Name: Dr. Fennoyee A. Thomas
Interim Chair and Associate Dean
Phone: 713.313.1037

M.A. in Psychology Degree Program and Requirements

As a special-purpose institution of higher education for urban programming, Texas Southern University embraces the concept of liberal education, particularly as it addresses the biopsychosocial needs and societal values and norms of culturally diverse populations in urban environments. Within this context, the mission of the Master of Arts degree program in the Department of Psychology is to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, values, and competencies of professional psychology through didactic training and practical experience; to develop a master’s level psychologist who is clinically competent, ethically-grounded, scientifically informed, and culturally responsive to the practice, research, and policies mandates of psychology as a profession; and to lay the foundation for doctoral level training or professional licensure at the master’s level. The learning objectives of the graduate program in the Department of Psychology are as follows:

  1. To enhance students understanding of the major theories, concepts, current research, and historical trends in professional psychology;
  2. To train students in basic research methods, including study design, data analysis and reporting, and interpretation of results so that they can conduct research and be scientifically informed consumers of the empirical literature;
  3. To promote students’ acquisition of critical thinking skills, skeptical inquiry, and evidenced-based approaches to solving human problems of living and disorders related to behavior and mental processes;
  4. To train students to apply psychological principles and techniques to personal, social, and organizational issues; and
  5. To promote professional competence so that students will be able to reflect the values underlying the practice of psychology by weighing evidence, tolerating ambiguity, acting ethically, and keeping abreast of advancements in the field.

Degree Programs

The Department of Psychology provides academic studies leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree with two areas of
concentration, Clinical-Community Psychology and School Psychology. The program requirement for graduation with the M.A. degree requires 48 graduate credit hours of coursework, 450 hours of practicum, and successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) approves only the awarding of the M.A. degree in Psychology with no specialization. The areas of concentration are optional, and students need only to meet the prerequisite 48 semester credit hours and those requirements designated in the degree plan for successful completion of the program.

Clinical-Community Psychology

The Clinical-Community Psychology concentration is designed for the development of students who wish to study the empirical and theoretical foundations of psychology with application to a variety of urban settings broadly conceived to include community, clinical, and educational institutions. Through a combination of coursework and field experiences, the student is prepared to qualify for positions in mental health and social services agencies, school settings, junior and community colleges, or similar functions in business and industry. Alternately, the student may pursue a plan designed to develop research competencies which can be applied toward the investigation of problems of a psychological nature, especially those related to the improvement of life in the urban community.
The Clinical-Community Psychology concentration emphasizes theoretical and applied aspects of psychology and requires 48 semester credit hours in addition to any undergraduate prerequisites needed. The first of the two years is devoted mainly to preparation in basic foundation areas and some laboratory work in assessment methods and in psychological counseling techniques. During the second year, the program includes a combination of academic work and supervised practice (a minimum of 450 clock hours) in an approved agency or institution. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists or from boards in other states which have similar requirements.

The School Psychology concentration is designed for students interested in the theory and practice of school psychology. This concentration requires an additional 12 semester credit hours for a total of sixty (60) semester credit hours. The first year is devoted to preparation in the basic foundations of psychology, including assessment and diagnosis of learning, emotional and behavioral problems. The second year and summer courses include training in counseling, consultation, intervention strategies, supervised practice (300 clock hours), and an internship of not fewer than 1,200 clock hours, of which 600 must be in a public school. However, upon completion of this program and an acceptable score on the National School Psychology Examination, students may be eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologist.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate programs in the Department of Psychology is competitive. A student may be admitted to the graduate program if, in the judgment of the faculty, his or her qualifications indicate a strong likelihood of successful completion of the graduate program. It should be noted that not all qualified students can be admitted. Non-psychology majors or minors may be required to take undergraduate prerequisites as a part of their first year of enrollment. The department considers the entire packet of information in the application for admission. Students are selected on the basis of their total record of academic achievement, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and relevant experience.

