Master of Arts in Psychology

*Available in Fall 2021

The MA in Psychology at Dallas Baptist University is a master’s program for those who desire to help people. Do you have a heart for children or individuals who struggle with mental health? Our master’s degree in psychology can empower you to become an advocate and make an impact on the lives of those in need.

More than an Education

DBU offers the premier Christ-centered MA in Psychology, a 60-hour program designed to prepare graduates as a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA). The LPA allows graduates to practice as a mental health practitioner in the state of Texas. For those who desire even more career flexibility, with only two extra courses, students may choose to prepare to become a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP). Our small class sizes (13:1 student to faculty ratio) provide an environment where professors invest individually in a mentoring relationship that facilitates learning. Because you are more than just your career, we are committed to excellence in academics and exceptional investment in your personal development.

Marked by Service

At DBU we are dedicated to your success. We believe that how you achieve is more important than what you achieve. This is why we’re passionate about our mission to produce Christ-centered servant leaders who with every lecture, assignment, project, and engagement, are being equipped to impact the world through their respective calling. An investment in a DBU MA in Psychology is an investment that can yield an eternal reward and can equip you for your calling to help others.

"My full-time job is to take care of you. Whether providing clarity, advising for classes, enrolling, or any need that is specifically yours, I have been called to be of service."

- Parnell Ryan, Program Director
214-333-5694 |

Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Psychology
  • Demonstrate through their academic record a likelihood of success in the Master of Arts in Psychology Program.
  • Entrance exam optional. For those who submit an entrance exam the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®) will be accepted.

The admission requirements listed above are specific to this degree program and are supplemental to the Graduate School’s requirements for  Full Admission. Admission to one graduate program does not guarantee admission to another. Applicants who show potential for graduate study, but do not meet the criteria for Full Admission, may be admitted for up to 12 hours under provisional status. Students admitted under  Provisional Admission will be granted Full Admission upon successful completion of 12 credit hours and fulfillment of the conditions of their admission as determined by the Master’s Degrees Admission Committee.

Full Admission Requirements |  International Admissions |  Transfer Admissions

Program Requirements

Students who pursue the M.A. in Psychology will engage in a robust 60-hour program which may include:

  • Professional Orientation: Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology and Counseling
  • Theories and Techniques
  • Group Counseling Methods
  • Lifespan Human Development
  • Psychological Assessment I
  • Research Methods
  • Counseling Culturally Diverse Clients
  • Basic Counseling Skills
  • Career Counseling and Lifestyle Development
  • Addictive and Compulsive Disorders
  • Psychopathology I
  • Psychopathology II
  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Theological Perspectives in Christian Counseling
  • Advanced Counseling Methods and Crisis Intervention
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychological Assessment II
  • Psychology Internship I (S-L)
  • Psychology Internship (S-L)
  • LPA/LSSP Review Course

For those students wishing to add the LSSP, two additional courses will be required.

  • Classroom and Behavioral Management Strategies

     Choose 1 of the following:

  • Introduction to Exceptional Learners
  • Teaching the Underachiever
  • Current Trends in Special Education

Dr. Parnell Ryan

Dr. Parnell Ryan is a well-known and well-respected Licensed Psychologist and Counselor in the DFW area. He began his education at University of New Mexico and earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Ryan has served the metroplex through counseling and providing diagnostic testing to individuals, couples, children, and families. His passion for teaching the next generation has led him to teach psychology courses at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Criswell College, Tarrant County College, Weatherford College, Weatherford ISD, and Dallas Baptist University.

Dr. Ryan understands the importance of mentorship in the classroom. He is recipient of the DBU Patriot Mentor Award and Tarrant County College Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. Dr. Ryan and his wife are members of First Baptist Church Arlington and are parents to two daughters.

Dr. Harry Beverly

Dr. Harry Beverly is currently serving as the Psychology Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Counseling and Psychology at Dallas Baptist University. He has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1990 and is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

He is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with both his graduate and doctoral degrees. Dr. Beverly has served across a wide array of psychological occupations and leadership positions. During his career he has worked as an inpatient psychotherapist, a director of an eating disorder clinic, served First Baptist Church McKinney as a Minister of Family Life, and continues to mentor and teach students in higher education.

Dr. Joan Davis

Dr. Joan Davis has been a member of the Dallas Baptist University family since September of 1993. She currently serves as a Professor of Counseling and Psychology in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Davis is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University (Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Arts in Counseling), and Texas A&M University-Commerce (Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision).

Dr. Davis is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (and supervisor, LPC-S) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Texas. Some of her research interests include ethical practice in professional counseling, the integration of faith in mental health services, and grief recovery Dr. Davis is married to a Baptist pastor, Dr. Rick Davis, and they have served together in ministry for over 45 years at various churches in the state of Texas. The Davises have four grown and married children (all DBU graduates) and 12 grandchildren.

Preparation for Licensure

A Degree for Eternal Impact

A Master of Psychology at DBU will prepare you for your calling as a servant leader in a wide array of psychological occupations. The MAP positions students to practice in both Christian and secular areas of psychology. Collaborate with peers and learn from experienced professors on advanced counseling techniques and psychological testing methods.

A Licensed Psychologist Assistant has a unique opportunity to practice independently in Texas, and this program is providing cutting-edge opportunities for those seeking LPA Licensure. For six more hours, students can also sit before the Praxis to become a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology. After 60-66 hours of hands-on learning, graduates will be prepared to confidently sit before the EEEP or Praxis for their chosen career path.

At DBU, your calling is our mission. Our faculty members want to help you discern your next steps towards furthering your education, gaining licensure, and developing your eternal impact in the world as ambassadors for Christ.

1. How does one become a Licensed Psychological Associate?
A Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) is achieved after earning a master's degree in Psychology, passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), and other requirements for obtaining licensure through the state. The title and practice limitations vary from state to state and may include titles such as Psychological Examiner or Psychological Assistant. For the past three years in the state of Texas, an LPA can practice independently when meeting certain requirements.

2. What is the difference between an LPA and LPC?
While there are many similarities between an LPA and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), an LPA’s graduate coursework provides a broader knowledge of applied psychology allowing vocational opportunities in assessment, intervention, and application for diverse areas such as business and industry, forensic, sports, medical, research, and technology.

3. Is this degree offered online?
This degree will be offered online synchronously, meaning students will be required to log during the scheduled class time, but can do so from their preferred place of learning.

4. Do you have a standardized entrance test requirement?
Yes. We require applicants to take the GRE or GMAT tests.

5. How long is the program?
The program is 60 credit hours, offered in four semesters per year.

6. What kind of internships are available?
Internships for students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Psychology may be available in business and industry, forensic, sports, medical, research, therapeutic, education, and technology settings.

7. What time are classes in session?
Most classes will be held in the evening at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Some classes may be offered during the day.

8. What are the prerequisites?
Undergraduate psychology hours and one statistics class are required as prerequisites.

9. Can I transfer in credits?
Yes. Please contact your Program Coordinator to determine if classes may transfer. Students may transfer up to 12 hours, with a grade of “B” or better from a regionally accredited institution.

10. How long will it take to get an admissions’ decision?
You should receive an admissions decision within one week, upon completion of the entire application process.