The Master of Science (MS) in Psychology degree program offers a wide range of academic and professionally-oriented psychology courses. This degree is best suited to those interested in pursuing a strong theoretical and research foundation in psychology, which can be applied to related fields such as advanced addiction studies, pastoral counseling, sport psychology, and consultation in business and industry.

The program places an emphasis on scientific research and in obtaining practical experience in a non-clinical setting. The MS in Psychology degree offers an alternative to the Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology degree. The MS in Psychology is designed to be generally applicable to related fields, but does not lead to licensure (for that professional goal, please see the MA in Psychology program). The program also provides a firm foundation in the field of psychology upon which to build doctoral-level study at California Southern University.

Quick Facts:

  • Credits required: 42
  • Cost per credit: $545
  • Program length: 2-3 years (full-time status)
  • Max transfer credits: 6 credits

Time to degree completion can be accelerated by taking multiple courses in a term and through credits accepted in transfer.

What you’ll learn

Articulate in writing increasingly complex psychological ideas with the capacity to organize and develop concepts with professional-level scientific support.

Employ appropriate oral communication skills to successfully interact with people from a variety of experiences and backgrounds in presentations, discussions, negotiations, and conflict management situations.

Analyze evidence from the science of psychological theory and research, and interpret this information employing graduate-level applications of validity, reliability, and logical argumentation.

Apply and differentiate the critical impact that cultural and social institutions have on personal ethical systems, values, and worldview assumptions, including proficiencies in theories and issues in diversity: multiethnic, multicultural, gender, development, sexual orientation, and disability.

Synthesize increasingly complex principles and scientific findings from within psychology, and apply them to personal experiences so that the information is meaningful and organically applied to humanistic scientific endeavors.

Evaluate statistically based reasoning processes and apply to increasingly complex psychological research findings and emergent questions.

Formulate a system of inquiry that is dependent on empirical evidence, as well as demonstrate the ability to reason by advanced principles of deduction, induction, and analogy in psychology.

Compare theories in assessing an individual from multiple perspectives and discriminate between psychological issues that may arise within various non-clinical settings.

Career Outcomes

Social Services / Manager

Human Resources / Manager

Pursue Licensure as an Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor

LAADC (Advanced Addition Studies concentration)

Faith-Based Social Services & Support

(Pastoral Counseling concentration)

Athletic Coach / Trainer

(Sport psychology concentration)

Business / Advertising Consultant

(Industrial and Organizational Psychology concentration)

Master of Science in Psychology Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements Credits
Required Core Courses 15
Required Elective Courses 15
Applied Concepts or Advanced Supervised Practicum & Fieldwork in Addiction Studies (may replace Applied Concepts within the Advanced Addiction Studies Concentration) 6
Master’s Thesis 6

Courses + Credits

Below, please find the required core psychology courses in CalSouthern’s Master of Science in Psychology degree program. By taking five three-credit psychology elective courses in a variety of concentrations, you can earn your MS with an emphasis in advanced addiction studies, industrial/organizational psychology, pastoral counseling, sport psychology, or develop your own customized concentration.

Required Core Courses

  • PSY 86502A Counseling Theories and Strategies – 3 credits
  • PSY 86801 Advanced Therapeutic Boundaries – 3 credits


  • PSY 82309 Advanced Ethical and Professional Issues in Addiction Counseling (for
    those enrolled in the Advanced Addiction Studies Concentration) – 3
  • PSY 86506A Psychopathology – 3 credits
  • PSY 86512A Group Counseling – 3 credits
  • PSY 87515 Social Psychology – 3 credits

Elective/Concentration Courses

Customized Concentration
Choose any five (5) graduate-level psychology elective courses (excludes practicums and internships) — 15 credits

Advanced Addiction Studies Concentration

  • PSY 86511A Substance Use and Related Disorders – 3 credits
  • PSY 87534 Dual Diagnosis – 3 credits
  • PSY 82307 Advanced Physiology and Pharmacology of Addiction – 3 credits
  • PSY 82507 Advanced Case Management: Assessment, Treatment and Planning, Relapse Prevention and Aftercare – 3 credits
  • PSY 82316 Advanced Personal & Professional Wellness for Substance Abuse
    Counselors – 3 credits

Industrial and Organizational Psychology Concentration

  • PSY 87521 Industrial/Organizational Psychology – 3 credits
  • PSY 86508A Culture and Diversity in Counseling – 3 credits
  • PSY 87522 Consulting in Business, Education and Mental Health – 3 credits
  • PSY 87529 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – 3 credits
  • PSY 87561 Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace – 3 credits

Pastoral Counseling Concentration

  • PSY 87541 Psychology of Religion – 3 credits
  • PSY 86509A Systems of Family Therapy – 3 credits
  • PSY 87507 Advanced Human Sexuality – 3 credits
  • PSY 86517 Psychology of Aging – 3 credits
  • PSY 87533 Psychology of Death and Dying – 3 credits

Sport Psychology Concentration

  • PSY 87100 Applied Sport Psychology I – 3 credits
  • PSY 87101 Applied Sport Psychology II – 3 credits
  • PSY 87110 Current Issues in Sport Psychology– 3 credits
  • PSY 87115 Psychology of Coaching – 3 credits
  • PSY 87120 Enhancing Performance: Preparation/Motivation – 3 credits

Applied Courses

  • PSY 88002 Applied Concepts – 6 credits


  • PSY 82508 Supervised Practicum in Advanced Addiction Studies (for those enrolled in Advanced Addiction Studies Concentration) – 6 credits

Master’s Thesis

  • PSY 86899 Master’s Thesis – 6 credits

Download the University Catalog for full course descriptions, prerequisite information, and program details.

I’ve been more than satisfied with the support I’ve received from CalSouthern faculty and staff. There are faculty members that I know I will be able to reach out to in the future with a question or if I just want to run an idea past them.

– Justin Lord, MS in Psychology

Ready to get back to your dreams? We can help!

Contact us to learn more about our online MS in Psychology degree program.

Call us at : 1.800.477.2254 | Email:

Accreditation & Approvals

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Board of Behavioral Sciences Logo

California Southern University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), which is one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regional accreditation is the most highly respected and recognized form of accreditation in the United States, and it provides students with a number of important benefits and opportunities.

Please visit the Accreditation & Licensure page to learn more.

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