Master of Science (MS) in General Psychology: Online and Evening

Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Top 30 Ranking

Grand Canyon University ranked among "30 Best Online Master's in Psychology Degree Programs"*

What Is a Master's in Psychology Degree?

A Master of Science in Psychology degree is a graduate-level program designed to help you become a more impactful and effective teacher, practitioner or researcher. This field of study can help sharpen your skills and enhance your career opportunities. The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology at Grand Canyon University is a non-thesis program available in online or evening classes that usually takes two to three years for students to complete. There is an emphasis on contemporary issues and ethical considerations in the field of psychology.

Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this MS in Psychology program aligns with the standards established by the American Psychological Association (APA). Students are encouraged to develop their leadership qualities, sharpen critical thinking skills and enhance their communication abilities as they gain insights into human behavior and thought patterns. The master’s in general psychology program, available online or during the evening, supports students as they learn to apply the Christian worldview and the principles of servant leadership to their professional lives.

What Will I Learn in a Master of Science in Psychology Online Program?

With GCU’s flexible learning options, students can earn their advanced MS in Psychology degree in a way that fits their lifestyle. The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology is offered through on-campus evening courses and online classes. It requires a total of 36 credits for completion. Most online classes are eight weeks in length.

GCU seeks to graduate students who are analytical thinkers and ethical leaders, capable of communicating complex info to a range of stakeholders. As you work through the master's in general psychology curriculum, you will focus on timely and relevant topics in human development, health psychology, social and cultural psychology, psychopathology and cognition.

In courses such as Contemporary and Ethical Issues in Psychology, Human Development and Research Methods, you will gain the following core competencies:

  • Ethical issues pertaining to animal research, forensic psychology, psychotherapy, research and writing
  • The physical, social, cognitive, personality, spiritual and moral developments of a person throughout all stages of life
  • Theoretical and applied aspects of experimental design and research methodology, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed designs
  • The interaction of biological, psychological and social factors with health-promoting and illness-preventing behaviors

The MS in Psychology online does not require the completion of a thesis. Instead, students are required to complete the Professional Capstone. This allows students to explore and present their original research ideas. Through occupational research, students of the Master of Science in Psychology program build a roadmap for their future career or continued academic pursuits.

Master's in Psychology Jobs

An understanding of how people think and why they behave the way they do can be valuable in any field or industry. Knowledge of general psychology can support meaningful interactions with colleagues, clients and family members, and it may also encourage personal growth. Graduates with a Master of Science in Psychology who wish to work in the behavioral and mental health field have many options available to pursue. They may apply for positions at the following types of organizations:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • For-profit companies
  • Governmental agencies
  • Social service agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Community outreach organizations

Family services worker, group home coordinator and health project coordinator are a few of the jobs that may be related to this degree. Other MS in Psychology job possibilities may include compliance manager, employee trainer and research assistant.

The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in General Psychology does not lead to professional licensure. This means that there is no course requirement for field experience or an internship. Different states have varying requirements, but all states require a specified amount of field experience in order to obtain licensure.

Master of Science in Psychology FAQs

If you have a desire to help people but are also looking to step into a specialized field of psychology, pursuing an advanced degree is required. Psychology is a field of a variety of specialized professions, each of which has their own requirements. The common factor that is true for all is that they require an advanced degree. This is because licensure is needed for clinical practice and most states’ licensure requirements call for an advanced degree and field experience in order to be approved for practice.

There are many different types of online master’s in psychology programs to choose from. The one that you do choose is based on your interests and what specialized field you wish to go into. For example, this general psychology emphasis teaches a broad scope of psychology practices so you can make an impact in any field.

Depending on the program, the individual classes you take in your chosen psychology emphasis can range from topics about health and wellness, cultural psychology or life coaching. Conduct in-depth research to find the degree that is right for you.

An MA in Psychology will include a more research-based curriculum. Many courses may overlap between the two, but an MS in Psychology online program like this one at GCU has a deeper focus on the science and behavior of the human brain.

While earning a PhD in psychology isn’t required for licensure or clinical practice in most states, it can jump start the career you hope to have in the psychology field. Earning a PhD takes time and effort, but it can be a worthy addition to your education and practice, showing your dedication and expertise to your colleagues and clients. GCU offers a few different PhD in psychology programs in which you can take after you earn your MS in Psychology degree.

*Retrieved from OnlineSchoolsReport, “Best Online Master’s in Psychology” in February 2020

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Total Credits: 36
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $575 per credit [More Info]

Course List

36 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
36 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the liberal arts. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course serves as the foundation for advanced graduate study in the field of psychology. Professional skill development, such as critical thinking, scholarly writing, and literature reviewing are covered, as well as contemporary ethical issues in the field of psychology, including issues in research, writing, psychotherapy, forensic psychology, and animal research.

Course Description

This course is a study of social, group, and multicultural factors affecting individual behavior. Attention is given to the development of attitudes, leadership roles, group thinking, sources of conflict, altruism, attraction, effects of competition and cooperation, analysis and evaluation of propaganda techniques, and the influence of mass communication on social awareness and control.

Course Description

This course offers advanced theory in human cognition and learning, including attention, memory, consciousness, decision making, problem solving, motivation, cognitive mapping, and schemata.

Course Description

This course in developmental psychology emphasizes the physical, social, cognitive, personality, spiritual, and moral developments within an individual. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the transitions of life from conception to death.

Course Description

This course provides a study of theories of probability, descriptive and inferential analyses of data, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods.

Course Description

This course emphasizes both the theoretical and applied aspects of experimental design and research methodology at the graduate level, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed designs. Prerequisite: PSY-520.

Course Description

Using the biopsychosocial model of health, this course examines how biological, psychological, and social factors interact with health-promoting and illness-preventing behaviors. Personality factors and the medical community’s role in health promotion are also covered.

Course Description

This course offers students a deeper understanding of current issues in adult psychopathology, including personality disorders, psychological disorders, and co-occurring disorders. Students gain advanced knowledge of clinical assessment and treatment planning and engage in in-depth research in the field related to the symptoms, etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of psychological disorders.

Course Description

This course prepares students to enter their prospective career and/or continue their education in psychology. Students will explore occupations and leaders in the various psychological fields, formulate and compile their experiences and achievements, and construct a roadmap for success. Original research ideas will be solidified and presented. Prerequisite: PSY-550.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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