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Online | Master of Arts

Master’s (M.A.) in Psychology

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Program Overview

The M.A. in Psychology delivers the knowledge base and skills necessary to grow your career or branch into a terminal degree across a broad range of applications and industries. Working with expert faculty, students learn to utilize data-driven analysis and apply ethical and socially responsible psychological principles within organizations, groups, and diverse communities around the globe.

Our program emphasizes Alfred Adler’s commitment to social justice, inclusiveness, and socially responsible practice, giving students tools to transform work culture to better serve the needs of individuals and communities.

Our program is designed with working professionals in mind and can be completed from anywhere in the world, without having to sacrifice the academic rigor and personalized attention that has characterized Adler University for more than 65 years.

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      You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.

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      Concentrations

      As part of the online M.A. in Psychology, students will select from four distinct concentrations – Gender and Sexuality Studies, Crisis Management, Child and Adolescent Development, and Health and Wellness – tailored to their desired career or educational path.

      Gender and Sexuality Studies

      The Concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies highlights the significant influence and impact of gender and sexuality within culture and society. Students will explore how gender and sexuality shape power dynamics and look closely at issues specific to gender and sexual minorities. Also, this concentration analyzes the influence of media, law, and policy on gender and sexuality, and the evolution of these intertwined elements. Students will graduate prepared for a variety of careers in corporate gender and diversity, family support, and mental health settings.

      Crisis Management

      Students who choose the Concentration in Crisis Management train to respond to and manage the impact of natural, accidental, or premeditated disasters and their effect on communities – especially those populations who are already vulnerable. Further, there is a special focus on serving those communities that are at-risk and/or marginalized during times of crisis. Students will learn to identify and foster psychological resiliency and advocate for healthy and resilient communities – especially in the immediate aftermath of an acute or chronic crisis. Additionally, students will develop and strengthen leadership skills that promote positive community growth and development.

      Child and Adolescent Development

      The Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development focuses on youth development and the importance of fostering social interest and community connections among children and adolescents, particularly within traditionally underserved populations. Students will be exposed to models of psychosocial development and learn how to apply these models to diverse social contexts. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of the unique challenges presented throughout childhood and adolescence, and the impact of social, emotional, and educational support. This concentration prepares students for a range of careers in the education and mental health fields.

      Health and Wellness

      In the Concentration in Health and Wellness, students will learn how to utilize psychological principles to maximize, strengthen, and enhance community and individual well-being. Further, students will use the biopsychosocial model of human growth and development to explore health promotion and healthy communities. Illness management and recovery will be conceptualized from an evidence-based perspective while specifically attending to positive psychology theory and effective practice. Students in this concentration will be prepared for many health and psychology-related careers in public service or professional, college, or high school sports organizations.

      Student Outcomes

      Adler’s online M.A. in Psychology degree prepares you for a variety of socially responsible careers in both public and nonprofit organizations. Graduates are prepared to utilize the psychological principles and management and leadership skills needed to address some of society’s most challenging social issues.

      Our program prepares specialists in psychology to advance their career across a variety of roles, including:

      • Mental Health Professional
      • Family Support Advocate
      • Sexual Trauma Advocate
      • Sports Psychologist
      • Curriculum Designer
      • Research Data Analyst
      • Mental Performance Coach
      • Health and Wellness Specialist
      • Forensic Identification Specialist
      • Corporate Gender and Diversity Officer

      Curriculum

      Students in the Master of Arts in Psychology program will complete 36 credit hours of coursework, including 22 credit hours of core coursework, 9 credit hours of elective coursework, 2 credits of Social Justice Practicum and 3 credit hours of Capstone or Thesis. The M.A. in Psychology can be completed in as little as 12 months.

      Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

      Core Coursework

      PSYCO 500 - History & Systems for Applied Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course will focus on the conceptual origins and evolution of modern ideas in applied psychology with an emphasis on historical and contemporary viewpoints that have influenced and shaped accepted models and systems within the field.

      PSYCO 501 - Ethics & Socially Responsible Practice For Applied Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course focuses on establishing and promoting ethical and socially responsible practice within the field of applied psychology. Students will evaluate human rights, welfare, and public health and safety of groups and individuals as these constructs relate to the practice of applied psychology.

