• Overview
  • Plan of Study
  • Pro Seminar
  • Pro Seminar Archive
  • Dual Sequence
  • Thesis

Plan of Study

The Quantitative Psychology master’s degree sequence 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 and a variety of careers in the business-industrial sector. For the master’s thesis, students are encouraged to work with any faculty member in the department on any topic of interest in which measurement and statistics is relevant or applied in novel ways. The graduate sequence can be completed with two years of full-time enrollment.

Graduate Curriculum

The Quantitative Psychology sequence objective is to build a solid foundation of basic psychological principles that help students to understand and explain human behavior. Students use computers and technology in data collection, management, and analysis through coursework. The training requires a proficiency in common statistical software packages and using the Internet for data collection and analysis, and applied experiences. Students must 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.

To accomplish our objectives, students are required to complete a minimum of 32 graduate credits and the master’s thesis. Listed below are the required courses and other courses that are strongly recommended (depending on the student’s specific interests). All courses are three credits unless otherwise noted.

Required Courses


  • PSY 425 Quantitative Psychology Professional Seminar
  • PSY 440 Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology
  • PSY 441 Experimental Design
  • PSY 442 Test Theory
  • PSY 443 Regression Analysis
  • PSY 444 Multivariate Analysis
  • PSY 445 Covariance Structure Modeling
  • PSY 499 Master’s Thesis (4-6 credits)

Recommended Courses


  • PSY 375 Personnel Psychology
  • PSY 376 Organizational Psychology
  • PSY 400 Independent Study (1-4 credits)
  • PSY 418 Learning and Cognition
  • PSY 420 Theories of Personality
  • PSY 431 Theory and Research in Social Psychology
  • PSY 455 Cognitive Science
  • PSY 498A03 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 student’s interests and goals

Sample Two-Year Plan

Year 1


FALL

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 440 Statistics: Data Analysis and Methodology
  • PSY 443 Regression Analysis
  • 1 elective (e.g., 418, 420, or other graduate courses congruent with professional goals)

Spring

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 441 Experimental Design
  • PSY 442 Test Theory (if offered)
  • 1 or 2 elective(s)

Year 2


FALL

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 444 Multivariate Analysis
  • PSY 499 Master’s Thesis
  • 2 electives

SPRING

  • PSY 425 Professional Seminar
  • PSY 442 Test Theory (if not taken during Year 1)
  • PSY 445 Covariance Structure Modeling
  • PSY 499 Master’s Thesis
  • 1 elective

NOTE: The schedule above is composed of courses currently identified in the Graduate Catalog. Courses proposed in the future could change the structure of this master’s degree sequence.

Quantitative Professional Seminar

FALL 2018

Class meets on alternative Tuesdays from 3:30- 4:20 p.m. in 48 DeGarmo Hall. Speaker evaluation surveys must be completed on ReggieNet in a timely fashion. Feedback is due the following Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Announcements

Articles and PowerPoint slides from current and previous semesters are available through ReggieNet. When an article is listed below after a speaker, students should download the article from ReggieNet and read it prior to the presentation.

Students should note, however, that articles are not typically included in the fall semester when second-year students are presenting their theses; articles are presented in the spring semester when first-year students introduce and lead the discussion based on a specific article. Grades will be assessed based on the quantity and quality of participation and timeliness of speaker and topic feedback provided on ReggieNet .

Any last minute changes to the schedule below will be posted on ReggieNet and announced to ProSeminar participants through ReggieNet.

Aug. 21 — Welcome to New Students and Writing a Thesis (Jef Kahn)

Sept. 4 — Thesis update from Lydia Marvin

Sept. 18 — Thesis update from Alexis Pandelios

Oct. 2 — Thesis update from Nicole Landa

Oct. 16 — Thesis update from Cody Heap

Oct. 30 — Thesis update from Leslie Padilla

Nov. 13 — Thesis update from Liz Williams

Dec. 4 — Thesis update from Haley Hume

Quantitative Professional Seminar Archive

2017-18


FALL 2017

Quantitative Topic: Thesis Processes, Procedures, and Policies

Thesis progress reports from Kyla Cary, Olivia Cody, Thomas Holzhauer, and Jordan Thomas

Research Article Discussion by Dr. Julie Campbell (The article will be announced at a later date.)

