues that have an impact on the psychological assessment, treatment, consultation, and education of people from different racial, ethnic, and sociocultural backgrounds. The topics to be addressed in this course include ethics, theory, competencies, models of identity, and discussions of marginalized groups. The class focuses on building knowledge and awareness of others and self, including the factors that impede the development of cultural competency such as implicit bias, privilege, and systemic oppression. It also provides the foundation for the building of skill in competent multicultural practice.
The course will use a biopsychosocial framework to understand how a person develops across the lifespan. This course will examine the seminal theories of human development and their current status today. Specifically, we will cover biological, cognitive, social, relational, linguistic, and cultural theories of human development.
Prerequisite: PSYC 522
This course will examine basic concepts and applications of evidence-based interventions, including cognitive, behavioral and other therapies. Students will be introduced to theory, research, basic techniques, and evidence-based applications of various models, with an emphasis on Cognitive-Behavior therapy. The course will cover theoretical conceptualization and the basic application of therapeutic interventions and techniques. Topics such as progressive muscle relaxation, in-vivo and imaginal exposure, behavior monitoring, behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring, schema therapy, behavioral experiments, and other cognitive-behavior therapy techniques will be discussed. Additional evidence-based interventions will be introduced, including Positive psychology, Mindfulness, and Emotion-focused therapy techniques. Emphases will be on interventions for depression, anxiety, and other common psychological disorders. Special consideration will be given to ethnic, cultural, and individual differences.
This course is designed to give a broad overview of the constructs of crisis intervention and trauma psychology; as well as the basic skills necessary to intervene with those who have experienced crisis or trauma. We will explore trauma psychology and crisis intervention from a historical, cultural, social and political lens and learn about the psychological, biological and socio/cultural aspects of traumatic stress, including acute, insidious, and complex trauma. The course focuses on single and multiple incident trauma, as well as poly-victimization, and developmental trauma. We will learn approaches to the assessment of trauma, as well as current literature and research on evidence-based therapeutic interventions concerning post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation and developmental trauma as well as co-morbidities. The course examines the role of vulnerabilities and resilience in the recovery from traumatic experience, trauma exposure response for the therapist and trauma stewardship on the individual, organization and societal level, as well as the experience of posttraumatic growth. and political lens and learn about the psychological, biological and socio/cultural aspects of traumatic stress, including acute, insidious, and complex trauma. The course focuses on single and multiple incident trauma, as well as poly-victimization, and developmental trauma. We will learn approaches to the assessment of trauma, as well as current literature and research on evidence-based therapeutic interventions concerning post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation, and developmental trauma as well as co-morbidities. The course examines the role of vulnerabilities and resilience in the recovery from traumatic experience, trauma exposure response for the therapist and trauma stewardship on the individual, organization, and societal level, as well as the experience of posttraumatic growth.
This course will explore mental health and illness within historical, social, and cultural contexts, through a review of predominating paradigms such as (but not limited to) the DSM 5. Major disorders and their etiology, symptoms, and preferred treatment strategies will be examined. Multicultural and historical influences on the definition of psychopathology and theories of personality change will also be reviewed.
Prerequisite/Corequisite: PSYC 522
This course emphasizes the application of psychological assessment to specific clinical settings. Students will obtain proficiency in the administration and scoring of instruments such as the WAIS-IV, MMPI-3, and other tests, completing competency evaluations in a clinical assessment lab. Emphasis will be placed on the administration and scoring of these evaluations, along with beginning introductions to understanding interpretation, integration of test findings, treatment planning, and viewing the results in the context of the DSM-V. This course primarily focuses on assessment with adults, whereas child and adolescent assessment will be covered in the second assessment course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of PSYC 523
This course emphasizes the application of psychological assessment to specific clinical settings, as an extension of the Assessment I course. Students will obtain proficiency in the administration and scoring of instruments such as the WISC-V, WIAT-IV, and other tests, completing competency evaluations in a clinical assessment lab. Emphasis will be placed on the administration and scoring of these evaluations, along with beginning introductions to understanding interpretation, integration of test findings, treatment planning, and viewing the results in the context of the DSM-V.
