The Accelerated Master s Degree in Psychology

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1 The Accelerated Master s Degree in Psychology Revised: September 21, 2012 Page 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS BASIC INFORMATION Overview and Timeline... 3 Reasons to Pursue the AMP... 3 Application Process... 3 Department of Psychology Eligibility Criteria for AMP... 4 Additional University of Arizona Eligibility Criteria... 4 Honors Students... 4 Capstone Research... 4 Research and the AMP... 4 CURRICULUM Curriculum... 5 THE FIRST YEAR OF AMP Registering for 500-Level Courses as an Undergraduate... 5 Senior Degree Check... 6 Creating a Master s Committee... 6 THE SECOND YEAR OF AMP Registering for Graduate Courses as a Graduate Student... 6 Submitting the Plan of Study... 6 Satisfactory Academic Progress... 7 The Master s Thesis and Degree Conferral... 7 Graduation... 7 Degree and Tuition Policies... 7 CONTACT INFORMATION AMP Coordinator Elizabeth Dyckman, TEL: FAX: Office: Psychology Building Room 312A AMP Director Connie J. A. Beck, PhD Associate Professor TEL: FAX: Office: Psychology Building Room 438 Page 2

3 BASIC INFORMATION Overview and Timeline The Accelerated Master s Program (AMP) in Psychological Science is a program designed for advanced University of Arizona undergraduate students majoring in psychology to complete both the Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree as well as the Master of Arts (MA) degree in a total of five years (four years for the BA or BS degree and one year immediately following for the MA degree). Reasons to pursue the AMP in Psychology The AMP is for students who wish to gain research training and experience to make them competitive and better prepared to succeed in a research-oriented psychology doctorate (PhD) program. It can also help students decide if a career in research is right for them before applying to medical school (MD) or other PhD programs or for students who desire research training and experience for a future career options such as in: Private Industry (pharmaceutical companies, market research agencies) Government agencies (federal or state grant agencies; juvenile, civil and criminal courts) Research Organizations or Program Evaluation Organizations Nonprofit Research Foundations or Nonprofit Businesses Science Journalism The AMP is not designed for students who wish to obtain the MA degree to become licensed therapists. This program neither includes the classes nor the practicum placements necessary to become a licensed practitioner. The AMP does not ensure acceptance into the PhD program at the University of Arizona, Department of Psychology. It may be helpful in gaining the training and credentials necessary to apply to PhD programs in general, including the University of Arizona; however, upon application to the PhD program the AMP student will be assessed along with all other applicants. Application Process We encourage students who are interested in the AMP to apply as soon as possible during the Spring of their Junior year in the psychology major. If accepted into the program, the student will then apply to the Graduate College, which includes filling out a Graduate College on-line application for the Psychology AMP and paying an application fee. After acceptance to the AMP, students register to take a combination of undergraduate and graduate psychology courses during the fourth year of their BA or BS degree. During this time, students complete both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses (see details below), and begins working with a faculty research advisor to develop a research project that will constitute their Master s thesis. In the fifth year, students take graduate coursework and complete their empirically-based research thesis in order to fulfill the coursework and research requirements for the Master s degree. Page 3

4 Department of Psychology Eligibility Criteria for AMP To be considered eligible to apply for the AMP in Psychological Science, students must meet the following criteria: 1. Demonstrate a clear interest in research. 2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 (closer to preferable 3.5). 3. Have a minimum of one semester of research experience at the time of application to the AMP, and/or be involved currently in research. Additional University of Arizona Eligibility Criteria for AMP 1. A minimum of 75 undergraduate credit hours at time of application; a minimum of 90 undergrad credit hours completed by time of entry. Audit credits do not count. 2. At least 12 earned undergraduate credits in major at the University of Arizona main campus (cannot be incomplete, pass/fail or audit coursework). 3. Near completion of general education requirements. 4. Graduate application and payment of application fee. 5. Expectation to complete undergraduate degree within 4 years. BA or BS degree must be complete before the student is eligible to have Master s degree awarded. Honors Students Honors students are welcome to apply to the AMP in Psychology. Since Honors students are currently required to complete a thesis for graduation, the AMP is a good fit for honors students who may wish to continue refining or extending their undergraduate Thesis research. Honors students are welcome to continue working with the same faculty research advisor for their Master s thesis or change research advisors and work on a project that is different from their Honors thesis. Honors students will complete both an undergraduate thesis as well as a Master s thesis in this program. Capstone Research For students not in the Honors College, we strongly urge you to consider registering for a Senior Capstone undergraduate thesis project (Psy498), where you will work on a research project with a faculty research advisor during your senior year. The Capstone will provide you with research and writing experience and will be helpful in successfully completing the Master s thesis requirement. This course does not count toward the 30 graduate credits. Research and the AMP Research training and experience is a central focus of the AMP. Students can obtain this experience in a number of ways. One method for obtaining research experience in the AMP is for the research that a student conducts during his or her time as an undergraduate to serve as a foundation upon which the Master s thesis will be built. The student s undergraduate faculty research advisor (in freshman, sophomore or junior years) would then continue as the student s graduate faculty research advisor, and the student s thesis could be a culmination of the research that the student has done throughout his or her time as an undergraduate and graduate student. If students opt to select a different faculty research advisor for the AMP than the one they worked with in the first years of their undergraduate program, the student must do so before applying the program. Page 4