      INDS 502 - Statistics (3 cr.)

      This course prepares students to conduct statistical analyses using SPSS. Descriptive, inferential, and multivariate statistical techniques will be examined as they relate to decision-making and problem-solving in organizations and systems.

      INDSO 503 - Research Methods (3 cr.)

      This course explores the fundamental concepts of social science research methodology within the field of applied psychology. Students will learn how to conduct literature reviews, establish and evaluate sampling methods and research designs, and recognize variables related to systems evaluation.

      PSYCO 505 - Diversity & Individual Differences (3 cr.)

      In this course, students will examine the value and nature of diversity and individual differences within groups, communities, and global environments in contemporary society.

      PSYCO 506 - Adlerian Psychology: Community Applications (3 cr.)

      Adlerian Psychology takes an ecological approach to human functioning, focusing on health and wellness in the interaction between individuals and larger social systems. Dysfunction results from not having a well-developed sense of social interest and connectedness which leads to a misguided notion of place and withdrawal from effective functioning in work, social relations, and intimacy.

      PSYCO 509 - Cognitive, Affective, and Biological Bases of Behaviors (3 cr.)

      This course explores historical and contemporary research on cognitive, affective, and biological determinants of behavior throughout the lifespan. Students will explore practical applications of research on brain development, emotional experiences, reality, perception, language, behavioral responses, learning, memory, and behavioral health functioning.

      INDS 531 - Adlerian Theory in Socially Responsible Practice (1 cr.)

      This seminar course provides students with an overview of the principles of Adlerian theory as they relate to socially responsible professional practice in the areas of leadership and applied psychology. Topics include applications of the principle of holism in the workplace, the socially embedded nature of humans and systemic thinking in impactful collaborations.

      SJPO 515 - Social Justice Practicum I (0.5 cr.)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      SJPO 516 - Social Justice Practicum II (0.5 cr.)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      SJPO 517 - Social Justice Practicum III (0.5 cr.)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      SJPO 518 - Social Justice Practicum IV (0.5 cr.)

      The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society.

      Concentration/Elective Coursework

      GSSO 520 - Theories of Gender and Sexuality (3 cr.)

      This course provides a survey of foundational, seminal, and emerging theories of gender and sexuality, along with a view of how these theories apply to identity development and societal interactions.

      GSSO 521 - Social and Cultural Evolution of Gender and Sexuality (3 cr.)

      This course explores social movements, media representations, and the cultural acceptance and exclusion of gender and sexual minorities through a historical lens. The continuous friction between acceptance and exclusionary forces sets the foundation for examining concepts in this course.

      GSSO 522 - Social Justice, Gender, Sexuality, and the Law (3 cr.)

      Recognizing the impact of law and policy on the experiences and lives of gender and sexual minorities, this course explores those effects both nationally and globally. This course examines laws and polices related to non-inclusion in equal protection clauses including marriage, housing, employment, and health services for gender and sexual minorities.

      EML 502 - Supporting Functional Needs Populations In Disasters (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of vulnerable populations including the elderly, disabled, mentally ill and others who are dependent on assistive devices, medications or access to external support services.

      EML 505 - Leading in Times of Crisis (3 cr.)

      This course exposes students to the foundational principles of psychology necessary for effective leadership in emergency management.

      PSYC 504 - Life Span Development (3 cr.)

      In this course, students explore the stages and transitions of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development across the life span. The course includes a consideration of cross-cultural, gender, familial, and historical perspectives as they relate to life span development.

      PSYC 513 - Multicultural Youth Development (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of theory and techniques in youth development. The course offers an overview of the various social systems that affect child and adolescent development and well-being.

      CRIM 501 - Juvenile Justice (3 cr.)

      Young people are disproportionately impacted by criminal behavior whether they are victimized, acting as offenders, or witnessing violence or other criminal activities. The systemic responses to their experiences will shape not only their future interactions with the system, but the trajectory of their lives.

      HWP 514 - Positive Psychology for Health and Wellness (3 cr.)

