Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology

Opportunity Applied



Virtual Open-House Webinar

Virtual Open-House Webinar

University of Southern California
Master of Science in Applied Psychology Online
Virtual Open-House Webinar
Originally aired February 26, 2014

Presented by University of Southern California’s Master of Science in Applied Psychology online program.

An overview of USC, USC Dornsife, the online MAPP program, both specializations, the internship/capstone components of the program, and the advantages of the online learning environment.

Ellen Leggett, Professor and Program Director
Christine Callan, Student Support Coordinator
Stephen Hall, Enrollment Advisor



Originally aired February 26, 2014

Stephen Hall: Welcome to the Master of Science and Applied Psychology Open House, presented by the University of Southern California, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. My name is Stephen Hall and I will be your host today. First, I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us.

Before we begin I’d like to review what you can expect during today’s presentation To cut down on background noise, we’ve muted your phone lines so you can hear us but we cannot hear you. If you have any questions, please type them into the Q&A box in the lower right hand corner of your screen and hit send. Feel free to enter your questions as you think of them. We’ll answer as many as time allows at the end of the presentation. A PDF and a recording of today’s presentation will be available shortly after the event. Here’s a quick look at what we’re be covering.

First, we’ll hear from Dr. Ellen Leggett. Dr. Leggett is a Professor Psychology, as well as the director of the program. She’ll introduce us to USC, USC Dornsife, the program curriculum, specialization, as well as the internship and capstone components. Next, we’ll hear from Christine Callan, the student support coordinator. She’ll give us an overview of the advantages of online learning and the learning environment. Lastly, I’ll go over the specific admissions requirement and the next step on how to contact me to begin an application. We’ll end the presentation with a Q&A session.

Now, let’s get started. Hello, Dr. Leggett and thank you for joining us today.


Dr. Leggett: Hi Stephen, I’m glad to be here and welcome to all of you. I’m sure we have people from all over the country and maybe even some international people, I heard today on the online. I want to tell you a little bit about our program and the first thing I’d like to mention is that our program is really unique and we’re focused on becoming the most unique and most exciting place in the country for people who are interested in learning how to utilize the theory and research of contemporary psychology in business and organizations. We really believe that if you understand human behavior that this will help you with some of the most important functions that are necessary in organizations and companies today.

First off, motivating and engaging employees in an increasingly global workplace. Secondly, reaching consumers persuasively in an increasingly global marketplace. So that’s what our mission is. Do we have the next slide? There we go.

All of you have logged on and are interested in our program, so you must know something about USC, but we are here in sunny southern California. I saw sunny because I know many of you may be in places where it’s still winter and I’ve lived there too, so I feel your pain in the cold and snow, but USC is as you may know, a very old and esteemed private University and one of the world’s leading research universities. We have many graduate and professional schools, but the largest of all of the schools at USC is the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, which is where the psychology department and this program are located.

The psychology department is one of the largest in the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. We graduate almost – there are hundreds. I’m stumbling a little bit because every year the number changes, but there are hundreds of psychology students graduating every year and I think there are close to 1000 in the University at this time across all of the programs that we offer in psychology. Can we have the next slide?

So a little bit more about the specific program learning objectives for students who are in our program. I should say that the online program is a new delivery vehicle for a program. We have launched the online version of our program just this year, however, the program on campus has been in existence for five years. We currently have on campus our fifth class. The online program has the same learning objectives for students as we have for the students on campus.

Four of this in very formal language are up here for you and just to give you a quick summary of what these mean to me, the first one is that this program really is based in key psychology theory and psychology research. We are drawing upon contemporary theory and research and focusing on how does that apply? How can it inform problems and issues that are happening out there in the world of work, whether it’s talking about consumers, teams and employees, or the dynamics within organizations?

Secondly, we are focused on giving students in this program data skills. Data is the way the world works. Any of you who are in business right now may deal with data. We are focusing on human capital data and believe that students need to be able to design ways to solve problems by getting data, manipulating that data, using that data, in order to make important decisions in the workplace or about the workplace. For example, market research utilizes data in order to reach consumers more effectively and increasingly organizations and the HR departments and organizational development departments in corporations and organizations are using workforce data in order to inform questions about team productivity and employee engagement These surveys may be international and companies are global in their employee base.

