General Psychology

Master of Arts

The Master’s in General Psychology program at American International College prepares students for doctoral or other graduate level study in psychology and related fields. The 30 credit program provides instruction in core competency areas but also allows students to structure a program that meets their interests.

Our program offers courses in abnormal psychology, human development, social psychology, cognitive psychology, physiological aspects, statistics and research methodology. Beyond these core courses students can choose to focus in other areas of interest such as forensic psychology or learning disabilities.

The primary purpose of the M.A. in General Psychology is to prepare students for future graduate study. Upon completion of the degree, however, students may choose to obtain employment in a variety of social service, mental health, and psychiatric institutions and settings.

Learning Outcomes for General Psychology
  • Students will develop a solid theoretical foundation of core competency areas in general psychology.
  • Students will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to critically evaluate, analyze, and interpret psychological literature and research.
  • Students will obtain the necessary knowledge and skills to seek further graduate level education in a doctoral program in psychology or advanced program in a related field.
  • Students will obtain the necessary knowledge and skills in general psychology to enhance employment opportunities for master’s level individuals.

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

Every student will develop a solid theoretical foundation of core competency areas in general psychology as well as the necessary knowledge and skills to critically evaluate, analyze, and interpret psychological literature and research.

Future Studies

The program prepares students for doctoral or other graduate level study in psychology and related fields.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the degree, students may choose to obtain employment in a variety of social service, mental health, and psychiatric institutions and settings.

The General Psychology Program requires the completion of 8 required courses and 2 electives for a total of 30 credits.

Required Core Courses

  • PSY5036: Applied Behavioral Statistics
  • PSY5207: Applied Research Methodology and Evaluation
  • PSY5325 Learning Theories and Behavioral Interventions
  • PSY5347: Psychopathology Assessment, Diagnosis, Treatment
  • PSY5417: Human Growth and Development
  • PSY6615: Multicultural Studies and Social Bases of Behavior
  • PSY8410: Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY9210: Physiological Bases of Behavior

Plus two Forensic Psychology or School Psychology  Elective Courses

See Forensic Psychology program and Education Psychology program for possible electives. (Must be approved by the Program Director)

Total Required Credits: 30


Additional Program Notes

The General Psychology program is a non-licensure program. Students from the General Psychology program may transfer equivalent coursework to the Educational Psychology doctoral program at American International College. Graduates of the General Psychology program interested in furthering their education to attain licensure as a mental health counselor in Massachusetts and similar states may apply for the 66 credit Doctoral program in Mental Health Counseling at American International College. The General Psychology program does not meet any licensure requirements in part or whole.

All Courses

This course examines a variety of statistical methods. Students will apply statistical methods to actual human behavioral topics and issues. Coverage includes descriptive statistics: frequencies, percentages, central tendency, variability, graphing, skewness and kurtosis. Statistical analyses included are probability and inferential statistics, including t tests (one and two sample), ANOVA, Chi square, Pearson r correlation and regression. Basic preparation in mathematics is needed. PREREQUISITE: Preparation in math.

This course examines social science research including evaluative methodologies and strategies, types of research, program evaluation, needs assessments, and ethical and legal considerations. Students will link statistical analysis and research methodology so that students may become a sophisticated research consumer as well as research producer. Understanding research strategy and the logic behind the statistical tests for applied purposes is an underlying theme of the course. This course will allow students to understand the nature of empirical research in developing surveys, educational interventions, program evaluations and therapeutic strategies. PREREQUISITE: None

Intensive coverage of the major learning theories in psychology and their epistemological roots in philosophy, both from the point of view of rationalism and empiricism. Students will incorporate the theories in applied behavioral interventions useful to counselor and psychologists when working with clients in need of behavioral changes. The emphasis will be on the twentieth century theorists and will include Pavlov, Thorndike, Watson, Guthrie, Hull and Skinner as behaviorist-associationists and Wertheimer, Kohler, Lewin and Bruner on the cognitive gestalt side. Bandura’s social modeling theory will be stressed, including discussions of racial prejudice and attitude change. Piaget’s cognitive model will also be stressed, including discussion of qualitative differences in learning according to developmental stage. Coverage will also include processing models, cognitive acquisition theories and the basic models concerning the physiology of learning and memory. PREREQUISITE: None

This course includes the identification and diagnosis and mental health treatment planning for abnormal, deviant, or psychopathological behavior and includes assessments and treatment procedures. This course examines disorders in adulthood, adolescence, and childhood with consideration of the relationship between biological, social, psychological and environmental factors, as well as problems in classification and potential behavior systems. The concepts of normal and abnormal will be explored especially when attempting to understand the behaviors of culturally diverse groups. The symptomatological disorders, including borderline personalities and various phobic and obsessive-compulsive syndromes will be studied. The standards for differential diagnosis will be clarified. Conditions relating to dis-compensation, stress, anxiety, and defense mechanisms will be covered. PREREQUISITE: PSY 5417

This course addresses the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development across the lifespan for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, including a description of behaviors that are present at the various stages and explanations for those behaviors regarding relative contributions of heredity and environment. The major theories of physical, cognitive, affective and social development across the life span for individuals and families are applied to the understanding of learning, personality development, and mental health counseling practice. The sociocultural and social economic factors that may contribute to a developmental outcome are also considered. PREREQUISITE: None

This course examines the theories of multicultural counseling, issues and trends of a multicultural and diverse society and includes the foundational knowledge and skills needed to provide mental health counseling services to diverse populations in a culturally competent manner. This course covers a number of advanced topics in the general area of social and interpersonal psychology, including cultural, ethnic and group processes, familial patterns, sexual orientation, gender roles, disability status, religious beliefs, age, organizational behavior, group dynamics, status and role, attribution theory and leadership. Special emphasis will also be placed on cultural diversity, including those issues related to cultural, racial and ethnic bases of behavior. PREREQUISITE: None

This course will provide students with an intensive analysis of cognitive functioning in relation to human thought and behavior. Course topics include brain and behavior, cognitive neuroscience, information processing, perception, attention, language, memory, problem solving, creativity, decision making, cognitive development, intelligence, and consciousness. Different paradigms of information processing, especially those that are developmentally related, will be reviewed with emphasis on cognitive development and assessment. Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI) and other brain disorders will also be discussed in relation to providing psychological services to these individuals and their families. PREREQUISITE: None

This course covers the study of the structures of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system and their relationship to human behavior. Coursework includes an introduction to the gross and microscopic anatomy of the central nervous system and to the physiology of the nerve impulse and synaptic transmission and reviews the relationship of behavior to the nervous system on such chemical factors as hormones and neural transmitters. The course covers the examination and discussion of physiological disorders related to human functioning. The neurobiological effects of drugs and other substances will also be discussed. Students will apply their knowledge of the physiological basis of behavior to potential psychological interventions. PREREQUISITE: None

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