Department of Psychology at Illinois State University

Program Requirements

Program Description

The master's degree sequence — Quantitative Psychology focuses on the use of quantitative methods in the solution of problems in theoretical and applied psychology. The sequence provides critical foundation preparation for advanced graduate study and can facilitate entry into careers in community college teaching as well as a variety of careers in the business-industrial sector. For the thesis, students are encouraged to work with any faculty member in the area or the department as a whole on any topic of interest in which measurement and statistics is relevant or can be applied in novel ways.

Graduate Course Work

Specific objectives of the program include building a solid foundation of basic psychological principles that will help the student to understand and explain human behavior. Students are trained to be adept at using computers and technology in data collection, management, and analysis through coursework and applied experiences. This includes proficiency in common statistical software packages and using the Internet in data collection and analysis.

To accomplish this goal within the two-year program, each student is required to take a minimum of 32 semester hours and complete a master's thesis. The table below lists the courses that are required of all students in the sequence as well as additional courses that are strongly recommended (depending on the student's specific interests).

All courses are three semester hours unless otherwise noted.
32 semester hours minimum requirement, which includes a thesis.

Required Courses

Recommended Courses:

  • PSY 375 Personnel Psychology
  • PSY 376 Organizational Psychology
  • PSY 400 Independent Study (1-4 semester hours)
  • PSY 418 Learning and Cognition)
  • PSY 420 Theories of Personality
  • PSY 431 Theory and Research in Social Psychology
  • PSY 455 Cognitive Science
  • PSY 498.03 Professional Practice
  • Approved 300-level or 400-level courses in the following departments:
    • Applied Computer Science
    • Educational Administration and Foundations
    • Mathematics
  • Electives: Other courses appropriate to the goals of individual student

NOTE: The program as proposed is composed only of courses currently offered or listed in the Graduate Catalog. Courses proposed in the future could change the structure of this program.

Master's Thesis Requirement

All students in the program are required to complete a master's thesis based on original research. Completing a thesis is an indispensable part of learning the intricacies of integrating theory, design, measurement, and analysis. Work on the thesis typically begins during the student's second semester, and it is usually complete at the end of the second year.

Sample 2-year plan

Fall Year 1

  • PSY 440 Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology
  • PSY 425 Quantitative Psychology Professional Seminar
  • 2 electives (e.g., 418, 420, or other courses carrying graduate credit congruent with professional goals)

Spring Year 1


  • PSY 441 Experimental Design
  • Either:
    • PSY 442 Test Theory (Odd-numbered years)
    • PSY 443 Regression Analysis (Even-numbered years)
  • PSY 425 Pro Seminar
  • 1 elective

Fall Year 2


  • PSY 444 Multivariate Analysis
  • PSY 499 Master's Thesis
  • PSY 425 Pro Seminar
  • 2 electives

Spring Year 2


  • Either:
    • PSY 442 Test Theory (Odd-numbered years)
    • PSY 443 Regression Analysis (Even-numbered years)
  • PSY 445 Covariance Structure Modeling
  • PSY 425 Pro Seminar
  • PSY 499 Master's Thesis