We want to be utilizing psychology research skills in order to have our graduates able to be good consumers but also users of data in order to help drive business whatever setting they’re in.

Third, we really believe in communication. We are in a liberal arts school after all, so communication is very highly regarded in this program. This is not academic writing as much as it is how to use what you may know about writing, whether it’s from the academic world or the business world, and improve it. Written, oral, and increasingly social media.

Lastly, this one is something I’m very fond of. Something that’s very dear to me, in that I believe as organizations and corporations evolve, we must evolve and we must seek new ways to use psychology to be wherever the current issues are in the workplace, and in organizational life. That means that we emphasize a creative approach to career development so that graduates of this program hopefully will go where no one has gone before in combining psychology utilizing and drawing upon psychology to advance organizations, even if we don’t know what those jobs are today.

Next slide. The two areas that we have learned over time in this program that students seem most drawn as the intersections between psychology and business world are consumer psychology and organizational psychology. Topics that we cover in these areas are listed on a slide here, but let me say that all students in this program are exposed to coursework in both areas and that is because I personally believe that no matter where you work, you are a personal marketer of your own brand and you will be a more effective employee if you understand organizational dynamics.

Even if your interest is consumer psychology and marketing, you will take organizational psychology, one course, and even if your interesting is consumer psychology and marketing, you will still take one organizational psychology course for the reasons that I mentioned. Our students have responded to that enthusiastically.

This is something really that they have said is one of the most important pieces of the program to them, that they learn that these two areas are actually not that distinctly different. In fact, we emphasize ways in which they intersect and ways in which, for example, they research and data tools that may be used in one are also used in the other. For example, surveys and focus groups are used internally in organizations and used externally to assess consumer perceptions.

Next slide. Our curriculum is short. This program on campus is a very intense one year, 12 month program, and the online program can be accomplished in about four terms, 16 months, as opposed to the two terms plus a summer that students do on campus. That’s with the assumption that there are two courses taken a term whereas on campus they take four courses a term in a full-time program only. That is the only program that we have on campus.

There are eight courses, still the same. Two semester on campus. It’s four courses each semester. Then an additional two units are for a capstone paper which we’ll talk about a little bit more. Paper or project, and there’s also an internship component. These two are the practica pieces of our program. Each term, there are 15 weeks, so that the term in the summer is exactly 15 weeks, the same as spring and fall. Again, that is a difference between the calendar for on campus.

Okay, next slide. Let’s talk a little bit more about the foundation courses. These are the required courses. If you start at the bottom first, you see organizational psychology and consumer psychology, which I told you everyone takes, so those are the building blocks that begin the program. Either the first or second term, all of these courses will be taken. Moving up the list from the bottom you can see research methods and that is the course everyone is required to take. That is our data course where we cover survey design and utilization of survey data and qualitative data towards organizational purposes.

The two courses at the top, proseminar is – it’s kind of an old name for courses that form the fundamental professional introduction to a field. Many graduate programs have proseminars and it means professional seminar.
We have two courses that are professional seminars. The first one is really a foundation course which covers theory. We waltz through – I say waltz because it’s a fast review of every academic area of psychology where we see – I can’t say every – many academic areas of psychology where we see intersections with the world of organizations and business and that includes neuroscience, that includes cognitive psychology, that includes social psychology, cross cultural psychology, personality and motivation which are the areas that I personally teach, and if we can fit it in we even bring in developmental psychology because many of us work in organization where we are marketing to people of all ages and have employees of all ages in the workforce today. That’s the focus of that first foundation course.

The second course is an application tools course, which really is right now, structured as a different toolkit every week. Very specific things such as Google analytics, social media analytics. We had a presentation this week on campus. A workshop from an executive an Warner Brothers who talked about emotional intelligence and handling different conversations in the workplace and did a full workshop on skills in that area. The topics cover both marketing consumer side and organizational employee side. Students do have some opportunity to select among the topics, especially in the online program. We’re experimenting a little with that, but it is a way for you to sharpen your focus second semester – or excuse me, the second half of that proseminar course.

Okay, let’s move on. The elective courses cluster around the two areas that we’ve previously discussed. By the way, you don’t need to focus in one area or the other. Indeed many of our students find, as I said before, that they like to take some classes from each side and it’s one of the strengths of our program that you’re not locked in to one side or the other.

