Program Overview

The MS in Research Psychology and Data Analysis program aims to cultivate difference makers with advanced skills in research methodologies and data analysis who harness their knowledge, values, and skills to help their communities thrive through psychological science and data-driven decision making.

Program Description

This program offers a hands-on mentorship model that is completed over one to two academic calendar years. The program consists of 36 units (12 courses) offered during the Fall, Spring, Summer 1, and Summer 2 terms (view coursework for a complete list of courses). Students can also choose to add a 9-unit concentration in data analytics, marketing research, industrial/organizational psychology, or counseling psychology.

The courses include lectures and seminars, as well as hands-on statistics labs and certification courses. Within the statistics courses, students learn software such as SPSS, SAS, and R, and have the opportunity to earn a SAS Joint Certificate in Statistical Analysis. Students also have the option to choose from a thesis track or an internship track, and a faculty advisor works closely with each student to provide guidance on a research thesis, applying to doctoral programs (e.g., writing personal statements, obtaining recommendation letters), and applying for jobs. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in professional events, including academic conferences and career development workshops.

Graduates have advanced training in:

  • Conducting experimental and nonexperimental research studies in psychology and applied health
  • Applied statistical procedures used in psychology
  • Popular statistical software used by psychologists, including SPSS, R, and SAS
  • Professional manuscript writing for publication

Thesis and Internship Tracks

Thesis Track

Students in this track work with a faculty advisor to complete a master’s thesis, which includes a research proposal, completion of a research study, and a final thesis paper write-up and presentation. Theses are expected to include a clear statement of the problem, a review of literature supporting the study, a full methods section, data analysis and results, and discussion and conclusion sections. The final manuscript must be suitable for submission to a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. This track is encouraged for those wanting to complete a PhD

Internship Track

Students in this track complete research and data analysis tasks to prepare them to work in a real-world setting. The internship option includes a practicum and an internship requirement. During the practicum and internship, students apply knowledge they have learned in their classes, and broaden this knowledge. A student’s current job may count as internship units if the job duties meet the requirements. This track is encouraged for those wanting to start or advance their career in research and/or data.

PhD-Bound Students

  • Graduates will have a competitive edge in applying for doctoral programs in various psychology and allied-health disciplines.
  • Through faculty mentorship, students gain valuable experience in conducting and disseminating their research (e.g., via publication and conference presentations).
  • PhD-bound students also receive insight and advice to improve their odds of being accepted to doctoral programs.

Career-Bound Students

  • Graduates will become highly employable in careers pertaining to research, data analysis, and related fields.
  • While students advance through their coursework and thesis, they gain the necessary experience to be competitive for research positions.
  • Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the employment rate for psychology professionals is projected to grow by 12% for survey researchers and 19% for market research analysts from 2014 to 2024.
  • Students who pursue careers as data analysts will find they are in high demand with private and public corporations. The average salary of research analysts is $60,000.
  • Rooted within a Christian environment, students are trained in basic/applied research and data analysis techniques. APU’s program is the only such program among the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities member schools.

Note: This information is current for the 2022-23 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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