      This course explores the history, theory, and research methods of positive psychology as it applies to professional settings and the public health sector. Students will be exposed to the methodology in assessment of positive emotions, character strengths, and meaning in life.

      HWP 515 - Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Health and Wellness (3 cr.)

      This course provides an introduction to mindfulness and other meditative and mind-body approaches to counseling. The course focuses on theory, technique, and practice.

      HWP 516 - Biological Bases for Health and Wellness (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of biological, physiological, and pharmacological foundations for optimal human development and psychological well-being. Students will be exposed to different explanatory models of human functioning from a naturalistic and holistic organism perspective.

      MAMP 500 - Survey of Military Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course introduces the student to the specialty of Military Psychology which aims to improve the lives of service personnel and is applicable to a wide range of areas within the military community.

      MAMP 501 - Operational Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course provides students with the opportunity to integrate socially responsible strategies with operational psychology in military environments. By focusing on the use of human factors in various military settings, students learn how to support and promote the behavioral health and welfare of service members and families, performance of individuals and teams, and success in military operations.

      MAMP 502 - Mental Health Law & UCMJ (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of mental health law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the military justice system, and social justice as it relates to Adlerian principles. Students will conduct a literature review on a specific aspect of mental health law as it relates to the military justice system.

      MAMP 503 - The Psychology of Conflict & Operations Other than War (3 cr.)

      This course introduces the students to the concepts, goals, strategies, ideologies, and psychological theories associated with terrorism and operations other than war (e.g. disaster relief, peace keeping and enforcement).

      MAMP 504 - Ethics, Morality, & Social Justice in Military (3 cr.)

      This course is a comprehensive study of military ethics, morality, social justice, and is designed to benefit both the student seeking professional leadership development in the reserves or active duty and practitioners who seek to serve them.

      MAMP 505 - War, Trauma, Grief, Death and Loss (3 cr.)

      This course examines the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual impact of being in combat or experiencing a conflict. It focuses on the range of psychological distress military personnel may experience as the result of active combat, being wounded permanently disabled in battle, exposure to weapons of mass destruction, and being a prisoner-of-war.

      MAMP 506 - Psychological Resilience and Positive Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course explores how resiliency theory and positive psychology can be applied to the military community in an effort to minimize the long term impact of stress related to life in the military.

      MAMP 508 - Culture & Diversity Military (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of psychological and sociological dimensions of the warrior culture. In doing so the student will learn to assess research and develop a literature review on a specific area of military culture. Students will conduct a literature review of the history and evolution of culture in the armed forces.

      MIO 502 - Organizational Theory (3 cr.)

      This course presents a multi-faceted view of organizational theory for the I/O practitioner. Both the history of the field and current issues related to research and practice are explored.

      MIO 504 - Organizational Development and Change (3 cr.)

      This course examines the vital role of organizational development (OD) to help organizations evolve to meet business challenges. Through case study and interactive discussion, students learn about the phases of planned change.

      MIO 509 - Group Dynamics (3 cr.)

      In this course, students are introduced to the function and structure of groups to promote organizational effectiveness. The science behind group decision-making, process and communication are explored. Course topics also cover conflict resolution, leadership and power, collaboration and shared goals.

      MIO 512 - Talent Selection and Recruitment (3 cr.)

      This course provides students with an introduction to tools and procedures used to recruit and select the best employees for organizations. The course will prepare students with the skills to: conduct a job analysis, create job applications and structured job interviews, and evaluate appropriate tools for employee selection.

      MIO 517 - Talent Management (3 cr.)

      This course will offer students an introduction to the field of talent management and what has also been known as personnel psychology. An overview of the processes used by organizations to attract, select, retain, and develop employees will be discussed in this course.

      MAMP 513 - Continuum of Care for the Military, Veterans, and Their Families (3 cr.)

      This course will specifically examine the social service and behavioral health systems that are responsible for providing psychiatric, mental health, substance abuse, and family care for those who are serving, or have served, and their families.

      MIO 524 - Training Theory (3 cr.)

      The course provides students with a thorough understanding of the role of a training and development practitioner. Students will be provided with an analysis of current best practices as they relate to adult learning, instructional design/ strategy, and program evaluation.

