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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 23, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Psychology in Education - Applied Developmental Psychology Concentration - Child and Youth Work Specialization, MS

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Master’s Degree Requirements

The requirements presented in this section are primarily school-wide requirements that have been established in addition to the University-wide requirements detailed under general academic regulations. Students should review the general academic regulations section in addition to the specific school information detailed below. School-wide master’s degree requirements integrated with the University-wide master’s degree requirements are available by accessing the above Web site link.

Common Requirements

All master’s degrees awarded by the School of Education require the completion of an approved plan of studies consisting of a minimum of 36 credits (including 9 credits in Basic Areas of Education) and the passing of a comprehensive examination.

Acceptance of Transfer Credits

For University-wide rules, see Acceptance of Transfer Credits under General Academic Regulations. School-specific detail follows.

A maximum of 6 transfer credits may be counted toward an MA or MS degree. A maximum of 12 transfer credits may be counted toward an MAT or MEd degree.

Grade Point Average/Academic Probation

All students enrolled in master’s degree programs are required to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00. The cumulative GPA is based on all course work taken after enrollment in the appropriate graduate program. A student is automatically placed on academic probation when the cumulative GPA after 6 credits or more, exclusive of transfer credits, falls below 3.00. Although the credits allowed for acceptable work completed elsewhere by students enrolled in the School of Education count toward the total number of credits required for the graduate degree, the grades earned in such courses are not included in GPA computations.

While on probation students are limited to registering only for courses in which a letter grade is given.  To be removed from probation status, a student must achieve a 3.50 GPA in 6 credits or more.  A student can only be placed on academic probation status once during their program of study.  Students placed on academic probation status will receive notification in the form of a letter from the School of Education, and they will be recommended to seek guidance from their academic advisor.

Ordinarily, students are required to terminate graduate study after two terms on probation.  A student who does not meet the GPA or credit requirements will be dismissed from the School of Education, unless serious extenuating circumstances exist. The request for continuation must include a recommendation made by the Department Chair (or designated faculty member) and the academic advisor, with the recommendation approved by the Dean of the school.

Statute of Limitations

All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within a period of four consecutive calendar years from the student’s initial registration for master’s study in an MA or MS degree program or within five years in an MAT or MEd program.

Under certain conditions, the dean/associate dean may grant an extension of a student’s statute of limitations.

Plan of Studies

Before completion of 15 credits, students, in consultation with their academic advisor, should complete a Plan of Studies that conforms to program requirements. The plan of studies, approved by the academic advisor and the program coordinator, is filed in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Any changes in the Plan of Studies must be approved by the academic advisor and the program coordinator, conform to program requirements, and be filed in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. At the time of graduation, completed courses must comply with the approved Plan of Studies.

Basic Areas of Education Requirement

All master’s degrees conferred by the School of Education require a minimum of 9 credits of study from the Basic Areas of Education (BAE), 3 credits each from courses offered in the content areas of psychological perspectives on education, social and cultural perspectives on education, and research methods. A maximum of 6 credit hours of BAE courses may be taken from those offered within a single department. The courses in each area that may be used to meet this requirement are listed below.

Additional Requirements

Master’s Comprehensive Examination

The School of Education requires a comprehensive examination for all master’s degrees. The comprehensive examination is designed to assess the student’s mastery of the general field of graduate study. The comprehensive examination is constructed, administered, and scored by the program or department to which the student has been admitted. Procedures and schedules of administration are available from the program or department. *The student must be enrolled to take the comprehensive examination.

*See also Comprehensive Examination under Regulations Pertaining to Master of Arts and Master of Science Degrees . The University-wide regulations on comprehensive examinations detailed there apply to all School of Education master’s programs.

Thesis, Thesis Equivalent, and Research Paper Requirements

Some MA and MS degree programs within the School of Education are offered with a thesis requirement while others are offered with the option of completing either a thesis or a thesis equivalent. All MAT degree programs and some MEd programs require the completion of a research paper.

Master’s Degree with Thesis

The master’s degree with thesis is intended for graduate students who have pursued advanced graduate study in at least one field of education specialization and have demonstrated through the master’s thesis the capability to plan and carry through a project of original research. The plan of studies should include at least 6 credits in thesis work.

Thesis Overview

The thesis overview is a written proposal for the thesis. The overview is presented to the master’s committee, which consists of a minimum of three faculty members (at least one from another program or department) selected in consultation with the student by the research advisor and approved by the department. The student must submit a form for approval of the thesis committee. A student must be registered in the term during which the thesis overview meeting is scheduled. A unanimous vote of the master’s committee is required for approval of the overview. The outcome of the overview meeting is submitted on the appropriate form along with a corrected copy of the overview to the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Approval of Research with Human Subjects

If the research proposed in the overview involves human subjects, the proposed research must be approved by the University Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects before it may be carried out. Information on materials that must be submitted and the procedures that must be followed for an IRB review are available in departmental offices and the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Advancement to Master’s Candidacy

To be advanced to candidacy for the master’s degree with thesis a student must:

  • be admitted to full graduate status;
  • have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (transfer credits not considered);
  • have an approved plan of studies on file in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services;
  • have passed the comprehensive examination;
  • have an approved overview on file in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services; and
  • if the proposed research involves human subjects, have a letter on file in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services from the IRB approving the proposed research.

Thesis Preparation

The thesis research is completed and the thesis is prepared under the direction of the research advisor according to the approved overview. In preparing the thesis, the student must follow the University’s ETD Format Guidelines, and specific departmental or program requirements.

Final Oral Examination

The completed thesis is submitted to the master’s committee for the final oral examination. The student must be registered in the term during which the final oral examination is scheduled. The final oral examination is devoted primarily to the thesis, and an affirmative vote by a majority of the committee members is required to pass the examination. One corrected copy of the thesis as approved by the master’s committee must be filed, along with one copy of a research advisor approved abstract and the form showing a passed final oral examination, no later than one week before the end of the term during which the student expects to graduate. The dean/associate dean must approve any exception to this requirement.

Master’s Degree with Thesis Equivalent Option/Research Paper

Master’s degrees with the thesis equivalent option or research paper requirement are intended for graduate students who have pursued advanced study in at least one field of educational specialization and have demonstrated capability of presenting information relevant to an issue or problem in education. The plan of studies should include at least 3 credits in a research seminar, supervised research, or directed study involving research in the student’s focus area.

Research Paper Requirements

Each candidate for the master’s degree with the thesis equivalent option or research paper requirement must complete, in acceptable form, a research paper that demonstrates the ability to locate, organize, and summarize information bearing on an issue or problem in education. This project is usually initiated and completed in the research seminar of the student’s major. For certain majors, this requirement may be met by other means, such as successful exhibits or demonstrations.

Master of Science Degree

This program of study emphasizes the integration of knowledge of human development with the skills and competencies essential for effectively working with children, youth and families. Specialization options are Behavioral Health in Schools and Communities (BHSC), Child and Youth Work (CYW), Children with Special Healthcare Needs (CSHCN; with Child Life option), or Applied Research Methods for Child and Youth Serving Organizations (ARMO). In addition, the program offers a specialization option for students who hold the Professional Year (Post-Baccalaureate) teaching certificate.

Degree Requirements: The Master of Science degree requires 36 credits distributed as follows: Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP) Core courses (18 credits), Specialization courses (12 credits), and Community-Based Practice Learning (with capstone project) courses (6 credits).

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