Master of Arts
in General Psychology

Personalized Attention.
Professional Growth.
Community Impact.

Our Community Needs You!

Enhance your professional skill set and marketability with a master's degree in General Psychology from Loras. The curriculum is designed for non-licensure track students who want to expand their knowledge of the psychological aspects of human function- which is applicable and valuable to almost every career field. Our evening classes are tailored to meet the needs of both recent graduates and working professionals.

You'll have the opportunity to study a wide range of specialty topics with doctoral-level faculty and experienced mental clinicians.

Many employers value an employee's interest in becoming more knowledgeable about human's psychological characteristics and patterns. Students often receive promotions or salary increases because of the addition of a graduate degree to their educational credentials.

Graduate students are often juggling work and family life at the same time. Our program is set up with your hectic schedule in mind. Students typically take two or three classes a semester or at their own pace, and can begin the program in either the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms. Each class is held just one night per week, and starts at 4pm or later, which allows students to continue working while going to school. Many students are able to finish the degree in as few as two years.

The General Psychology graduate program at Loras has been in existence for almost 40 years. Loras College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Loras is pleased to offer an opportunity for prospective General Psychology graduate students to enjoy a casual, one-on-one Zoom conversation with the Program Director to learn more about the classes, internships, outcomes, and much more. Get a true sense of what grad school is like from an individual you will be working closely with.

General Psychology Grad Chat Registration

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

“I was able to incorporate what I learned in the classroom into my every day work within my first semester of classes. My advice to someone considering Loras College for graduate school is to take the opportunity. The programs are outstanding because of the dedication and experience of the professors.”

Kelsey Callahan
M.A. General Psychology

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"I chose Loras because the faculty are passionate about what they do, the College reputation is fantastic, and it gave me the flexibility to continue working full-time while taking classes."

Meet Kelsey

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

“I had a very lengthy absence away from college when I initially decided to finish my degree. I recall my return to school was challenging, at least at first, for many reasons. I was raising three children and working full-time, although any trepidation I held regarding continuing my education soon passed due to the support and encouragement of the Loras faculty. I always felt supported and valued as a student. Loras professors regularly use active listening, are open-minded and have a true passion for teaching.

Overall, the curriculum of the Loras General Psychology program increased my knowledge and understanding of the importance of brain health and holistic well-being. Mental health support and treatment has garnered more attention over the last decade, yet I also think it is a subject especially relevant in higher ed today as more college students are being seen with debilitating mental health issues that interfere with their academic success. This knowledge can be applied to many different fields and careers.”

Diane Herbst
M.A. General Psychology

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"I always felt supported and valued as a student. Loras professors regularly use active listening, are open-minded and have a true passion for teaching."

Admission Criteria & Application Checklist

Admission Criteria & Eligibility Information:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in the last 60 credits) is required for admission.
  • Completion of at least 9 credits in the behavioral sciences is required for admission.
Application Checklist- Domestic Student Application Checklist- International Student
    Course Requirements

    39 total credit hours required for General Psychology degree at Loras
    MHC-527 Human Growth & Development
    MHC-605 Research & Program Evaluation
    MHC-612 Professional Orientation and Identity
    MHC-615 Assessment
    MHC-635 Social and Cultural Diversity
    MHC-637 Career Development
    Required Course Credits: 18

    The remaining 21 credits of course work can be selected from the following course offerings:
    MHC-535 Addictions
    MHC-539 Psychology of Stress & Coping
    MHC-558 Child Psychopathology
    MHC-623 Adulthood and Aging
    MHC-625 Psychopathology
    MHC-633 Physiological Psychology
    MHC-643 Group Work
    Any other non-clinical course offerings.

    [General Psychology students may not take clinical coursework including: PSY 649, 696, 698, 699.]

    Course Descriptions

    MHC 501- MHC-501 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling
    This course introduces the history and development of clinical mental health counseling, theories and models related to clinical mental health counseling, principles of clinical mental health counseling, including prevention, intervention, consultation, education, and advocacy, and networks that promote mental health and wellness. Open to degree candidates only. 3 credits.

    MHC 527 Human Growth and Development
    This course is designed to enhance understanding of how we develop and change across the life span both as individuals and within a family context. Course materials include the study the characteristics of various aspects of development at different ages and the influences and factors that produce change and stability as well as crisis, disability and psychopathology. This course is structured by topic versus by chronology, thereby lending the learning process to a greater in depth understanding of areas of development (e.g. intelligence, language, gender identification and other topics). Course materials also consider controversies associated with our understanding of development. Examples include the nature nurture debate, the continuity (or lack of continuity) in development, the value and limitations of various theories of development. The range of developmental theories covered in this course includes learning theory, theories that emphasize biology and theories of personality development. In the consideration of situational and environmental factors that influence development course materials will contrast those factors that contribute to both abnormal and normal behavior with particular emphasis on strategies that facilitate optimum development. Ethical and legal considerations that health professionals need to consider will also be covered. 3 credits.

