Master of Science in Behavioral Sciences

The Master of Science in Behavioral Sciences (MSBS) program is designed to serve that segment of the population employed in or interested in a broad spectrum of professions in the behavioral sciences. Specific target populations are persons employed or preparing for employment in public or private organizations involved in human resources activities; persons wishing to pursue doctoral studies in the behavioral sciences or research-related careers or to gain experience in research; and persons preparing for counseling licensure in mental health professions. The majority of the students enrolled in the MSBS program in the last five years have expressed an interest in gaining counseling licensures (LPC and LMFT).

MSBS students choose one of three tracks: (1) Counseling, (2) Marriage and Family, and (3) General Psychology. The MSBS: Counseling track is designed for graduate students who would like to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).  The MSBS: Marriage and Family track is designed for graduate students who would like to become Licensed Marital and Family Therapists (LMFT). To earn an MSBS with a track in either of these areas (Counseling or Marriage and Family), students will complete 48 credit-hours of coursework. The MSBS: General Psychology track is designed for graduate students who are not going to gain licensure. These students will complete 33 credit-hours of coursework. 

Program Objectives

The goal of the MSBS program is to develop the knowledge base and professional competencies of individuals interested in professions in the behavioral sciences.

Current objectives for the MSBS program are listed on the Cameron University Transparency webpage.

Program Requirements

A minimum of thirty-three (33) semester hours in approved graduate courses is required in the MSBS program, with some tracks requiring forty-eight (48) semester hours.

REQUIREMENTSHOURS

I.  CORE COURSES (REQUIRED FOR ALL TRACKS)

PSY 5000 MSBS Introductory Seminar

PSY 5003 Ethical Princ in Couns, Assessment & Research*

PSY 5053 Intro to Statistics in Behavioral Sciences*

PSY 5013 Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences**

PSY 5243 Advanced Psychology of Personality**

PSY 5203 Human Development

PSY 5363 Psychopathology

PSY 5383 Social & Cultural Found in Counseling & Psych

*Must be successfully completed in first nine hours of graduate work.

**Must be successfully completed in first 18 hours of graduate work.

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II.  TRACK

Choose one of the following three options:

Counseling Track without Certificate in Counseling Proficiency (27 hours)

PSY 5033 Basic Counseling Skills

PSY 5073 Crisis Intervention

PSY 5433 Counseling Theories

PSY 5703 Individual Counseling

PSY 5713 Group Counseling

PSY 5743 Clinical Practicum I

PSY 5753 Clinical Practicum II

One assessment course from the following:

PSY 5333 Assessment of Marriage and Family OR PSY 5513 Assessment in Personality OR PSY 5523 Assessment in Intelligence

One additional graduate level PSY course from the following:

PSY 5043 Human Sexuality

PSY 5063 Advanced Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences

PSY 5083 Introduction to the Counseling Profession

PSY 5223 Psychology of Aging

PSY 5253 Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development

PSY 5313 Psychology of Interpersonal Communication

PSY 5373 Drug and Alcohol Addiction

PSY 5393 Systems Theory

PSY 5423 Drug and Alcohol Counseling Theories

PSY 5453 Psychopharmacology

PSY 5583 Advanced Social Psychology

Counseling Track w/Certificate in Counseling Proficiency (39 hours)

Track Requirements (27 hours)

PSY 5033 Basic Counseling Skills

PSY 5073 Crisis Intervention

PSY 5433 Counseling Theories

PSY 5703 Individual Counseling

PSY 5713 Group Counseling

PSY 5743 Clinical Practicum I

PSY 5753 Clinical Practicum II

One assessment course from the following:

PSY 5513 Assessment in Personality OR PSY 5523 Assessment in Intelligence OR PSY 5333 Assessment of Marriage and Family

One additional graduate level PSY course from the following:

PSY 5043 Human Sexuality

PSY 5063 Advanced Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences

PSY 5083 Introduction to the Counseling Profession

PSY 5223 Psychology of Aging

PSY 5253 Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development

PSY 5313 Psychology of Interpersonal Communication

PSY 5373 Drug and Alcohol Addiction

PSY 5393 Systems Theory

PSY 5423 Drug and Alcohol Counseling Theories

PSY 5453 Psychopharmacology

PSY 5583 Advanced Social Psychology

Certificate Requirements (12 hours)

To be selected from the following courses:

PSY 5043 Human Sexuality

PSY 5063 Advanced Statistics

PSY 5083 Introduction to the Counseling Profession

PSY 5223 Psychology of Aging

PSY 5253 Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development

PSY 5333 Assessment of Marriage and Family

PSY 5343 Marriage and Family Therapy

PSY 5353 Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy

PSY 5453 Psychopharmacology

PSY 5513 Assessment in Personality

PSY 5523 Assessment in Intelligence

PSY 5583 Advanced Social Psychology

Marriage and Family Track (27 hours)

PSY 5033 Basic Counseling Skills

PSY 5323 Theoretical Found of Marital & Family Systems

PSY 5333 Assessment of Marriage and Family

PSY 5343 Marriage and Family Therapy

PSY 5353 Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy

PSY 5393 Systems Theory

PSY 5893 Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy I

PSY 5903 Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy II

Choose one of the following:

PSY 5223 Psychology of Aging OR PSY 5313 Psychology of Interpersonal Communication

General Psychology Track (12 hours)

PSY 5413 Advanced Human Cognition

PSY 5583 Advanced Social Psychology

Electives (6 hours): To be chosen from any courses for which necessary prerequisites have been completed. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. should consider PSY 5991-6 Thesis.

