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Department of Psychology
Fort Hays State University
600 Allan Park Street
Martin Allen Hall 102
Phone: 785-628-4405
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Graduate Program in Experimental Psychology

The Master of Science Program in Experimental Psychology is a flexible graduate program that can be a stepping stone to a more specialized doctoral degree program, preparation for research-based careers in various fields like non-profits, academia, and businesses.

Working with a mentor, students build a plan of study that suits their career interests and future goals. All students take coursework that provides a strong foundation in research methods and statistical analysis that culminates in the completion of a master's thesis.

Multiple opportunities to pursue individual research interests, as well as to conduct collaborative research with faculty are available. Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available. Students are able to tailor a portion of their coursework to their individual career plans.

Careers in Experimental Psychology

Graduates from the MS program in Experimental Psychology at FHSU have gone on to doctoral programs in psychology at institutions such as the University of Oklahoma, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, and Texas Tech University. In addition, graduates now work at businesses or with non-profit organizations, have attended medical school and law school, and have sought advanced degrees in other related fields. Faculty involved with the MS program in Experimental Psychology conduct research in various fields and are able to help students develop a specific program of study and research.

Program Summary

This is an on-campus program only. The program consists of 33 graduate credit hours, split between the requirements of research methodology, content breadth and depth, and research experience. Although 33 hours is the minimum requirement, students are allowed to take more credits as necessary to meet their long-term career goals. Students may also choose among several elective courses to tailor their educational experience to specific research interests.

MS EXperimental


Research Focus

The focus of the MS in experimental pychology is to train students in the skills and methods of practicing psychological scientists. Naturally, this will include an extensive focus on research-based coursework, and hands-on research experience through independent studies and a thesis project. Additionally, our program requires students to engage in tertiary experiences similar to most PhD program. This is designed to prepare students for doctoral work.

Research Methodology (6 Hours)

The program requires all students to take a year-long sequence of two courses in research methodology. The first course, Experimental Methods (PSY 845), focuses on the broad process of conducting research, while the second, Inferential Statistics (PSY 850) concentrates on the application of statistics to this process.

Research Experience (6 Hours)

The program requires all students to complete a master's thesis (899). This will be an empirical study, requiring the student to design, conduct, and analyze the results of their own research project. From initial hypothesis generation to final write-up, this will typically span two semesters in time. Faculty guidance will be provided throughout the entire process in the form of a thesis committee selected by the student.

Service to the Discipline (3 credits)

The program requires activities that are focused on research, service and teaching to prepare students for the structure of most PhD programs. These activities (PSY 874) are to be conducted throughout the 2-year sequence.

  1. Research: Students are required to present at several conferences. In their first year, students are required to present at a state level student oriented conference. In their second year, students are required to present at a regional conference. Attendance at regional conferences is also expected in their first year.
  2. Reviewer: Students must serve as a reviewer for a journal with their mentor.
  3. Teaching: Students must attend teaching workshops and other activities that expand students' teaching skills.

Interested in the Program?

Please contact Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell, Director of the MS Program in Experimental Psychology.

Dr. Janett Naylor-TIncknell

Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell



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