    MHC 535 Addictions
    This seminar course provides an examination of substance use and abuse and the progressive nature of addiction. Effects on the user, children, and family are explored. An overview of the models of chemical dependency, dually diagnosed clients, intervention, treatment, DSM criteria and assessment tools are examined.

    MHC 539 Psychology of Stress & Coping
    In this course the student will learn basic principles related to the psychobiology of stress & coping. Current psychological research regarding stress & coping will be examined.  A variety of coping strategies will be outlined.  The use of stress reduction techniques in therapy and in one’s own life will be highlighted.  3 credits.

    MHC 558 Child Psychopathology
    A study of behavioral, developmental, and psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence. Emphasis is placed on the assessment and treatment of child psychopathology. 3 credits.

    MHC 561 The Psychology of Gender
    A cross-disciplinary examination of how gender influences and shapes the lives of women and men. Topics include: the process and history of gender socialization; gender in the workplace; gender images in the media and literature; differences and similarities in cognitive styles and moral reasoning. 3 credits.

    MHC 595 Special Topics in Psychology
    Flexible offerings that allow students an opportunity to explore, with a professor and other students, an area of mutual interest. The students for these courses are screened by the teacher(s) to ensure their potential for course contribution, since students as well as teachers are expected to present positions in the area to be studied. 3 credits.

    MHC 605 Research and Program Evaluation
    This course is designed to provide an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation. It will include an awareness of the importance of research as well as the limitations and difficulties in conducting research in the counseling field. Course materials will include information about specific methods such as single case designs, action and outcome-based research as well as both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Students will be able to demonstrate basic computer literacy and access technological tools for conducting research. Program evaluation is a major component of the course and includes awareness of needs assessment, outcome evaluation and program modification strategies. A consideration of the application of research findings to improving counseling effectiveness is also a component of the course. Relevant legal and ethical issues will be considered in all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

    MHC 612 Professional Identity
    This course provides an overview of counseling profession: its history and its connection to other human and health service providers. The course materials will include an understanding of ACA, its activities and services as well as its overall structure and philosophy. Students will learn about credentialing, licensure and accreditation procedures as well as public and private policy processes that constitute the professionalization of mental health work. The value of technological competence and computer literacy will be emphasized. In becoming aware of rights and privileges accorded to mental health professionals students will also learn about the importance of advocating for clients in addressing institutional and social barriers that limit or impede success. Course materials will include a thorough review of the ACA ethical code as well as code of other related professions as they contribute to and promote sound ethical and legal decisions making in professional counseling. 3 credits.

    MHC 615 Assessment
    In this course students be provided and understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment. Course materials include a consideration of historical perspectives on assessment, basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing including norm and criterion referencing, environmental and performance evaluation, individual and group testing, behavioral observation, and computer bases methods of assessment. There will be a review of statistical concepts central to the assessment process with an emphasis on concepts of reliability and validity. Person and environmental variables such as age, gender, culture and other variables related to accurate assessment processes will be considered thoroughly. Students will become familiar with strategies for selecting, administering and interpreting assessment instruments as they relate to case conceptualization, diagnosis and the overall counseling process. Ethical and legal considerations will be considered throughout all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

    MHC 623 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
    A survey of modern knowledge about the processes of becoming old (aging) and old age itself. Emphasis is placed on cognitive processes, personality, and mental health. 3 credits.

    MHC 625 Psychopathology
    This course is designed to provide an understanding of mental disorders experienced by persons across the life span. It will include consideration of the characteristics of disorders as well as common categorizations of disorders utilized by the U.S. health care system. The course will emphasize the role of adaptation and stress mechanisms in the developments of disorders. The course materials will review genetic, physiological, cognitive, environmental and other variables as to their impact on the development, severity, course, and persistence of various types of disorders. Students will consider theoretical underpinnings/perspectives as well as various research methods and how they contribute to our understanding various aspects of disorders. A review of methods of prevention and intervention that can be used to minimize and modify the severity of disorders will also be included as a focus of this course. 3 credits.

    MHC 633 Physiological Psychology
    Neuroanatomical and neuro-physiological basis of behavior, relationships among anatomy and physiology, and motivation, emotion, learning, memory, and sleep. This course will also include a consideration of current major psychotropic medications, their use and impact on behavior. 3 credits.

