- Graduate Programs
Rigorous, scientific training is the foundation of the Florida International University Graduate Psychology program. Our success in producing quality research is, in part, rooted in our ability to attract interested, innovative, and successful graduate students. The Department provides students with the opportunity to participate in a number of research activities both outside of and within organized research units of the Department. Currently, students are actively involved in studies throughout the departments’ research facilities and in projects conducted with local school systems, community organizations, clinics, and institutes that provide unique opportunities for graduate training.
Graduates of our program are prepared for careers in both academic and applied settings including positions at universities and colleges, research and governmental organizations, business and industry, clinics and hospitals, and mental health settings.
The Psychology Department offers Masters of Science and Doctoral degrees in the following areas of specialization:
- Clinical Science (PhD)
- Developmental Science (MS and PhD)
- Legal Psychology (PhD)
- IndustrialOrganizational Psychology (MS and PhD)
- Counseling Psychology (MS)
- Behavioral Analysis (MS)
The Clinical Science area focuses on the application of scientific evidence to further the design, implementation, and evaluation of assessment, prevention, and treatment procedures for use with children from infancy to adolescence. Faculty are renowned leaders in the major problem areas of childhood and adolescence, including ADHD, anxiety, conduct problems, depression and suicidal behaviors, and risky problem behaviors.
The Developmental Science Program at FIU is unique in the field of developmental psychology. It integrates a life-span orientation with a focus on both basic and applied developmental science in an international and interdisciplinary multicultural urban context. Moreover, within the context of this integrated framework, the Developmental Science Program has an outstanding faculty well positioned to capitalize on emerging issues and lead the field in new directions. Their research productivity is exemplary and they attract substantial amounts of external funding to address emerging scientific issues and pressing social problems.
The Developmental Science doctoral program offers two specializations: the Basic Developmental Science (BDS) specialization and the Applied Developmental Science (ADS) specialization. The BDS specialization embraces research as its central focus for the training of scholars and professors of developmental science. The primary goal of the program is to equip students with the skills necessary to function as academic and/or research psychologists. The BDS specialization is based on a developmental perspective emphasizing the systematic description and explanation of changes in basic processes of prenatal development, perception, cognition, and social organization that organisms undergo as they develop. The focus of the Applied Developmental Science specialization (ADS) is on the use of research and application to promote positive development across the lifespan. Applied developmental scientists adopt the view that positive individual development and family functioning is a combined and interactive product of biology and the physical and social environments that continuously evolve and change over time. The applied developmental science orientation emphasizes a focus on systematic and successive changes within human systems that occur across the lifespan.
The Legal Psychology Program at FIU focuses on issues such as witness memory, interrogations, lineups, deception detection and jury decision-making. The Legal Psychology program capitalizes on Florida International University's location in the major litigation center of the Southeast United States. Legal Psychology is a young and growing field with enormous potential. FIU is one of the few universities in the world with a doctoral concentration in legal psychology, and it is well-respected in psychology-law circles. Students complete a series of courses designed to provide a thorough understanding of psychological theory and methodology as well as applied and basic research in psychology. Graduates of the program are required to demonstrate mastery of legal psychology, statistics and methodology, and a traditional area of psychological study (e.g., cognitive, social). Students also obtain significant field experience in the legal system by participating in applied research, assisting trial consultants, and through other formal training experiences. Students are expected to maintain full-time status in the program by taking at least 9 credits during both Fall and Spring semesters.
The Legal Psychology program is designed to teach students how to conduct research on psycho-legal issues. Therefore, students are expected to participate in research throughout their graduate studies. Students will conduct this research under the supervision of one or more faculty members. Students are involved in all aspects of the research enterprise, including the development of hypotheses, preparation of research materials, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of results, presentation of the results at professional conferences, and preparation of manuscripts for publication. Students work closely with faculty and other students to achieve these goals. Students also have access to a variety of research facilities including academic computer facilities, two libraries, psychology laboratories, and video equipment. A full-time commitment to the program requires that students be actively engaged in research during both the academic year and the summer.
The Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program (I/O) focuses on issues such as the psychology of Human Resource Management, Group Behavior, Cultural Diversity in Organizations, and Training and Development. The program emphasizes a commitment both to research and application as a part of individual specialty area development.
The program’s primary emphasis is research. Students engage in research, under the supervision of one or more faculty members, throughout their tenure in the program. Students participate in all phases of the research project, ranging from literature searches, preparing research materials, collecting data, analyzing data, interpreting the results, presenting the research at professional conferences and preparing research manuscripts for publication. Students should strive to be colleagues of the faculty with whom they are working, not merely data gatherers. That means that students should participate in the give and take of ideas, exchanging their ideas with their supervisors, and constructively criticizing their supervisors’ ideas to sharpen them. Full-time commitment to the program includes a strong emphasis on research during all academic semesters, including summer. In addition to engaging in research, students regularly attend program and departmental colloquia and professional conferences to learn of other’s research.
Students master a series of core courses designed to provide a thorough grounding in theory, methodology, and content in applied and basic research in psychology. These courses are taught by faculty who are involved in research and practice in the relevant areas. In addition, seminars reflecting the specialized foci of our program and faculty are offered. There are opportunities for practice and occasional internships with businesses for students to gain firsthand experience in the application of psychological knowledge to real challenges of organizations.
The Counseling Psychology Masters Program in the Department of Psychology at FIU is committed to preparing future therapists, counselors, consultants, and researchers, for the independent and licensed professional practice of counseling, psychotherapy, and psychotherapy research. Our program offers students a solid foundation in psychology and opportunities for specializing in a range of clinical problems and diverse populations, through faculty guided research and supervised clinical training.
The program is designed to provide instruction and training to individuals for advanced study in psychology and a license to practice as a mental health counselor. Students are trained to utilize scientific and applied behavioral science theories, methods, techniques, and evidence based treatments, for the purpose of describing, preventing, and treating psychological problems, and enhancing mental health and human development
Counseling psychology is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training and clinical practice, and is represented by The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA. Mental health counselors provide a full range of services for individuals, couples, families, adolescents and children. In South Florida, counselors are employed in a variety of settings, including independent practice, community agencies, managed behavioral health care organizations, integrated delivery systems, hospitals, employee assistance programs and substance abuse treatment centers. They are highly skilled professionals who provide a full range of services in a culturally sensitive (and often bilingual) manner.
The Behavior Analysis Masters Program is designed to train practitioners and researchers who can function in a variety of educational and applied settings. Thus, this program offers both basic and applied training. The basic training involves conducting research on learning processes in controlled laboratory settings. The applied training involves conducting research and interventions for treating problem behaviors of children, adolescents, and adults. The student research and practicum is conducted in homes, rehabilitation centers and schools. The core curriculum and admission prerequisites are intended to provide students with a base knowledge in psychology. A significant feature of the program is its emphasis on a close working relationship between student and faculty. Under faculty supervision, students are encouraged to develop individually tailored programs of study that reflect both student interests and program strengths.
The program offers research and training opportunities with behavioral faculty of national and international recognition, including. The facilities include infant laboratories, a child phobia center, a learning center, state hospital, schools, nurseries and various other community facilities for service. Among the faculty research programs are the study of attachment and of social referencing processes, the learned infant fears, mother-infant interactions and interventions with depressed mothers, the treatment of school phobias, early language acquisition and interventions with children “at-risk” for developmental delays, rule-governed behavior in children and adults, and transfer of learning processes.
Students in the Basic and Applied Behavior Analysis track work concurrently on fulfilling the course and practice requirements for the National Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCABA, BCBA). This degree also prepares students for doctoral level training in such related disciplines as Experimental Psychology and Developmental Psychology.