Admission Requirements

The following information applies to the industrial-organizational (I/O) and experimental tracks.

The clinical track is no longer available. We now have a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program.

Get started

Apply to this program through a central application: GradCAS. Review the sections below before you begin.

All options begin in the fall semester.

How are admission decisions made?

Our faculty considers:

  • Your academic and professional potential.
  • The availability of departmental resources to meet your needs.

Late applications

We’ll consider late applications (those not submitted by February 15) if openings are available.

However, it’s unusual to have openings after the evaluations of on-time applicants.

Master of Science, Psychology

Danae Hudson, Program Director (Clinical Option)
Hill Hall, Room 335; Phone 417-836-5470

Tom Kane, Program Director (Industrial-Organizational Option)
Hill Hall, Room 326; Phone 417-836-4901

D. Wayne Mitchell, Program Director (Experimental Option)
Hill Hall, Room 202C; Phone 417-836-6941;

This program is designed to educate qualified students in sub-disciplines of psychology and includes extensive and necessary research training and internships.

The Industrial and Organizational program option received full membership/certification from the Council of Applied Master’s Programs in Psychology (CAMPP) in April 2005. Full membership indicates that the program complies with the general standards for education and training for applied master’s programs.

Program description

The MS Psychology degree program consists of three options: Clinical, Industrial-Organizational, and Experimental.

Entrance requirements

Admission to our Master's program is very competitive and decisions regarding acceptance will begin March 1. Hence, the application deadline is February 15th. All application materials, including recommendation letters, should be submitted by February 15th.

  1. To be considered for admission to the program, a student must submit a Graduate Application and the departmental application.
  2. The Graduate Application and application fee, as well as the following materials, must be submitted.
    1. transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions that the student has attended; and
    2. GRE scores including Quantitative, Verbal and Critical Thinking and Writing.
  3. Additional materials to be submitted before the application will be considered:
    1. a formal application, including a statement of career goals and detailing experience in the community, research, or other relevant non-classroom activities; and
    2. at least three (3) letters of recommendation (including at least two (2) from college-level teachers who are well acquainted with the student's academic achievements).
  4. Admission to the program requires the following minimum criteria:
    1. completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
    2. cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate and graduate work and 3.25 in the major field;
    3. a 3.25 GPA in at least twenty (20) semester hrs or thirty (30) quarter hours of Psychology courses including courses in both statistics and research methods;
    4. submission of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, with a recommended Verbal Score of 151 or higher and Quantitative Score of 142 or higher (for 2022 applicants to the Industrial-Organizational Psychology track, the GRE requirement is waived because of COVID concerns).

A student who does not meet all the above criteria, but who demonstrates outstanding potential, may be considered on the basis of individual merit by the Graduate Admissions Committee and accepted on probationary status.

Additional program requirements

Some academic programs in the health related areas will require students to pass a background security check and a drug screening. These programmatic screening policies are a result of health organizations’ requirements for placement at their clinical sites. Students will be financially responsible for the background security check and drug screening. Please see each academic program requirements, applications materials and admission standards for specific detailed information. Students who do not pass the appropriate screenings may not be able to complete the program or practice professionally.

Clinical Option

The specific purpose of the clinical option is to develop in students the ability to make basic diagnostic decisions, administer psychological tests, and perform basic counseling. Graduates would be qualified to enter a variety of positions that require basic clinical skills but which do not require a licensed psychologist. Objectives of the clinical psychology Track include:

  1. the development of skills in the administration of psychological tests, including intelligence and personality tests;
  2. the development of basic skills in the diagnosis of psychological disorders;
  3. the development of a knowledge of counseling theories and a practical understanding of the application of these theories;
  4. the development of good communication skills, especially interviewing and report writing;
  5. the skills and background in psychology to continue growth as a professional scientist/ practitioner.

Graduates of the clinical track will have completed all the educationalrequirements necessary for licensure as a

professional counselor in the State of Missouri. In order to sit for licensure, students must complete an additional 3000 hour clinical experience (beyond the educational requirements) after graduation. Graduates of the clinical track are also well prepared to pursue doctoral studies in clinical psychology or a closely related field.

Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Option

Adopting a scientist-practitioner model, the Industrial-Organizational (I-O) option is designed to develop research skills and general knowledge of I-O content areas. The focus of the track is on the application of psychological research methods and principles in a variety of settings, including business, industry, government, and non-profit organizations. Students can select either an internship or thesis option. Objectives of the I-O track include:

  1. development of research and statistical skills for job analysis, performance assessment, measurement of individual differences, program development and evaluation;
  2. development of a knowledge base concerning important contextual influences on behavior, including social influences, work motivation, job design, organizational theory and training and development;
  3. development of an understanding of the philosophical, ethical, and legal constraints on the practice of applied psychology;
  4. development of communication and interpersonal competence necessary for successful functioning in organizations.
Experimental Option

The experimental option is designed to prepare students for doctoral studies. That is, it is for those students who wish to primarily pursue an academic/research career (to teach at the university level and to conduct basic or applied research in an effort to advance the science of behavior). Objectives of the experimental track include:

  1. development of skills needed to design, conduct, analyze, and report research;
  2. acquisition of a broad background in psychology (theory and measurement) as well as specialized knowledge in an area of interest, such as learning, memory, and cognition; attention and perception; physiological; development; ethological or quantitative psychology.