But on the consumer side, we develop new courses but the ones listed here are the ones that are currently being taught. So we have an advanced course, which is specific to marketing research and analytics. I was just on the phone before this call with the professor in that class and he’s talking about bring in big data to the course that he’s teaching on campus regarding market research right now. The interactive media class is something students find very interesting and we touch upon not only how to do social media, but what are the effects of social media on people. That’s where the psychology comes in. And look at research on those effects.

Lastly, the decision analysis course is a course that’s been taught on campus for a very long time that looks at kind of a research approach to how consumers and people in general will make important decisions in their lives, obviously using consumer decisions as one of the key decision categories that are looked at.

Okay, next slide. The elective courses around the organizational side of our program are actually really popular classes. Right now there’s an elective being taught on campus and the same professor is developing that course for the online program as we speak in strategic business relationships. She’s covering essentially consulting. Consulting on organizational issues. She’s reviewing how you asses an organization’s strengths and weakness and deploy a consulting approach within an organization to be in relationships with people within that organization.

The second class, psychology of organizational change, again looks at what are the obstacles to organizational change and how can psychology be deployed to bring about more effective change. Group dynamics and leadership is a class students really like because we do a lot of assessments personally of leadership styles. They do a lot of group team work, and focus groups are covered in that class. They may be covered in other classes as well, but these are the classes that we currently have planned for the online program, with new classes always being discussed.

Okay, let’s move forward. As I’ve mentioned before, the internship and capstone treatise are important parts of our program. They may be a little bit different in our online program than in our on campus program because we’re fully expecting that students in our online program may be employed already and not leaving their jobs while they are a student. We have many ideas as to how to work with you to develop a more challenging project or more challenging opportunity, or assignment within your current workplace if that is what you would like to do.

We also have a world class career center on campus that our students, both online and on campus, are able to access. Through even the databases that the career center has available, and websites, you can find internships all over the world.

There’s also a course that you sign up for in conjunction with the internship where we have students – we do this even with the on campus course – the students chat with each other in what we call a cafe, an internship cafe, where there are assignments and maybe to post observations related to a topic. Maybe the topic is supervisor relationships and people post comments about what’s happening in their own internship on that topic during that week and everyone is dialoguing online in what we call a virtual Starbucks meet up to kind of talk about the topic of the day being supervisor relationships.

The capstone treatise is really the integrative culmination of the program. It’s an opportunity for students to pull together. What have I learned theoretically from psychology? What problems have I seen in the workplace, perhaps from my own work experience or from my internship? How can I potentially deploy data to help solve this problem or create suggestions or recommendations in a consultative type of report in order to solve an organizational problem? These are papers / projects / research projects depending upon your specific interest.

Both the practica opportunities are the most germane ways for students in this program to fine tune the program to meet your very specific needs. The kinds of things that students are doing in their capstones right now, for example, are very unique.

We have one student from Mexico who is interested in the shift in Mexico from shopping at local mercados, or farmer’s market kind of locales, and the shift that’s taking place in consumers sort of shopping at western Walmarts and Targets that are opening up in Mexico. She’s doing an online survey of consumer perceptions of those two shopping venues in Mexico for her treatise and she’s developing a strategy for bringing about changes in perceptions depending on what she finds. That’s one example.

I also have an example of a student who was in a full-time job and she loved her job. She actually was from the full-time cohort and got the job before she had finished her treatise and this has been one of the delightful things that’s happened for our students.

We worked with her to develop her treatise opportunity to be consistent with her job. She is in human relationship recruiting and she recognized that in this very fast growth company that she was in – she started when the company was a very small startup and it has tripled in size in the course of the time that’s she’s been there and she’s been the one recruiting everyone. She recognizes that the culture has changed tremendously and there were some traditions and practices that worked when the company was a really small startup, everyone knew each other, it was more casual.

Now the company was 100 employees and she wanted to do an assessment at her workplace of how some particular practices were being perceived that were leftover from the olden days, which was only a year and a half ago, but how they were being perceived and how they might be better modified to meet the same goals but in a format that would be consistent with a larger employee base that they had at the time. She talked to the president of the company, who was also the founder, about her idea and need to do such a project for her graduate program. He endorsed her doing an online survey about this at her workplace.