SPRING 2018

Introduction of Dual Sequence Students

Discussion of articles led by Cody Heap, Haley Hume, Nicole Landa, Lydia Marvin, Lesilie Padilla, and Alexis Pandelios

2016-17


FALL 2016

Quantitative Topic: Writing Your Thesis

Thesis progress reports from Tim Deering, Feng Ji, Duc Nguyen, Alison Slaughter, and Zachery Stillman

SPRING 2017

Quantitative Topic: Statistical Consulting

Thesis progress reports from Kyla Cary, Olivia Cody, Thomas Holzhauer, and Jordan Thomas

2015-16


FALL 2015

Information unavailable

SPRING 2016

Students and faculty members attended four Research Colloquia for Clinical-Counseling and Developmental/Quantitative Faculty Candidates

Discussion of articles led by Timothy Deering, Feng Ji, Duc Nguyen, Alison Slaughter, and Zachery Stillman

2014-15


FALL 2014

Quantitative Topic: Writing your thesis

Thesis progress reports from Kamila Gabka, Ellen Klieme, Rebecca Oglesby, Ryan Tuggle, and David Wolfe

SPRING 2015

Quantitative Topic: Life and death psychometrics

Discussion of articles led by Adam Hampton, Hannah Jones, Melissa Matheys, Zachary Richardson, Zachary Roman, and C J Zobell

2013-14


FALL 2013

Quantitative Topics: Writing a thesis; Panel discussion about life after ISU Quantitative Psychology

Discussion of articles led by Anthony Czesak, Andrew Eichler, Amanda Fisher, Andrew Salmonson, and Aaron Whitley

SPRING 2014

Discussion of articles led by Kamila Gabka, Ellen Klieme, Rebecca Oglesby, Ryan Tuggle, and David Wolfe

2012-13


FALL 2012

Quantitative Topics: Writing a thesis; Data analysis tips and tricks

Thesis progress reports from Shane Boyd, Philip Drazewski, Martin Gallegos, Devin Gill, Nicole Hilaire, Michael Hoffman, J. D. Hogue, Heather Hyman, and Josh Rohlfs

SPRING 2013

Quantitative Topic: Dual sequences

Discussion of articles led by Anthony Czesak, Andrew Eichler, Amanda Fisher, Andrew Salmonson, and Aaron Whitely

2011-12


FALL 2011

Quantitative Topic: Thesis procedures

Thesis progress reports from Drew Abney, Mackenzi Harmon, Ashley Niemczyk, Sebastian Pazderski, Frances Rynders, Kandace Waddy, Kevin Wallpe, and Kelly Whalen

SPRING 2012

Quantitative Topic: Statistical consulting

Discussion of articles led by Devin Gill, Michael Hoffman, J. D. Hogue, Heather Hyman, and Josh Rohlfs

2010-11


FALL 2010

Quantitative Topics: Thesis procedures; Research and post-mortem

Thesis progress reports from Adam Bradshaw, James Clinton, Justin Durtschi, Derek Herrmann, Lindsay Pater, Stan Treger, and Josh Wondra

SPRING 2011

Quantitative Topics: How to lead an effective article discussion; Statistical consulting; SPSS and Excel data management: Tips, tricks, and acts of sheer wizardry

Discussion of articles led by Drew Abney, Frances Rynders, Kandace Waddy, and Kevin Wallpe

2009-10


FALL 2009

Quantitative Topic: Research

Thesis progress reports from Derek Drozd, Thomas Hughes, and Sunthud Pronprasertmanit

Featured Guest Speaker: Kathryn Melcher, The DeGarmo Group

SPRING 2010

Quantitative Topic: The perils of PowerPoint: How to use PowerPoint effectively

Thesis progress reports from Adam Bradshaw, James Clinton, Derek Drozd, Justin Durtschi, Thomas Hughes, Sunthud Pornprasertmanit, and Stan Treger

