Master of Science

MS with a concentration in Psychology

Studying psychology is like a writer, researching a story, but for the mind. Learn how to research the mind with classes in scientific and experimental psychology, research design and analysis and advanced theories of personality. Then, the real research begins. 

Graduate Program Tabs

The online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology degree at Tiffin University offers students the opportunity to gain a broad, graduate-level education in the areas of psychology such as Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Neuropsychology. The program provides students with knowledge of human thought and behavior as well as research and analytic skills that can be applied in a wide-range of professional settings. Graduates of our program will be qualified to teach Psychology courses in most community colleges and to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology, if desired. The Master of Science in Psychology degree is focused on scientific/experimental psychology and not counseling/clinical psychology, and does not lead to licensure of any kind.

Additionally, the Online Master of Science in Psychology degree at Tiffin University is offered in a convenient and accessible format. This allows students world-wide and at different stages of life with the opportunity to study graduate-level psychology with minimal interference in their personal and professional lives. Every course in the program is developed and taught by a faculty member with a Ph.D. in the field.


Did you know?

Industrial-organizational psychologists earned an annual average salary of $87,960 in 2013, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall salary range for industrial-organizational psychologists was between about $49,570 and $140,390.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projected job growth in the field of Psychology will be 53% between now and 2022.


Note: The ability to practice as a professional psychologist or as a professional mental health counselor—is highly regulated in all states. TU programs (with the exception of the on-campus Addictions Counseling program) do not directly prepare one for practice as a counselor, psychotherapist, or psychologist

Psychology Concentration 37 hours

  • PSY521 Statistical Procedures I
  • PSY522 Statistical Procedures II
  • PSY533 Research Design and Analysis I
  • PSY534 Research Design and Analysis II
  • PSY541 History and Systems of Psychology
  • PSY543 Developmental Psychology
  • PSY545 Advanced Theories of Personality
  • PSY546 Psychopathology
  • PSY611 Professional Issues I: Law and Ethics
  • PSY612 Professional Issues II: Cross Cultural Issues in Psychology
  • PSY621 Social Psychology
  • PSY622 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY631 Neuropsychology
  • PSY641 Capstone Research I
  • PSY642 Capstone Research II

Total MS 37 hours


This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

Online - Offered in two 7-week terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October

There are no related concentrations available

Statistical Procedures I (PSY521) - This course provides a foundation on the basic principles of statistics. Students will focus on methods of summarizing and describing data and will be introduced to the concepts of inferential statistics and hypothesis testing. The course provides an introduction to the use of electronic statistical software such as Microsoft Excel and SPSS.

Research Design and Analysis I (PSY533) - Research Design and Analysis I is an introduction to research. The student will learn the basics of research methods and the language by which research is conducted in various disciplines around the world. Students will be introduced to basic concepts in research and learn the conceptual basis for the application of statistical techniques (the joining of statistics to research concept). Students will develop a working hypothesis, derived from an empirical theory to create their own original empirical research. Students will learn to transform that idea into a measurable research design. Students will learn ethical guidelines and measurement construction for their research. Students will write an IRB proposal and submit it for approval.

Developmental Psychology (PSY543) - This course takes a life span approach in studying human development from conception through death. Students will examine the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth in the human being. Emphasis will be on exploring and describing human growth and development in terms of cultural and ecological systems as supported by relevant peer reviewed data.

Advanced Theories of Personality (PSY545) - This course will critically examine the research in historical, contemporary, and emerging theories regarding personality formation and development. The methods of measuring personality will also be addressed. Students will develop an integrated and advanced theory of personality.

Psychopathology (PSY546) - This course will provide an overview of the history of psychopathology as well as current views and approaches to psychopathology. Behavioral, developmental, biological/neurological, and social/cultural aspects of psychopathology will be examined as will the theories of the etiologies of psychopathology. The role of assessment and diagnosis tools, the DSM and its framework as well as the ICD system, and treatment approaches, including psychopharmacology, will be considered


Dr. Jonathan Appel
Dr. Jonathan Appel

Jonathan Appel, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Counseling & Criminal Justice

Director of Institutional Review Board (IRB)

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Kent State University
  • M.Ed., Kent State University
  • M.S. in Criminal Justice, Tiffin University
  • Graduate Certificate, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
  • Ph.D., University of Akron

Jonathan Appel, Ph.D.

