College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences prepares undergraduate and graduate students to become professionals, leaders, and change agents in their chosen fields and communities. We offer a variety of academic programs that support career paths that make a difference in response to human societal causes, issues, and needs. Program offerings focus on the knowledge required within these fields as well as ethics, decision-making, communication, and critical thinking skills.
Criminal Background Check Policy
If you cannot pass a background check, you will likely experience limitations and/or restrictions on employment opportunities. Before you are fully admitted into one of the following programs, you must have an approved criminal background check from the Purdue Global-approved vendor on file prior to the first day of your first term. If an approved criminal background check is not on file with the University prior to the first day of your first term, your enrollment will be cancelled.
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Master of Science in Psychology
- Master of Science in Human Services
- Graduate Certificate in Addictions
- Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams
Certain state certification and licensure boards have specific educational requirements for programs to lead to a license or nongovernmental certification that is a precondition for employment in a recognized occupation.
Unless otherwise specified, Purdue Global's programs are not designed to meet any specific state’s licensure or certification requirements. If certain licensed occupations, vocations, or professions are not explicitly listed, Purdue Global has not made a determination with respect to the licensure or certification requirements of those occupations, vocations, or professions. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.
You are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. Such requirements may change during the course of your program. You are not automatically certified in any way upon program completion. Although certain programs are designed to prepare you to take various optional certification exams, Purdue Global cannot guarantee you will be eligible to take these exams or become certified. Your eligibility may depend on your work experience, completion of education and/or degree requirements, not having a criminal record, meeting other certification requirements, or the program or the University itself having appropriate accreditation or licensure.
State authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P–12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama certificate. Applicants for an Alabama certificate based on reciprocity must meet Alabama's test requirements and submit a valid, renewable professional educator certificate/license issued by another state at the degree level, grade level, and in the teaching field or area of instructional support for which an Alabama certificate is sought and for which Alabama issues a certificate. Applicants for Alabama certification in an area of administration must also document at least 3 years of full-time employment as an administrator in a P–12 school system(s).
Specific education master's degrees are not recognized for initial licensure in Tennessee and cannot be used to add endorsement areas to a Tennessee license. Potential students are strongly encouraged to confirm salary rating and license renewal policies with their school district and/or state department, when applicable.
Benefits for Tennessee K–12 teachers enrolled in the Master of Science in Education or the Master of Science in Education's educational leadership concentration include:
- Salary increase and/or licensure renewal1
- Career advancement, i.e., those completing the educational leadership concentration may gain the necessary leadership knowledge and skills to be eligible for a department chair or other nonlicensure administrative role
Benefits for career changers enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching include:
- Increased confidence in the classroom while working with adolescents in current role
- Greater preparation for state pedagogy exams and state-approved certification programs
- Salary increase1
Benefits of the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology include:
- Entry into a career as an instructional designer or instructional technologist
- Ability to fine-tune skills related to design, development, and evaluation of instructional programs, materials, and media
Check with your school district and/or the Tennessee Department of Education prior to enrollment.
Master of Arts in Teaching
The Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed to help you become proficient in nine program competencies, which are based upon national and state professional standards for beginning teachers. Each course requires you to gain knowledge and experience in relation to one or more of the program competencies.
Master of Public Administration
If you are a practicing or aspiring administrator, the Master of Public Administration program could help you develop the skills and techniques to provide leadership in a wide variety of public service fields. The program teaches you to evaluate, implement, and manage policy and to make ethical and effective decisions in the interest of creating public value.
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to help you satisfy your intellectual curiosity, build knowledge, and prepare to successfully undertake leadership and other professional positions in today's complex criminal justice environment.
Master of Science in Education
If you are a current or former prekindergarten through 12th grade teacher, the Master of Science in Education program and its curriculum could provide you with the knowledge and practical experience that meet nationally recognized standards for such a degree. This is an advanced teacher preparation program in which all coursework contains job-embedded assignments and, therefore, requires you to teach a consistent group of learners. Courses teach you to consider how to most effectively promote student learning and development and school achievement, and demonstrate your understanding of the program's four knowledge goals: diverse learners, academic content and pedagogy, assessment, and professional responsibilities and relationships.
Master of Science in Educational Psychology
The Master of Science in Educational Psychology program is designed to prepare you to pursue professions in educational, instructional, and governmental institutions. You will focus on developing the knowledge and skills to guide improvement of educational programs and practices.
Master of Science in Higher Education
The Master of Science in Higher Education program is designed to prepare you to pursue higher education professions or enhance your current higher education career. Courses help you develop knowledge and skills and build a solid basis for professional practice.
Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
The Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management program integrates courses from criminal justice, social science, public policy, leadership, and business into a cross-disciplinary program designed to prepare you to pursue a spectrum of careers in the public and private sectors.
Master of Science in Human Services
The Master of Science in Human Services program is designed for professionals who are committed to improving the quality of life for all people in the growing field of human services in the twenty-first century. The curriculum focuses on the delivery of services, accessibility, the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions, as well as the planning, administration, and coordination of programs.
Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology
The Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology focuses on design, development, and evaluation of educational and informational programs and instructional materials. The specialization options allow you to focus your studies on learning environments appropriate to K–12 contexts, higher education, or corporate, nonprofit, government, and military education and training environments.
Master of Science in Legal Studies
The Master of Science in Legal Studies program is designed to provide a solid foundation in legal doctrine and concepts while developing and refining your ability to identify and analyze legal issues. The program highlights the foundations of the American legal system, process and procedure, dispute resolution, legal research and writing, legal reasoning and analysis, ethical decision making, jurisprudence and legal history, and substantive law in selected areas.
Master of Science in Psychology
The Master of Science in Psychology program provides you with a unique opportunity to balance the rich tradition of the past with exciting contemporary applications of psychology. The curriculum focuses on the processes that underlie the individual human experience and behavior, and core knowledge, theories, and research in the discipline.
Graduate Certificate in Addictions
The Graduate Certificate in Addictions program is designed to provide you with the requisite knowledge to pursue employment and career advancement as an addiction professional. Courses focus on chemical and psychological dependency counseling, advanced addictions counseling, group counseling, psychopharmacology, and co-occurring disorders, with an emphasis on application.
Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
The Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is designed for working professionals who seek to broaden their knowledge and apply the principles of industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology in business and organizational settings. The program offers a rigorous exploration of the theories, methods, and practice of I/O psychology.
Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology
The Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology focuses on developing your skills in the design, development, and evaluation of instructional programs, materials, and media in corporate, nonprofit, military, and higher education environments. Courses focus on current practices in the field of instructional design and technology, instructional design process models, eLearning authoring tools and methods, and online instructional materials using digital media.
Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
The Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program emphasizes coursework that develops the understanding and application of applied behavioral theories and concepts. Content topics include behavioral assessment, treatment intervention and evaluation using a scientist-practitioner approach with a focus on ethical practice, and management and supervision processes. This verified course sequence is designed to prepare you to work in the field of behavior analysis as a clinician or supervisor with a diverse population of clients in a variety of community and educational settings. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of applied behavior analysis in order to meet the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA® ) examination, consider this certificate program.