Jul 19, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Psychology

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Department of Psychology
111 Pryale Hall (map)
(248) 370-2300 • Fax (248) 370-4612

Director of Graduate Training:
Virgil Zeigler-Hill
212A Pryale Hall
(248) 370-2676

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program Description

The Master of Science in Psychology program will provide graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to become successful producers of research, investigating the structures, processes, and products of the mind. Psychology is a broad discipline that interfaces with the biological and social sciences and our program is organized around three concentrations that together encapsulate the breadth of psychological science: (1) Social-Personality Psychology; (2) Behavioral Health; and (3) Evolutionary, Comparative, and Cognitive Psychology. These concentrations represent broad areas that focus on phenomena from different orientations in moderately overlapping but distinguishable content areas. Students will be broadly exposed to the content and methods in multiple concentrations

Admission Terms and Deadlines

Students enter the program in the fall semester. Applications received after the due date may be reviewed, depending on space availability. Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadline listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to the department for admission review.

All applicants to this program are admitted for the fall semester only. Review of applications will begin on the following dates:

  • January 15 for fall semester
  • International students: January 15 for fall semester

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Additional Recommendation for Graduate Admission form
    In addition to the two recommendations listed above, a third recommendation is required by the program.
    Recommendation requirements
    All three forms must be from faculty members who can evaluate the scholarly achievement and potential of the applicant.
  • An essay (i.e., statement of purpose) describing the applicant’s interest in the program, research interests, and career goals
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. 

Transfer Credits

Official transcripts must be on file in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. The credits earned must be from a regionally accredited institution and must carry a grade of 3.0 (B) or above. Courses graded Pass/Fail or Credit/Non-Credit are not transferable. Only courses designated graduate may be transferred. The total number of credits transferred may not exceed 9, and no more than 1 credit will be awarded per week of instruction (i.e., a 4-credit course must meet a minimum of 14 hours per week for four weeks–a minimum total of 56 class hours or 47 clock hours of instruction).

Related links

Degree requirements

The Master of Science (M.S.) in psychology degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 36 credits in an approved program of study, and successful completion and oral defense of an M.S. project as determined by the student’s advisory committee. The M.S. project must result in a written product (e.g., literature review, publication submitted to a professional journal, grant proposal). With the permission of the student’s advisory committee, a student may complete an M.S. thesis (PSY 6998  ) rather than an M.S. project (PSY 6996  ). Acceptance of the M.S. thesis by Oakland University Graduate School requires a favorable recommendation by the advisory committee. All theses must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation). Courses in which a student receives a grade below 3.0 cannot be used to meet degree requirements. One course grade below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. A student with two course grades below 3.0 is subject to dismissal from the program.

Course requirements

The total credits required to obtain a Master of Science in psychology degree is 36. Students may also take graduate courses from other departments with the approval of their advisory committee.

b. Elective courses (20 credits)

Select at least five (5) courses:

c. Master of Science Project/Thesis (4 credits)

  • (1 TO 4 credits) (4 credits)
  • or

  • (1 TO 4 credits)
  • The successful completion of original research–demonstrating competence in design, conduct and analysis, the creation of an M.S. thesis–effectively and accurately characterizing the research, communicating the findings and placing the research in context, and the oral defense of the thesis are major features of the M.S. degree. The advisory committee will approve and grade (P or F) the student’s M.S. thesis and will be responsible for guiding this process and approving the products (i.e., the research, the thesis, and the defense of the thesis). Acceptance of the thesis by Oakland University Graduate School requires favorable recommendations by the advisory committee. All theses must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University. 

Department requirements: In the Master of Science in Psychology degree program, credit will not be awarded for courses in which a grade less than 3.0 is earned. All numerical grades earned are used in computing a student’s grade-point average.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Academic advising and advisory committee

Upon admission, students will work with the Director of Graduate Training to plan their coursework for the first semester. After fall registration, the role of academic adviser will be assumed by the major professor, who will serve as the mentor and academic adviser for the student as well as the chair of the M.S. project or M.S. thesis committee. Within the first term of study, the student is required to select an advisory committee consisting of their major professor and one additional faculty member. The advisory committee will (1) assist the student in developing and implementing a plan of study, (2) meet at least annually to evaluate the student’s progress, (3) and approve and grade the student’s M.S. project or M.S. thesis.

Plan of Study

Upon admission, students must develop a plan of study in consultation with their major professor and the Director of Graduate Training. As soon as the student forms an advisory committee, the committee will review and update the plan of study. The plan of study must be submitted to Oakland University Graduate School.


All students are required to register for at least one credit every fall and winter semester in every academic year, after their admission to the program.

Additional Requirements

Students will be encouraged to participate in research teams involving faculty researchers, other graduate students, and undergraduates. Although the major focus will be on increasing the quality and variety of research experiences available to undergraduates, this activity is designed to provide graduate students with directed mentoring experience.

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