Applied Psychology

Different concentrations of study are available to candidates seeking a master's degree in applied psychology. Some candidates are interested in developing the skills necessary for work as industrial-organizational psychology specialists in organizational settings. Others wish to strengthen their academic background in psychology before pursuing further graduate studies at another institution or to prepare themselves to be entry-level research assistants in psychological research settings.

Admission to the Applied Psychology Program

Application deadlines are listed online.

An interview with one or more faculty members is required for admission to the Applied Psychology program. The interview is intended to clarify the applicant's understanding of the program and the profession, and to evaluate the applicant's potential success as a candidate. After admission, each candidate is required to meet with a faculty advisor to outline a planned program of study. Prior to registering for courses each semester, candidates are encouraged to meet with their advisor. Students may be required to take one or more English writing courses if their writing skills do not meet graduate level standards.

The Applied Psychology program offers three programs of study: industrial/organizational psychology (a traditional MA program or a 5-year integrated Bachelor's/Master's degree program) and foundations of advanced psychology. Requirements for the different programs include:

  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Requires the completion of 39 credits of approved courses. 36 of these credits must be in psychology.
  • 5-Year Integrated Bachelor's/Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Requires the completion of 9 credits at the undergraduate level and 30 credits at the graduate level.
  • Foundations of Advanced Psychology: Requires completion of 33 credits of approved courses. 27 of these credits must be in psychology.

Note: Students who need to take 9 credits every semester for visa or financial aid reasons may need to take additional credits beyond the minimum required for the degree.

5-Year Integrated Bachelor's/Master's Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

This program has been designed for Fairfield University undergraduate students who are interested in a pathway other than an MBA to work in organizations and who want to develop the skills necessary to work as industrial/organizational specialists.

Graduates of the program assume positions in profit and non-profit organizations in human resources, training, consulting, research, organization development, recruiting and similar specialties. They have been employed in companies such as GE, Shell Oil, Gartner, Survey Sampling, Bank of Montreal, Deloitte Touche, Hewitt Associates, Toyota and Merrill Lynch; and by the Red Cross, the Justice Department, and a number of universities such as Loyola, UCONN, and Fairfield University. The skills, psychological principles and methodologies mastered in the program may be applied in a variety of organizational settings depending upon the student's interests and career choices.

To be eligible for admission students need to have an overall GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate courses. They also must earn grades of at least B+ in the three required applied psychology courses taken while they are undergraduates: PY 0201, PY 0202, and PY 0420.

Current Fairfield University undergraduates should apply by January 15 of their senior year, for admission the summer immediately following their graduation.

Alumni also are eligible to apply for the 30 credit 5th-year MA degree program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Graduated within three years of the date of application
  2. Meet the general admissions requirements
  3. Earned B+ or better in the three prerequisite courses.

Alumni who as undergraduates earned the required grades of B+ in both PY 0201 and PY 0202 but who have not taken PY 0420 must complete PY 0420 with a grade of B+ or better within the first 9 credits of coursework. They will be eligible to apply for a modified MA program of 33 credits.

Ethics

Candidates in the Applied Psychology program are expected to act in accordance with the American Psychological Association's ethical principles. Candidates who behave unethically may be dismissed from the program. The ethical principles are available at apa.org/ethics. In addition, the Disposition Statement presented in this catalog is applicable to this program as it is to all programs in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of the master's comprehensive examination is required of all candidates.

The comprehensive examination in psychology requires candidates to demonstrate understanding and mastery of relevant knowledge in psychology, as well as the ability to synthesize this knowledge in the creation of sophisticated essays.

Candidates are eligible to take the master's comprehensive examination after successful completion of 24 credits, 18 of which must be specifically in psychology. Candidates have a maximum of two opportunities to pass the examination.

Foundations of Advanced Psychology

PY 0433Behavioral Statistics 13
PY 0435Psychology of Personality 13
PY 0436Psychopathology and Classification I3
PY 0437Psychopathology and Classification II3
PY 0446Developmental Psychology I: Theory and Application in Professional Practice3
PY 0475Program Evaluation3
PY 0501Fundamentals of Survey Design3
PY 0534Theories of Learning3
PY 0571Research in Psychology3
Select six credits of electives approved by the program director6
PY 0098Comprehensive Exam in Applied Psychology0
Total Credits33
1

Students who earn less than a B in these courses may be required to retake the course to earn credit towards their degree.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Master of Arts

PY 0406Organizational Development3
PY 0420Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology3
PY 0433Behavioral Statistics 13
PY 0435Psychology of Personality 13
PY 0471Effective Interviewing3
PY 0475Program Evaluation3
PY 0480Consulting Theory and Practice3
PY 0485Performance Coaching3
PY 0501Fundamentals of Survey Design3
PY 0545Designing and Developing Training Programs3
PY 0571Research in Psychology3
PY 0578Field Work in Applied Psychology3
Select one of the following:3
Leadership
Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
Cross-Cultural Management
Organizational Behavior
PY 0098Comprehensive Exam in Applied Psychology0
Total Credits39
1

Students who earn less than a B in these courses may be required to retake the course to earn credit towards their degree.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology: 5-Year Integrated Bachelor and Master of Arts

Undergraduate Prerequisites
PY 0201Statistics for Life Sciences4
PY 0202Research Methods in Psychology4
PY 0420Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology3
Graduate Credits
PY 0406Organizational Development3
PY 0435Psychology of Personality3
PY 0471Effective Interviewing3
PY 0475Program Evaluation3
PY 0480Consulting Theory and Practice3
PY 0485Performance Coaching3
PY 0501Fundamentals of Survey Design3
PY 0545Designing and Developing Training Programs3
PY 0578Field Work in Applied Psychology3
Select one of the following:3
Organizational Behavior
Leadership
Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
Cross-Cultural Management
PY 0098Comprehensive Exam in Applied Psychology0
Total Credits41