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III. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATIONS

The MSBS program requires the successful completion of a comprehensive examination for completion of the graduate degree. Students must contact the graduate advisor the semester they complete core courses to apply for the comprehensive examination. Students who fail the comprehensive examination may be able to repeat the exam on a limited basis. Students should check with the graduate advisor for information regarding the maximum number of retakes permitted.

Counseling Track

The MSBS: Counseling track is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). According to the American Counseling Association,

Licensed professional counselors provide mental health and substance abuse care to millions of Americans. Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) are master’s-degreed mental health service providers, trained to work with individuals, families, and groups in treating mental, behavioral, and emotional problems and disorders. LPCs make up a large percentage of the workforce employed in community mental health centers, agencies, and organizations, and are employed within and covered by managed care organizations and health plans. LPCs also work with active duty military personnel and their families, as well as veterans.

The practice of professional counseling includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including addictive disorders; psychoeducational techniques aimed at the prevention of such disorders; consultation to individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations; and research into more effective therapeutic treatment modalities. Counselors’ training in the provision of counseling and therapy includes the etiology of mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and the provision of the well-established treatments of cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic therapy. Counselors’ education and training is oriented toward the adoption of a truly client centered, and not primarily illness centered, approach to therapy. Licensed professional counselors and members of the other non-physician mental health professions of psychology, clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and psychiatric nursing provide the large majority of mental health services in the U.S.

More than 120,000 professional counselors are licensed across the country, under licensure laws enacted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. LPC education and training standards for licensure are on par with those of the other two master’s level mental health providers (clinical social workers and marriage and family therapists.

The MSBS: Counseling track is designed to meet the academic requirements for the LPC in the state of Oklahoma and to prepare students to perform well on the state licensure examination. In addition to the 21-credit-hour core for all tracks, MSBS: Counseling students will complete an additional 27 credit-hours.

Certificate in Counseling Proficiency

The Certificate in Counseling Proficiency is designed for students who wish to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), which in the State of Oklahoma, requires 60 credit-hours of graduate work.

After graduating from Cameron University with the MSBS: Counseling track or MSBS: Marriage and Family track (or a master’s degree in a counseling-related field from another university) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, students will be apply to earn a Certificate of Counseling Proficiency at Cameron University.  Students who graduate from Cameron University following the MSBS: General Psychology track are not eligible to earn the Certificate in Counseling Proficiency. To earn the Certificate of Counseling Proficiency, students must successfully complete 12 hours of graduate work selected from the areas of development, abnormal behavior, assessment, counseling theories, professional orientation/ethics, research, practicum, life style/career development, social and cultural foundations, personality theories, crisis intervention, marriage and family counseling, or psychopharmacology. 

Marriage and Family Track

The MSBS: Marriage and Family track is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to pursue licensure in marriage and family therapy. According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy,

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems. Marriage and family therapists are a highly experienced group of practitioners. They evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, other health and behavioral problems, and address a wide array of relationship issues within the context of the family system.

Marriage and Family Therapists broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage and the family. LMFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families. A family's patterns of behavior influences the individual and therefore may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn't just the person - even if only a single person is interviewed - it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded. Marriage and family therapy is brief, solution-focused, specific, with attainable therapeutic goals, and designed with the "end in mind".

Marriage and family therapists treat a wide range of serious clinical problems including: depression, marital problems, anxiety, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems. Research indicates that marriage and family therapy is as effective, and in some cases more effective than standard and/or individual treatments for many mental health problems such as: adult schizophrenia, affective (mood) disorders, adult alcoholism and drug abuse, children's conduct disorders, adolescent drug abuse, anorexia in young adult women, childhood autism, chronic physical illness in adults and children, and marital distress and conflict.

Today more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists treat individuals, couples, and families nationwide. Membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has grown from 237 members in 1960 to more than 23,000 in 1996. This growth is a result, in part, of renewed public awareness of the value of family life and concern about the increased stresses on families in a rapidly changing world.

The MSBS: Marriage and Family track is designed to meet the academic requirements for the LMFT in the state of Oklahoma and to prepare students to perform well on the written and oral sections of the licensure examination. In addition to the 21 credit-hour core, MSBS: Marriage and Family students will complete an additional 27 credit-hours.

General Psychology Track (12 hours)

The MSBS: General Psychology track is designed to meet the needs of students who do not wish to pursue a career in counseling. Students who want to increase their understanding of human behavior, those interested in experimental psychology, and students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. in experimental psychology should choose this track. In addition to the 21 credit-hour core, MSBS: General Psychology students will complete 12 additional credit-hours.

Degree Conferment

The MSBS degree will be awarded when the student has met all of the following requirements within six (6) years:

  1. Completion of the required courses for the appropriate track with a cumulative 3.0 or above;
  2. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination as determined by the assessment committee;
  3. Completion of “Application for Graduate Degree”;
  4. Payment of the graduation fee; and
  5. Completion of an Exit Interview.