The Health Psychology specialization will familiarize you with the latest theory, research and practice in the field, and prepare you to lead and influence change in health in today’s diverse communities. As a health psychology student, you will explore the important interaction between the body and the mind, and how you can intervene to bring about positive change. You will study factors that influence health and illness, such as stress and nutrition, explore complementary and alternative medical approaches, and address important issues such as eating disorders and medical compliance. You will also be challenged to develop your own solutions to today’s psycho-social health problems.
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.
As of June 15th, 2011, all new students enrolling in the Master of Arts in Psychology program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. Students whose Master of Arts in Psychology program was in progress as of June 15th, 2011 will continue to be enrolled in courses that are twelve weeks in length. These existing MAPsy students may opt to switch to eight-week courses by contacting their Academic Advisor. Once an existing MAPsy student has opted for eight-week courses, they must receive approval from the Office of the Dean to switch back to a program of 12-week courses. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.
Master of Arts in Psychology Degree Plan
36 Credit Hours
PSY5101 / PSY5101-8
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.
PSY5102 / PSY5102-8
History and Systems of Psychology
This course presents a history of psychology beginning with the early Greeks. It shows how philosophy combined with developments in natural science and experimental physiology to form the major schools of psychology today.
PSY5103 / PSY5103-8
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.
PSY5104 / PSY5104-8
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.
PSY5105 / PSY5105-8
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.
PSY5106 / PSY5106-8
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.
PSY5107 / PSY5107-8
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.
This course considers the biopsychosocial model of health and how it interacts with important issues in health such as primary prevention and change. Specific cognitive behavioral change approaches, communicating with diverse groups in health care and psychological factors in chronic and end state diseases are addressed in this course.
This course introduces the student to evidence-based knowledge on the interaction between nutrition, behavior, and mental health. Key behavioral nutrients are identified and the current research on how these nutrients interact with brain functioning and mental health will be assessed. Ethical issues in applying sound scientific knowledge on behavioral nutrition to diverse gender, ethno-cultural and age groups will also be addressed.
Stress and Coping
This course examines sources, manifestations, and coping models for stress. A special emphasis is put on the role of thought and cognition in mediating stress. Students will develop an array of tools for dealing with stress in themselves and others.
Coaching for Health and Wellness
This course focuses on evidence based approaches for coaching others in the prevention of illness and promotion of health. Key processes such as goal setting, identification of obstacles, and use of personal support systems will be addressed.
Capstone Course: Health Psychology
The Capstone course in Health 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 in the field of Health Psychology.
At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. We have adopted an all-inclusive tuition model that gives you the cost of your Master of Arts in Psychology tuition and fees in one flat program rate*. The only additional cost above your MAPSY program rate is books. Learn more about the NCU’s MAPSY costs below:
- Per credit cost: $709
- Per 3 credit course cost: $2,126
- Program cost: $25,512
- Average Book cost per course: $150
- Application Fee: $0
- Technology Fee: $0
- 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.
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- No Physical Residency Requirements
- One-to-One Teaching
- 100% Doctoral Faculty
- Flexibility of Online Learning
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