After doing that, she did interviews of employees at her workplace and wrote a report to the president with recommendations. He took her recommendation and had changed that particular practice at the company. She wrote all of that up for her treatise and did it while she was a full-time employee. Those are the kind of ways that we’re trying to make the experience integrative.

As a PS on that particular student, she has just emailed me within the last week or so, and said that her employer was so impressed with what she did that he has now asked her to institute a program of surveying the employees on a regular basis and he wants feedback to be incorporated into his strategic planning for the company at every step of the way and she is now in charge of that. He promoted her and put her in charge based on what she came up with to do for her treatise. That’s what we want. Bring about change in careers through the opportunities that you have by virtue of USC saying, “You need to do something like this for you treatise and, or your internship.”

Next slide. Hey, it’s time for me to stop talking. I will have a change to answer some questions from you all later, but I’m going to turn it over now to Christine. Christine are you there?

Christine Callan: Yes, thank you Dr. Ellen Leggett. Again my name is Christine Callan. I’d like to welcome everyone, good afternoon. I am the student support coordinator here with the online natural and applied psychology program. I work with students once they complete the admissions process all the way through graduation as their support system.

I’m gonna talk with you guys a little bit today about what the online experience will be like with our program. Here you’ll see a slide with the benefits to being an online learner here at USC. The main ones being that you can connect and interact really at any time of your choosing through our different social networking capabilities that we’ve been able to add to our online learning management system.

Another benefit being that you have a little bit more flexibility being online versus at the ground campus to work around your busy life. Also we make accessibility to the online learning management system easy. You can be any place really in the world, 24/7, able to log in, communicate, work on assignments. Specifically with building close connections with fellow students through our social networking capabilities, we’ve found that many of our students really become close and find each other their biggest support systems throughout their educational journey. Really meeting in their cities if they live nearby, speaking through webcam, talking on the telephone, forming different study groups, really creating that nice network that they can use even outside of the classroom.

As online learners, you really can work at a pace that’s best for you based around different due dates that your instructors have set forth for you. If meeting in a specific place at a specific time doesn’t work for you based on the other priorities and responsibilities that you have in your life, the online learning at USC really offers choices in deciding when you do your schoolwork, when you guys conduct meets with group members and study groups, and when and how you communicate with your instructors. So the flexibility is there. Again, there are due dates throughout the week, but you can kind of manage that around your own schedule.

With the online learning management system, we’ve been able to make the accessibility pretty easy. So as you will see a pretty diverse group of students as you start your cohort. Students from different time zones, as I said, even throughout the world. You can revisit material, learn week by week, at different times as we do archive the materials. So you are able to go back to it which you can’t always do with a ground program. You can’t always go back to those lectures that you heard from your instructors and study back on that material, but through the online learning experience it is saved and you can go back to it, to revisit it, and study up on it again to really grasp the concept.

Here’s a screen shot of what our online learning management system looks like. Our platform is called Moodle. If you’ve been online learner before, it might look a little bit familiar, but our USC Moodle is very unique to us. As I have mentioned before, we’ve added in some social networking capabilities, which make it really unique and really strong in being able to build those close relationships and get that networking going in between students and faculty members as well. This is what your main piece would look like.

It’s pretty organized with different navigational tools up top, the home page has your active courses. You can go along into the community portion of Moodle, which we’ll talk about here in a bit as well, where you can do lots of networking and communication throughout different cohorts, not just with the students within your courses.

Next slide. Here’s a screen shot of a what a typical classroom will look like. In this piece you’ll see the different navigational tools to get from the content to the material that you’re using within the week and within the course as a whole you’re able to get to discussions here within the classroom. This is where you submit your assignments and this is where you get your faculty information. Really, Moodle is the only place that you need to be to access all of your classroom information.

So this learning management system keeps it pretty easy and organized. Different things that you can do within your classroom would include watching videos, interacting with your instructors through a session, through Adobe connect, going through podcasts, creating blogs, creating chat with fellow students for group work, which we’ve been able to. Somewhat of like an instant messaging within the classroom so that if you’re on at 11:50 and have an assignment due at 12:00, you don’t have to wait for an email back. If you have a quick question about an assignment, you can kind of see who’s online, as the question to a fellow teammate through instant messaging and get a pretty quick response. So all of this is housed right here in Moodle.

