Peoples Building
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Rieser-Danner, Chairperson
Dr. Bunk, Assistant Chairperson
Dr. Johnson, Graduate Coordinator, Clinical Program
Dr. Bunk, Graduate Coordinator, IO/General Programs

Professors [top]

Susan Gans, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Vanessa K. Johnson, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Sandra Kerr, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook
V. Krishna Kumar, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Deborah Mahlstedt, Ph.D., Temple University
Loretta Rieser-Danner, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Jasmin Tahmaseb-McConatha, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Thomas Treadwell, Ed.D., Temple University
Stefani Yorges, Ph.D., Purdue University
Deanne Zotter, Ph.D., Kent State University

Associate Professors

Julian Azorlosa, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Jennifer Bunk, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Eleanor D. Brown, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Angela Clarke, Ph.D., University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
Lauri Hyers, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Geeta Shivde, Ph.D., University of Oregon

Assistant Professors

Rebecca L. Chancellor, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Erin Hill, Ph.D., Auckland University of Technology
Aaron Rundus, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Programs of Study [top]

The Department of Psychology offers the master of arts degree with concentrations in clinical psychology, general psychology, and industrial/organizational psychology.

Psychology Post-Master's Letter of Completion in Clinical Mental Health in Preparation for Counseling Licensure
This individualized post-master’s program, culminating in a letter of completion, consists of a minimum of 12 credits. The program is tailored to individual students based on their prior master’s level course work and their interests. The admissions process includes the development of an individualized, planned course of study designed to allow students to complete course work in areas necessary to be eligible for Pennsylvania licensure as a professional counselor. Students, in close consultation with program advisers, select courses from the current graduate offerings in the Department of Psychology. Courses are selected by examining students’ master’s degree programs and determining their areas of need, based on the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) criteria, and/or based on students’ interests. These courses are as follows:

EDC 556, PSY 501, 502, 506, 509, 512, 513, 521, 524, 526, 527, 540, 543, 544, 547, 549, 559, 565, 595, 595, 615, 616

Admission Requirements

The minimum admission standards for the Department of Psychology are an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, a psychology GPA for three or more courses of 3.25, GRE scores of 500 on both verbal and quantitative areas, and three letters of reference. An interview with the department admissions committee also may be required. Typically, admissions are made on a once-a-year basis with March 1 serving as the application deadline. Students accepted into a concentration may, with the approval of the graduate committee, transfer to another concentration. A few applicants who do not fully meet the outlined admission requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis depending on their maturity, relevant work experiences, and academic promise.

Master of Arts in Psychology (36-48 semester hours) [top]

Several degree options are offered. The master of arts degree is offered with a concentration in clinical psychology for students who wish to work in a mental health setting or to continue their education at the doctoral level. A concentration in general psychology is offered for students interested in research, teaching, or in continuing their graduate studies at the doctoral level. The concentration in industrial/organizational psychology is designed for students interested in employment in business or industry or for those who wish to continue their education at the doctoral level in a related area.

Students may have to take one or more courses during the summer to complete their program. Students in the general psychology program must write a thesis. Students in the industrial/organizational program must complete an internship and a research report. Students in the clinical program must pass a comprehensive exam or write a thesis.

More details about the program are available in the department's graduate handbook.

Concentration: Clinical Psychology (48 semester hours)

The clinical concentration involves the following required course work:
PSY 501, 502, 517, 524, 527, 540, 544, 549, 559, 585, 595, 615, and 616.

Students also are required to take nine semester hours of electives selected from PSY 506, 509, 512, 513, 514, 519, 530, 543, 547, 550, 565, 568, 581, 590, 600, 610, and EDC 521, 556.

In addition, a two-semester-hour clinical practicum (PSY 615) and a four semester-hour clinical internship (PSY 616) are required.

Concentration: General Psychology (36 semester hours)

The following nine semester hours of course work are required: PSY 501, 502, and 524. All students in this concentration must complete a research report (PSY 600) and write a thesis (PSY 610). All students also must take nine semester hours from the following courses: PSY 464, 470, 506, 509, 512, 517, 540, 560, 562, and 568. All students must also complete 12 semester hours of electives chosen from within the core courses listed above, from courses outside of psychology (with permission of program adviser), or from the following list: PSY 410, 445, 475, 513, 519, 521, 526, 530, 543, 547, 559, 563, 564, 565, 567, 569, 581, or 590. No more than six semester hours of 400-level courses are allowed as electives.

