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Psychology of Work and Family


MALS students take four classes within the program—Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies, two core courses in their chosen track, and the thesis/capstone project—and choose their remaining electives from among courses offered across the doctoral and certificate programs in the Social Sciences and Humanities at the Graduate Center.



MALS Track in the Psychology of Work and Family


Attempting to manage both work and family responsibilities has become an increasingly challenging and pressing issue for many people. Because these issues are so timely and important, they have captured the attention of many academic scholars, resulting in a large body of literature about work and family issues. The aim of the Psychology of Work & Family MALS Track is to explore a variety of topics and approaches to understanding work and family issues, and to prepare students to pursue further studies relating to their individual interests. Adopting a multi-disciplinary lens, these ideas are discussed from an individual, organizational, and broader cultural/cross-national perspective drawing from psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and other relevant disciplines.

Degree Requirements

This Master's degree program requires the following coursework for a total of 30 credits:

  • A required introductory course [MALS 70000: Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies].
  • Two required core courses to introduce students to Psychology of Work and Family [MALS 71700 and MALS 71800].
  • 18 credits from courses of the student's choice.
  • A master's thesis/capstone project [MALS 79000].

Core Courses

The two core courses will provide the student with multiple perspectives on work and family issues in order to prepare her/him to take advanced courses in psychology as well as other relevant disciplines.

  • MALS 71700 Psychology of Work & Family: An Introduction 

    This course will emphasize the psychological aspects of work and family issues as they are experienced by the individual, such as conflicts between work and family roles, and will introduce the student to major work-family (or work-life) theories and research in the psychology literature. In addition, the course will cover organizational policies and programs that are designed to help employees manage work and family responsibilities.

  • MALS 71800 Cross-Cultural & Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work & Family Issues

    This course is designed to broaden the student’s perspectives and deepen her/his understanding of work and family issues. The course will extend beyond the individual level of analysis and take an international perspective by introducing the student to various aspects of context – including cultural, political, and socioeconomic aspects of context – that are critical for understanding individual work and family experiences, as well as broader policies and practices. In addition, the course will incorporate findings from other social science disciplines beyond psychology, including family studies, sociology, political science, and economics, each of which offers a unique perspective on work and family issues.

Together these two core courses are designed to expose students to a wide variety of contemporary work-family issues and also prepare students to pursue their individual interests related to work and family. Examples of relevant topics include gender, families, children, careers, organizations, cultures, globalization, social policies, health, and various aspects of diversity (e.g., race, socioeconomic status, and disabilities). Students may deepen their understanding of topics that interest them through the wide selection of relevant elective courses, which are currently offered at the Graduate Center, as well as their thesis/capstone project research.

Elective Courses

Electives can be chosen among courses offered across most of the doctoral and certificate programs in the Social Sciences and the Humanities at the Graduate Center.
For related coursework in Psychology of Work and Family, students may look to offerings in the doctoral programs in Economics, PsychologyPolitical Science,  and Sociology.


MALS faculty associated with this track:

Library Resources

Visit the GC Mina Rees Library's Psychology of Work and Family Research Guide.
Students' contact for Psychology of Work and Study research is reference librarian Stephen Zweibel.

Questions about the MALS track in the Psychology of Work and Family may be directed to