2008-09


FALL 2008

Quantitative Topic: The thesis process

Discussion of articles led by Brooke Hunter, Donald Johnson, Daniel Raver, Nicholas Strong, and Yin Ong

SPRING 2009

Quantitative Topic: Effective use of PowerPoint in academic presentations

Thesis progress reports from Brooke Hunter, Donald Johnson, Sunthud Pornprasertmanit, Daniel Raver, Nicholas Strong, and Yin Ong

2007-08


FALL 2007

Quantitative Topics: Statistical consulting; Thesis procedures and time line; Institutional Review Board procedures, Psychology research, and Research & Sponsored Programs; Data management tips and tricks

Discussion of articles led by Marat Abdukarimov, David Daly, and Arati Patel

Featured Guest Speaker: Rod Funk, Chestnut Health Systems: Godley, M D., Kahn, J. H., Dennis, M. L. Godley, S. H., & Funk, R. R. (2005). The stability and impact of environmental factors on substance use and problems after adolescent outpatient treatment for cannabis abuse or dependence.

SPRING 2008

Quantitative Topics: Computer text analysis; Cross-products regression

Thesis progress reports from Marat Abdukarimov, David Daly, Brooke Hunter, Daniel Raver, and Yin Ong

2006-07


FALL 2006

Quantitative Topics: The thesis process; Institutional Research Board procedures; Psychology research website, and Research and Sponsored Programs; Statistical consultation

Discussion of articles led by Kate Hudson, Eric Malek, Amy Mast, and Kyriakos Tsiappoutas

SPRING 2007

Quantitative Topic: Data management tips and tricks

Thesis progress reports from Marat Abdukarimos, Kate Hudson, Eric Malek, Amy Mast, Andrew Monroe, Michael Mukavetz, and Kyriakos Tsiappoutas

Dual Sequence

Students admitted into a master’s sequence in Psychology (Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational-Social Psychology, or Quantitative Psychology) may complete coursework for a second (“dual”) sequence.

Application Process


Students should complete the DUAL SEQUENCE APPLICATION. The application is an interactive Microsoft Word document. The student should open the application and complete it on a computer. The student should print, sign, and date the application and submit the signed application to the sequence coordinator by October 15. The sequence coordinator may write a letter of support for the student’s application. The second sequence coordinator should receive the application and letter of support, if applicable, from the sequence coordinator by November 1.

Thesis Standards


A thesis should be written in the professional style of a journal article, except for the rare thesis that is non-empirical in nature. The thesis chapters are usually identified as: Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Graduate students are required to comply with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition, 2010) and with the University’s thesis policies, which are available on the Graduate School’s Academic (Thesis Assistance) website.

The Graduate School’s thesis policies covers the administrative aspects and appearance of a thesis. The APA’s Publication Manual governs the professional format and style of a thesis. There are subtle differences between the Graduate School’s thesis policies and the department’s Thesis Procedures. Students are expected to comply with the department’s Thesis Procedures to successfully complete their theses. Students must also follow the standards of the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct when conducting research.

Important Deadlines

Students are encouraged to review the Dates and Deadlines on the Graduate School’s Graduation and Commencement website for specific deadlines related thesis procedures including the last day for: submitting a Proposal Approval Form, submitting a Right to Defend request, and for a thesis defense. If these deadlines are not met, graduation will be postponed until the following semester.

Approval Process


The faculty members of the second sequence review the application and determine if the second sequence is appropriate based on the student’s goals, qualifications, and the second sequence’s resources (e.g., space limitation, faculty availability, etc.). After a decision is reached, the second sequence coordinator approves or denies the dual sequence application. The second sequence coordinator completes the lower portion of the application and submits it to the Graduate Programs Office for processing.

Forming a Committee


During the first semester of graduate study, students should review the Faculty Research Interests website, as a resource for potential research topics. Students should talk to faculty members who are knowledgeable or who are willing to become familiar in the area in which students would like to complete their thesis research. Students need to solicit faculty members to serve as the thesis committee chair and on the thesis committee.

