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Psychology Overview

Our students gain experience in theory, research methods and practice of psychology. This qualifies students for employment requiring psychological skills, or to pursue eventual doctoral study leading to clinical, counseling or research roles. 

Students will be trained to critically evaluate psychological research, and to design and conduct their own research studies with faculty mentors. They’ll also have the opportunity to share their research at professional conferences. 

Professional concerns are emphasized throughout the program, and field experience is gained through a practicum course. 

A mental Health Counselor working with her patient.

Career Opportunities

Most clinical, counseling and research psychologists need a doctoral degree. An M.S. in psychology is a stepping stone to a PhD program. 

Psychologists work in a number of settings: 

  • In research settings or consulting with clients 
  • On a health care team, collaborating with physicians and social workers 
  • In mental health settings, research and human services 

14% Growth

Job Growth is almost three
times faster than the national
average for all professions (5%).*



The Median Annual Pay 
for psychologists nationally
is $79,010

36 Credits 

to Earn Your Degree
with courses in Contemporary Theories in Psychology, Physiological Psychology and Group Experience

What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage

  • No GRE Required
  • Full or Part-Time Enrollment
    • Scheduling is designed to support professionals with multiple responsibilities. 
  • Majority of Courses Offered Online

Mentorship and Career Development

Faculty have expertise in a variety of fields including social psychology, developmental psychology and substance use. Students also benefit from our career development center.

Outside the Classroom

A practicum course allows graduates to gain field experience and hone their specialties. We have strong relationships with institutions, ensuring that when students graduate they are prepared with professional contacts.


Four-Plus-One Program

The Psychology Program's Four-Plus-One option offers a unique opportunity to qualified undergraduates in Psychology who wish to pursue their master's at an accelerated pace. If they meet the admissions criteria for the master's at an accelerated pace. If they meet the admissions criteria for the master's program in psychology, including a 3.0 GPA, a grade of B or better in statistics, and completion of 90 undergraduate credits. Students may apply in their junior year to the M.S. in Psychology at Mercy College. If accepted these students may then take  three graduate credits each semester of their senior year (a total of six credits), which will apply to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Upon completing their bachelor's in psychology, these students will be able to complete their master's in psychology within a single year of full-time enrollment.

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to: 

  • Compare theoretical approaches in psychology

  • Identify brain/behavior relationships

  • Assess psychological profiles using standard diagnostic practices (DSM)

  • Exhibit knowledge of research design and methodology in an independent research project

  • Demonstrate clinical skills required in the counseling profession

  • Conduct group therapy sessions

  • Assess crucial issues in the ethics of research and clinical practice

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main goal of this program?

To offer a broad understanding of prominent theories and practices of psychologists who seek to identify, understand, and explain behavior and events in the general and specific populations.

What can a student do with a M.S. Psychology degree?

Typically, students become providers of psychological services in the workplace, under supervision, in agencies, hospitals, and other therapeutic environments.

Are there research opportunities in the M.S. Psychology program at Mercy College?

Students in the M.S. Psychology program at Mercy College will be trained to critically evaluate psychological research, design and conduct their own research studies with faculty mentors, and have the opportunity to share their research at professional conferences. Many Mercy College faculty members have ongoing research programs and welcome student involvement.

Will this degree prepare me for doctoral study?

Yes. There are two main reasons why students choose the M.S. Psychology program at Mercy College. First is to prepare for admission into a Ph.D. program for Psychology. The second is for career advancement.

Who can I contact with other questions?

Dr. Rebecca Trenz, Program Director at

Degree Requirements

A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required and successful completion of either 36 graduate credits including PSYN 709, Master’s Thesis Supervision or a written comprehensive examination.

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

The 36-credit Master of Science Degree in Psychology is organized as follows.

Core Courses: 24 Credits

Electives: 12 Credits

Total: 36 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog. 


Core Course Requirements (24 Credits)

Completion of at least 18 credits, including PSYN 644 Group Processes and Techniques, is required prior to registration in PSYN 630 Fieldwork in Psychology. The Fieldwork course must be applied for the semester prior to course registration. A 3.0 GPA is required to register in PSYN 630.

  • PSYN 603 Contemp Theories in Psych
  • PSYN 604 Physiological Psychology
  • PSYN 616 Statstcs & Rsrch Methdlgy I
  • PSYN 617 Statstcs & Rsrch Methdlgy II
  • PSYN 630 Practicum I or PSYN 633 Teaching Practicum in Psychology*
  • PSYN 644 Group Experience
  • PSYN 654 Psychopathology
  • PSYN 665 Professional Issues and Ethics


*PSYN633 can be substituted for the required PSYN 630 if the student chooses to complete a teaching practicum. Approval of the program director is required.

