Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 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 applied research positions or the pursuit of advanced doctoral study in Psychology.

The program provides study of biological, social, developmental and cognitive bases of health and human behavior. 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 both project and thesis options that provide intensive experience in a nationally-recognized program of faculty research.


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 two (2)-page maximum professional statement of intent for seeking an M.A. in Psychological Sciences. This statement should discuss:
  • Your academic background, with specific focus on research and data-analytic experience. Be sure to describe specific skills or concepts you’ve learned, your role in any research-related work you’ve done, and how your background has prepared you to excel in a research-focused program. 
  • Your specific scholarly interests, including any faculty members you might particularly want to work with, and how you intend to apply your education when you complete our program. 
  • Any lived experiences that fostered or demonstrated soft skills (e.g., grit, resilience, time management, etc.) that impact your likelihood of success in the 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 an APA-style paper (research paper strongly preferred).
  • An academic vitae (also called a curriculum vitae or CV)
  • Upper Level GPA Worksheet - Please complete and submit the GPA worksheet linked here to calculate your upper-level undergraduate GPA.
  • Psychological Sciences Application Survey. A link to this survey will be sent to you AFTER you submit your application. We use this survey to pull key information about your application to help speed processing. Please be SURE to provide accurate information that matches your application materials.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours:  36 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements - 9 Credit Hours
  • Additional Required Courses - 12 Credit Hours
  • Electives - 9 Credit Hours Minimum
  • Thesis Option - 6 Credit Hours
  • Non-Thesis (Project) Option: 6 Credit Hours


Core Requirements (9 Credit Hours)

Additional Required Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Electives (9 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students select from graduate level electives offered within the Department of Psychology or other graduate courses chosen in consultation with the student’s facultya dvisor and approved by the Graduate Director.  A maximum of six (6) credit hours can be taken outside of the Department (this limit does not include IDS 6940-Internship).

Students in the non-thesis option complete an additional three (3) credit hours of electives for a minimum of 12 credit hours - refer to that section for more information.

Routinely offered elective courses within the Department include:

Comprehensive Exam

Students must pass a comprehensive exam in statistics and research methodology that covers the content of the core courses in the Program.

Thesis Option (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students pursuing the thesis option 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.

Students interested in conducting a thesis must identify a primary faculty member within the Program to work with and obtain that faculty member’s agreement to chair their thesis by the end of their first semester in the Program. Thesis proposals should be submitted and approved by the student’s thesis committee no later than the first semester of their second year in the Program.

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 in the Program for three (3) credit hours. They may then take an additional elective, internship, or graduate directed research for the other required three (3) credit hours.