Specific requirements are:

  1. A minimum overall GPA of 2.75
  2. Combined Graduate Records Examination (GRE) score of 170 (old GRE score of 800)
  3. GRE Subject Area (Psychology) score above 150 (old GRE score of 500+)
  4. Application, vitae/resume, all college transcripts
  5. Personal statement
  6. Letters of recommendation (2)
  7. Application processing fee $30.00
  8. An interview with one or more members of the of the department’s Admissions Committee.
  9. A minimum of twelve (12) semester credit hours of undergraduate psychology, including at least one course in each of the following courses: abnormal psychology, statistics and social psychology.
  10. A score of at least 213 on the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if the applicant is a foreign student with limited English proficiency.

Conditional Admission

The Department of Psychology may grant conditional admission to applicants who 1) have not fulfilled the GRE requirement, or 2) do not have the proper sequence of undergraduate psychology courses required for master’s level training in psychology. Students admitted with conditional status will be required to meet all admission requirements by the end of twelve (12) semester hours of course work. Failure to do so may result in the student’s being dropped from the program.

Degree Requirements

In general, the departmental requirements for advancement to candidacy for the Master of Arts degree in Psychology are as follows:

  1. Demonstrated proficiency in English by passing an examination in English or by completing the course English 501. A GRE analytical writing score of 3.5 or more may be presented to satisfy this requirement.
  2. Departmental recommendation to candidacy status for the Master of Arts in Psychology.
  3. Successful completion of the department’s Comprehensive Examination in Psychology. This examination is offered once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester. Students who fail one or both parts of the Comprehensive Examination will be given a second chance to take the part(s) on which they fail. A third attempt to pass the Examination will be permitted only after consultation and/or remediation.
  4. Completion with a GPA of not less than 3.00 in all required and elective graduate courses taken to satisfy program requirements.


Advancement to candidacy as a formal candidate for the master’s degree requires prior completion of the
following steps:

  1. Completion in classified graduate status of four or more courses at the 500 level (minimum of twelve [12] hours) within the Department of Psychology.
  2. On file, a GRE Psychology score of at least 150 (old GRE score of 500) to satisfy Qualifying Examination requirements.
  3. Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA or better in all departmental coursework and in overall coursework.
  4. Acceptance by the department of a proposed formal degree plan.
  5. Recommendation by the faculty of the department for acceptance as a candidate.

Curriculum Summary

Master of Arts in Psychology
Clinical Community Psychology Concentration
Total Credits Required: 48
Required Courses..............................................................................................................39 SCH
PSY 531 (3)* PSY 532 (3) PSY 533 (3)
PSY 534 (3) PSY 538 (3) COUN 593 (3)
PSY 631 (3) PSY 637 (3) PSY 730 (3)
PSY 735 (3) PSY 736 (3) PSY 737 (3)
PSY 739 (3)
Elective Courses ................................................................................................................9 SCH
PSY 535 (3) PSY 536 (3) PSY 537 (3)
PSY 630 (3) PSY 633 (3 PSY 634 (3)
PSY 635 (3) PSY 636 (3) PSY 733 (3)
PSY 832 (3) PSY 833 (3)
* (N) represents the number of course credits
School Psychology Concentration
Total Credits Required: 60
Additional Required Courses ...........................................................................................12 SCH
PSY 536 (3) PSY 633 (3) PSY 635 (3)
SOC 623 (3) SPED 556 (3) COUN 733 (3)
PSY 733 (3) PSY 834 (3) PSY 899 (6) EDAS 800 (3)

Course Description

PSY 531 Theory of Psychological Testing (3)
Introduction to the assessment process, theories of intelligence, testing minorities, and a consideration
of the issues involved in the administration and use of individual tests of intelligence.

PSY 532 Individual Testing (3)
The administration, scoring, interpretation, and the reporting of the results of the major individual
tests of intelligence, including the Welcher Scales, Standford Binet, K ABC, and selected individual
achievement test. (Prerequisite: PSY 531.)

