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Thesis or Capstone? Choose Your Path to Success!

The Harvard Extension School Psychology Student Society is hosting an exclusive panel discussion on Psychology education with a panel of students and alumni, as well as leading experts, Dr. Max Krasnow and Dr. Adrienne L. Tierney, on April 10th at 7 PM ET. The panel discussion will cover the differences between the Capstone and Thesis tracks in the Psychology program and the various stages of the Thesis track. Whether you are currently enrolled in the program or considering pursuing this academic path, attending this event will provide you with valuable insights that can help you determine which track aligns with your objectives and aspirations.

April 10, 2023
7PM ET (Harvard Time)

Don't Forget to Register - Zoom Link Will Be Sent One Day Prior to Event!

We are excited to announce an exclusive panel discussion on Psychology education with a panel of students and alumni, as well as leading experts at the Harvard Extension School, Dr. Max Krasnow and Dr. Adrienne L. Tierney. The event will take place on April 10th at 7 PM ET, and we invite you all to join us for this exciting opportunity.

The discussion will focus on the differences between the Capstone and Thesis tracks in the Psychology program, as well as the various stages of the Thesis track. Attending this event will provide you with valuable insights that can help you determine which track aligns with your objectives and aspirations, enabling you to make an informed decision.

Whether you are currently enrolled in the program or considering pursuing this academic path, this event is an excellent opportunity to get your questions answered and start paving the way towards your future in Psychology. The expertise of our distinguished guests, Dr. Max Krasnow and Dr. Adrienne L. Tierney, as well as the perspectives of our esteemed panel of students and alumni, will undoubtedly provide valuable guidance and advice for all attendees.

We encourage you to mark your calendars and join us for this exciting event. RSVP by April 9th to confirm your attendance, and we will send you the Zoom link to join the panel discussion.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this session is intended to supplement your knowledge and understanding, and is not a substitute for consulting with your academic advisor. While we aim to provide accurate and reliable information, it is important to discuss your academic plans and decisions with your advisor to ensure that they align with your academic goals and requirements.



Dr. Max Krasnow is an instructor at Harvard Extension School and was associate professor of psychology at Harvard University. He received his PhD in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in the area of developmental and evolutionary psychology. His research primarily focuses on the evolutionary origins and computational design of the mechanisms underlying human cooperation and social behavior. Highlighted in brief in his TEDx talk (Link:, Dr. Krasnow’s work has shown how simple facets of human natural history have shaped our social psychology to be more trusting, kind and cooperative, while also more retributive, aggressive and punitive than a ‘rational’ analysis would suggest. Other lines of research have revealed the origins of human musical psychology in the ancestral conflict between parents and infants over attention, and specializations within human spatial cognition for plant-food gathering. Interested in this research? PDFs of these papers are available at: At Harvard Extension Dr. Krasnow teaches Evolutionary Psychology (Psych E-1356), Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (Psych E-1900), capstone sequences in Psychometrics (Psych E-597c & E-599c) and Applied Educational Psychology (Psych E-597d & E-599d), and supervises ALM thesis student research. He is developing a new course on Sex, Gender & Evolution for Fall 2023.


Dr. Adrienne L. Tierney is a research advisor and instructor in the psychology master’s program at the Harvard Extension School. She spent 10 years in the Harvard College Writing Program where she taught analytical writing classes that dealt with psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as the fundamentals of argumentation. She also created the curriculum for Effective Writing for Health Care, a course at in the Post Graduate Medical Education program at the Harvard Medical School. She received her EdD in human development and education and EdM in mind, brain, and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, her MS in neuroscience from the Université Pierre and Marie Curie, and her BA in neuroscience from Wesleyan University. Her dissertation research examined developmental trajectories in brain and cognitive development of infants at risk for autism. Adrienne’s interests are primarily in teaching analytical writing as a means to help students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills. Since 2006, she has taught many graduate- and undergraduate-level classes at Harvard on writing, human development, emotion, applied cognitive and learning sciences, the psychology of risk, and social and cognitive neuroscience.



We are delighted to announce that Chuck Houston will be joining our esteemed panel of experts for this event. Chuck graduated from the Master of Liberal Arts degree program at Harvard Extension School in 2010, completing the program on the thesis track.

Currently, he serves as an Academic Advisor at Harvard Extension School and is the Primary Advisor for the field of psychology. Chuck plays a critical role in supporting and guiding students pursuing this discipline on their educational journey. We are honored to have him join us and share his insights to help address any questions you may have.


Alison is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership. There, she teaches classes in the Integrative Medicine program and Nutrition program. During her time in the ALM in Psychology at HES, she devoted her studies to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and published four papers on this topic.

She opted for the thesis track and her thesis topic is "The Relationship between Perceived Stigma and Perceived Stress in Cognitive Decline: A survey of Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Their Caregivers". She ran her study at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ and Jacksonville, FL. She just completed a mini-defense of her thesis and she expects to complete her paper shortly.


Cole is a marketing technology consultant based out of Indianapolis, IN. He began his HES curriculum in 2017 and was officially admitted into the ALM program in 2018. Cole was very deliberate in his selection of the capstone experience and in aligning his project with his industry and passion.

For his project, Cole developed a business concept, website, and theoretical product offering based on a new way for marketers to interpret online consumer behavior. Most marketers today build, segment, and personalize content around customer personas and affinities that are based on products. In his capstone, Cole reengineered how marketers view the behaviors with which they construct these practices. Rather than looking through a product-specific lens at the customer, his project (branded “Iceberg Analytics”) aimed to break down the behaviors exhibited by the customers (how they browsed, referring traffic sources, time on site, etc.) to define how marketers can provide a higher quality and more informed end-to-end experience for their consumers.


Having had a deep interest in both the fields of Psychology and Higher Education, Emma found the ALM in Psychology at HES to be a perfect fit for her academic interests, professional goals and busy lifestyle.

She began taking classes toward admission in the Fall 2018 and became an admitted degree candidate in the Spring 2020. Over the past several years Emma had developed an interest in the impact of lifestyle habits on mental health, such as meditation and physical exercise. At HES, she was able to pick courses to meet the degree requirements that also expanded upon her own interests in such topics.

Emma opted for the capstone track and her capstone topic was: “Personal Growth Beyond Therapy: Mindfulness for Young Adults Impacted by Mental Health Disorders.” Her degree coursework helped Emma identify the areas within the field of Psychology she was most passionate about and wanted to focus her energy on.

HES has been a life changing experience for Emma. The admissions process and flexibility of the program really changed how she viewed myself as a learner, and she am incredibly grateful!


Timothy started his Masters’ degree in Psychology at HES after finding himself deeply uninspired by the Social Work program he had just started. At HES, Timothy has gotten a chance to take a more analytical approach to psychology, applying game theory to understand social behavior and studying psychology through an evolutionary lens – a class which he is now teaching with the wonderful Dr. Krasnow!

Timothy opted for the thesis track. Though the exact details are not finalized, he is studying salience in his project, a concept he hopes to pursue into doctoral work with the intent of focusing on its clinical applications.

Register now at to secure your spot.


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