      MIO 520 - Workplace Measurement & Performance Management (3 cr.)

      In this course, students learn about the various strategies to assess, understand and improve upon measurable workplace behaviors, attitudes, and topics.

      MIO 523 - Coaching and Consulting (3 cr.)

      This course presents students with diverse strategies with relevance to the fields of coaching and consulting. Evidence-based coaching methods will be applied in a variety of contexts. The role of culture will be explored in terms of its impact on coaching engagements and ethical and legal behavior of I/O practitioners.

      MIO 521 - Employee Development (3 cr.)

      This course provides students with an overview of key theories of and strategies for employee development and training. An analysis of current best practices in training and development will be explored, including adult learning theory, instructional design/ strategy, and program evaluation.

      MIO 525 - E-Learning (3 cr.)

      In this course, students will explore concepts, methods and theories surrounding e-learning. E-learning is a large area within training and development that explores principles of training and development in a virtual environment.

      MIO 522 - Data Science (3 cr.)

      The course will provide students with an overview of key concepts and skills in the field of data science. Emphasis will be placed on the use of data for socially responsible decision making.

      MIO 526 - Data Analytics for Programming (3 cr.)

      This course will examine the role of data analytics in different organizational settings. The mechanisms of data analytics for programming will be explored along with tools and methods used for programming.

      Thesis or Capstone

      Students will select either the capstone course or thesis series.

      PSYC 511 - MA Capstone (3 cr.)

      The Capstone course provides students with a unique opportunity to complete a project that will reflect their learning and training experiences throughout the program.

      PSYC 512 - Thesis 1 (1 cr.)

      The MA Thesis is a student-directed study conducted in consultation with an assigned Chair in an area of applied psychology with relevance to the curriculum. The research culminates in the completion of a scholarly paper of publishable quality in accordance with Adler University guidelines and standards outlined by the American Psychological Association.

      PSYC 551 - Thesis 2 (1 cr.)

      The MA Thesis is a student-directed study conducted in consultation with an assigned Chair in an area of applied psychology with relevance to the curriculum. The research culminates in the completion of a scholarly paper of publishable quality in accordance with Adler University guidelines and standards outlined by the American Psychological Association.

      PSYC 552 - Thesis 3 (1 cr.)

      The MA Thesis is a student-directed study conducted in consultation with an assigned Chair in an area of applied psychology with relevance to the curriculum. The research culminates in the completion of a scholarly paper of publishable quality in accordance with Adler University guidelines and standards outlined by the American Psychological Association.

      Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development

      Students in the Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development must take the following courses for their concentration coursework requirements:

      PSYC 504 - Life Span Development (3 cr.)

      In this course, students explore the stages and transitions of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development across the life span. The course includes a consideration of cross-cultural, gender, familial, and historical perspectives as they relate to life span development.

      PSYC 513 - Multicultural Youth Development (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of theory and techniques in youth development. The course offers an overview of the various social systems that affect child and adolescent development and well-being.

      CRIM 501 - Juvenile Justice (3 cr.)

      Young people are disproportionately impacted by criminal behavior whether they are victimized, acting as offenders, or witnessing violence or other criminal activities. The systemic responses to their experiences will shape not only their future interactions with the system, but the trajectory of their lives.

      Concentration in Crisis Management

      Students in the Concentration in Crisis Management must take the following courses for their concentration coursework requirements:

      MAMP 503 - The Psychology of Conflict & Operations Other than War (3 cr.)

      This course introduces the students to the concepts, goals, strategies, ideologies, and psychological theories associated with terrorism and operations other than war (e.g. disaster relief, peace keeping and enforcement).

      EML 502 - Supporting Functional Needs Populations In Disasters (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of vulnerable populations including the elderly, disabled, mentally ill and others who are dependent on assistive devices, medications or access to external support services.

      EML 505 - Leading in Times of Crisis (3 cr.)

      This course exposes students to the foundational principles of psychology necessary for effective leadership in emergency management. Emphasis is placed on leadership, influence and decision-making in a multi-agency emergency response environment marked by limited time, ambiguous information, and high-stakes.

      Concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies

      Students in the Concentration in Gender and Sexuality Studies must take the following courses for their concentration coursework requirements:

      GSSO 520 - Theories of Gender and Sexuality (3 cr.)

      This course provides a survey of foundational, seminal, and emerging theories of gender and sexuality, along with a view of how these theories apply to identity development and societal interactions.

      GSSO 521 - Social and Cultural Evolution of Gender and Sexuality (3 cr.)

      This course explores social movements, media representations, and the cultural acceptance and exclusion of gender and sexual minorities through a historical lens.

      GSSO 522 - Social Justice, Gender, Sexuality, and the Law (3 cr.)

      Recognizing the impact of law and policy on the experiences and lives of gender and sexual minorities, this course explores those effects both nationally and globally.

      Concentration in Health and Wellness

      Students in the Concentration in Health and Wellness must take the following courses for their concentration coursework requirements:

      HWP 514 - Positive Psychology for Health and Wellness (3 cr.)

      This course explores the history, theory, and research methods of positive psychology as it applies to professional settings and the public health sector. Students will be exposed to the methodology in assessment of positive emotions, character strengths, and meaning in life.

      HWP 515 - Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Health and Wellness (3 cr.)

      This course provides an introduction to mindfulness and other meditative and mind-body approaches to counseling. The course focuses on theory, technique, and practice.

      HWP 516 - Biological Bases for Health and Wellness (3 cr.)

      This course provides an overview of biological, physiological, and pharmacological foundations for optimal human development and psychological well-being.

      Social Justice Practicum

      200-hour internship to give students real world experience

      A unique and proven program designed to give students real-world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

      Learn about Adler’s Social Justice Practicum

      Faculty Spotlight


      Aimee Wodda, Ph.D.
      Online Master of Psychology

      I am deeply committed to social justice. Bringing up sensitive or controversial topics in the classroom is a great way to have conversations in a mediated space.  Because I view myself as a scholar who is committed to feminist, queer, and trans perspectives and methodologies, I see no reason to leave these standpoints out of the classroom. I try to make my teaching as comprehensive as possible by including topics that might not ordinarily be included in discussion, such as LGBTQ issues, exploration of disability, and attention to gender, including masculinity.

      Online Learning Format

      Adler University approaches online learning with the same commitment to academic excellence and student support that has been the hallmark of our 65-year history. Our innovative online graduate courses deliver an engaging, interactive learning experience designed to accommodate your busy schedule.

      Online learning offers a great deal of independence and flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Our online student body is supported by the same administrative and academic staff who serve our on-campus students. Your instructors are also available to answer your questions, provide more information, and connect you with additional resources to help you succeed. In addition, your cohort classmates will be a source of ongoing support and collaboration as you progress through your degree program, and well after graduation.

      Admissions Requirements

      Applicants are required to have:

      • A baccalaureate degree, by the date of matriculation, earned from an accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from an international college or university.
      • A GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in their baccalaureate degree.
        • Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 will be considered for conditional admission by submitting two letters of recommendation from a current professor, supervisor, and/or someone who can attest to the applicant’s ability to be successful in a graduate program. Exceptions may be made for applicants with a conferred graduate degree.
        • Applicants with a GPA below a 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      • Two letters of recommendation**

      Conditional Admission Status

      Applicants admitted on a conditional basis must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA in their first two courses in order to achieve full admission status and continue in the program. Applicants not meeting this standard may be dismissed from the university. Applicants admitted on a conditional basis are not eligible to repeat coursework until they achieve a full admission status.

      Provisional Admission Status

      Applicants admitted on a provisional basis must submit all outstanding collateral, as defined in their acceptance letter, prior to the end of their first course to achieve full admission status and continue in the program. Applicants not meeting this standard may be dismissed from the university.

      **Letters of recommendation may be waived based on cumulative grade point average from your degree-granting institution.  Letters of recommendation should be submitted by professional references on letterhead.

      Tuition & Fees

      Tuition for Adler University’s programs is charged each term according to the number of registered academic credits. The number of credits a student will register for varies by academic program and by term. To estimate the amount of tuition and fees that would be charged in a given term, please use our Tuition Estimator tool below, or read about tuition and fees for all Online programs.

      Tuition Estimator

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