This next screen shot shows you the community tab of Moodle. We call the community tab really the hallway of your classroom. The great thing about it is you get to interact with students that are not just in your cohort, so not just those students that you’ve started the program with and you’re going to see through graduation, but those students who started before you and even the students who have started the program after you. This is just gonna make that network even larger. It’s a great place to start conversation, whether it’s about classroom material or even outside of that.

So if it has something to do with your job or anything you’re hearing in the news and you just kinda wanna connect with others who have similar interests, this would be the place to do it. The nice thing about Moodle is really you can’t miss a beat. You have a profile here that includes your email address, so whenever a blog is updated, whenever a comment’s been made and posted here in the community section, you’ll receive an email notification to keep you in the loop, so again, you never really miss a beat.

That’s really the inside view of what to expect once your courses begin. Right now I’m gonna go ahead and let Stephen Hall take over to discuss with you the admission requirements.

Stephen Hall: Thank you so much Christine. Now, I’ve worked in higher education now for the past eight years and I’m currently an enrollment advisor for the online master of science and applied psychology program. I’d like to take you through the admissions requirement, okay?

As you see on your screen right now, the requirements are fairly straight forward. We do require bachelor’s degrees from a regionally accredited institution. Your official GRE score, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, and that’s regardless of whether you’ve earned credit or degrees from the institution. If you’re an international student we do require a TOEFL score. The completion of the online application is also required. Your recent resume or your CV. An essay, or personal statement of purpose, of which is 1000 words. We do also require three letters of recommendation and then a non-refundable application fee of $85, okay?
Next slide. So with regards to the next step, update your resume if you haven’t already. Email me with your resume, put two times and dates that work best for you so that you and I can have a conversation. Also start building an outline for your statement of purpose. I look forward to assisting you and answering your questions pertaining to the master’s of science ad applied psychology program.

Now, it’s time for the Q&A session. Just a reminder, if you have any questions, please type them into the Q&A box of the lower right hand corner of your screen and hit send.

Our first question is are all of your online courses eight weeks in length? I believe Dr. Leggett had spoken to this earlier, but I want to defer to Dr. Leggett to elaborate a little bit further on the duration of the class time of a semester.

Dr. Leggett: Yeah, hi. This is Andrew, right? Hi, Andrew. Actually our courses are 15 weeks in length. Each course is 15 weeks, whether you start in the summer, whether you start in the fall, or whether you start in the spring. Every term is 15 weeks.

Stephen Hall: Perfect. Thank you so much Dr. Leggett. We have a question here from Ericka Jordan. Have you had students in the past that have done both sets of elective courses.

Dr. Leggett: Hi Ericka, I noticed that you might be right here at USC, is that right? Actually I know you can’t talk back, but I see on the list here that you’re calling from USC Marshall School of Business. So I’m hopeful that you’re an undergraduate student. The answer to your question is that there are only two elective courses in the sequence of courses. Those elective courses can be mixed from both the organizational side and the consumer side. So it is not possible to take every elective course in the program. I hope that answers your question. Oh, I am a staff member at Marshall School. Welcome! I would invite you to come over and chat with me any time that you would like to, I’m happy to meet with you and answer any questions.

Stephen Hall: Great, thank you so much Dr. Leggett.

Dr. Leggett: You’re welcome.

Stephen Hall: We have another question here. Do you have the option to attend part-time?

Dr. Leggett: The online program is only part-time. The on campus program is only full-time.

Stephen Hall: Excellent, thank you. Okay, we have another question here. Can I alternate between the online programs and the campus program?

Dr. Leggett: I wish that the answer to that could be yes, but at this point in time, the programs are distinct. That means that if you apply for the online program, you will be taking all of your courses online. If you apply for the on campus program, you will be taking all of your courses on campus. We are working with some pathways down the line in the future to create more flexibility, but at this point in time it is one or the other.

Stephen Hall: Thank you Dr. Leggett. The next question. When does the next semester start – it’s actually a two part question – and do you happen to know when the deadline for applying to this upcoming semester is?

Dr. Leggett: I’m gonna let you answer that Stephen.

