General Psychology (Competency-Based)

Study the social, cultural, and cognitive aspects of human behavior as you explore the fundamentals of psychology, including its theories, methods, and principles. Evaluate and design research methods and examine multicultural and/or global perspectives of psychology. Prepare to work in a wide range of industries, including academic, research, and healthcare organizations; communities; and businesses.

The General Psychology competency-based degree completion option is ideal for busy working professionals like you. Your progress is measured by the mastery or demonstration of skills, abilities, and knowledge in a particular area of study.

Each competency has been carefully designed by expert faculty with input from employers, with your education and future employment in mind.

Completion Requirements

  • 48 total quarter credits

Areas of Expertise and Competency Descriptions

The master’s program in psychology with a specialization in General Psychology includes the following competencies grouped within these Areas of Expertise.

Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology (PSYC 6002):

  • GS001 Graduate Program in Psychology and Goals: Examine the programs of study in psychology to explore personal and professional interests.
  • GS002 Academic Goals: Demonstrate the scholarly writing and critical thinking skills needed to meet academic goals.
  • GS003: Professional Goals: Demonstrate skills to further professional goals in order to promote academic excellence and social change in the field of psychology.

Themes and Theories of Psychology (PSYC 6200):

  • PT001 Psychological Themes and Theories: Evaluate key concepts in psychological theories for application in a range of settings (i.e., workplace, personal, educational, healthcare).
  • PT002 Human Behavior: Evaluate how theories relate to human behavior in varied settings to promote cultural awareness.
  • PT003 Research: Evaluate how research informs and is informed by psychological theories to promote social change in communities or in society at-large.

Lifespan Development (PSYC 6215):

  • LF001 Theories and Processes of Development: Analyze the qualifications for juvenile distinction in the criminal justice system.
  • LF002 Developmental Concepts: Distinguish between biological, psychological, and sociological influences of juvenile delinquency.
  • LF003 Lifespan: Apply strategies for working with juveniles based on adjudication decisions.

Culture and Psychology (PSYC 6701):

  • CU001 Culture and Human Development: Evaluate the influence of culture on social, emotional, and cognitive developmental processes and human behavior to gain a better understanding of individuals across the world.
  • CU002 Social Roles and Social Behavior: Analyze how culture influences socialization, social roles, social cognition, and social behavior to gain a greater appreciation of cultural appropriate behaviors in varied settings.
  • CU003 Culture and Psychological Well-Being: Apply cross-cultural perspectives to understand psychological disorders and to promote mental health attitudes, beliefs, and practices in varied settings.
  • CU004 Cross-Cultural Research: Promote a global perspective of psychology using cross-cultural research and methods to encourage positive social change.

Applied Psychology Research Methods (PSYC 6800):

  • AP001 Data Collection and Management: Collect, manage, and clean quantitative data to develop core skills for problem solving.
  • AP002 Data Analysis: Analyze quantitative data to answer questions to solve problems in real-world situations.
  • AP003 Data Interpretation: Interpret quantitative data to make generalizations for positive social change.

Capstone (PSYC 6393):

  • Research Strategies: Develop evidence-based strategies to address contemporary issues or problems based on applied research in the field of psychology.
  • Issues or Problems in Psychology: Apply psychology to contemporary issues or problems in either the workplace, community, or world.
  • Literature Reviews: Synthesize literature related to the field of psychology that is focused on contemporary issues or problems in the workplace, community, or world.

Social Psychology (PSYC 6245):

  • SO001 Research Methods: Examine research methods used by social psychologists to be a discriminating consumer of data.
  • SO002 Theoretical Perspective and Concepts of Social Psychology: Apply social psychology theory and concepts to explain real world experiences.
  • SO003 Cultural Factors and Social Agents that Influence Human Behavior: Analyze cultural factors and social agents to understand and explain social phenomena and human behavior.

Psychology of Personality (PSYC 6220):

  • PZ001 Personality Theories: Analyze theories of personality development to better understand individuals in varied settings.
  • PZ002 Personality Assessment: Apply personality assessment techniques to better understand personality types.
  • PZ003 Research in Personality: Evaluate research related to the psychology of personality to promote psychological well-being.

Cognitive and Affective Bases of Behavior (PSYC 6238):

  • CA001 Theoretical Perspectives: Evaluate theories related to cognitive psychology including intelligence, language, and memory to better understand human behavior in a variety of settings.
  • CA002 Cognitive Processes: Evaluate cognitive processes to understand their role in human functioning (i.e., attention, perception, problem solving, decision making, higher-order functioning).
  • CA003 Affective Behavior: Analyze the role of emotions on cognitive processes to better understand individuals in varied settings.

Research Theory, Design, and Methods (RSCH 6110):

  • RT001 Role of Theory: Explain the role of theory in research that promotes social change.
  • RT002 Research Designs: Differentiate among types of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs to understand the applicability of appropriate research design for solving a problem.
  • RT003 Sampling and Data Collection Methods: Evaluate the strengths and limitations of sampling methods and data collection to ensure the validity and reliability of the study.
  • RT004 Research Theory, Design, and Methods: Explain the elements of research theory design and methods to evaluate research studies related to the field of psychology.

Note: If you start the MS in Psychology program with the General Psychology specialization before February 4, 2020, please note that not all curriculum may be available when you start your program, and the earliest you can complete the program is February 4, 2020.

In an effort to ensure competencies are kept up to date and relevant to meet the learning outcomes of the program, the number and subject matter of individual competencies needed to satisfy program course requirements may change. However, program outcomes and the number and subject matter of courses will not be impacted. As a result, the required competencies listed in a student’s individual learning plan may differ from what is currently listed on this page.

Man sitting at latop
Questions about our MS in Psychology?
Questions about our MS in Psychology?
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Contact Information
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Please provide a valid zipcode
Additional Information
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.


By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy