General Psychology

Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

The General Psychology specialization provides you with the opportunity to develop a broad base of knowledge, strong research and critical thinking skills, and an appreciation for diversity as you tailor your education to match your career interests and goals. In this specialization, you will further develop your understanding of and learn to apply psychological principles to personal, social and global issues, and do so in a way that reflects the highest level of professional ethics. You will develop a strong core of psychological knowledge, which you will partner with elective courses that further your own particular interests. You will gain expertise in the biological and social bases for behavior, the fascinating process of human development, the amazing history of psychology and its impact on today’s culture, and the role of ethics and diversity training in psychology. You will also have the opportunity to develop up-to-date, scholarly communication skills to convey your knowledge to the professional community and to society at large. As a graduate, you might choose to compete for a number of fascinating careers in both the public and private sector.

General Degree Requirements

The master's degree requires a total of 36 credit hours at the graduate level beyond the bachelor's degree.

The University may accept a maximum of 6 semester credit hours in transfer toward the master's degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of "B" or better.

All master's degree programs have the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through Northcentral.
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of "B") or higher.
  • Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred bachelor's degree from an accredited academic institution.
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University.
  • All financial obligations to the University paid in full.

Completion Period for Master's Degrees

Northcentral allows five years to complete all 36 credit hour master's programs. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred in.

Students who are unable to complete a degree program within the stated time limit are dismissed. Students who believe they have extenuating circumstances may document the circumstances in a request for special consideration to their respective School Dean or designee. Exceptions to this policy are determined on a case-by-case basis and are granted only once.

Course Length

All courses in the Master of Arts in Psychology program are eight weeks in length, with the exception of practicum courses (PSY6901 and PSY6902).

Master of Arts in Psychology Degree Plan

36 Credit Hours

Required Foundation Courses - 21 credit hours

Course Code


Course Description


Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology

This course is an orientation to Northcentral University and to the essential skills needed to pursue an MA degree in Psychology. Graduate level skills, such as academic integrity, time management, effective use of the Northcentral Library, comprehending complex scholarly texts and research articles, and APA form and style in professional communication are also introduced. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of personal goals, strengths, and challenges, and a roadmap to navigate their way to completion of their educational aspirations.


History and Systems of Psychology

This course presents a history of psychology beginning with the early Greeks to the modern era. It shows how philosophy combined with developments in natural science and experimental physiology to form the major schools of psychology today. Developments in the fields of psychology will be assessed in the context of the cultures and the times in which they occurred. Psychological theories, knowledge of important individual and events, and critical thinking are emphasized.


Professional Ethics, Law, and Psychology

This course examines legal and ethical issues as they relate to the profession of psychology as practiced in any and all settings. Course content includes Standards of Practice, State Licensing and Practice Regulations, and Professional Ethics Codes. This course is a requirement for all graduate students in psychology. It is required for graduate students in the General, Gender Diversity, Industrial/Organizational, and Health Psychology specialties. The main text book discusses some of the concepts from a primarily clinical perspective. Nevertheless, each issue and concept applies to work in each of the four specialties. Students are encouraged to consider the issues from the perspective of their own specialty and interest, and to do their assignments from their perspective of interest.


Theories of Human Development and Functioning

This is a study of the psychological development of the individual from conception through late adulthood, examining the processes of change and the influences affecting the developing person including motor, language, social and intellectual skills across the lifespan.


Social Psychology

This course is an overview of social psychology. Specifically, this course will explore how others affect an individual’s perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and behavior. We will examine current research as well as historical social psychological concepts, and explore how social psychological constructs impact one’s world.



Biopsychology is the study of nervous system processes that result in behavioral, cognitive, or emotional phenomena. The course provides an in-depth overview of many of these processes on the molecular, cellular, and systemic levels, and how these are related to human behaviors, psychological functions, and disease states. Neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, pharmacology, and neuroscience are also areas covered in the study of biopsychology.


Research Design

The focus of this course is on the fundamentals of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches to psychological research. Students will gain an understanding of the strengths and limitations of each approach, and how these methods apply to the student’s area of research interest. This course also provides students with background on research ethics and skills in conducting literature reviews and scholarly writing.

Recommended Specialization Courses - 15 credit hours

Course Code


Course Description


Theories of Personality

In this course, students will examine, compare and contrast key personality theories. Drawing on classic and contemporary sources, students will considered Freudian, post-Freudian, behaviorism, and social learning theories. Students will also examine more contemporary theories on personality, such as those put forth by cognitive, humanistic, and positive psychology.


Multicultural Psychology

This course prepares the student to deal with essential issues in a multicultural society from both an individual and professional standpoint. Topics to be covered include the emergence of multicultural psychology, considerations for psychological research and testing, and how multiculturalism promotes a plurality of world views and communication styles. The formation and impact of stereotypes and prejudices in the light of establishing and maintaining a cultural identity in a multicultural society will also be examined. Finally, the student will be come familiar with differences in access and views on physical and mental health services in different cultures.


Human Communication

Verbal and nonverbal communication and listening skills, as well as the ethics that apply to communication are covered in this course. Communication in the workplace, between couples, and across cultures are also key topics of this course. The student will think critically about what makes public speaking influential and also study the cutting edge in communication, electronic mediated communication.


Positive Psychology

The course focuses on the positive psychology principles of positive subjective experience, positive traits, and positive institutions. It is an emerging shift within the field of psychology. The emphasis includes a scientific investigation of the latest research of positive psychology focusing on positive human strengths such as optimism, gratitude, hope, and justice. The course offers an opportunity for theoretical exploration and practical application.


Capstone Course: Psychology

The Capstone course in Psychology is an opportunity to demonstrate a range of professional competencies and communication skills, reflecting the knowledge, critical thinking, sensitivity to ethics and diversity, and appreciation of research that has been acquired during the MA program. The Capstone course culminates in a review of the evidence based practices related to a specific issue of interest to the student in Psychology.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s MAPSY costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $752
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,256
  • Program cost: $27,422
  • Average Book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.