Dr. Jonathan Appel has worked in the field of behavioral health for almost three decades. He has worked with individuals, groups, families, and organizations as a counselor, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, director of behavioral health services, consultant, researcher, department chair, and educator. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, within the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at Tiffin University.

Dr. Appel studied Media and Communications at Cleveland State University and did some work in college Radio at WCSB (Cleveland State University) and WKSR (Kent State University) and has since dabbled in internet radio.

Dr. Appel received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kent State University, a Master’s Degree in Community-Clinical Counseling from Kent State University, a second Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Administration (Tiffin University), and a Ph.D. in Counseling (sub-specializing both in Marriage and Family Therapy and Organizational Psychology) from The University of Akron. He also has received a Graduate Certificate degree from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.

Dr. Appel is a Diplomate in Psychotherapy and is a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Career Counselor, an Approved Clinical Supervisor, as well as an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Professional. He has also received training as Certified Red Cross Mental Health Disaster Worker and a Behavioral Health Disaster Responder to State Disaster, Emergency and Terrorist Events. He is certified in the Psychology of Terrorists by the American Psychotherapy Association.

Dr. Appel is also currently licensed as an Independent Marriage and Family Therapist, a Supervising Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor, a Supervising Professional Clinical Counselor, and had been licensed as a Social Worker.

Dr. Appel has worked with a diverse range of populations/problems which include persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities, severe mental illness, and substance use disorders. He has designed, managed, and worked in clinical programs that have included services for the severe mentally ill, child, couple, and family therapy interventions, substance abuse assessment and treatment, dual diagnosis, forensic treatment, NGRIs (not guilty by reason of insanity), sex offenders, court-ordered mental health, addiction, anger management /violence prevention services, career counseling, community crisis/trauma response team interventions, and employee assistance program (EAP) services. He also has assisted in training police officers as part of Community Involvement Training (CIT) -- a joint mental health and criminal justice practice initiative. He has also provided counseling and psychotherapy in a private practice setting.

Dr. Appel’s professional memberships have included the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), the International Association of Addiction and Offender Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Forensic Counselors, the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, as well as a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He also has been an executive board member of the National Organization for Human Services, serving as its Education Chair.

Dr. Appel has presented papers and training sessions regionally, nationally, and internationally in such topics as workplace violence, family violence, mindfulness, substance abuse & mental illness, the psychology of terrorism, and Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

He has also taught at The University of Akron, Old Dominion University (Virginia), and as part of a faculty exchange program at The University of Kitakyushu in Kitakyushu, Japan. He has done research and/or applied work with organizations around stress, trauma/violence in the workplace, family violence, employee burnout, issues related to family-work balance, and the applications of “mindfulness” to psychotherapy.

Dr. Appel also has co-authored a training curriculum in Domestic Violence for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is currently on the editorial board for the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, and is a peer reviewer for the Family Relations Journal and the Open Social Sciences Journal. He has been published in such peer-reviewed publications as the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, the Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, and the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. He has also co-authored numerous book chapters. His research, scholarship, and presentations have included such topics as Therapeutic Jurisprudence, family violence, workplace violence, the mentally ill offender, the psychology of terrorism, the psychology of religion, personality development, creativity, cultural competency, and international issues in behavioral health.

Dr. Appel has done extensive travel and research in Asia.

Jonathan Appel, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Counseling & Criminal Justice
Dr. Erin Dean
Dr. Erin Dean

Erin P. Dean, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Chair for Main Campus Social Science Programs

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Kent State University in Psychology
  • M.Ed., Kent State University in Community Counseling
  • Ph.D., Kent State University in Counselor Education and Supervision

Erin P. Dean, Ph.D.