5 Regardless of the method chosen to gain research training and experience, at the time of the application a faculty research advisor must be selected. CURRICULUM The AMP permits students to apply 6-12 units of 500-level course work towards both the Bachelor s and Master s degrees. The AMP requires that students complete the following: A minimum of 30 graduate credits, with at least 15 regularly graded units of course work, must be completed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order for a student to be granted the Master s degree. The graduate credits will include: 15 required credits: o PSY510 Introduction to Graduate Statistics (3 credits) taken in the Fall Senior (4 th ) Year o PSY507A Statistical Methods in Psychological Research (3 credits) taken in the Fall Master s (5 th ) Year o PSY599 Independent Study (3 units) o PSY909 Master s Report (6 credits) 9 units of graduate-level elective course work. All Psychology Department graduate courses are available to AMP students except courses offered in the Clinical Program which have a practicum component. 6 additional credits to be taken either as course work or independent study (does not include the capstone class). A maximum of 6 credits can be taken in courses outside the department of psychology if they are relevant to the student s research and with the permission of their faculty advisor (for example, courses in Family Studies, Linguistics, and Cognitive Neuroscience.) Must attend five Psychology colloquium per semester starting in their Fall Senior (4 th ) Year and continuing through the graduate year. Students will the AMP Director a 1-2 page draft double spaced summary within 2 days of attendance at the colloquium. Consult with the AMP Director for any colloquium outside of the Psychology Department and additional requirements associated with this. Present your Master s research at a joint AMP/MA Research Forum at the end of the spring semester (Year 2). THE FIRST YEAR OF THE ACCELERATED MASTER S PROGRAM AMP students will meet with the AMP Director as soon as possible upon acceptance to the program in order to review the steps needed to make progress successfully through the program. AMP students must attend the department s new graduate student orientation workshops. The AMP Coordinator will the AMP students with the dates and times of the orientation workshops. The student s next priority is to meet with their faculty research advisor and begin to develop the AMP research project that will be the focus of their thesis. The faculty research advisor will also assist the student in selecting appropriate courses. Registering For 500-Level Courses as an Undergraduate Page 5

6 Before AMP students have completed their BA or BS degree, they should register for 500-level courses. Students will have to complete the 500-Level Course Request Form for Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses in order to enroll in these courses and get that form approved by the Graduate College. Senior Degree Check During the first semester of the senior year, AMP students, like regular Psychology Department undergraduate students, should schedule an appointment with an Undergraduate Advisor to complete their official Senior Degree Check. This ensures that students have everything in line to graduate with the BA or BS degree as planned. The degree check consists simply of a 30-minute meeting with an advisor. Draft Plan of Study During the first semester of the senior year, students should draft an AMP Plan of study. The Plan of Study is essentially a list of courses that a student has taken or is planning to take to complete the Master s degree. Each student should then meet with the AMP Director to discuss it. During the first semester of the second year, this plan of study will need to be formally approved, including courses that the Master s Committee has approved for elective course work. Once this is finalized, it should be submitted to the AMP Director for approval. Creating a Master s Committee At the end of the student s last year as an undergraduate (first year in AMP), the student should have the thesis proposal ready to submit. In so doing they will need to select their Master s Committee, which consists of their faculty research advisor and one other faculty reader. The faculty research advisor must be a tenure-track University of Arizona faculty member in the Department of Psychology (faculty members who hold the title of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor). The faculty reader may be an adjunct or affiliated faculty member, or a faculty member from another department. The primary research advisor will serve as a student s Master s Committee Chair. To create a committee, students should first approach the faculty research advisor for suggestions for an appropriate reader. Students can then approach the professor and ask if she/he would be willing to serve as their faculty reader. THE SECOND YEAR OF THE ACCELERATED MASTER S PROGRAM Registering for Graduate Courses as a Graduate Student AMP students who have successfully completed their Bachelor s degree may register for graduate courses through UACCESS. Submitting the Plan of Study As noted above, during the first semester of the second year, this plan will need to be formally approved, including course that the Master s Committee has approved for elective course work. Once this is finalized, it should be submitted to the AMP Director for approval. Page 6