Students interested in pursuing a career in teaching and/or research are recommended (but not required) to enroll in PSYN 633 (course substitute for PSYN 630) and PSYN 650 (elective). 

Elective Courses (6-12 Credits)

Determined by Capstone Option


  • Option A: Written comprehensive + 12 elective credits = 36 credits
  • Option B: Completion of PSYN 709 + 6 elective credits = 36 credits

Additional Information


Students in the psychology program must meet with the program director, or associate director to plan his/her courses and to review the plan of study prior to course registration. Students will choose their elective courses in consultation with the program director and in consideration of individual interest.

Course Load

Students must consult with the program director regarding required courses and electives for the psychology program. Full-time students may register for up to 12 credits per semester without special permission. Part-time students may register for either three or six credits per semester. Nine credits is considered full-time on the graduate level. 

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at other institutions prior to admission at Mercy College may, if pertinent to the plan of study, be credited to the graduate degree. Permission to transfer credits must be requested in writing at the time of admission and official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted to the school dean for evaluation. Transfer credit will be granted only for courses taken in the five-year period prior to acceptance in the Mercy College program and for courses in which the student earned a grade of B or above. Students may request transfer credit for up to six credits. 

Course with a grade of B- are not acceptable for transfer.

Maintenance of Matriculation

It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering over successive sessions. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation.

The Maintaining Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration. Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course registration will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.

Capstone Requirement

After completing 27 credits, including all of the program' s required courses, students may make arrangements to complete their capstone requirement. Students may elect either to conduct a thesis project or to take a comprehensive examination.

Students electing to conduct the thesis project must register for PSYN 709, Master's Thesis Supervision, and select a faculty member to serve as their thesis mentor. Students electing to take the comprehensive examination should notify the program director of their intention to take the comprehensive at the beginning of their final semester.

Capstone Advisement

It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program's culminating activity. After the student registers for all sections of their Capstone requirement, they will be given one subsequent term to complete their work. 

The Maintaining Matriculation registration must be completed for this subsequent term if no other courses are taken. After this period, a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms.

A student's degree will not be released until all Maintenance of Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on a student's record.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is a 3.0.

Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the academic average for the semester falls below 3.0 the student will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation

All students who have a term or cumulative GPA of below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. If a student will not be able to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0within a reasonable time, the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student receives a reasonable time , the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student receives a reasonable time, the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student receives a grade of F or FW in any course the student may be subject to dismissal from the college.

For all students on probation, future registrations must be reviewed and approved by the director of the student's program as well as the school dean. 

In all subsequent terms in which the students is on probation the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or better. If the 3.0 or higher is not achieved the student will be dismissed. Students who receive a grade of less than B will be required to repeat the course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course only once.

Degree Requirements

A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required and successful completion of either 36 graduate credits including PSYN 709, Master's Thesis Supervision or a written comprehensive examination.

Comprehensive Requirement

The psychology degree requires completion of a written comprehensive based upon course content in the program or the production of a six credit thesis. Please see the program director or the associate director for further details on either option.

Time Limit

Requirements for the Master in Psychology must be complete within five years from the date of the candidate's admission (exclusive of time spent in the Armed Forces). Exceptions will be made only if a student requests an extension of time in writing and in advance and receives the approval of the director.

Program Application Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher.  Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be considered for provisional acceptance.  Applicants are required to have completed a minimum of 12 credits in Psychology and a statistics course with a grade of “B” or higher. 
  • Two (2) detailed written letters of recommendation from instructors in the major area of study or professional contacts. One letter must be from a professor.
  • An up-to-date résumé
  • In a 2–3 page personal statement
    • Please address the following:
      • Describe your interest in studying Psychology as a discipline
      • Describe why you are pursuing a Masters in Psychology
      • Explain why you have chosen Mercy College to pursue this degree
      • Discuss how you plan to use your Master’s degree in Psychology to meet your personal career goals
    • Statement format
      • Times New Roman, 12 pt. font
      • 2 pages (minimum) to 3 pages (maximum)
      • Double-spaced
  • **Please note, your personal statement will be used as an indicator of your writing skills. Be sure to check for format, spelling, and grammar.**