Master of Science in CyberPsychology
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M.S. CyberPsychology


As of December 2019, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has approved Norfolk State University to offer the first (online) M.S. CyberPsychology degree program in the United States! We are currently waiting for approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) to finalize the process and we anticipate our inaugural cohort of students to be August 2020. We will begin recruiting for the program once SACS approval is received. Please direct all inquiries to cyberpsychology@nsu.edu

About the Master of Science in CyberPsychology

Cyber Lab graphicThe M.S. CyberPsychology degree is a two full-year program that is delivered completely online. Utilizing synchronous and asynchronous instruction, this degree prepares students to be social science researchers whose emphasis is in cyberpsychology. This applied discipline examines the influence that current and emerging (digital) technologies have on human behavior—essentially, exploring what it means to be human in the 21st century and beyond. This program builds on a wide range of psychological theory which is combined with critical examination of emerging trends across all domains of human behavior. Students are equipped with essential research skills sought after across a wide range of employment settings and Doctoral training programs.

What to expect as a CyberPsychology Student?

Students will begin their studies in the Fall semester and take either 9 credits (full-time) or 6 credits (part-time). Courses are 8 or 16 weeks in length with sychronous and asychronous components. The program is delivered completely online using Blackboard. Students are mentored from their initial entry into the program to be social science researchers—asking relevant questions to spark critical thinking—and collaborate with faculty to design and implement an original research study. All students will leave the program with the ability to successfully plan, implement, conduct, analyze and disseminate a researchable psychological study unique to the field of cyberpsychology.

Where Will My Degree Take Me?

Graduates of the M.S. CyberPsychology program at NSU are likely to find employment across a wide range of employment sectors, domestically or international. A student with a Masters degree and social science research experience can expect to be competitive for jobs in academia, business, cybersecurity, education, health care, government/military, high-tech, and other areas of research & development. The M.S. CyberPsychology degree is also a good choice for seasoned professionals (either from government, industry, or the military) who seek to expand their research skill set, or students seeking an opportunity to demonstrate success at the graduate level and puruse Doctoral level studies.

Program At A Glance

The M.S. CyberPsychology curriculum requires successful completion of 42 credit hours of course work (two years of instruction for full-time students). Potential students will likely have liberal arts or computer science backgrounds, or be currently in the workforce in business, government, or military, and looking to expand their skill set.

Potential students in the NSU Graduate School can find application information here and supplemental requirements for the M.S. CyberPsychology program can be found here.

The course sequence for full and part-time students can be found here. In addition to the core courses indicated below, students will complete one required cybersecurity course and have the option to complete additional cybersecurity courses as electives or complete an internship experience. 

M.S. CyberPsychology courses

  • PSY510: Psychology & Cyberspace

    Course Description

    The psychology of cyberspace is explored through examination of the intersection between psychological theory and the progression of technology through its current digital manifestation in everyday life. The behavioral implications of digital technologies will be explored, with an emphasis on computer mediated communication, online identity and impression management, online addiction, telehealth and associated help-seeking, cybercrime, digital privacy, and information security.

  • PSY520: Current Trends in CyberPsychology

    Course Description

    Current trends in the field of cyberpsychology are explored with an emphasis on preparing the student to be aware of the current areas of greatest need relevant to this discipline area. This course is the first of the research sequence and will prepare students to determine gaps in qualitative and quantitative cyberpsychological research. Discussions and assignments will provoke critical thinking and help students explore potential research topics for their capstone project.

  • PSY530: Research & Ethics in CyberPsychology

    Course Description

    This course is designed to provide the student with a collection of ethical guidelines for conducting social science research, with an emphasis on non-traditional sources of data collection. Traditional research methods and principles of ethical conduct for conducting a psychological study are introduced. Strategies needed to effectively plan, design, evaluate and disseminate cyberpsychological research are discussed, as is suitability of various forms of research tailored to potential capstone projects.

  • PSY540: Consumer & Media CyberPsychology

    Course Description

    This course will introduce students to the psychology of the consumer and the media in an increasingly digital world. Student will examine the relevance of psychology theory and research to understand how social media in particular impacts the social and economic well-being individuals within different societies. Students will explore how consumer preferences are shaped and influenced by the different media available to them, as well as how information is cultivated and delivered to people based on big data sourcing and algorithms that leverage users online activity.

  • PSY550: Human-Computer Interaction

    Course Description

    Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an interdisciplinary field that integrates theories and methodologies from computer science, cognitive psychology, human factors, digital learning, and other related areas. The course will cover the basic theory and methods that exist in the field, and use case studies, critical thinking and experiential activities to examine the potential applications of HCI in physical and digital environments.

  • PSY570: Forensic CyberPsychology

    Course Description

    This course addresses the research and application of psychological knowledge to different areas of (digital) forensics specifically as they apply to the intersection of psychology, sociology, and criminal justice. Classifying cybercrimes and applying forensic psychology to deviant online behavior from criminological and forensic psychological theoretical perspectives will be addressed.

  • PSY 580: Cybercognition & Behavior

    Course Description

    This course is designed to teach the underlying principles of human cognition (i.e., attention, thinking, perception, intelligence, comprehension, memory, decision-making, problem solving, reasoning), as well as applying cognitive principles to situations where human behavior is influenced by the computer or other Internet-based environments, as well as a comparison of online versus offline decision making.  This course deals with understanding how higher mental processes are influenced by technology as a medium. The aim of this course is to inform the student of theories and research in these areas as well as to improve their critical thinking skills for understanding the biological, neurological, social, and other psychological basis for human thought.

     

  • PSY600: CyberPsychology Internship (elective)

    Course Description

    An applied experience in a cyberpsychology related position provides students with a method of applying their existing and/or learned knowledge to a job environment where their skills will be utilized. Internship(s) do not guarantee future employment, but significantly enhance marketability and the student’s ability to translate classroom and research into real-world novel situations and problems. Internships are likely to require a physical presence for approximately 10-20 hours per week, as well as travel to the internship site. The course instructor will also provide indirect supervision. All training opportunities must be approved by the MS CyberPsychology Program Coordinator prior to implementation.

  • PSY610: CyberPsychology Research I

    Course Description

    This is the first of three formal research courses required to prepare the student for a successful capstone project completion. In this course, students will work with the instructor to identify an appropriate and researchable capstone topic and prepare the required background information and documentation needed to execute their study. Students will conduct literature reviews and formulate a full proposal outlining all areas of their proposed study. Students will prepare all documentation for institutional review board review and begin the process of implementing their study.

  • PSY620: CyberPsychology Research II

    Course Description

    This is the second of three formal research courses required to prepare the student for a successful capstone project completion. In this course, students will work with the instructor to implement and execute their study, directly following from their progress in PSY610. Students are expected to begin the process of collecting data and formalizing their capstone documentation in preparation for the capstone course.

  • PSY690: CyberPsychology Capstone

    Course Description

    The CyberPsychology Capstone is the third and final course in the research sequence. Students will complete all phases of their study including analyzing their data, writing up their results and discussing their findings. The capstone process culminates with the student presenting their completed project in scientific manuscript format and conducting a synchronous oral presentation. Capstone completion is awarded when the student successfully presents their completed project and submits their project as a publishable quality manuscript in a peer reviewed academic journal relevant to cyberpsychology.

  • CSC535: Computer Security I

    Course Description

    This course is designed for IT professionals to learn computer and network security theories and practices that can be used to significantly reduce the security vulnerability of computers on internal networks or the Internet. The course assumes some familiarity with various operating systems and computer networks. Topics include cryptography, program security, operating systems security, database security, network security, security administration, computer ethics, and legal issues.