7 Annual AMP Student Progress Report In August of your second year you will complete an Annual AMP Student Progress Report. This report is then sent to your Research Mentor for additional information, which will be then sent to the AMP Director. The AMP Director will then use this information to develop an Annual Progress Report for you and the department. Satisfactory Academic Progress In order to remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If a student s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, then the student will be placed on probationary status. If in the following semester, the student is not able to regain a 3.0 or higher GPA, they will be converted to non-degree seeking status by the University of Arizona Graduate College. Students would not be eligible to reapply to the AMP program. The accelerated Master s degree must be completed within one academic year after completion of the BA/BS. The Master s Thesis and Degree Conferral As students approach the conclusion of their AMP, students should meet with their faculty research advisor to discuss the completion of the Master s thesis. Once the thesis has been completed and a final draft has been approved by the research advisor, the draft should be submitted to the faculty reader who will then approve the document. Once approved by the faculty research advisor and the reader, students have the Master s Completion of Degree Requirements form signed by both faculty members. The student should then submit the form to the AMP Director no later than the end of finals week. The Director will complete the remainder of the form, submit it to the department head for approval, and forward it onto the Graduate College. The Graduate College will then update the student s Plan of Study, verify the completion of all course work and requirements, and finally confer the Master s degree. Graduation Students are welcome to participate in the College of Science Commencement Ceremony and/or The University of Arizona Commencement Ceremony. Students will be sent information directly from the Dean s Office regarding the College of Science Commencement; students may find information on the University commencement at Degree and Tuition Policies Students will be considered undergraduates until they complete their undergraduate requirements, which should be no later than the end of the fourth year. Students entering with Advanced Placement Credit or who attend summer school would likely graduate with their Bachelor s in the 3rd year. Students must take at least 12 of their graduate credits while in graduate status. In other words, During years 1-3 (or approximately 0-90 credits) students will be taking undergraduate coursework and charged at the undergraduate rate. Once admitted to AMP, during the senior (or transition year), they may take up to 12 units of graduate coursework which may apply toward both the Bachelor s and the Master s degrees. Page 7

8 Students will be charged at the undergraduate rate and retain eligibility for undergraduate scholarships. Students classified as seniors who have not yet completed a bachelor's degree may enroll in 500- level courses following the Graduate Credit for Seniors Policy. Courses numbered at the 600, 700 and 900 levels are not open to undergraduates. After completion of all Bachelors requirements, students will be granted graduate status, be charged at the graduate rate, and be eligible for graduate assistantships. The student won t be eligible to graduate nor will they be eligible for assistantships until all Bachelors requirements are completed. While an undergraduate, students are required to keep their graduate coursework cumulative GPA at 3.0 or higher to be admitted to the M.S. Should a student have completed 12 graduate credits, but not yet completed the undergraduate degree, they will be considered graduate for financial aid and tuition purposes and coded as graduate in UAccess. They will no longer be eligible for undergraduate scholarships. Nor will they be eligible for graduate assistantships. At least 12 graduate credits must be taken while in graduate status, after completing all degree requirements for the Bachelor s. Students should be encouraged to complete their undergraduate requirements as soon as possible, but not later than one semester before receiving their master s. Students finishing their undergraduate requirements later than one semester before receiving their master s they will no longer be eligible for undergraduate scholarships. Nor will they be eligible for graduate assistantships. Neither degree will be awarded until the undergraduate requirements are completed along with the Master s requirements. Page 8

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