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M.S. CyberPsychology

Norfolk State University
Master of Science in CyberPsychology

Norfolk State University is proud to offer the first M.S. CyberPsychology degree program in the United States! This fully online program has been approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with six starts dates offered each year. Detailed information about the program, application process and costs can be found here. 

* Spring 2022 admission documents will be available soon!
We are transitioning to an accelerated program model beginning February 2022. More details will be posted soon.


About

The M.S. CyberPsychology degree (MS.CYP) is an accelerate year-round fully asynchronous online program designed to prepare students for careers in applied social science. This specialty examines the relationship between human behavior in the 21st century and both current and emerging (digital) technologies and builds on a wide range of psychological theories across all domains of psychology and related interdisciplinary fields. In less than 2 years, students are equipped with essential research skills sought after across a wide range of employment settings and higher education programs.  Please direct inquiries to cyberpsychology@nsu.edu.

What to expect as a CyberPsychology Student?

Beginning in February 2022, the program will be offered as an accelerated 1.5 year program requiring 42 semester credit hours to complate as a full time student (about 6 credits every 7 weeks). Part time is also available (about 3 credits every 7 weeks). Non-degree seeking students may also take up to three courses (9 credits) prior to applying for matriculation. Courses are delivered completely online primarily using asynchronous instruction. Students are mentored to become social science researchers—asking relevant questions to spark critical thinking and collaborating with faculty to design and carry out original research. All students will leave the program with the ability to successfully plan, implement, conduct, analyze and disseminate an empirical cyberpsychology study.

Where Will My Degree Take Me?

Graduates are likely to find employment across a wide range of employment sectors, domestically or international. Graduate level training and social science research experience will make you competitive for jobs in academia, business, cybersecurity, education, health care, government/military, high-tech, and other areas of research & development. The M.S. CyberPsychology can help seasoned professionals expand their research skill set, or those seeking an opportunity to demonstrate success at the graduate level eventually leading to doctoral level studies.

Program At A Glance

The M.S. CyberPsychology curriculum requires successful completion of 42 semester credit hours (as few as 14 months). Potential students often have a social science or computer science background, or are currently working in research, education, healthcare, business, government, or military. You do not need an undergraduate degree in psychology, but knowledge of basic psychological theory and research methodology is extremely helpful.

Non-degree seeking

Non-degree status is available for applicants who hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution but who do not yet want to pursue a graduate degree, or whose academic record reflects less than the required standards for admission. A maximum of nine (9) credit hours may be taken and you may subsequently apply for full admission, however, there is no guarantee of future admission. Courses completed will apply to your degree requirements with a grade of 'B' or higher. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid, assistantships or housing. 

curriculum

Effective Spring 2022, there will be two groups of required courses in the program: Foundation & Research core (7 classes | 21 credits) and an Elective core (7 classes out of a pool of available options | 21 credits.

Foundation & Research Core

All seven courses (21 credits) are required

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • PSY620: Advanced CyberPsychology Research

    Course Description

    This course is intended for students pursuing independent cyberpsychological research under direct faculty supervision.

  • 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.

Elective Core

21 credits in total from the elective pool are required.

  • 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.

  • CSC688 Human Aspects of Cybersecurity

    Course Description

    This course surveys the human aspects of cyber security. Topics include ethics, privacy, usability security, cyber crime and the social, psychological and cultural aspects of cyber crime. Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical as well as the practical aspects of human security.

  • 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.