Dec 01, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Psychological Sciences, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Psychology

For best consideration and to be considered for a GA position, apply by the posted Priority deadline.


The M.A. degree program in Psychological Sciences is designed for students who are seeking re-specialization in the field of psychology and/or intensive research experience as preparation for pursuit of advanced doctoral study in Psychology.

The program provides study of biological, social, developmental and cognitive bases of health and human behavior, with concentrated emphasis on how adjustment in these realms serves as the platform for later health and chronic disease outcomes. The program also cultivates advanced competence in research methodology required to interpret and evaluate applied   research
data . For students in both thesis and non-thesis options, elective courses in the domains of experimental and applied psychology, professional and research ethics, infant-family mental health, cultural competence, and other basic and applied areas round out coursework requirements for the degree. Students on the thesis track also complete an empirical master’s thesis.

As a program graduate, you will be:

  • Positioned to assume human service and clinical health research positions demanding advanced competencies in research methodology; data tracking, collection, and analysis; and grant writing associated with graduate training;
  • Eligible for teaching positions at high schools and at 2- and 4-year colleges or universities at (1000/2000 level coursework) with the required 18 hours of graduate work in psychology; and/or
  • Competitive for admission to top doctoral programs through the receipt of the foundational content and research courses built into the first year of the M.A. curriculum coupled with a thesis option that will provide intensive experience in a nationally-recognized program of faculty research as job prospects in Psychology will always remain best for people holding doctoral degrees in applied specialties such as counseling or health.


Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below. 

  • GRE scores 
  • Undergraduate Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, and Research Methods classes are required.
  • A 1000-word statement of intent for seeking an M.A. in Psychological Sciences, including discussion of: your academic background; the specific scholarly issues of which you have interest; how your background has prepared you to excel in the Psychological Sciences M.A. program; and how you intend to apply your education when you complete the M.A. program.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation (three preferred) from qualified people familiar with the nature of the work required of graduate students in the behavioral sciences, and who can address your ability to excel in graduate work. One (1) letter must be from an academic reference.
  • Two (2) examples of professional or academic writing; one (1) academic writing sample must be a research paper at least five pages in length in APA writing style.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours:  36 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements - 15 Credit Hours
  • Additional Required Courses - 3 Credit Hours
  • Electives - 12 Credit Hours
  • Thesis Option - 6 Credit Hours
  • Non-Thesis (Project) Option: 6 Credit Hours

All students are required to take a set of core courses and qualifying examinations during the first year of study.

Additional Required Courses (3 Credit Hours)

Electives (12 Credit Hours Minimum)

    Students select from the following electives, or other graduate course approved by the Graduate Director.  Students in the non-thesis option complete an additional three (3) credit hours of electives.

Qualifying Examination

For advancement to the second year of graduate study, students must pass six required first year courses with a grade of B or better in each, and pass a qualifying exam in statistics and research methodology at the end of the first year of study.

Comprehensive Exam

Students either complete a culminating final project or thesis that covers the breadth of the material across the degree.  The culminating project or thesis defense are used in lieu of the comprehensive exam.

Thesis Option (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students admitted on a thesis track will complete an empirical research study on a topic approved by a thesis committee of three (3) faculty members and defend orally before this committee at the end of the second year of thesis work. Students must enroll in 6 credit hours of 6971 Thesis Research. Thesis proposals should be submitted and accepted by November 1 of the student’s second year.

Non-Thesis (Project) Option (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Non-thesis students must complete a project which can be a graduate internship or a graduate directed research project under the direction of a faculty member of the program. Students may either take three hours of PSY 6917 or PSY 6946, they may take 3 hours of each, or they may take 3 hours of one and take an additional elective for 3 hours.