Concentration: Industrial/Organizational Psychology (39-42 semester hours)

The industrial/organizational concentration includes 21 semester hours of required course work (PSY 501, 502, 524, 560, 562, 566, and 569). A three-credit internship (PSY 630) and a three-credit research experience (PSY 600) also are required.

In addition, students must take at least four elective courses which, in combination with their internship and research experience, will enable them to explore a particular aspect of the field in greater depth. Some elective courses may be taken outside of the Department of Psychology. Courses restricted to clinical psychology majors cannot be taken as electives. With careful selection of electives, internship, and research focus, students will be able to develop specialization in performance analysis and training, personnel evaluation and placement, or aspects of group and organizational processes in industrial/organizational psychology. Students may, with permission, enroll for the thesis (PSY 610) for three hours. Students electing the thesis option will complete 42 semester hours.

Course Descriptions [top]

Symbol: PSY

*All courses in the Department of Psychology are restricted to those students who have been admitted to a degree program by the Department of Psychology, or to those who have received special permission from the Department of Psychology graduate coordinator.

501 Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (3) Central tendency, variability, standard scores, correlation, probability, sampling, tests of hypotheses, "t" test, chi square, distribution-free statistics, and introduction to analysis of variance.

502 Advanced Statistics for Behavioral Sciences (3) This course covers inferential statistical techniques with emphasis on application to research in psychology and related areas. PREREQ: PSY 501 or equivalent.

506 Learning and Cognition (3) Survey and critical review of existing theories of learning and relevant research data.

509 Advanced Social Psychology (3) Emphasizes contemporary approaches to the study of social behavior including cognitive, social, and experimental and quasi-experimental research methodology.

510 Graduate Research in Psychology (3) This course gives graduate psychology students an opportunity to learn about and engage in psychological research, independent of required or optional thesis research. Most research participation will be collaborative, with students working closely with a department faculty member.

512 Psychology of Personality (3) The interaction and effects of forces that influence personality development. Normal and neurotic development are contrasted. Principles of personality measurement are explored.

513 Group Interventions I (3) This course introduces theory and practice of psychodrama as a psychotherapeutic modality, emphasizing psychodramatic and sociometric techniques. It gives each person a chance to participate in using sociometry and psychodrama techniques and integrates the theoretical with the applied components of psychodrama.

514 Group Interventions II (3) Continuation of PSY 513 at an advanced level with emphasis on clinical sociometry, the social atom concept, auxiliary ego techniques, and directing. Instruction will include both didactic and experiential modes.

517 Adult Psychopathology (3) Advanced study of abnormal human behavior and a description of pertinent types, including symptoms, causes, and treatment. Current and recent theoretical approaches and research findings relevant to the etiology and treatment of these disorders. PREREQ: An undergraduate course in abnormal psychology and PSY 512, or equivalents, or permission of instructor.

519 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (3) Advanced study of abnormal child and adolescent behavior including symptoms, causes, and treatment. Current and recent theoretical approaches and research findings relevant to the etiology and treatment of these disorders. PREREQ: A course in developmental psychology, PSY 512 and PSY 517 or equivalents, or permission of instructor.

521 Issues in Autism: Diagnosis and Behavioral Treatments (3) Study of the assessment and treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, related disorders, and associated problems. Detailed coverage of current validated assessment and treatment practices, with emphasis on behavior analytic procedures. Instruction will occur via current books, periodicals, testing materials, videos, and role-play activities.

524 Psychometrics: Measurement and Evaluation (3) A survey of measurement theory in psychology with emphasis on the logic of measurement, scaling models, statistical methods, construction of valid and reliable measures. PREREQ: PSY 501 or equivalent.

527 Cognitive and Behavior Therapy (3) Application of learning principles and environmental control to behavior change. Foundation principles, techniques, and assessment methods of modification. PREREQ: PSY 506 or equivalent and PSY 559.

530 Human Sexual Behavior (3) The study of those variables under which human sexual behavior functions. Research from sociological and medical studies is integrated with psychological knowledge.

540 Multicultural Psychology (3) An exploration of the ways in which diversity, discrimination, racism, and power (both internationally and within the U.S.) affects our self image, identity, and relationship with others.

543 Psychology of Group Processes (3) Survey of psychological group processes, tracing the origins and historical development of the major theoretical orientations.

544 Intelligence Testing (3) Historical development, administration, scoring, and interpretation of the Wechsler scales. PREREQ: PSY 524 or equivalent. By permission only (usually restricted to clinical psychology majors).

