M.S. IN PSYCHOLOGY
  EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY CURRICULUM
 

Program Advisor: Dr. Alex Czopp

The Experimental Psychology program is designed to provide in-depth research experience within a specific area of psychology (cognitive, developmental, neuroscience, or social).  The curriculum balances required content courses with research experience.  Each student is paired with a faculty mentor who works closely with the student to develop expertise within the chosen domain of psychology.  The mentor will also advise the student in his/her selection of courses.  Students are expected to complete the 48-credit (minimum) program in two years.  A concentration within the Experimental Psychology program in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis (MESA) is available, which may be completed in addition to all the minimum requirements listed below.

The Experimental Psychology program provides a solid preparation and foundation for students wishing to enter a psychology Ph.D. program.  Our graduates have been admitted to psychology Ph.D. programs throughout the country, and have fared well in these programs.  Students who obtain a terminal Masters degree in Experimental Psychology and prefer not to pursue a doctorate may use their graduate training to become community college instructors, statisticians, or research assistants, or use the degree in other settings.  Because our Experimental Psychology program is designed to train students to conduct basic and applied research, we recommend that students interested in becoming counselors apply to our Mental Health Counseling program.  The Experimental Psychology program will also aid students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Curriculum

Coursework encompasses classes and seminars in a broad spectrum of content areas.  In addition, the student is required to complete a thesis. 

Students are required to complete:

  • Psy 509: ProSeminar (2 credits)

  • Psy 512: Correlational Methods & Data Analysis (4 credits) and Psy 513: Experimental Methods & Data Analysis (4 credits)

  • Three courses from Psy 501: Behavioral Neuroscience, Psy 503: Cognition, Psy 504: Lifespan Psychological Development, Psy 505: Social Psychology (4 credits each)

  • Three seminars from Psychology 532-546; 3 credits each 

Students must complete seminars with at least two different numbers; seminars 541 and 543-546 are repeatable under different topics, with permission:

  • Psy 582: Research Practicum (1-6 credits per quarter under advisement; minimum 2 quarters required, maximum 12 credits may be applied to degree)

  • Psy 690: Thesis (6-12 credits)

  • elective credits under advisement
     

  • a public presentation of the student’s research, either at the WWU PsychFest or another conference or public forum (must be completed at least two weeks before the end of the quarter that the student is graduating)

Faculty

The Department of Psychology consists of approximately 30 full-time faculty members, all with doctoral degrees.  Faculty interests and specializations cover a wide range of areas within psychology (see attached).

Prerequisites

Prerequisites for admission to the program include completion of the following courses: Introductory Psychology, Statistics, and courses from at least three of the following areas: Cognitive Psychology, Physiological Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology. Research experience is strongly recommended.

Graduate Student Handbook, Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology Graduate Student handbook presents comprehensive information about each of the three graduate programs. The Handbook includes information about academic requirements, goals and objectives of the programs, teaching assistantships, scholarship standards, thesis requirements, comprehensive examinations, registration and enrollment, internships, diversity recruitment policy, National Counselor Examination, Academic Grievance Policy and Procedures, and other important information.

Download the Psychology Department Graduate Student Handbook

Application

Applicants must complete the Graduate Record Examination (the General Test is required, the Psychology Subject Test is recommended but not required) prior to or concurrent with application. 

Application materials may be obtained at Western Washington University’s Graduate School websiteOnline submission of some application materials is now an option at the Graduate School’s website.  If you have any questions or difficulties with the application materials at the website, please contact the Graduate School at e-mail or 360-650-3170.

Applicants are judged on the basis of undergraduate background, GRE scores, your answers to our Experimental Psychology Program Questionnaire, and letters of recommendation.  For further information, contact Dr. Alex Czopp, Program Advisor, Experimental Psychology Curriculum, Department of Psychology, Western Washington University, 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA, 98225-9172; phone 360-650-3570; e-mail Alex.Czopp@wwu.edu

The Psychology Department priority application deadline is February 1.  We will review later applications on a space-available basis until June 1.  Because maximum student enrollment in the program is limited, all applicants are strongly encouraged to submit application materials by February 1.  Students considering the program at WWU are invited to visit the attractive campus, which is located between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Required application materials (to be sent directly to the Graduate School, NOT to the Psychology department):

  • Graduate School application form and application fee

  • 3 letters of reference, no more than 1 year old

  • 1 official transcript from each university/college attended, no more than 2 years old

  • Completed Experimental Psychology Program Questionnaire

  • General GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections) required; the Psychology subject test is recommended but not required.  GRE scores must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the Educational Testing Service.

