Degrees and Programs
The Department of Psychological Sciences enables students to develop understanding and knowledge about human behavior from several perspectives in psychological science, the ability to apply and synthesize that knowledge within specific psychological domains (research and statistics, developmental processes, social and personality, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, learning theory and behavioral health), and research method skills in order to become critical evaluators and producers of knowledge of human behavior. Read more
The department’s learning goals for the undergraduate major in Psychology reflect the American Psychological Association’s Learning Goals (2013) and NAU’s Thematic Global Learning Outcomes. To accomplish these goals, the course of study in psychology focuses on understanding the methods, ethics, and sociocultural context of research in psychological science through coursework, associated laboratory experience, and opportunities for application. Students develop the ability to critically evaluate existing psychological knowledge, assumptions, and application in order to demonstrate literacy, proficiency, and efficacy in informational, technological, and communication (written and oral presentation) skills. The ability to engage in critical analyses of psychological ideas and scientific evidence constitutes a valuable personal asset, and is a key to success in many professions, including academic and clinical psychology, business, education, law, medicine, behavioral health, and human services. Further, our Department strives to tie our departmental goals explicitly to learning outcomes in such a way that students are aware of the skills they have developed and how these skills are relevant to their professional success. To accomplish these goals, the Department engages in timely and relevant assessment of student learning outcomes at all levels of the curriculum and uses those data for program refinement.
The fundamental principle underlying the graduate program in psychological sciences at NAU is that all inquiry in psychology is structured by the scientific method. This inquiry is accomplished by proposing and testing theoretical explanations about human behavioral, biological and mental processes. Scientific rigor is essential to evaluate, disseminate, create and apply evidence in psychology. Students in our program take courses that are best suited for their professional goals such as preparation for doctoral programs, employment in health-related fields (including behavior analysis), teaching psychology, or other areas of employment that require research, methodology, and statistical skills. Students may also be able to combine the MA in Psychology with other certificates or degree programs. We train students to be scientific professionals, to be ethically responsible, to be committed to serving others, and to respect human diversity.
The NAU Department of Psychology has many faculty members with teaching and research expertise in the following areas: behavioral health, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, learning psychology, and neuroscience. Our masters' program provides applied opportunities in health and community psychology, as well as an international exchange program for students with the University of Groningen, Netherlands (Additional international partnerships are under development). We also have a relationship with Coconino Community College that provides opportunities for second year students to gain teaching experience. We also offer advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue a masters’ degree (our 3 + 2 program).
Note: Beginning in the 2015-2016 (current application cycle), we will be replacing specific emphases within our degree (as currently listed on other NAU websites) to a more general program of study with many opportunities for students to choose a program that best aligns with their goals: including pre-doctoral training (for any Ph.D. program) and post-graduate employment (in health, teaching, or other applied settings). Our graduate program is designed to strengthen quantitative skills and provide students with research and applied experience that will increase one’s competitiveness when applying to Ph.D. programs in psychology and/or for positions where these skills are required.