Stephen Hall: Right. So the next semester is the summer semester. It starts on May 19th. The deadline however for summer is April 18th. So if this sounds like something you’re interested in applying to, April will be here before we know it. Next question. Are there any opportunities for financial aid?

Dr. Leggett: There is of course opportunity for financial aid available through USC’s usual financial aid application process, which is primarily the government grants and loans. At this time there are no specific grants available for students in this program, that are earmarked for students in this program.

Stephen Hall: Thank you Dr. Leggett. Great question here. Before we apply, will we have needed to make the decision of an on-site or online program or will we be able to make it after we’re accepted? So I’ll speak to that. In terms of applying to the on-site or the campus based program and online program, they’re actually two distinct applications that you would apply with. So prior to deciding which program you want to apply to, it might be helpful to think about which is going to best serve your need program wise and then proceeding from that understanding. Hopefully that makes sense.

All right, another really good question. Do you waive the GRE requirement for transferring master’s students?

Dr. Leggett: I’m not sure what I know transferring master student means, let me take a stab at this. If you’re currently enrolled as a master’s student in a master’s program elsewhere, you don’t need to retake the GRE, but the GRE scores from anybody needs to be within the last five years.

Stephen Hall: Okay, great. Thank you. Let’s see here, so how much weight does your essay get into the program hold if your past transcripts do not reflect the master’s program?

Dr. Leggett: That’s a really good question and I’m happy to speak to that. The essay is very important. The essay is your opportunity to market yourself, to help us see how you see the connection between our program and what you’ve done in the past, and what you intend to do in the future. So it’s very important. In response to the reference to past transcripts, we do look at all transcripts and all academic work. I think it’s safe to say that the farther away your undergraduate transcripts are in time, the more we would look at your work experience.

That being said, we do hope that there has been adequate preparation to be able to succeed in a graduate level program in psychology. This is a psychology degree and a psychology program, so having had introduction to psychology at some point in your transcript would be desirable if you weren’t a psychology major and if you’d more recently done some coursework, one course at community college or something like that, that is more relevant, we would certainly be happy to see that as well.

Stephen Hall: Great, thank you so much Dr. Leggett. Next question here. Is it possible to take a single course without pursing the master’s degree and if so, can the course be applied to the degree program at a later date?

Dr. Leggett: So the question is, if I understand it, is can you just take one course without applying to the program? The answer to that is right now, no. We are accepting applications for students who intend to pursue the degree, and Stephen, I suppose this could be something we could dream about in the future but there is no plan right now to have a trial period of let’s just take one class in this program and see how it goes. Interesting idea though.

Stephen Hall: Indeed, thank you so much Dr. Leggett. So the next question. How much is the tuition for the program? I can speak to that. The tuition per credit is $1,536 per credit. Again, there’s 34 credits in all in the program, so in sum, the tuition is $52,224.

Next question. What are the GPA requirements? Actually it’s a few questions here. What are the GPA requirements, desired GRE test scores, and when the program begins? I actually spoke to the latter question, but the GPA requirements and desired GRE test scores.

Dr. Leggett: I’ll answer that if you’d like Stephen. This is an interesting question because we’re getting applications from people who maybe have GPAs that are from a few years ago and they haven’t been in school recently, they’ve been working. So one thing that is important for me to say first is that we do a holistic evaluation of every student’s complete application. GPA from your undergraduate transcript is not the only thing that matters. GRE scores are the only thing that matters. I want to make sure that everyone understands that we look at your resume, we look at what you’ve been doing with your life, what your goals are, and what the personal statement says.
But the graduate school at USC does have very high standards. This is a national University and the academic standards for the online program are consistent with the academic standards for the on campus program and the graduate school does have guidelines for us in that regard. I would say that if you have a GPA, no matter when it was in time, a GPA that’s 3.0 or above you are within the ballpark that will kind of get through the first blush of the graduate school requirements. GRE scores.

In the olden days, anyone who took the GREs before they came up with this new recent scoring system, the numbers that the graduate school has as minimum numbers were 500 math, 500 verbal. In contemporary scoring, that averages out to 297 combined score for math and verbal if you take the GREs in the new format. Again that said, those are two numbers and there are other things that are in everyone’s transcript that are looked at, especially for students who have been out of the academic environment for a few years.

