The 45-hour Interdisciplinary Behavioral Science program is designed to be research-oriented. Those who enroll in degree program may opt to complete either a thesis or a professional paper option, although emphasis will be placed on the thesis option described below.

Thesis Option

ClassCredits
Core18 Total
Psychology & Law3
Law & Social Science3
Intermediate Statistics I & II6
Research Methods I & II6
Criminal Behavior12 Total
Theories of Offending & Corrections3
Psychology of Criminal Behavior3
Aggression & Violence3
Assessment & Treatment of Offenders3
Electives3 Total
Diversity & Law3
Addiction & Psychopharmacology3
Psychology of Victims3
Special Topics (up to 6 hours)3
Thesis6 Total

The table below presents a curriculum plan for the Thesis Option, outlining the sequence of courses. The curriculum plan assumes a 4-6 semester completion schedule for full-time students and a completion schedule of 6-8 semesters for part-time students.

 CreditsTotal
Fall Year 1
Psychology & Law 3
Intermediate Statistics3
Research Methods3
9
Spring Year 1
Law & Social Science3
Intermediate Statistics II3
Research Methods II3
9
Summer Year 1
Core or Electives0 - 90 - 9
Fall Year 2
Psychology of Criminal Behavior3
Assessment & Treatment of Offenders3
Offending & Corrections3
9
Spring Year 2
Aggression & Violence3
Thesis II3
Comprehensive Exam3
9
Summer Year 2
As needed.
45

Students opting for the thesis plan should complete their Master’s degree program requirements over a period of four semesters or less, i.e., not more than two years, and should adhere to the following schedule:

  • Complete at least 12 credits of coursework by the end of the second semester in the program and sign up for the remaining 18 credit hours (including 6 hours of thesis credit) during the third and fourth semesters in the program;
  • Form a thesis committee by the beginning of the third semester in the program and complete and obtain approval of the thesis proposal by the end of the third semester in the program;
  • Write the thesis during the fourth semester and schedule an oral exam over the thesis and obtain its approval at the end of the fourth semester in the program.

To be making progress in the program and to be eligible for continued departmental funding, students must follow the above stated guidelines.


Non-Thesis Option

The table below presents the curriculum for the Non-Thesis Option, outlining the sequence of courses. The curriculum plan also assumes a 4-6 semester completion schedule for full-time students and a completion schedule of 6-8 semesters for part-time students.

ClassCredits
Core18 Total
Psychology & Law3
Law & Social Science3
Intermediate Statistics I & II6
Research Methods I & II6
Criminal Behavior12 Total
Theories of Offending & Corrections3
Psychology of Criminal Behavior3
Aggression & Violence3
Assessment & Treatment of Offenders3
Electives3 Total
Diversity & Law3
Addiction & Psychopharmacology3
Psychology of Victims3
Special Topics (up to 6 hours)3
Comprehensive Exam3 Total

The table below presents a proposed curriculum plan for the Non-Thesis Option, outlining the sequence of courses. The curriculum plan assumes a 4-6 semester completion schedule for full-time students and a completion schedule of 6-8 semesters for part-time students.

 CreditsTotal
Fall Year 1
Psychology & Law 3
Intermediate Statistics3
Research Methods3
9
Spring Year 1
Law & Social Science3
Intermediate Statistics II3
Research Methods II3
9
Summer Year 1
Core or Electives99
Fall Year 2
Psychology of Criminal Behavior3
Assessment & Treatment of Offenders3
Offending & Corrections3
9
Spring Year 2
Aggression & Violence3
Thesis II3
Comprehensive Exam3
9
Summer Year 2
As needed.
45

Students opting for the non-thesis plan should also complete their program requirements over a period of not more than two years and should adhere to the following schedule:

  • Complete at least 15 credits of coursework by the beginning of the third semester in the program and sign up for the remaining 18 credit hours of coursework during the third and fourth semesters in the program;
  • Schedule to take comprehensive exams at the end of the fourth semester in the program by signing up for 1 credit of comps during this fourth and final semester.
  • Students opting for the non-thesis plan will need to make arrangements to take the Master’s comprehensive examinations two months prior to their anticipated graduation date.

Comprehensive Examination Requirements

The M.A. comprehensive examinations will consist of three parts

  1. Theory;
  2. Methods;
  3. Substantive Area /Special Area.
  • The theory exam and the exam on a substantive area within the field are to be taken in the department on two different days (4 hours each exam) within one week.
  • The methods exam is a take-home exam that must be completed over the course of the following week.
  • The exam on a substantive area in the field may be based on a course the student has taken in the department or an area the student has studied under the supervision of a faculty member through independent readings or research.

All three exams will be comprehensive and may cover a wide range of topics and issues. They will be graded on the basis of the following scale: High Pass; Pass; Fail. Students who fail to pass a particular exam may schedule to re-take that exam one more time.

All exams will be administered by the Program Coordinator, graded by the faculty member(s) submitting the question(s), and reviewed by the Program Coordinator and faculty member together for a final decision.