Concentration in Trauma Psychology (Clinical and Psychological Science MA)

When students apply to the general MA program they will be asked to indicate whether they are applying to the concentration in Trauma Psychology. Students who are accepted to the general program must complete the following requirements for a Concentration in Trauma Psychology. It is the students' responsibility to make certain, in concert with their advisor, that they have met all of the requirements for the concentration including finding a mentor who is able and willing to supervise a trauma related thesis. Students are encouraged to contact the Director of the CU Trauma, Health & Hazards Center (Dr. Charles Benight) with any questions about the program or its requirements.

Core Faculty and Research Interests:

Related faculty and research interests:

Concentration Requirements

Students in the Trauma Psychology concentration are required to complete all components of the graduate curriculum, including:

  1. Coursework in research and the scientific method (PSY 5810 Research Statistics and Methodology I; PSY 5820 Research Statistics and Methodology II; and PSY 6030 Research Practicum)
  2. Coursework in the knowledge base of psychology: the core content course series (including a core course in Trauma Psychology, explained below); and
  3. A research thesis on a Trauma Psychology topic.

Students should be able to complete the program in 2 years.

Clinical students in the Trauma Psychology concentration will take two core content courses, one of which will be the Core Content Course in Trauma Psychology and one from the list below. Psychological Science students in the Trauma Psychology concentration will take the Core Course in Trauma Psychology and can choose two other courses from the list below. Aside from the required core course, the particular core content course(s) chosen will vary from student to student depending on their interests. Each of the core content courses can be linked into the domain of Trauma Psychology in that people experience trauma at different stages in life, it affects cognitive processing, has an impact in social functioning, and influences individuals differently depending on their personality.

PSY 6100 Developmental Psychology
PSY 6110 Cognition
PSY 6120 Neuroscience
PSY 6130 Social Psychology
PSY 6140 Personality
PSY 6150 Psychology and Law
PSY 6160 Trauma Psychology
PSY 6420 Aging

In addition, all students can choose to take additional related core content courses from other departments. Some options:

HSCI 6300 Sexual Assault: Implications for Health Care Delivery
HSCI 6340 Psychosocial Aspects of Forensic Science
HSCI 6370 Violence and Human Rights Issues
GEO 4550 Disasters and Society
PAD 3400 Public Administration and Homeland Security
PAD 4400 Understanding Terrorism
PAD 4410 Introduction to First Responder Organizations

Clinical Training

The concentration in Clinical Trauma Psychology requires that the student conduct his/her thesis and clinical practicum experience within the Trauma Psychology domain. Potential practicum sites for Trauma in the community include: TESSA (local domestic violence center), DVERT (police program combined with DV center prevention/intervention program), and Colorado Springs Fire Department. Programs will include clinical interventions for trauma recovery as well as prevention programs for secondary trauma.

Students accepted into the Trauma Psychology concentration will need to meet with their Trauma Psychology advisor once a year to make certain that their program of study meets all concentration requirements.

Empirical Research Thesis

Students in the Trauma Psychology concentration will be required to complete a research thesis in this area and be supervised by a relevant faculty member.


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