Master of Science: Applied Psychology

Sacred Heart University

Program Description

Master of Science: Applied Psychology

Sacred Heart University

The Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MSAP) at Sacred Heart University (SHU) will teach you how to apply the science of human behavior to solve practical real-world problems through a unique delivery system of eight-week hybrid courses. Evening courses will be offered at our Fairfield campus with online discussion supplementing class meetings. You will complete the entire degree in one calendar year by taking two classes per eight-week session.

Program Options: In addition to the required core courses, all students take a four-course sequence in a particular area of specialization.

  • Industrial/organizational psychology
  • Community psychology

Students may also begin a 12-credit certificate in one of these two specialty areas that can later be applied to the master’s degree as a concentration.

With its strong foundation in research methods and quantitative reasoning and its numerous connections with community agencies, schools and corporations, this program provides excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers in today’s data-driven economy. Students are particularly well-prepared for a variety of leadership positions in government, community, corporate settings and doctoral work.

The program is built on a scientist-practitioner model in which students gain a solid foundation in the science of psychology and learn to apply this knowledge and skill set to real-world practical problems.

Consistent with the overall mission of the University, consideration of ethical issues, human dignity and social justice are infused throughout the entire program.


  • Propel your career in virtually any industry
  • Enjoy a unique delivery system of eight-week hybrid courses
  • Complete your master’s degree in one calendar year
  • Take advantage of a research-driven core curriculum
  • Choose between two career-oriented concentrations: industrial/organizational or community psychology
  • Take concentrations as a stand-alone 12-credit certificate

Unique Program Attributes

Accelerated Format

MSAP courses are offered in a series of eight-week sessions; entering students who begin in the fall can complete their degree in just one calendar year taking courses two nights per week with additional online course discussion.

Unique Cohort Model

Students will take the required program courses in a lock-step format as part of an academic cohort. Students work together comprehensively and utilize one another for a richer academic experience.

Distinguished Faculty

SHU faculty members come from a wide range of academic, clinical and corporate backgrounds. Virtually all faculty members teaching in the program are full-time and are considered experts in their fields of study. Our faculty has extensive clinical, consulting and/or organizational setting experience, which is extremely valuable in an applied psychology program. Faculty will treat you not as students, but as future colleagues. Learn more about our faculty and their specializations on our program site.

Certificate Programs

The concentrations in industrial/organizational psychology and community psychology may also be taken as stand-alone, 12-credit certificate programs. A student may start by taking a certificate, then later decide to apply these courses to the full master’s program.


Students entering this program do not need a bachelor’s degree in psychology to apply, as long as they have completed the following prerequisites successfully:

  • Four undergraduate psychology courses, (one) from a natural science-related psychology course preferred (e.g., sensation, perception, neuroscience, cognition, behaviorism, etc.).
  • A statistics course (preferably in psychology, but could also be a math or another social science research course).
  • A research methods course (preferably in psychology, but could also be a math or another social science research course) is preferred but not required.

Students who do not have the required prerequisite courses are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in the psychology profession is expected to grow 12 percent through the year 2020 and 26 percent in the industrial/organizational psychology profession.

Employment will grow because of increased demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, social service agencies, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment clinics, consulting firms and private companies.

Course Requirements

The Master of Science in Applied Psychology is a 38-credit program consisting of 12 total courses (Core, Capstone/Thesis and Concentration courses):

Required Core Courses For All Tracks

  • PS 500 Foundations of Applied Psychology — 4 credits
  • PS 520 Developmental Issues Across the Life Span — 3 credits
  • PS 525 Identifying and Managing Psychopathology in Community Settings — 3 credits
  • PS 550 Applied Research Methods and Statistics — 4 credits
  • PS 551 Individual Psychological Assessment and Appraisal — 3 credits
  • PS 552 Program Development and Evaluation — 3 credits
  • PS 595 Capstone Project I (or) PS 600 Thesis I — 3 credits
  • PS 596 Capstone Fieldwork II (or) PS 601 Thesis II — 3 credits
  • Optional PS 590 Comprehensive Exam if you do not wish to do Project II or both Thesis classes — *3 credits

Industrial / Organizational Track

  • PS 530 Personnel Psychology — 3 credits
  • PS 531 Organizational Behavior — 3 credits
  • PS 532 Job Analysis, Competency Modeling and Criterion Development — 3 credits
  • PS 533 Employee Training and Development (or) appropriate Business course — 3 credits

Community Psychology Track

  • PS 540 Foundations of Community Psychology — 3 credits
  • PS 541 Theories of Counseling and Personality — 3 credits
  • PS 542 Counseling Methods and Techniques — 3 credits
  • PS 543 Community Health Psychology — 3 credits

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science in Applied Psychology is competitive.

The priority application deadline is March 1 for the September cohort, but applications will continue to be accepted until the class is filled.

Prospective students applying for admission to the applied psychology program must submit the following information to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Online graduate application:
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Statement of Professional Goals: Why you wish to pursue the Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Sacred Heart University (500 word maximum)
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • GRE scores are not required but are recommended as additional evidence of eligibility

Financial Assistance

Student loans, deferred payment plans and a variety of other programs are available through the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

For links to the FAFSA and Graduate Confidential forms please visit the Student Financial Assistance website.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 22, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
8 weeks
Part time
Full time
USA - Fairfield, Connecticut
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
USA - Fairfield, Connecticut
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info