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M.S. CyberPsychology

We See Your Achievements in CyberPsychology
Study the influence of digital technology on our attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and interactions in the cutting-edge field of cyberpsychology.
Norfolk State University
Master of Science in CyberPsychology

More and more of our daily activities take place online. You may wonder how human behavior is affected. What is cyberpsychology, and why is it important? Cyberpsychology is an emerging and innovative field focusing on the connection between psychology and the human-technology connection. With digital platforms and online communities so prevalent, understanding how people are impacted by modern digital technologies is essential. As a graduate student in the program, you will advance your knowledge in an engaging and supportive online program that is the first of its kind in the United States.

cup with change in it for donationsCharitable Donations are tax deductable* and will help support CyberPsychology academic, educational, research, and outreach activities. 
* consult your tax attorney regarding charitable donations in your jurisdiction


Become an expert in cyberpsychology explore essential topics such as:

  • Cultural bias embedded in automated digital systems
  • Cybercrime, cyberbullying, and forensic cyberpsychology
  • Digital literacy, health and wellness
  • Online social presence and consumerism
  • Technology and gaming addiction
  • Human factors of cybersecurity
  • Mis-and-disinformation online

M.S. CyberPsychology at a Glance

  • Program length: 14 months (if done according to the accelerated full-time)
  • Availability: Year-round (fall, spring, and summer)
  • Format: Online / Asynchronous
  • Credit Hours: 42

Sample plan of study 
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Program Handbook
The 2023 Program Handbook highlights essential information for both prospective and current students. Links to all forms in the handbook are provided for reference below:
- Transfer Course Request
- Internship Intent form  |  Internship Agreement form
- Incomplete Grade Contract
- Academic Probation
- Grievance Procedures
Leave of Absence / Program Withdrawal
- Capstone documentation
- Petition for Extension of Time

Why Study CyberPsychology at NSU? 

Norfolk State University is one of the first institutions of higher education in the U.S. to study the ways the digital world affects human behavior and is internationally recognized within the larger cyberpsychology community. You will benefit from the guidance of expert faculty to become a pioneer in the field. We give you the tools to excel in an online learning environment so that you can successfully balance life and learning. Whether you are looking to advance your career or prepare for additional graduate studies, the M.S. CyberPsychology program Norfolk State University will help you achieve your goals.

Customize your learning
The M.S. CyberPsychology program requires seven foundational and research courses, as well as seven electives from a rotating pool of courses which you are placed in based on your time of entry into the program. Strengthen your research skills, complete an internship, become involved with the NSU CyberPsychology Research Lab or set your own external training experience. Take courses such as Forensic CyberPsychology, Virtuality or Cyberpsychopathology. 

Conduct foundational research
Research is at the core of this program. You will work closely with faculty to conduct basic cyberpsychological research and effectively communicate findings in professional settings.

Learn from cyberpsychology experts
Throughout the program, you will be mentored by faculty members who are active in the cyberpsychology field, conducting and publishing research and presenting at national and international conferences. 

What Courses Will I Take as a CyberPsychology Student?

The M.S. CyberPsychology program requires 42 credit hours to complete, evenly distributed between core and electives. Core and elective curriculum provides foundational theory and prepares you for conducting research. Internship and other research electives allow you the option to tailor your learning experience based on your academic and professional goals. Sample elective courses include:

  • Consumer and Media CyberPsychology: Examine how social media and other online communication impact people’s social and economic well-being.
  •  Forensic CyberPsychology: Research and apply psychological knowledge to different areas of (digital) forensics as they apply to the intersection of psychology, sociology and criminal justice.
  • CyberPsychology Internship: Complete an internship experience in a cyberpsychology-related position to gain valuable research skills, expand your professional network and enhance your marketability post-graduation.

Where Will My Master of Science in CyberPsychology Take Me?

Graduates of the M.S. CyberPsychology program are equipped to pursue a successful career in a variety of industries. Business, education, government/military, health care and technology all benefit from understanding the psychological impacts of living in a digitally connected world. The knowledge and skills you acquire will make you highly marketable in whichever field you pursue. You will:

  • Become knowledgeable in the current trends in cyberpsychology research and identify the greatest areas of need for future research
  • Apply psychological theory to deviant online behavior
  • Examine the intersection between psychological theory and current digital technologies in everyday life
  • Explore how consumer preferences are shaped by and influenced by different available media
  • Identify how virtual reality applications influence human behavior

 

Career outlook
The field of cyberpsychology is new and exciting with a wide range of professional applications. The program will help you learn the research skills applicable for career advancement in many industries where social science research is conducted, including having the capability to apply psychological (and specifically cyberpsychological) theory in diverse settings. Potential jobs for individuals with cyberpsychology experience include social science researcher, cyberpsychology consultant, clinical research manager, or social media manager.. 

How Do I Get Started in the M.S. CyberPsychology Program at NSU?

