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    Saybrook University
  Jul 25, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

M.A. Psychology

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Overview of Program

The M.A. Psychology degree program in the Humanistic Psychology department offers mature students a foundation of scholarship based in the tradition of existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology. The M.A. degree program offers graduate education that helps students expand their outlook beyond the confines of a discrete discipline. 
Students may customize their electives in the M.A. program, selecting from a wide range of options to expand their horizons and meet a broad range of future professional opportunities. If students declare one of the four Specializations, their academic requirements will be specific to that focus area. Please see the Requirements under each Specialization for details.  Requirement courses are integral in the successful understanding and conceptualization of the program; no more than one substitution can be made in program plans. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Critical Thinking: Graduates will demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills, utilizing a humanistic lens to analyze complex psychological phenomena and apply theoretical frameworks to real-world contexts. 
  2. Cultural Competence: Graduates will possess cultural competence, displaying an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, experiences, and worldviews, and integrating this awareness into their professional practice. 
  3. Ethical Awareness: Graduates will exhibit a strong ethical awareness, adhering to ethical guidelines in their research, teaching, and practice, and demonstrating a commitment to the well-being and autonomy of individuals and communities. 
  4. Research Proficiency: Graduates will develop proficiency in conducting rigorous research informed by humanistic, existential, transpersonal, and phenomenological perspectives, employing qualitative and quantitative methodologies to advance the field of humanistic psychology. 
  5. Social Justice Advocacy: Graduates will engage in social justice advocacy, actively promoting equity, inclusivity, and social change by addressing systemic disparities, advocating for marginalized populations, and contributing to the creation of a just and sustainable society. 
  6. Applied Skills: Graduates will possess practical skills and interventions grounded in humanistic psychology, enabling them to facilitate personal growth, foster resilience, and promote well-being in various settings, including research, educational, community, and organizational contexts. 


M.A. Psychology Degree with Specialization 
Any student enrolled in Psychology may opt to declare one of the Specializations offered through the HP department. Specializations at the Master's level include: 

  • Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership (CIL)
  • Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH) 
  • Existential and Humanistic Psychology Specialization (EHP) 

College, Degree Program, or Specialization change 
Students who wish to change their degree program will be reevaluated by the Department Chair as to the appropriateness of admission to that new program of study. If admitted, those students will be held accountable to the degree program requirements as specified for the academic year in which such a change of enrollment is granted. For those wanting to change their specialization, the new Specialization Coordinator will review the student’s objectives for acceptance and the Department Chair approves the change. In all cases, where possible, current Saybrook completed courses will be considered for application toward the new degree program and/or specialization. Students who change degree programs will have their transfer credit evaluated again by the Department Chair of the new program. Transfer credit awarded is not guaranteed to apply to the new program. 
M.A. in Psychology to Ph.D. in Psychology 
While in the M.A. in Psychology degree program at Saybrook University, students may decide to apply to continue to the Psychology doctoral program. Once such students have completed the modified admissions process to the doctoral program, they may be accepted on the condition of completion of the M.A. degree requirements (i.e., successful completion of the thesis or project and all other degree requirements). Students that are accepted on the condition of completion of the M.A. degree may take an additional 9 credits of coursework while completing the thesis or project. If the student is admitted to the doctoral program, these 9 credits will be considered toward the Ph.D. degree. If the student does not continue to the doctoral program, those additional credits completed are awarded toward the M.A. degree. That is, admission into the doctoral program does not commence until the M.A. is complete. Such students will be required to adhere to the University catalog that is in place when they matriculate into to the doctoral program (i.e., after completion of the thesis/project), not the catalog in place at the time of their conditional acceptance into the doctoral program. In terms of transfer credits for students once they have attained the master’s degree in Psychology, a maximum of 30 credit hours may be applied toward the Ph.D. in Psychology. 


Career Opportunities

​​Graduates of the M.A. Psychology program with specializations in Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership (CIL), Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH), and Existential and Humanistic Psychology (EHP) are well-equipped for a wide range of fulfilling career opportunities. With the CIL specialization, students can pursue careers in leadership and organizational development, working as consultants, trainers, or managers in various industries, fostering innovation and creativity within teams and organizations. The CSIH specialization opens doors to careers in holistic health settings, wellness centers, or in integrative health, promoting well-being and facilitating individuals’ spiritual and conscious growth. Graduates with the EHP specialization can explore careers such as humanistic fields as psychology educators, offering a compassionate and existential approach to professional and personal development. Additionally, these specializations provide a strong foundation for further doctoral studies, enabling students to pursue advanced research or academic positions in their chosen areas of specialization. 
The M.A. Psychology program helps students develop professional skills from our experiential learning curriculum, empowering them to promote life-enhancing transformative change in individuals and community development programs. Graduates of this program will be positioned to advance their existing careers, begin a new career path, or to continue their education in a Ph.D. Psychology program. With a strong foundation in psychology, graduates may find work as researchers, teachers, consultants, mediators, and many other career paths. 
Our M.A. Psychology program is intended for professionals who wish to pursue nonclinical careers or expand on their existing licenses. This program is not designed to prepare graduates to qualify for clinical licensure or certification.​ 

Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

​​Degree Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
At a minimum, you must have received, or anticipate receiving prior to the start of the semester you are applying into, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university before applying for a master’s degree at Saybrook. 
The minimum expected grade point average (GPA) requirement is 3.0 from the last degree-granting institution, though exceptions may be made. 
Transfer Credit

Transfer credits based on equivalent graduate courses taken at another regionally accredited institution in the same or similar discipline where the student received a grade of B or better may be transferred and will reduce the number of course credits required to be completed at Saybrook. Allowable transfer credits must be suitable for transfer to the intended degree as determined by the registrar and the department chair. Transfer course credits do not affect the minimum number of credits required for the degree. 
Transfer credit to be applied toward required electives may include up to 6 transfer credits completed during a graduate degree program from an accredited university, non-degree Saybrook certificate credits, Saybrook CE credits, or other non-degree credits taken at Saybrook University, within the last seven years.​ 

University Learning Experience

Virtual Learning Experience (VLE) - Required, Community Learning Experience (CLE) - Optional

All new students begin their studies with a Welcome Week. Welcome Week activities, including a degree program orientation, are held online during the week ahead of the start of the fall and spring semesters. Participation is strongly encouraged.

Starting with the fall 2022-2023 academic year, all psychology students will be required to attend only the five-day fall VLE each academic year. Although you may complete most of your courses through distance learning, all our psychology degree programs have residential requirements. Virtual Learning Experience (VLEs) are academic requirements, and their completion is important for your successful academic progress: they allow you to meet with faculty and co-learners in a stimulating and supportive face-to-face environment. Our VLEs are an important part of your learning experience as they nurture intellectual and relational creativity, enrich the educational environment, and foster faculty and peer interactions. There are courses being launched, workshops, independent learning activities, peer learning opportunities, community events, and other hands-on experiences intended to nurture professional development, skill building, and transformative change.
M.A. students are required to attend until formal enrollment in either master thesis or project.


​​The program requires a total of 33-36 earned credits, which may vary based on the specialization chosen. These credits encompass a rigorous curriculum that includes core courses, specialized coursework in the chosen area of focus, research methodology and analysis, and the completion of a capstone project or thesis. Through a combination of theoretical exploration, experiential learning, and research opportunities, students gain the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for success in their future careers or further doctoral studies. The credit units and hours invested in the M.A. degree ensure that students receive a comprehensive and well-rounded education, empowering them to make significant contributions to the field of psychology.​

Mode of Delivery

At Saybrook University, we are committed to providing a dynamic and flexible online learning experience that combines both asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods. Our M.A. Psychology program with specializations in Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership (CIL), Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH), and Existential and Humanistic Psychology (EHP) embraces the advantages of online education, allowing students to pursue their studies at their own pace while also fostering meaningful real-time interactions. 
Through our asynchronous delivery, students have access to a user-friendly online platform where they can engage with course materials, lectures, and multimedia resources at a time that suits their schedule. This flexibility empowers students to balance their studies with other commitments, ensuring an optimal learning experience. They can participate in discussions, complete assignments, and collaborate with fellow students, all while benefiting from the expertise of our dedicated faculty who provide timely feedback and guidance. 
In addition to asynchronous learning, our program incorporates synchronous elements to foster a sense of community and enhance real-time engagement. Through virtual classrooms, students have the opportunity to participate in live lectures, interactive discussions, and group activities led by faculty members. These synchronous sessions provide valuable opportunities for students to connect, ask questions, share ideas, and engage in collaborative learning experiences. Our virtual classrooms utilize video conferencing and collaboration tools to simulate the benefits of face-to-face interaction, ensuring an immersive and interactive learning environment. 
The combination of asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods allows us to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive online learning experience. Students benefit from the flexibility of self-paced study, while also experiencing the richness of real-time interactions and discussions with faculty and peers. This blended approach cultivates a supportive and interactive community, enabling students to develop critical thinking skills, engage in meaningful discourse, and forge lasting connections within their chosen specialization.

Length of Program

​​The degree completion time for a full-time student in the M.A. Psychology program following the default course sequence will range from 2 - 3 years and Earned Credits from: 33-36.​ 

Required Courses

M.A. Psychology; No Declared Specialization 
The Psychology degree program offers adult learners a foundation of scholarship based in the tradition of existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology. Students have the option of pursuing the M.A. Psychology and not declare a specialization.

Core Ethics Courses (select 1 of the following courses):

Other Electives: 6 Credit(s)

Upon Completion of all required courses:

Total: 33-36 Credits *

*Saybrook transcript must reflect a minimum of 33 completed post-baccalaureate credits of new learning for the M.A.


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