Prior to coming to Tiffin University in 2006, Dr. Dean taught courses for Bowling Green State University and Kent State University. In addition to her teaching experience, she served as the Project Director at Kent State University (KSU) for a $3.5 million dollar National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) HIV prevention program for inner-city women grant. Dr. Dean is also a supervising licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC-S) in the state of Ohio. Over the past 16 years, she has had a variety of community mental health experiences including work with couples, families, and children at Family Solutions in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS at AIDS Holistic Services in Akron, Ohio, and with clients with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) at Harbor Behavioral Healthcare in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to being full time faculty at Tiffin University, Dr. Dean continues to see clients one evening per week in her community.

Her research interests and areas of specialization include HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender issues, and working with clients with a dual diagnosis. She has served as a reviewer on a Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia to evaluate the scientific merit of grant proposals received in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for community based HIV prevention programs and as a reviewer for proposals submitted for presentation at the American counseling Association (ACA) annual conference.

Her passion for clinical work, ensuring that clients receive the highest level of care, and her desire to mentor students, are the driving forces behind her decision to transition into the academic community. In her decade at TU, she has served as the first Director of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the faculty advisor to SPECTRUM, as a faculty sport sponsor to the women's soccer team, as the chair of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment Committee, as a member on various other university committees, and currently, as the department chair for the seated undergraduate social and behavioral sciences department. Above all else, she enjoys her role as a counselor educator and helping to train ethical and competent future addictions counselors.

Erin P. Dean, Ph.D. Associate Professor & Chair for Main Campus Social Science Programs
Dr. Elizabeth Athaide-Victor
Dr. Elizabeth Athaide-Victor

Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, Ph.D.

Professor of Forensic Psychology and Psychology

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Anna Maria College
  • M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
  • Ph.D., University of Toledo

Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, Ph.D.

Dr. Victor began her career with a plan to consistently combine academics and applied service because she truly believes that one cannot teach without "doing". As a result, she has been able to monitor both the extension of her field in academia, as well as its application in the real world. She feels this best enables her to educate her students, and prepare them for the challenges they will encounter in their careers. During all levels of her own education, Dr. Victor has worked in the field.

Born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts, in the late 1970s she started working for the Department of Youth Services (DYS) for the States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. After leaving DYS, she worked in Boston for a suicide prevention center. During college, both undergraduate and graduate, Dr. Athaide-Victor also worked for a juvenile lock-up facility, a hunger-relief program, and volunteered in programs specializing in mental retardation, autism and in substance abuse rehabilitation programs.

As part of her pre-Doctoral program, Dr. Victor studied with Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg at Harvard University, doing research on moral reasoning and attribution of responsibility. Dr. Victor also worked for several years at a Sleep Disorders Center, a Community Mental Health Center, and a Sexual Disorders Center, all located in Toledo.

Dr. Victor joined the faculty of Tiffin University in 1989. She has conducted abundant research on jury behavior, jury cognitive processing, child sexual abuse litigation, toxic tort litigation, juror competence, and juror bias. Dr. Victor was the first Dean of the School of Criminal Justice. She belongs to several professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the Association for Women in Psychology, the Association of Hispanic Psychologists, and the American Society of Criminology. She is a Board Certified Forensic Examiner.

Elizabeth Athaide-Victor, Ph.D. Professor of Forensic Psychology and Psychology
Dr. Matthew Bereza
Dr. Matthew Bereza

Matthew Bereza, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Counseling & Latin American Studies

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Hiram College
  • M.A., Heidelberg College
  • M.Ed., Heidelberg College
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Matthew Bereza, Ph.D.

Dr. Bereza is an Associate Professor of Psychology within the School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. Before joining Tiffin University, Dr. Bereza worked with bilingual students and clients in Ohio and his native New York. He has several years of clinical experience working with Spanish-speaking populations both in and out of the helping professions. In addition, he has worked with area mental health agencies as a social worker, translator, emergency mental health therapist, and licensed counselor.

During his time at Ohio State, Dr. Bereza worked as a graduate assistant for the Office for Disability Services, where he counseled and assessed students with learning disabilities. In addition, he has worked for several years as a Psychologist's Assistant both in schools and clinics.