Degree requirements

The program has been designed as a full-time, two-year (four semester) course of study. The total number of credits required for graduation is 47 semester hours. Because most required courses will not be offered nights or weekends, and the Practicum, Internship, Directed Research, and Thesis require time blocks available during the day, a student will be unable to complete all of the degree requirements on a part-time basis. The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better, show satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements, and correct any unsatisfactory performances.

If deficiencies are not removed during the succeeding semester, the student may be terminated from the program.

Students are expected to conform to the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association. All students will be evaluated periodically on performance in course work, development of research skills, and professional development. Performance of assistantship duties will also be evaluated if applicable.

The purpose of these periodic evaluations is to determine if the student's continuation in the program is warranted. Evaluation procedures are available in the departmental office.

Core requirements (required for all options)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 745 Statistics and Research Design 3 hrs
PSY 752 Research Methods 3 hrs
PSY 761 Ethical and Professional Issues 3 hrs
PSY 780 Social Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 796 Practicum 6 hrs
PSY 798 OR PSY 799 Internship or Thesis 3 hrs
  Total 21 hrs
Industrial-Organizational option course requirements
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
  Required Core Courses – see above 21 hrs
  Required I-O Courses – see below 21 hrs
PSY 716 Applied Psychology in Human Resource Management 3 hrs
PSY 718 Organizational Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 750 Advanced Survey 3 hrs
PSY 798 OR PSY 799 Internship or Thesis 3 hrs (total of 6 hrs in core and track)

Plus at least three (3) courses from the following list:

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PSY 753 Program Evaluation 3 hrs
PSY 771 Occupational Health Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 772 Performance Assessment 3 hrs
PSY 773 Human Factors 3 hrs
PSY 774 Training and Development 3 hrs
PSY 776 Personnel Selection, Placement and Classification 3 hrs
PSY 778 Group Processes 3 hrs
PSY 779 Topics in Industrial-Organizational Psychology 3-9 hrs
  Electives: Graduate courses chosen from the offerings of Psychology, Management, Communications and Mass Media, and other departments must be approved by the student's committee. minimum of 5 hrs
Clinical option course requirements
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
  Required Core Courses – see above 21 hrs
  Required Clinical Courses – see below 26 hrs
PSY 720 Individualized Intelligence Test 3 hrs
PSY 740 Psychological Assessment 3 hrs
PSY 760 Clinical Communication Skills 3 hrs
PSY 765 Psychotherapy & Counseling: Theories & Techniques 3 hrs
PSY 764 Group Psychotherapy 3 hrs
PSY 766 Psychopathology 3 hrs
  Electives: With approval of the advisor, 600- and 700-level courses from Psychology and other departments may be used to complete the electives.. 8 hrs
Experimental option course requirements
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
  Required Core Courses – see above 21 hrs
  Required Experimental Track Courses – see below 26 hrs
PSY 750 Advanced Survey 3 hrs
PSY 799 Thesis 3 hrs (total of 6 hrs in core and track)
  Plus 4 courses selected from the following: 12 hrs
PSY 606 Perception 3 hrs
PSY 614 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis 3 hrs
PSY 612 Personality Theory and Systems 3 hrs
PSY 619 Cognitive Development 3 hrs
PSY 622 Physiological Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 625 Motivation and Emotion 3 hrs
PSY 629 Psychological Tests and Measurements 3 hrs
PSY 634 Psychology of Infancy 3 hrs
PSY 701 Symposium in Psychology 3 hrs
PSY 703 Human Growth and Development 3 hrs
PSY 708 Memory 3 hrs
PSY 751 Seminar in Methods of Research 3 hrs
  Electives: Under direction of the student’s committee, 600- and 700-level courses from psychology and other departments may be used to complete the electives. 8 hrs
Comprehensive examination

A written comprehensive examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be granted.

Culminating experiences

Culminating experiences are crucial to the MS in Psychology program because these experiences are typically a major consideration in employment and in opportunities for doctoral study. Students must complete six hours of either PSY 798 (Internship) or PSY 799 (Thesis), or three hours for the Clinical option, before they earn their degrees.

Internships will be congruent with program goals and will be conducted in sites appropriate to the career goals of each student. For each credit hour, students must serve 60 hours at the internship agency. Evaluation of student performance will come from two sources: first, supervisors and caseworkers at the agency, and second, university faculty including the Graduate Program Coordinator and the director of the internship. Besides providing extensive, supervised fieldwork, the internship will allow students to integrate theoretical and research knowledge with specific aspects of the applied experience.

The primary purpose of the thesis is to allow the student to establish and demonstrate research competency. In the pursuit of this goal, students will learn the following:

  1. How to identify an original and significant research problem;
  2. How to conduct comprehensive background literature searches on the topic;
  3. How to collect, analyze, and interpret data; and
  4. How to communicate research results in a scientifically lucid fashion.

The written thesis followed by an oral defense will serve this function.