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. Regardless of the graduate student’s track, there are four student learning outcomes for the MSBS program.

 

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

Core Courses (21 hours) for all MSBS Tracks:

All MSBS students will successfully complete eight core courses:

PSY 5000 MSBS Introductory Seminar
PSY 5003 Ethical Principles in Counseling, Assessment and Research*
PSY 5053 Introduction 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 Multicultural Psychology

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

 

Counseling Track (27 hours)

The MSBS/Counseling track was 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 was 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 listed above, MSBS/Counseling students will complete an additional 27 credit-hours:

PSY 5433 Counseling Theories
PSY 5033 Basic Counseling Skills
PSY 5703 Individual Counseling
PSY 5713 Group Counseling
PSY 5073 Crisis Intervention
PSY 5743 Clinical Practicum I
PSY 5753 Clinical Practicum II

One assessment course from the following courses:
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 courses:
PSY 5063 Advanced Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences
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 in Counseling Proficiency (12 hours, 60 hours total)

The Certificate in Counseling Proficiency was 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. Cameron University students pursuing LPC will complete the 48 hour MSBS/Counseling program and then earn the 12 hour Certificate in Counseling Proficiency to meet the 60 credit hour licensure requirement.

After graduating from Cameron University with an MSBS with a Counseling or 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 able to 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. Please note that LPC licensure requires two assessment courses (six credit-hours); the MSBS/Counseling track only requires one; therefore most students will take an additional assessment class as part of their Certificate in Counseling Proficiency.

To be selected from the following courses:

PSY 5203 Human Development
PSY 5223 Psychology of Aging
PSY 5363 Psychopathology
PSY 5513 Assessment in Personality
PSY 5523 Assessment in Intelligence
PSY 5333 Assessment of Marriage and Family
PSY 5433 Counseling Theories
PSY 5033 Basic Counseling Skills
PSY 5703 Individual Counseling
PSY 5713 Group Counseling
PSY 5003 Ethical Principles in Counseling, Assessment, and Research
PSY 5013 Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences
PSY 5053 Introduction to Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences
PSY 5063 Advanced Statistics
PSY 5743 Clinical Practicum I
PSY 5753 Clinical Practicum II
PSY 5893 Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy I
PSY 5903 Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy II
PSY 5253 Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development
PSY 5583 Advanced Social Psychology
PSY 5243 Advanced Psychology of Personality
PSY 5073 Crisis Intervention
PSY 5343 Marriage and Family Therapy
PSY 5353 Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy
PSY 5453 Psychopharmacology

Marriage and Family Track (27 hours)

The MSBS/Marriage and Family track was 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,

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) 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. MFTs 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 was 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 (see Required Core Classes), MSBS/Marriage and Family students will complete an additional 27 credit-hours:

PSY 5393 Systems Theory
PSY 5323 Theoretical Foundations of Marital and Family Systems
PSY 5033 Basic Counseling Skills
PSY 5333 Assessment of Marriage and Family
PSY 5353 Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy
PSY 5343 Marriage and Family Counseling
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)

The MSBS/General Psychology track was 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 (see Required Core Classes), MSBS/General Psychology students will complete 12 additional credit-hours including:

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.

Comprehensive Examinations

The MSBS program requires the successful completion of a comprehensive examination for completion of the graduate degree. Students are solely responsible for determining the date of their comprehensive examinations and for applying to take the exam on or before application deadlines. Applications are available through graduate advisors. Students who fail a 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.

 

Degree Conferment

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

  1. Completion of a minimum of 33 graduate hours listed on the Plan of Graduate Study with a cumulative 3.0 or above;
  2. A grade of pass or marginal pass on all portions of the two-part comprehensive examination as determined by the assessment committee;
    OR
    A satisfactory grade on the thesis and bound copies delivered to the Dean of the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the Cameron University Library, and the student’s thesis director.
  3. Completion of “Application for Graduate Degree”;
  4. Payment of the graduation fee; and
  5. Completion of an Exit Interview.

 

Participation in Commencement

Please check with the graduate advisor about requirements to participate in commencement.