Recommended Co-Requisite: Practicum
The focus of this course is on the origins of being and knowing as they are formulated in existential and phenomenological modes of inquiry. Students explore concepts of being and non-being, perception, meaning, choice, fear, guilt, angst, and death. Application of this material to psychotherapeutic interactions is required. Other themes of this course include dream work and psychotherapeutic implications. Emphasis is placed on the reading and comprehension of classic and contemporary works.
Students enrolled in the MA with ABA concentration will be approved a course substitution of PSYC 557
This course on professional and scientific ethics is designed to help students understand, develop and apply ethical principles and standards. The course covers the ethics code of the American Psychological Association (APA), laws regarding duties to protect children and vulnerable adults, and the rules governing the licensure of psychologists at the Masters and Doctoral levels in Michigan. Additionally, this course examines the literature regarding ethical and legal issues relevant to the practice of clinical psychology.
Students enrolled in the MA with ABA concentration will be approved a course substitution of PSYC 552
This course explores fundamental elements of social science research. The basic components of the quantitative research paradigm (including parametric and nonparametric statistical designs) are examined as well as those of various qualitative models including Heuristic and Phenomenological methodologies. Through this course, students will become discerning consumers of research literature. Course content is supported by reading assignments and a variety of classroom learning activities.
Co-requisite: 576-578 Practicum Skills Lab I, II, III (or Program Director Approval)
Enrollment in this supervision group supports students’ clinical skills development while they are training at a practicum site. Students receive supervision from fully licensed psychologists in a manner consistent with Michigan licensure laws. Supervisors will provide feedback to foster growth in clinical competency and professionalism. Students will demonstrate understanding of the therapy process through discussion, written work, case presentations, and self-reflective exercises. Performance will be monitored and credit will be assigned by their faculty supervisor in consultation with their site supervisor.
Students enrolled in the MA with ABA concentration will be approved course substitutions of PSYC 553, 554, 555, 559.
This course is designed to acquaint students with issues typically encountered by therapists as they plan and conduct group psychotherapy. The course includes a joint focus on content, which includes theories and techniques, and process, which develops from experience with facilitating and/or being an active participant in structured treatment groups. Skilled group therapists are also proficient individual therapists, but skilled individual psychotherapists are not always capable of conducting treatment groups. Individual therapists must be able to relate to clients/patients, and have empathy, insight, and the ability to motivate people who come to them for help to make significant changes in their lives. Group therapists combine this skill set with the ability to simultaneously monitor and motivate multiple people. They connect individuals with each other. The result is that group members obtain personal benefits from the process and from being part of a sequence of events and discussions that facilitate positive change.
This year-long seminar combines didactic teaching and experiential exercises to prepare students for a successful practicum experience through a review of critical psychotherapy techniques, such as diagnostic interviewing, creation and maintenance of the therapeutic relationship and framework, recording keeping, and termination of the professional relationship. Students will learn to identify and address client resistance and transference, and therapist counter-transference as well as effective communication techniques. They will develop an understanding of and skills to respond to multicultural complexity. Case studies, role plays, and in-class exercises will illustrate the principles of therapeutic process and change.
Students will demonstrate their growing knowledge and development of a professional identity and behavior via input from professors regarding interpersonal impacts relevant to clinical contexts, including exchanges with other students, staff, and faculty through demonstrations and case presentations that exhibit the student’s progress with establishing and maintaining therapeutic rapport, accurately evaluating client’s presenting problems, identifying effective treatment methods, developing a treatment plan, and monitoring client progress. Students’ professionalism will be monitored and evaluated by their instructor within this course. Students are expected to integrate information from other courses with information from the clinical skills course to enhance their performance at the practicum site.
For MA students with an ABA concentration, ABA courses will be substituted for five traditional MA courses. Learn more about MA/ABA Program Curriculum here.
Course offerings and sequence are subject to change. Updated 9/29/23