    MHC 635 Social and Cultural Diversity
    This course is designed to introduce students to multicultural issues involved in counseling. The course will emphasize both the cultural components and the social/political nature of groups nationally and internationally based on nationality, culture, age, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Topics of prejudice and discrimination as well as multicultural and pluralistic trends among and within these groups will be discussed. Course material will include theories of multicultural counseling, identity development and multicultural competency and also ethical and legal considerations. The course will consider the process of becoming an effective multicultural counselor in terms of becoming familiar with strategies for working with diverse populations and ethnic groups, individuals, couples, families and communities. Self-awareness of one’s perceptions, preconceptions, expectations, and behaviors towards various social groups, including one’s own groups, will be explored through experiential learning activities. 3 credits.

    MHC 637 Career and Lifestyle Development
    The course is designed to create an understanding of career development theories and decision-making models. Course materials will incorporate information about career information systems including technology-based career development applications and strategies, computer-assisted career guidance, relevant Web sites, labor market information resources, visual and print media and other relevant resources. The course will include information about career and educational planning, placement, and follow up evaluation. Students will become familiar with career assessment instruments, evaluation techniques and other resources which incorporate an awareness of the needs of specific populations. Students will also learn about the interrelationships among and between work, family, life roles and the influence of diversity and gender in career development. An emphasis on career program development, implementation and evaluation will also be included. Throughout the course there will be a consideration of ethical and legal issues associated with all aspects of career development. 3 credits.

    MHC 643 Group Work
    This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of group work. Course materials will include a review of theories of group counseling, principles of group dynamics from the perspective of leader development as well as the roles and behaviors of group members. Students will learn about the therapeutic factors, stages of group development, selection criteria, group leader orientation and training, and methods for evaluating group effectiveness. The course will also include a consideration of relevant research pertaining to group processes and development and the various applications and types of group work. Ethical and legal considerations concerning the use of group practice and the professional development of group leaders will also be explored throughout all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

    MHC 650 Research Project
    Under the direction of a faculty advisor the student designs, conducts, and interprets a research study. Prior to conducting the study the student presents a research proposal. Upon acceptance of the proposal, the student proceeds with the study. The course is completed with a final oral presentation. The research project must be completed no later than July 1 for summer graduation, November 15 for fall graduation, or April 15 for spring graduation. Open to degree candidates only. 1 credits.

    MHC 655 Crisis and Trauma Counseling
    Studies that include counseling approaches that effectively address crises and trauma, the impact of trauma and crisis and potential neurobiological responses; skills and techniques for assessing and intervening in specific crisis or trauma situations including suicide assessment and intervention. Open to degree candidates only. Prerequisite: L.MHC-647. 3 credits.

    MHC 695 Seminar
    Special topics in Psychology. Prerequisite: Written consent of instructor. Primarily for master’s candidates in Psychology. 3 credits.

    MHC 697 Independent Study
    Primarily for master’s candidates in psychology. Individual investigation of a special topic under the direction of a faculty member. Permission of the director of the program required prior to registration. Only open to degree candidates. 3 credits.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Application and Admission

    What are the academic requirements for admission into the Master of Arts in General Psychology Program?

    • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in last 60 credits)
    • Completion of at least 9 credits in the behavioral sciences

    How do I apply for admission?
    Please see the Application Requirements and Checklist section of this webpage.

    What are the application deadlines?
    Spring enrollment – all materials due by December 1
    Summer enrollment- all materials due by April 1
    Fall enrollment – all materials due by July 1

    Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.

    What if I’m still finishing up my Bachelor’s degree?
    Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’s graduate program based on receipt of their in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials; with full acceptance contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree. If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, the student must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

    Does the Master of Arts in General Psychology program require an undergraduate degree in Psychology? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
    The Master of Arts in General Psychology program does not require an undergraduate degree in Psychology, nor is any specific undergraduate degree identified.  Having either a psychology, education, social work, or equivalent degree is acceptable. Applicants must have completed at least 9 credits of coursework in the behavioral sciences.

    How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
    Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the Program Director to determine whether to move forward with an interview.  You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email within one week .

    How will I be notified of the admission decision?
    You will be contacted by email once a decision has been made.

    Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?
    Individuals who would like to take graduate classes for professional development, continuing education credits, or personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree special student. Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, internship courses or other courses without approval from the program director.

    In order to enroll in the course(s), students must complete the standard online application (select “Graduate: professional education program” as the Student Type, and “Other Non-Degree Coursework” as the Academic Program), and email unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution attended to the Director of Admission for Graduate and Professional Education Programs. The transcripts will then be evaluated by the program director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met. Please note that degree-seeking students have registration preference.