By the middle of the second semester of their first year, students should solicit one faculty member to serve as the thesis committee chair. Graduate School thesis policies require the committee chair be a full member of the Graduate Faculty. An associate member of the Graduate Faculty may serve as a committee co-chair, along with a full member of the Graduate Faculty.

When a faculty member agrees to serve as a committee chair (or two faculty members as co-chairs), students must complete the DEPARMENT APPROVAL OF THESIS COMMITTEE CHAIR form. The Committee Chair form also includes an override request for PSY 499 Master’s Thesis. The Committee Chair form should be signed by the student, committee chair, and the program or sequence graduate coordinator. The signed Committee Chair form should be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office. Students cannot register for PSY 499 until the signed Committee Chair form has been received by the Graduate Programs Office and the override request has been processed. Students will be notified, by the Graduate Programs Office, when they can register for PSY 499.

In consultation with their thesis committee chair, students should solicit a second faculty member for the committee. After the second faculty member agrees to serve on the committee, students must complete the DEPARTMENT APPROVAL OF THESIS COMMITTEE form. The Committee form should be signed by the student, committee chair, and faculty member. The signed Committee form must be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the department chair. If there are committee co-chairs, students and their co-chairs may decide not to solicit another faculty member for the thesis committee, provided both co-chairs are full member’s of the Graduate Faculty. Graduate School thesis policies require the majority of the thesis committee (i.e., chair and members) to be full members of the Graduate Faculty. If one co-chair is an associate member of the Graduate Faculty, another faculty member, who is a full member of the Graduate Faculty, must be solicited for the thesis committee.

If a committee member is unable to complete his or her service or is willing to yield his or her position on the committee, students should consult with their thesis committee chair about soliciting a new faculty member for the committee. Students must complete the CHANGE OF THESIS COMMITTEE and/or TOPIC form. The Change form should be signed by the student, committee chair(s), current committee member, and new faculty member. The signed Change form must be submitted to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the department chair. Students will be notified if the faculty member has been approved as the new thesis committee member. If the thesis has been proposed and approved by the thesis committee, students must also complete the Graduate School’s COMMITTEE CHANGE FORM, which is available on the Graduate School’s Academics (Forms) website.

Recording the Second Sequence


If the second sequence coordinator approves the application, the Graduate Programs Office updates the student’s graduate record in Campus Solutions. The Graduate Programs Office notifies the student and both sequence coordinators when the student’s graduate record includes the second sequence.

Writing a Proposal


Graduate students must write a proposal that will be evaluated by their thesis committee. Students should discuss the contents of the proposal with their committee chair. The committee chair determines how much guidance will be provided to students in the development of the hypothesis, research project, and proposal. There should be a clear understanding between students and their committee chair of what is expected from each party.

The proposal should include a brief synopsis of the thesis topic and hypothesis, and the details of the research project. A thesis usually involves data collection; however, other data-based approaches are acceptable (e.g., meta-analyses, archival data sets, etc.). The proposal should address the use of human participants or animals in the research, if applicable. The proposal should also identify any ethical issues with the use of human participants or animals. Students should be diligent in the completeness of their thesis topic and research project. The committee chair should approve a draft of the proposal before it is submitted to the thesis committee.

Students should review the information on the department’s Tools and Links for Researchers website in preparation for their thesis research. Before conducting any research involving human participants, the student’s research project must be approved by Illinois State’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The proposal must include, in its method section, a detailed explanation of how the ethical issues will be addressed (e.g., possible risks to human participants, how such risks will be minimized, confidentiality procedures, informed consent, debriefing procedures, etc.). Students must also comply with the department’s Ethical Guidelines and Procedures for Research Using Human Participants. If students anticipate using human participants from external sources (outside the University), the proposal must include a statement of the ethical procedures of the external source, and how the research project will conform to those requirements. The department recommends students obtain a signed agreement or memorandum of understanding, from the external source, that identifies the specific data students have permission to collect and use for their research project.

