The Master of Science in Health Psychology is a graduate degree offered by the Behavioral Sciences Department in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

This two-year program is designed for the research-oriented student, providing intensive training in research methods typically used in health and behavioral medicine.  The program incorporates class work in program development and program evaluation methods, as well as epidemiology. All coursework is designed to focus on topics relevant to the overall healthcare industry, ultimately providing the student with the ability to design research that improves health care delivery to the general population.  

MS in Health Psychology
My relationship with the faculty here really helped me to succeed.
Mona El-Hout, MS in Health Psychology, '14

More about the MS program in Health Psychology

This program is intended for several types of students:  

  • Students who would like to continue graduate training in a research-related field with an emphasis on healthcare,
  • Medical professionals who may wish to continue their education from a biopsychosocial perspective on a part-or full-time basis, and
  • Individuals who require a graduate degree to advance in their career or educational goals.

This program is not intended to fulfill the course requirements for the Michigan Limited License in Psychology.

The 39-credit program consists of eight required courses (24 credits) in core areas of Health Psychology. Students will also complete either a three credit project or six credit thesis under the supervision of program faculty. The remaining nine to twelve credits will be composed of elective courses focusing on one or more content areas.

The MS in Health Psychology program is designed for the full or part-time student who has an undergraduate degree and wishes to obtain a degree in the Behavioral Sciences that does not lead to limited licensure in Michigan. The Master of Science in Health Psychology program will focus on theory and research in Health Psychology and will allow students to focus more rigorously on one or more specific content areas through their elective courses (e.g., Health Psychology Across the Lifespan, Health Policy Studies).

Degree Requirements

Plan of Work

Students will be required to complete a Plan of Work during their first semester in the MS in Psychology: Specialization in Health Psychology Program. The Plan of Work requires discussion between students their program advisors. Copies will be retained by the student, the Program Director (or program advisor) and the CASL Graduate Office.

Grade Requirements

The graduate grading system is intended to reflect higher standards of critical and creative scholarship than those applied at the undergraduate level. To receive a graduate grade in courses open to both undergraduate and graduate students, the graduate student is expected to do work of superior quality and is required to do additional work specified by the instructor. Graduate students are required to earn a ‘B’ (3.0) average or higher to satisfy degree requirements. Grades of ‘C+’ and below are unsatisfactory for graduate level work and constitute valid cause for dropping a student from the graduate program. To be awarded a MS in Psychology: Specialization in Health Psychology, a student must have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average (a ‘B’ average). No more than two grades of ‘C’ may be applied toward the MS in Psychology: Specialization in Health Psychology degree; grades of C- or lower will not be applied toward the MS in Psychology: Specialization in Health Psychology. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 average or have more than two ‘C’ or lower grades will be placed on academic probation for the term following the lapse. Upon the recommendation of the Program Director, a student may be granted an opportunity to correct the scholastic and/or academic deficiency. Students who fail to meet program requirements may be denied permission to register or may be required to withdraw from the program.

Time Limit for Program Completion

 All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within a 7-year time period. The 7-year time period will begin with the term of admission to the master’s program.

Program Goals


Research Methods: To train students to conduct independent research related to topics in psychology, health psychology, and behavioral medicine. This includes being able to conduct a literature search, develop hypothesis, design appropriate methodologies and collect data, statistically analyze data, and interpret the results within a sound theoretical framework.


Program Evaluation: Students will be able to conduct an evaluation of a clinically oriented program including evaluating program effectiveness and efficiency.


Professional and Ethical Development: To indoctrinate students into their role and identity as professional healthcare researchers.


Professional Writing: To train students in professional communication and report writing including the completion of a thesis or project manuscript.


Knowledge of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: Students will be able to demonstrate basic knowledge of the major concepts and research methods used in health psychology and behavioral medicine. This includes a general understanding of basic theories, research findings, and research methods used within these disciplines.

Recommended Schedule of Classes

The following schedule provides the sequence of courses that students in the MS in Psychology: Specialization in Health Psychology program are expected to take.  Although it is possible to take some of the courses out of sequence, many build on previous courses, and all course schedules will need to be approved by the Program Director or your appointed program advisor.

Year 1: Fall (9 credits)

Psyc 557: Advanced Health Psychology (3 credits)

Psyc 5825: Basic Methods and Statistics in Health Psychology (3 credits)

Elective : (3 credits)

Year 1: Winter (9 credits)

Psyc 5835: Advanced Methods and Statistics in Health Psychology (3 credits)

Psyc 575: Biological Foundations of Health Psychology (3 credits)

PPOL 506: Program Evaluation (3 credits)

Year 1: Spring/Summer (3 credits)

Psyc 584: Applied Research in Behavioral Medicine (3 credits)

Year 2: Fall (9 credits)

Psyc 593: Professional and Ethical Issues (3 credit)

Elective : (3 credits)

Elective : (3 credits)

Year 2: Winter (6 credits)

PSYC 697: Thesis (3 credits)
PSYC 696: Project (3 credits)

HPS 512: Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)

Year 2: Spring (3 credits)

PSYC 697: Thesis (3 credits)
PSYC 696: Project (3 credits)

Elective Courses

Students are required to have 9-12 credits in approved elective courses. A list of approved electives are provided each semester.

Information about specific elective courses that will fulfill program requirements should be discussed with your program advisor or the Program Director each semester.

Project or Thesis

Students in the MS in Psychology: Specialization in Health Psychology program will complete either a 3 credit Project or a 6 credit Masters Thesis during their second year. More detailed guidelines are provided elsewhere.

Office of Graduate Studies

Administration Building
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