    After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the program in order to move forward and take additional courses.

    Financial aid is not available to non-degree special students.

    Is there an option for conditional admission?
    A program director may require specific conditions be completed to meet the program requirements prior to full admission into a graduate program. A student may be awarded a conditional admission if the program director recommends the student complete additional undergraduate coursework to achieve a minimum GPA requirement of the program. If a student has not met all program requirements at the time of application, a student may be awarded a conditional admission per the discretion of the program director. Refer to the individual program policies and program directors for specific conditional admission policies. Not all graduate programs have a conditional admission policy.

    How can I receive more information about the Master of Arts in General Psychology program?
    For more information about the application and admission process, please contact Megan Henderson: Director of Admission for Graduate and Professional Education Programs, at or 563.588.7140. For more information about the General Psychology curriculum, please contact Dr. Steffanie Schilder: Program Director, at

    Curriculum and Class Format

    How many credits are required in the Master of Arts in General Psychology degree?
    39 credits are needed to meet the course requirements for the Master of Arts in General Psychology.

    What is the format of the Master of Arts in General Psychology classes?
    The format of the classes is primarily face-to-face course instruction, but some classes are offered in an online format.

    Is there a preferred entry point into the Master of Arts in General Psychology program?
    There is no preferred entry point into the General Psychology program; students may be admitted into either the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms.

    Does the Master of Arts in General Psychology program accept transfer credits?
    Students can transfer a maximum of 9 graduate credits into the program from a previous institution. The courses must be similar in content to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the Program Director.

    How long does it take to complete the program?
    Students typically take two or three classes a semester, or at their own pace. Most students complete the program within 2-3 years. Please note: students have up to 7 years to complete the program.

    What is a maximum course load per semester?
    Typically 9, however students are allowed to take up to 12 depending on their program plan of study that they set up with their advisor.

    What is the time commitment outside of class?
    Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set.  As a general rule, students will spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

    Where are classes held?
    Classes are held on the beautiful Loras College campus in Hennessy Hall.

    When do classes meet?
    Each face-to-face class meets one evening per week, typically from 4:00pm – 6:30pm. For specific times and dates, see the course schedule prior to each academic semester.

    Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?
    Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus, services and their peers.

    Does the program offer online courses?
    Currently, 2 – 3 of the core courses are offered online.

    Is Loras College accredited?
    Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    If I’m interested in playing a sport at Loras while in graduate school, how many credits do I have to take?
    Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras.

    Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) they’re practicing or competing in the sport. Students also need to be making satisfactory progress towards their degree (as determined by Loras). If a student wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, they will need to work with their coaches to determine if they are eligible for a waiver.

    Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, students only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.


    What are current tuition rates for the Master of Arts in General Psychology?
    Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

    Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

    Is financial aid available?
    Students wishing to obtain a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and take at least 3 credits per term. Please contact our Financial Planning Office at 563.588.7136 or for more information.

    Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships for graduate students at this time.

    Program Cost

    Master of Arts in General Psychology Program Cost

    Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

    Employer Reimbursement

    Students who wish to utilize tuition reimbursement from their employer must complete Loras’s Employer Tuition Reimbursement Form before the first day of the first class. Students will still be issued regular billing statements from Loras, but will be exempt from any service charges and will be exempt from having to make full payment until after their last class of the semester. Students or employers are welcome to make payments directly to Loras along the way if they would like, but it is not required. If the employer reimbursement criteria are not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current immediately before any future registration will be permitted. The balance must be paid in full within 30 days of program completion and prior to Loras issuing the student a degree and/or final transcript.

    Financial Aid

    Degree-seeking graduate students (in a Master’s program) are eligible to receive $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds for each academic year. Students wishing to obtain a loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at: (Loras’s school code is 001873), and be taking at least 3 credits per term. The loan will disburse directly to the school to cover the cost of the term. Loras’s academic year runs from Summer-Spring (ie: Summer 2021-Spring 2022).

    Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships or federal grants for graduate and professional education students at this time.

    Students who have outstanding loans from their undergraduate education may be able to defer payment on those loans while enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program. Deferment options are generally available to students who are enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program (3 credits or more per semester). If deferment is a requirement for you to be able to afford to enroll in a graduate program, we advise you to connect with our Financial Planning Office or your loan service providers to make sure you know exactly how deferment applies to your previous loans.

    Contact us if you have additional financial aid or billing questions

    Financial Planning Office

    Carrie Jones, Director of Student Accounts

    Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

    Questions? Let’s get in touch.

    Loras College Graduate Admissions
    Megan Henderson

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