We accept students with an undergraduate degree in any field, although social science research skills and foundational knowledge in psychology are preferred. All students are required to submit the NSU Graduate Application and M.S. CyberPsychology supplemental documentation, which are outlined in the program’s admissions guide . There is no GRE requirement. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with six start dates each year. Highly qualified candidates — those with a GPA of at least 3.0 and an academic background in psychology — may have their application expedited for review, often within a week of submission. Most admissions decisions are made within two-four weeks of receiving all required application materials.

Degree Programs at NSU Related to M.S. CyberPsychology

Accreditation for the M.S. CyberPsychology Program at NSU

The M.S. CyberPsychology program has been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Graduate Certificate Program

The Certificate in CyberPsychology has been approved by the regional accreditation agency, SCHEV, and will begin in the January, 2024 (Spring semester). More information about the graduate certificate can be found here

curriculum

Students are required to complete all seven of these courses (21 credits)

  • PSY510: Psychology & Cyberspace
    Course Description: The psychology of cyberspace is explored through examination of the intersection between psychological theory and the progression of technology in everyday life. The behavioral implications of digital technologies will be explored, with an emphasis on computer mediated communication, online identity and anonymity, impression management, online addiction, telehealth and 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 will prepare students to identify gaps in current qualitative and quantitative cyberpsychological research. Discussions and assignments will provoke critical thinking and help students explore potential areas of interest for research.

  • 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.
  • PSY610: CyberPsychology Research
    Course Description: This course facilitates the formal research process for the student to develop, refine, carry out and analyze data in pursuit of a successful capstone project. In this course, students will work with their 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 research proposal outlining all areas of their proposed study. Students will prepare all documentation for institutional review board review and carry out their research study, leading directly into PSY690 (Capstone) where they will finalize and present their project. PSY610 is repeatable and students are expected to complete 9 credits prior to enrolling in PSY690.

  • PSY690: CyberPsychology Capstone Research
    Course Description: The CyberPsychology Capstone is the final course in the research sequence. Building on the progress achieved in PSY610, students will be prepared to compile their results in a comprehensive research report and present their research findings for approval. Capstone completion is acknowledged after the student successfully presents and defends their project, representing the culmination of the student’s development throughout the program and the final deliverable prior to earning the MS CyberPsychology degree.
     

Students are also required to complete 21 credits from the following courses, which are offered on a rotating basis.

  • PSY535: Quantitative Research Methods
    Course Description: This course focuses on understanding quantitative research applied to the critical examination of human behavior. Methodologies and theoretical foundations are discussed, building upon descriptive and inferential statistical techniques.

  • PSY536: Qualitative Research Methods
    Course Description: This course focuses on understanding qualitative research applied to the critical examination of human behavior. Methodologies and theoretical foundations are with particular emphasis on both emic and etic approaches consistent with field interviewing, focus group surveying, and examination of publicly available source material. Data analytic approaches will be examined and academic article critique will be included.

  • 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.

  • PSY560: Virtuality
    Course Description: Virtuality explores the artistic, scientific, and clinical application of reality and actuality on human behavior. Diverse and interdisciplinary approaches will be used to explore the intersection between society, culture, technology, and digital connectivity to better understand methods of increasing quality of life and life satisfaction. This course incorporates psychological theories which support the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, cognition and communication, and mental health care to facilitate the critical examination of how virtual and augmented reality and related technologies are leveraged to improve human functionality and performance.

  • 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 it applies to human behavior in cyberspace. Attention will be given to the comparison of online versus offline behavior and decision making.  This course deals with understanding how higher mental processes are influenced by digital technologies, and provides relevant theories and research to support a deeper understanding of cybercognition.

  • PSY590: Cyberpsychopathology
    Course Description: This course offers a broad overview of abnormal psychology and applies concepts to behaviors commonly impacted by digital technologies. Topics may include how to define normal versus abnormal behavior, diagnostic features and etiology of well-established psychopathology, prevalence and treatment of psychopathology and related disorders, critical evaluation of current debates about digital addictions and online self-help, and a focus on the influence of societal and systemic factors.

    Additionally, students may have the option to complete the following courses with prior approval. 

  • PSY600: CyberPsychology Internship (elective)
    Course Description: Internship experience in a cyberpsychology related position provides the student with an opportunity to apply their knowledge in an applied setting. Internship does not guarantee future employment but aims to significantly enhance marketability post-graduation. Internships may require a physical presence for 5-20 (or more) hours per week, with credit hours (minimum of 1 maximum of 3 per semester) commensurate with anticipated hours of work. The course instructor will also provide indirect supervision and oversee required documentation and evaluation completion. All training opportunities must be approved by the MS CyberPsychology Program Coordinator prior to their start. Students are also required to complete course assignments facilitated by the course instructor. Students may repeat this course for credit multiple times up to 9 semester credit hours in total.

  • PSY620: Advanced CyberPsychology Research
    Course Description: This course is intended for students pursuing independent cyberpsychological research under direct faculty supervision.


Donations for the CyberPsychology program may be tax deductible and help support our academic, research, and outreach activities.