PSY 533 Survey of Psychological Statistics (3)
Designed for students who need practical competence in statistics. The techniques considered include
reliability, validity, correlation, t-test, analysis of variance, non-parametric methods and experimental
designs. (Prerequisite: Three semester hours of elementary statistics.)

PSY 534 Learning Motivation (3)
Study of motivation and principles of learning underlying behavior of organisms.

PSY 535 History and Systems of Psychology (3)
A course designed to present modern psychological problems in the light of their historical

PSY 536 Principles of Treating the Problem Child (3)
A course designed for prospective teachers, counselors, and clinicians. A survey of treatment
procedures and resources, behavior and personality problems. The flexible use of school environment
and community resources, methods of altering attitudes of parent and child, and direct treatment
approaches. (Prerequisite: Twelve hours (12) of advanced psychology.)

PSY 537 Group Testing (3)
The administration, scoring, and interpretation of group tests. A survey of test analysis which stresses
selection factors along with statistical data in test evaluation. Research reports required. (Prerequisite:
Admission to Graduate program and PSY 531.)

PSY 538 Theory of Group Practice and Treatment (3)
Theories and concepts underlying the process of group information, maintenance, and productivity in
the resolution of psychological problems. (Prerequisites: PSY 532 and PSY 534.)

PSY 630 Mental Health (3)
The application of mental health principles to clients in community and school environments, both in
regards to the development and to the maintenance of good mental health.

PSY 631 Research Designs (3)
(Prerequisite: Three hours in statistics.)

PSY 634 Theories of Personality (3)
An examination of major schools of personality thought with consideration of potential application in
school, community, and mental health agencies.

PSY 635 Psychological Counseling, Interviewing and Report Writing (3)
The principles involved in assisting others in their adjustment to school, family, community or other
problems. (Prerequisite: Twelve (12) hours of graduate work in psychology and consent of the instructor.)

PSY 637 Personality Assessment (3)
Major concepts and techniques in the development and construction of personality assessment
instruments including the administration and interpretation of structured and semi-structured
instruments. (Prerequisite: PSY 532)

PSY 730 Ethical and Legal Issues in Mental Health (3)
The study of ethical and legal issues which relate to the mental health professionals.

PSY 731 Role and Function of the School Psychologist (3)
The development of the school psychologist as a member of the school staff. Includes an examination
of the research on the role, function, legal and ethical responsibilities of the school psychologist as well
as the relationship to staff, administrative and teaching personnel.

PSY 733 Physiological Psychology (3)
A systematic study of the interrelationship between physiology and the physiological basis of
mental functions and the influences of various psychological phenomena on the system of the body.
(Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor)

PSY 735 Practicum (3)
The student will spend at least 150 clock hours working in an approved agency or institution under
the clinical supervision of a staff member of the agency or institution who is a certified/licensed
psychologist. (Prerequisite: Completion of at least thirty [30] hours of approved graduate work and
consent of the cooperating agency. This course may be repeated one time for credit.)

PSY 736 Practicum (3)
The second of three practicums where the student must spend at least 150 clock hours working in an
approved agency or institution under the supervision of a staff member of the agency or institution
who is a certified/licensed psychologist. (Prerequisite: Completion of at least thirty [30] hours of
approved graduate work and consent of the cooperating agency. This course may be repeated one time
for credit.)

PSY 737 Practicum (3)
The third of three practicums where the student must spend at least 150 clock hours working in an
approved agency or institution under the supervision of a staff member of the agency or institution
who is a certifi ed/licensed psychologist. (Prerequisite: Completion of at least thirty [30] hours of
approved graduate work and consent of the cooperating agency. This course may be repeated one time
for credit.)

PSY 739 Psychopathology (3)
A broad introduction to psychopathology which systematically exposes the major theoretical
therapeutic approaches to abnormal or maladaptive behavior. The classifications system of the DSMIV
is included. (Prerequisite: Nine hours of graduate work)

PSY 832 Master’s Research and Thesis I
PSY 833 Master’s Research and Thesis II
PSY 834 Consultation in School Psychology
PSY 899 Internship