Jun 20, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 
Graduate Catalog | 2023-2024 Previous Edition

Psychology, M.A.

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.

Note:  Clinical training is not provided at the master’s level. For clinical training at the doctoral level, please see the Ph.D. in Health Psychology  program.

The M.A. program offers optional areas of emphasis: Community Psychology, Cognition, and Health Psychology (Health Psychology is available only for co-enrolled Ph.D. in Health Psychology 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 the award-winning program online
  • Information on Cognitive Science can be found online

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.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate program for Psychology is very competitive, with many students applying for the program.  Students with the strongest qualifications are selected.  Application deadline for M.A. in Psychology is February 1.  Late admit deadline is April 1.  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 Admissions website.

Undergraduate Work

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA overall
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in psychology courses
  • 18 credit hours of undergraduate psychology courses, including Introductory Psychology and Research Methods
  • An undergraduate course in statistics

Additional 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 February 1
  • An agreement with a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychological Science who will supervise the student’s research

Note: Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT, MAT) are not required.

Degree Requirements

The program requires at least 30 credit 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 credit 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.

The student, along with their committee, should draft a plan indicating which courses they anticipate taking, as well as a proposed sequence and a timeframe.  Included should also be 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.

Core Courses (18 credit hours)

Methodology Courses (6 credit hours)

Specialty Area Courses (6 credit hours)

Health Courses

These courses are available only for students currently enrolled in the Ph.D. in Health Psychology  program.

Thesis Course (1 to 3 credit hours)

Thesis committees shall have at least 3 members.  At least one member should be a member of the psychology 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.

Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

A minimum of 12 elective credit hours selected in consultation with the student’s advisory committee is required.  Available elective courses include all Psychology (PSYC) graduate courses and the following courses from other departments:

Degree Total = 30 Credit Hours

Grade Requirements

Hours beyond the required 30 credit hours of graduate course work may be required by the academic advisor and the student’s advisory committee.  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.


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.

Research Experiences

Students are required to become involved in ongoing research in the department, and they are required to complete a thesis.