Psychology, M.A.

Our program is a research-based program designed to develop creative problem-solving skills applicable in research, clinical, industrial, and educational settings. Our program is appropriate for a wide range of candidates.

The program is ideal for students who:

  • Plan to apply to Ph.D. programs in Psychology or Psy.D. programs, and need additional research experience to increase their competitiveness.
  • Plan to work in a research setting.
  • Plan to pursue a career in a psychology-related field, and want to expand their knowledge and skills in psychology.
  • Are professionals who seek to update their credentials in employment settings related to psychology.
  • Are teachers in secondary school who want to acquire knowledge and skills for teaching psychology in addition to their current certification.

Students can follow a thesis track, which includes an empirical Masters thesis project, or an exam track, which includes coursework and a comprehensive exam.

The program is flexible enough to be completed either on a full-time or a part- time basis. We offer opportunities for graduate assistantships and research assistantships, which are competitive. While this program is not a clinical or counseling training program and does not lead to licensure, some courses are relevant to clinical psychology. Emphasis is placed on faculty advisement to help tailor the program to the needs of the individual student.

Benefits of Program

Research Opportunities: The Graduate Faculty in Psychology are active and engaged. Several have been recognized for excellence in teaching and research, and have received federal (NIH, NSF) grant funding. Graduate students often collaborate with faculty on this research or develop their own theses in similar areas, and research involves both human participants and animal research in both the laboratory and field. Our facilities include a dedicated and well-equipped behavioral and physiological psychology laboratory, a cognitive/developmental research lab, and computer research labs. We also support research internships at off-campus sites.

Clinical and Assessment Opportunities: Several members of the Graduate Faculty are also licensed clinical psychologists. While the program does not lead to licensure, it provides students with the foundations for later application to a clinical program through coursework and field experiences.  The field experiences also allow students to explore careers in applied settings with professionals who have varied backgrounds. The department is also developing an on-campus assessment center in which graduate students will provide a variety of psychological assessments under the supervision of a faculty member.

One-Year Option: Our program, using the Comprehensive Exam option, may be completed in an accelerated fashion in two semesters and a summer session. This is similar to a 4+1 option (four-year undergraduate degree and one-year graduate degree) that some programs offer.  Students wishing to choose this option should consult with the Graduate Coordinator at the time of application. This plan entails four courses each in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses over the summer. Students electing this option must ensure that their work schedules allow sufficient time to be devoted to their studies. Students electing this plan can take the comprehensive exam at the end of their second full semester (spring or fall). Advanced undergraduates may also be eligible to take a graduate course in the spring semester of their senior year and apply the course toward the graduate program.

Admission and Application Procedures

Students must meet the following minimum requirements to be admitted to the program:

  • 18 hours of psychology (6 courses of at least 18 total credits; graduate or undergraduate) including at least one course in statistics and at least one course in research methods.
    • Note: students with less than 18 total hours of psychology will be considered for acceptance to the program on a case-by-case basis provided they have a statistics course and a methods course in psychology or a related discipline
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • An undergraduate GPA in psychology of 3.0.

Applicants may be required to strengthen their psychology backgrounds by taking certain undergraduate courses before matriculating.

To apply to the program, students must submit all of the following to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies:

  • The graduate school application
  • 300-500 word statement explaining why the applicant is interested in obtaining a master's degree in psychology, and what type of career the applicant is seeking
  • All college transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic or professional references (at least one academic reference preferred).

For further information, contact

Application Deadline

The Psychology program has rolling admissions but students are encouraged to have their application files complete by June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.