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Masters Program

The MA in General Psychology is a mentor-based program designed to be completed in 4 semesters.  Students are accepted into this program by a particular faculty member based on student potential to excel in research and interests that are well matched to the faculty member admitting the MA student. Students are expected to become fully immersed in the activities of the mentor’s laboratory and obtain hands-on research experience.  Through selection of appropriate elective courses, students can choose a concentration within the field of general psychology. Areas of concentration represented in the Department include Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Social-Personality Psychology.

The MA in General Psychology program is appropriate for:

  • Individuals who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology but either lack the formal training in their area of interest or need to strengthen their credentials to be competitive for doctoral programs.
  • Individuals who have a long-range plan to obtain a doctoral degree, but are not ready to commit to doctoral studies.
  • Individuals who wish to pursue careers that require research skills.

$1000 in professional development funds for each new Mentored Master’s student

The Department of Psychology will provide $1000 for the professional development of each student entering the MA in General Psychology in the Fall of 2018.  The money can be used to cover a variety of expenses and can be used at any time while the student is matriculated in the program.  The expectation is that the student will consult with his/her adviser on how to best use the funds. This money can be used to cover expenses incurred for the student’s master’s project, including paying research participants, advertising for study participants, special materials, equipment, or software.  The money can also be used for travel to a research conference or a workshop to augment the student’s training (e.g., advanced statistics workshop).

Degree Requirements:

Curriculum (30 credit hours)

MA coursework:

  • 1 graduate statistics course (PSY 608 or PSY 607, 3 credits)
  • One distribution course from each of our four areas (12 credits)
    • Behavioral Neuroscience (513 Biological Bases of Behavior)
    • Clinical (618 Developmental Psychopathology,  624 Psychopathology)
    • Cognitive (627 Perception, 639 Cognitive, Processes, 642 Psycholinguistics, 728 Memory)
    • Social – Personality (680 Advanced Social Psychology, 725 Attitudes and Social Cognition)
  • Electives (15 credits)
  • No more than 6 credits of PSY 600 or 799

Students must:  (a) obtain a grade of B- or higher in Data analysis and in all four distribution courses, and (b) maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Mentored MA Project

The mentored MA project is supervised by the student’s mentor.  The project consists of a well-organized and thoroughly documented scholarly paper with an identifiable research question.  The project can take several forms depending on the needs of the student, including but not limited to, an original empirical study, a critical review paper, or a paper reporting a meta-analysis.


  • Applications to the MA program are accepted based on the recommendation of individual faculty. Only those applicants whose research interests match those of a specific faculty member who is interested in serving as the student’s mentor will be accepted.
  • Faculty members accepting MA students for the upcoming Fall semester are listed here. You must list at least one of these faculty members on your online application in the Enrollment Information Section under “Faculty Member(s) you would like as a mentor”. You should list at least one faculty member from the area of research interest that you have indicated on your online application.
  • Application is through online form only.
  • For instructions on how to complete the online application form click here.
  • Competitive applicants have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and verbal and quantitative GRE scores > 50th percentile.
    • Low GRE scores or low grades aren’t necessarily a problem if there are other strong credentials. (e.g., lots of research experience or great letters of recommendation).

Graduates from our MA program are eligible for a career right after graduation or are prepared for further graduate education in a variety of fields, such as law, business, economics, health sciences, social work, public health, geography, and psychology. Many of our MA graduates have applied their advanced training in psychology to work as researchers, mental health workers, administrators, and managers, or they have gone on to pursue a Ph.D.

The MA program is not intended to qualify students for the independent practice of professional psychology. In order to work as a professional psychologist, it is necessary to earn a Ph.D. (a doctorate).

Student Learning Overview

A description of the Masters curriculum, requirements, goals, and objectives for student learning can be found here:Student Learning Overview and Goals.