Before conducting any research involving the use of animals, the student’s research project must be approved by Illinois State’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The proposal must include, in its method section, a detailed explanation of how the ethical requirements for the care and use of animals will comply with the IACUC procedures.

Graduation


After completing all degree requirements, the University confers a master’s degree in Psychology will a concentration that identifies both sequences.

Scheduling a Proposal


Graduate students must propose their thesis in a public forum. Before presenting a proposal, students must determine if the proposal contains any copyrighted material. Students should review and complete page 2 of the Graduate School’s PROPOSAL APPROVAL FORM, which is available on the Graduate School’s Academic (Forms) website. If any box under section (5) Copyright Checklist is checked for copyrighted material, students must consult with the Copyright Officer and obtain the Copyright Officer’s signature on the Proposal Approval Form.

After consulting with the committee chair about proposing the thesis, students must contact the Graduate Programs Office to request a reader. The reader, who is a psychology faculty member, is appointed by the department. The reader represents the department and ensures that students and their thesis committees comply with the department’s procedures and the University’s requirements. The Graduate Programs Office will notify students when a reader has been assigned.

The proposal must be presented at a time that is mutually agreeable to the student, thesis committee, and reader. The proposal must be presented between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, while classes are in session (i.e., excluding University holidays, final exams week, or semester breaks). When an acceptable time has been determined, students should contact the Graduate Programs Office to reserve a room. The Graduate Programs Office will notify the student when a room has been reserved.

When the proposal date has been determined, students must complete the information on page 3 of the Proposal Approval Form. Only the thesis committee should be identified on the Proposal Approval Form, along with their department/school and Graduate Faculty status. Students should contact the Graduate Programs Office at psygrad@ilstu.edu to determine the Graduate Faculty status for the thesis committee. The reader is not identified on the Proposal Approval Form. If the thesis committee does not satisfy the Graduate School’s thesis committee requirements (described on page 1 of the Proposal Approval Form), the exception section on page 3, under section (6) Graduate Committee Information, must be completed. A brief rationale must be provided for the exception. If a committee member is not an Illinois State faculty member, students must also include the committee member’s curriculum vitae, with the Proposal Approval Form, to satisfy the exception requirement.

At least one week before the scheduled proposal date, students must submit, by 12:00 p.m. (Noon), the Proposal Approval Form and a printed copy of their proposal to the Graduate Programs Office. Students must also provide a copy of the proposal to the thesis committee and reader; the copy may be printed or sent electronically, depending on the preferences of the committee members or reader. The Graduate Programs Office will announce the scheduled proposal on the department’s graduate students and faculty email listserv, and will post the information on the University Events website and on the bulletin board across from the department’s office.

Thesis Procedures

Graduate students must complete a thesis in order to satisfy graduation requirements for a master’s degree. Students must complete all of the degree requirements, including the thesis, in six years beginning with the first semester of enrollment. Students are responsible for reviewing and complying with the department’s Thesis Procedures, which are explained below.

Students should also review the Thesis section in the Graduate Catalog and the Graduate School’s Academic (Thesis Assistance) website for additional information about the University’s thesis policies, continuous enrollment, graduation deadlines, etc. A thesis:

  • Should have a theoretical framework as its conceptual base
  • May represent a test or prediction derived from a theory, or an extension of an existing group of studies
  • May replicate an existing study, provided it attempts to repeat the study with some meaningful variation
  • May be reports of surveys related to themes of professional interest (see American Psychologist)
  • May have as a goal the development or improvement of instrumentation (see Behavior Research Methods)
  • May be ethological or statistical in nature, originating a new design, improving an existing design, or reapplying a quantitative statistical technique (see Journal of Mathematical Psychology and Educational and Psychological Measurement)
  • May be theoretical in nature providing an exposition of constructs, assumptions, interactions among constructs, translation into empirical variables, or illustrations of applications (see Psychological Bulletin and Psychological Review)
  • Must investigate a real problem (i.e., if the answer is obvious based on existing literature, the thesis poses a non-problem). However, research may be conducted to solve a practical problem, provided the solution can be generalized.