547 Interpersonal Relationships (3) A study of processes and factors in establishing, maintaining, and terminating relationships via the use of group methods.

549 Personality Assessment (3) History and theory of personality testing. Introduction to administration, scoring, and interpretation of projective and objective techniques. PREREQ: PSY 517 or equivalent. Restricted to clinical psychology majors, or others with permission of instructor.

559 Psychotherapy (3) Theoretical considerations, principles, techniques, and problems involved in counseling and psychotherapy. Usually restricted to clinical psychology majors. PREREQ: PSY 512 and 517 or equivalents.

560 Industrial Psychology (3) Application of individual differences, learning, and aptitudes to functions such as personnel selection, placement, training, and evaluation.

562 Organizational Psychology (3) Focus on the relation between the individual and the organization. Elements of the organization that affect behavior are considered. Research designs appropriate to individual cases are presented.

563 Performance Analysis (3) An accomplishment-based approach to the analysis of human performance. Topics include measurement and analysis of performance opportunities and strategies for improving performance.

565 Psychology of Women (3) A study of behaviors and experiences of women; biological, cultural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal determinants of women's actions, thoughts, and feelings are explored.

566 Seminar in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3) A second-year capstone course covering a variety of current issues in I/O selected by students and instructor. PREREQ: PSY 501, 502, 524, 560, 562, 563.

567 Psychology and Training (3) An overview of the training process in organizations. Topics range from needs analysis to evaluation of training programs.

568 Psychopharmacology (3) An introduction to the mechanisms of action, effects, and side effects of those psychoactive drugs most commonly encountered by mental health practitioners. Both psychotherapeutic drugs and drugs of abuse will be discussed. The course will focus on the implications of these drugs for our understanding of the neurochemical basis of both normal and abnormal behavior. PREREQ: An undergraduate course in physiological psychology and PSY 517 or consent of instructor.

569 Industrial/Organizational Consulting Practices (3) Tools, techniques, and practices required for successfully applying industrial/organizational psychology knowledge within organizations. PREREQ: PSY 560 or 562.

581 Eating Disorders (3) An in-depth study of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other variants of disordered eating.

585 Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychotherapy (3) The focus of this course is on the ethical practice of counseling/psychotherapy. Ethical standards of the American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and Pennsylvania law will guide discussion of the ethical and legal issues that may arise for psychotherapists during their various professional activities.

590 Topical Seminar in Psychology (1-3) Special topics in psychology not offered under existing regularly offered courses. PREREQ: Permission of instructor or graduate coordinator.

595 Professional Skills in Clinical Practice (3) Study of the ethical practice of individual counseling and psychotherapy with a focus on ethical standards and process-oriented techniques. Restricted to clinical psychology majors. PREREQ: PSY 517 and 559.

600 Research Report (3) An original review of the literature.

610 Thesis (3-6) An original empirical study. PREREQ: Permission of graduate coordinator.

615 Clinical Practicum in Psychology (2-6) Supervised professional participation in applied psychological activities, or projects in cooperating agencies and institutions. PREREQ: PSY 502, 512, 517, 524, 544 or 549, 559, and 595. Restricted to clinical psychology majors and recommendation of graduate clinical faculty.

616 Internship in Clinical Psychology (4-12) Supervised experience in professional psychological activities. Internship builds on skills developed in PSY 615 and is completed in cooperation with area mental health agencies and institutions. PREREQ: PSY 615.

630 Internship in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3) Supervised professional participation in applied psychological activities within a business or organizational setting. PREREQ: Permission of instructor.

The following 400-level course is frequently taken for graduate credit:
PSY 445 Organizational Development (3) Major theoretical, research, and applied issues in organizational diagnosis and change. Class sessions are experientially oriented.

These additional 400-level courses may be taken for elective graduate credit with the permission of the course instructor and the student's program adviser, and/or the Department of Psychology graduate coordinator:

PSY 443 (Psychology of Group Processes); 445 (Organizational Development); 464 (Physiological Psychology); 470 (Sensory and Perceptual Processes); 475 (Cognitive Psychology); 480 (Neuropsychological Rehabilitation); 490 (Topical Seminar in Psychology).

Descriptions of these courses can be found in the current West Chester University Undergraduate Catalog and on the web at

Requirements in addition to those existing for undergraduates are imposed for any 400-level course taken for graduate credit. No more than six credits of 400-level course work may be applied toward a graduate degree.