Masters of Arts in Psychology

The objective of the M.A. in Psychology program is to train psychologists in the knowledge and skills necessary to address problems encountered in modern living. The program provides a foundation in the research methods and content of basic psychology as well as excellent preparation for doctoral programs in psychology. The relatively small, competitively selected student body receives individual attention from faculty members who maintain rigorous standards of academic excellence.

PLEASE NOTE:  This program has been revised. Clinical training is not provided at the master's level. For clinical training at the doctoral level, please go to the Health Psychology Ph.D. website.

The M.A. program offers optional areas of emphasis: Community Psychology, Cognition, and Health Psychology (Health Psychology is available only for co-enrolled Health Psychology Ph.D. students).  Other focus areas can be considered with the backing of a faculty member.  Applicants are encouraged to check with faculty in their area of interest to determine if they would be open to serving as their research advisors.

  • For students interested in training in Community Psychology, read about community psychology and our award-winning program. If you have specific questions related to the Community Psychology program, please contact Dr. Jim Cook.

  • Information on Cognitive Science can be found here or by contacting Dr. Mark Faust.

Applicants should check with faculty in those areas to determine if they would be open to serving as their research advisors. Without a faculty member who is willing to commit to serving as a research advisor for an applicant, the likelihood of being admitted to the program is very low.

For questions and additional information about the M.A. program please contact program director Dr. Jane Gaultney.


Graduate Program Admissions

Admission to the Graduate Program for Psychology is very competitive, with many students competing to get into the program. We select students with the strongest qualifications.  Application deadline for M.A. in Psychology is March 1st.  Late admit deadline is May 1st.  Please note: there are seldom positions available for students who submit late admit applications.

Students are admitted only for Fall semester. Application materials and instructions can be found on the Graduate School website

Fees


Minimum Admission Requirements - Undergraduate Work

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA overall

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in psychology courses

  • 18 hours of undergraduate psychology courses, including Introductory Psychology & Research Methods

  • An undergraduate course in statistics

Additional Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, a student must present the following requirements in addition to those required by the Graduate School:

  • Completed application by March 1

  • Acceptable scores on the Verbal and Quantitative GRE 

  • An agreement with a member of the faculty in Psychological Sciences who will supervise your research.


Degree Requirements

  • The program requires at least 30 semester hours of graduate coursework. Full-time students should be able to complete the program in two calendar years.  All courses must be pre-approved by the student’s Advisory Committee.  Hours beyond the 30 hours may be required by the academic advisor and student’s advisory committee. 

  • During the first semester the student, with the agreement of the advisor (who must be a member of the Psychological Sciences faculty), must form a three-person advisory committee.  At least one member of this committee must be on the Faculty of the Department of Psychological Sciences.  The members of the advisory committee may or may not be the same as members of the thesis committee.

  • You and your committee should draft a plan indicating which courses you should anticipate taking as well as a proposed sequence and a timeframe.  Include a timeframe to meet the milestones for the program (thesis proposal and defense), recognizing that some courses have prerequisites.  

  • Students are expected to engage in research with their advisor throughout the program.  A thesis is required.


1. Core Requirements: (18-21 credits)

A. Methodology (6 credits)

  • Community

    • PSYC 6145 - Applied Research Design and Program Evaluation 
    • Other Courses in research methods approved by the student's thesis committee
  • Cognition

    • RSCH 6110 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics 
    • RSCH 6120 Advanced Statistics 
    • PSYC 6205 Field & Lab Quant. Res. Meth.
    • PSYC 6650 Research Sem. in Org. Psych.  
  • Health (AVAILABLE ONLY FOR CURRENTLY ENROLLED HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY PH.D. STUDENTS)

    • PSYC 8102 - Research Design and Quantiative Methods in Psychology 
    • PSYC 8103 - Basic Quantitative Analyses for Behavioral Sciences 

B. Ethics Course (3 credits): Choose one of the following

  • PSYC 6107/8107 Ethical and Professional Issues in Psychology (3)

  • PHIL 6240/8240 Research Ethics in the Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences (3)

C. Specialty Area (6 credits)

  • Community

    • PSYC 6155 Community Psychology 
    • One of the following:
      • PSYC 6355 Community Research Practicum 
      • PSYC 6455 Practicum in Community Psychology 
  • Cognition 

    • PSYC 5316 Cognitive Neuroscience 
    • PSYC 6111 Psychology of Learning & Memory
    • PSYC 6115 Sensation and Perception
    • PSYC 6116 Cognition
  • Health (AVAILABLE ONLY FOR CURRENTLY ENROLLED HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY PH.D. STUDENTS)

    • PSYC 6200/8200 Health Psychology 
    • PSYC 6202/8201 Health Psychology II

D. Thesis (3+ credits)

  • PSYC 6999

    • Students are required to become involved in ongoing research approved by their advisor, and they are required to complete a thesis.

    • Thesis committees shall have at least 3 members. At least one member should be a member of the Psychological Sciences faculty. The committee must be approved by the student’s advisor and the program director. After submitting the formal written proposal to the committee, a proposal defense will be scheduled. Approval of the thesis proposal by the committee must be unanimous. Following a successful proposal, the student shall execute the study, write and submit the complete thesis to the committee. An oral defense in front of the committee shall then be scheduled. Approval of the completed thesis by the committee must be unanimous

2. Electives (12 credits)

A minimum of 12 elective credit hours selected in consultation with the student's advisor are required. You can use any graduate level Psychological Sciences or Health Psychology (PSYC) class, and other courses outside Psychology that are approved by your advisor (including the ones listed below or elsewhere in this plan of study). You will need to submit a petition to the Graduate School in order to count non-Psychology classes not listed here towards the MA. You can use any of the courses listed above as elective credit. For example, a student in the Cognitive Science area may use PSYC 6116 and 6115 to satisfy the Specialty Courses requirement, then use PSYC 5316 and PSYC 6111 as elective credit.  

Students can, with their advisor’s approval, co-enroll in a related graduate certificate program and use those courses for elective credit.

Any classes not specifically listed here will not automatically count as an elective for the MA Program in Psychology. To receive credit for those classes you will need to complete a graduate school petition.

Examples:

You can double dip so that classes count both for Certificate program and MA (but generally can’t double dip for two certificates).


The faculty conduct a thorough review of student performance on a regular basis. Continuation in the program is contingent upon a favorable review during these evaluations. Students who consistently show borderline course performance, who fail to complete coursework in a timely basis, or who otherwise perform unprofessionally or unsatisfactorily, may be required to complete additional courses or may be removed from the program. The enrollment of a student who receives three grades of C or one Unsatisfactory (U) grade during his or her graduate career is automatically terminated.


Grade Requirements

The faculty conduct a thorough review of student performance on a regular basis. Continuation in the program is contingent upon a favorable review during these evaluations. Students who consistently show borderline course performance, who fail to complete coursework in a timely basis, or who otherwise perform unprofessionally or unsatisfactorily, may be required to complete additional courses or may be removed from the program. The enrollment of a student who receives three grades of C or one Unsatisfactory (U) grade during his or her graduate career is automatically terminated.


Assistantships

Student funding at the Master’s level is not guaranteed. A variety of resources are available for financial assistance. These include teaching assistantships, research assistantships from faculty grants, and graduate assistantships in other campus units such as the Learning Center and Disability Student Services. See funding opportunities on the Graduate School website.