Stephen Hall: Great, thank you so much Dr. Leggett. Here’s a really good question. I get this a lot. Are there plans for a PhD program?

Dr. Leggett: There are no plans for a PhD program in this program at all. Not on the horizon at all. The reason for that is we feel we are serving a very particular niche, which is people who have – well a couple of different niches, but one is people who have a liberal arts or psychology or social science background and who have been underemployed and haven’t found ways to utilize their education in the workplace. For those people, we perceive that we’re doing a service in helping them carve the way to find relevance from whatever education they had before into new fields.

Our second mission is to help people who are at points in their career where they would like more education in order to take their career to a new level. We’re very much a practitioner oriented program and the PhD program at USC are very academic, research based. We are applied, so we are really focused on getting people in the workforce to apply psychology. I can’t foresee a PhD at USC in this area anytime soon.

Stephen Hall: Thank you.

Dr. Leggett: We have lots of PhD programs here though. Come for PhD in clinical, come for PhD in social, come for PhD in developmental, there are lots of PhD program in psychology at USC. Just not applied psychology right now.

Stephen Hall: Indeed. Another question here. Are there any certifications or licenses that we can quality to take? For example, PHR or LPC.

Dr. Leggett: We don’t include those in our curriculum, but we have had that question before and we are looking into it. There are other places you could go if you just want the license or the certification program. So we have a more complete program than that, but it is something that we could offer and are looking into something that students could do as a separate workshop approach somehow.

Stephen Hall: Okay. How many applicants are predicted to be accepted into the next cohort in the online program and how many are typically accepted into the on campus program?

Dr. Leggett: Our on campus program is 30 students and is very highly selective. We have hundreds of applicants for our on campus program and we’re not intending to grow that program. The online program, because it’s new, we’re just ramping up, so we would like to have full classes and at the same time we would like class sections to remain small enough so that students get the individual attention that we think is a hallmark in our program, no matter how many students are in the program online there would still be not more than 25 or 30 with one instructor. I think that we will probably have less than that, especially because we’re right at the beginning of the program.

Stephen Hall: Great, thank you so much Dr. Leggett. Good question here. Do you happen to have an idea of the weekly time requirement for these courses?

Dr. Leggett: Christine, do you wanna say anything about that? Christine?

Stephen Hall: Christine actually had to step out for a moment.

Dr. Leggett: Okay, I thought she was on mute. I’ll talk to that. I’m currently the professor for the foundation’s class along with Professor Jellison. We’re sharing that together. The types of activities for each class are really in two different areas. One are the activities that substitute for what you would do in the classroom where we have developed activities that mirror the kinds of interactions and topics that would’ve been covered in a classroom.
Our classes on campus are four hours long. They meet once a week, so our four hour long class for a given week would have included many activities. Many group discussions. Many tasks that they do inside the classroom, like sometimes we’ll have students fill out a self-assessment of some sort and then in a small group discuss it. There are also lectures by the professors.

All of those activities have been concerted into activities to be done by the online students. We think that they’re very fun, we think they’re very engaging and give you a lot of opportunity to interact with each other in the online environment. Sometimes we’re doing live sessions where we need to get you all together at the same time and we have through the wonders of technology and Adobe Connect, we all have an opportunity to meet at the same time online and have a live session as well.

In addition to those activities that parallel the classroom, there are also the actual assignments that would be done outside the classroom and those would be reading assignments in preparation for the week’s lessons and also writing assignments. I don’t know how to quantify the number of hours. I think it depends upon each student, but the intent is for it to be commensurate with what the same activities were for that lesson on campus.

Stephen Hall: Perfect, thank you so much Dr. Leggett. We have one final question here that we’re going to address. Can we apply to both the online program and the online campus program?

Dr. Leggett: Can you apply to both programs? Yes, you can. There is no reason why you cannot. They actually are distinctly different. You can’t through one application apply to both. You have to apply two times. The way that the USC admissions process works, but you can indeed.

Stephen Hall: Perfect. Well, thank you so much Dr. Leggett. Thank you also Christine Callan. This concludes today’s webinar. Remember, if you have any questions or think it’s time to apply, please reach out to me. My contact information is on your screen now. I’ll also have a PDF and a recording of this event and I’ll be able to send that to you within the next week. Thank you again and have a great day.

[End of Audio]

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