Dr. Bereza's teaching interests include honors psychology; Peace and Social Justice; Latin American Studies; abnormal psychology; social psychology; drugs and society; history and systems of psychology; qualitative research methods; professional practice and the writing process in psychology; and developmental psychology.

Currently, Dr. Bereza is conducting research on how psychology and nutrition intersect to promote community health. He is a proponent of innovative research methods such as collaboration with individuals from across the academy to present the scientific method as open to all students and community members. Presently, Bereza is working with a certified organic farm to study how Direct to Vendor routes influence positive community health, and has presented these data nationally and internationally. In addition, Dr. Bereza actively researches and studies in Latin America, bringing first-hand data from the field to the Tiffin community.

On campus, you can find Dr. Bereza working as faculty advisor to the Latin American Student Organization; chairing the University's Green Committee; taking part in the University Curriculum Committee; and assisting on the Institutional Review Board for research and ethics at Tiffin University. When not working he enjoys music, volleyball, baking, and riding his bike.

Matthew Bereza, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology, Counseling & Latin American Studies
Dr. Steven Hurwitz
Dr. Steven Hurwitz

Steven Hurwitz, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology & Criminal Justice

Washington Center Liaison

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Queens College, City University of New York
  • M.A., Syracuse University
  • Ph.D., Syracuse University

Steven Hurwitz, Ph.D.

Dr. Steven Hurwitz is originally from New York and grew up on Long Island. He earned a Bachelors in Psychology from Queens College and, after a two-year break working as a sportswriter, went to Syracuse University where he earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Social Psychology. Dr. Hurwitz began his professional career in 1982 as an instructor in the Syracuse University Inmate Higher Education Program at Auburn Correctional Facility. After two years in the program, he went to work at Hutchings Psychiatric Center conducting program evaluation research and developing computer applications for Quality Assurance Monitoring from 1984 through 1987.

Upon leaving Hutchings, Dr. Hurwitz joined the staff of the Psycholinguistics Research Corporation where, from 1987 through 1992, he conducted quantitative and qualitative research in forensic psycholinguistics. Most of this research focused on the analysis of threatening communications to determine demographic and psychological characteristics of the author as well as assessments of their potential for violence. This work was done for the FBI, Department of Energy, and other federal, state and local agencies. In 1989, Dr. Hurwitz again returned to Auburn Correctional Facility in an expanded role of instructor, tutor and academic counselor. He remained at Auburn until1993. Immediately prior to arriving at Tiffin University in 1994, he spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Oswego.

Since joining the faculty at Tiffin, Dr. Hurwitz has been actively involved in the local community. He has been involved with, and conducted projects for, such agencies as the Tiffin City Police Department, Seneca County Sheriff: Family and Children First Council, Seneca County Sexual Assault Coalition, Seneca County Domestic Violence Coalition and Tiffin City Schools. Dr. Hurwitz's research interests are varied and have included expert testimony, juror decision-making, media influences on social perceptions, police use of Tasers, social media, the psychological effects of terrorism, and perceptions of privacy. He has made presentations at regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Hurwitz likes getting students involved in many of these projects as well as mentoring them to conduct their own, original research. Among his many roles on campus, Dr. Hurwitz serves as the Campus Liaison for The Washington Center Internship Program. He was recognized by The Washington Center as the 2012 Liaison of the Year.

Steven Hurwitz, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology & Criminal Justice
Dr. Fang-Mei Law
Dr. Fang-Mei Law

Fang-Mei Law, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology & Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.Ed., Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
  • M.Ed., Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
  • M.Ed., University of Wisconsin
  • Ph.D., Mississippi State University

Fang-Mei Law, Ph.D.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Dr. Law’s dream since childhood was to become a teacher. This dream came true when she became an instructor in the Department of Social Work at Shih-Chien University in 1983, after obtaining her M. Ed. in counseling at Changhua University of Education. During her seven years at Shih-Chien University, she was active academically and administratively on campus. Academically, she researched factors that influenced college students’ adjustment to campus life, and the psychological well-being of a low-income family. After three years, she attained the rank of associate professor and taught psychology, group practice in social work, and social work practicum.  During the same period, she served as the director of extra curriculum for two years, and of the counseling center for another two years.