If you would like to be considered for a Graduate School Assistantship, follow the instructions online at the Graduate School website: Graduate School Assistantship. Currently, teaching assistants in the Department of Psychology are usually assigned to the undergraduate research methods and statistics courses, and occasionally the introduction to psychology course.  Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: teaching laboratory classes where relevant, helping students understand the conceptual and computational components of statistics, helping students understand research methodology and design, and helping students become more competent scientific writers.

Tuition and Fees, Financial Aid, and Stipends

The current amounts for graduate tuition and fees for residents and non-residents can be obtained at the Graduate School website.

Teaching and research assistantships are available on a limited basis. Teaching assistantships include a substantial tuition waiver. To be considered for a graduate assistantship, please see instructions at the Graduate School website.

Students interested in applying for federal and state loans, grants or work/study should consult the Student Financial Aid Services Center, phone 360-650-3470. If you would like more information about Western Washington University, visit the Western Washington University website.

Graduate Faculty, Department of Psychology

Faculty Areas of Specialization
Bedi, Rob, Ph.D. Counseling relationship/alliance, counseling process and outcome, counseling psychology, alcohol and other drug use, career/vocational issues, and depression
Byrne, Christina, Ph.D. 

Clinical psychology, psychological trauma, intimate partner violence

Carroll, Jeff, Ph.D. Physiological psychology
Czopp, Alexander, Ph.D. Social psychology, negative implications for intergroup relations of “positive” stereotypes of groups, prejudice reduction through interpersonal confrontation
Devenport, Jennifer, Ph.D.

Legal psychology, social psychology, jury decision making, factors influencing erroneous eyewitness identifications

Dinnel, Dale, Ph.D. Educational psychology, learning and cognition, problem solving
Du Rocher Schudlich, Tina, Ph.D. 

Developmental psychopathology, parent-child relationship, marital conflict, parental psychopathology and their interactions with children’s adjustment, parent-child emotion regulation

Finlay, Janet, Ph.D.

Physiological psychology, biological basis of psychiatric illness

Forgays, Deborah, Ph.D. Adolescent development, women’s health issues, women and anger across developmental stages
Goodvin, Rebecca, Ph.D. Social and emotional development in early childhood, self-concept development, attachment theory, parent-child relationships and communication, early intervention programs
Graham, James, Ph.D.

Adaptive processes in romantic relationships, same-sex couples, romantic love, measurement, multivariate statistics

Grimm, Jeffrey, Ph.D. Animal models of drug taking and drug seeking, neurobiology of drug taking and drug seeking
Gruman, Diana H., Ph.D. School counseling, child and adolescent development, educational psychology
Haskell, Todd, Ph.D. Language, visual and auditory perception, cognition
Hyman, Ira, Ph.D.

Memory, cognitive psychology, social cognition

Jantzen, K.J., Ph.D. Behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, human-environment interactions, temporal production and perception, mild brain injury, non-invasive measures of large scale brain function
King, Jeff, Ph.D. Effects of closed systems on societies; cultural competence across cultures; strategies to strengthen American Indian marriages according to tribal values; new systems of thinking applied to understanding culture & recognizing the limitations of western science; the dynamics of racism, oppression, & abuse of power on the individual and society; universals & particulars in healing processes across cultures
Lehman, Barbara, Ph.D. Childhood family environment and social/psychological health, research methods and statistics
Lemm, Kristi, Ph.D. Social psychology, implicit attitudes
Lewis, Lucy School counseling
Mana, Michael, Ph.D. Physiological psychology, electrophysiological activity in the locus coeruleus, effects of chronic stress on the central nervous system, development of tolerance to drugs  
Manago, Adriana, Ph.D. Developmental psychology
McLean, Kate, Ph.D. Adolescent identity development, narrative, autobiographical memory, personality, well-being
Riordan, Catherine, Ph.D. Social psychology
Rose, Jacqueline, Ph.D. Learning and memory, neurodevelopment, mechanisms of neuronal plasticity
Sampaio, Cristina, Ph.D.  Mechanisms and processes of memory, interactions of memory with knowledge, representations, phenomenal experience, memory errors, memory biasing processes, meta-cognition
Sattler, David, Ph.D. 

Social psychology, group processes, natural disasters, social dilemmas

Symons, Lawrence, Ph.D. Face perception, perceptual development
Trimble, Joseph, Ph.D.  Social psychology, cross-cultural psychology and counseling, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, etiology and treatment among Native Americans and Alaska Natives
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