In order to pursue a higher level of professional development, Dr. Law relocated to the United States in 1990, obtaining a second M. Ed. from the University of Wisconsin-River Fall in 1991, and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University (MSU) in counselor education with a minor in psychology in 1995.  During her time at MSU, she worked as a counselor in the international students office and in the counseling center, and as a research assistant at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Blindness and Low Vision. In addition, she also passed the examination to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC).

In 1995, Dr. Law returned to being an associate professor at Shih-Chien University in Taiwan, and was also appointed to be the director of the counseling center.  One year later, Dr. Law returned to the United States, serving as the executive director of Asian American Community Services (AACS), as well as a counselor, cultural competence trainer, and interpreter trainer. AACS is a non-profit organization designed to provide prevention and intervention programs for Asian Americans in Central Ohio. During this time, she passed the examination to become a Licensed Professional Clinic Counselor (LPCC) in Ohio, and was also actively involved as a committee member for many non-profit organizations in central Ohio, such as the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Ohio Coalition of Sexual Assault Association, the BEST program of American Cancer Society, and the American Red Cross. In these settings, Dr. Law gained significant experience working with clients and students of diverse cultures and backgrounds.  Also during this time, Dr. Law served as a field instructor for the College of Social Work at the Ohio State University, as an adjunct faculty member in the University of Dayton's Department of Counselor Education and Human Services, and as an adjunct faculty member in Columbus State Community College's Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Law joined Tiffin University as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2005, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010, and to Full Professor in 2016. Dr. Law has published and presented books and papers, conducted trainings regionally, nationally, and internationally focusing on topics such as student interest in research, statistics anxiety, the effectiveness of drug treatment programs, the psychological well-being of correctional officers, overcoming depression, finding hope, and acculturation issues for immigrants.  Her publications and presentations, in both English and Chinese, are a testimony to her interest in research.

Dr. Law’s teaching focus at TU is psychology, teaching such courses as Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Counseling, Research Design, Multicultural Issues in Society, Abnormal Psychology, and Social Psychology at the undergraduate level, and Statistical Application to Criminal Justice, Forensic Counseling, and Advanced Psychological Assessment Theory at the graduate level in the criminal justice program.  On campus, you can also find Dr. Law working very closely with international students to enhance their acculturalization a new land.  She does this by teaching First-Year Experience for international students in the English as Second Language program, serving as a Faculty Advisor for the Chinese Students and Scholar Association, serving as a member of the Diversity Committee and the International Students Support Committee, and by conducting culturally-related programs for the TU community as needed.

Dr. Law is also a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA). Her teaching goal is to draw on her multicultural and clinical experiences in the classroom to make the subject matter more enjoyable, relevant, and practical to both her undergraduate and graduate students and to fulfill their educational needs.  All of this is reflected in her selection as an Excellence in Teaching award recipient at Tiffin University in 2016.

Fang-Mei Law, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology & Criminal Justice
Steven Borawski
Steven Borawski

Steven Borawski

Program Chair, Online Bachelor and Graduate Social Science Programs

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., Lake Erie College
  • M.A., Bowling Green State University

Steven Borawski

For his undergraduate, Steven went to Lake Erie College, a small private liberal arts institution where he obtained his BS in psychology. After that, he received his masters degree from Bowling Green State University with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience. Once grad school was over, Steven went to work in the Lab of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience in Boston University School of Medicine where his focus was on autism research. Everything changed once he had the opportunity to teach a few classes for Bay State College and loved it. His journey then took him to Anne Arundel Community College as a full time faculty member in psychology. After four years at AACC, Steven came across a new venture in learning at Tiffin University that he could not pass up.

Steven's philosophy is that he and his students are on an educational journey together. He's there to be their guide and to provide them with the tools they require to get where they need to be. He does take his classroom and the learning environment it provides very seriously and wants to create a space to give everyone the opportunity to grow. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline but the rewards are great.

Steven Borawski Program Chair, Online Bachelor and Graduate Social Science Programs


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