Psychology M.A.

All General/Experimental and Clinical students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree prior to advancement to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Overview

The Master of Arts in General/Experimental or Clinical Psychology is aimed at students who wish to pursue a doctorate and want to strengthen their credentials to be competitive for doctoral programs, students who wish to pursue careers that require research skills, or students who wish to gain an understanding of research as it pertains to intervention and prevention.  A thesis-based and a non-thesis based option is offered.  For students who wish to pursue research-related careers and/or increase their competitiveness for PhD programs, the thesis option is recommended. For students who need a Master’s degree for a non-research related career, for example in education, law, or business, the non-thesis option is recommended.

For the thesis-based option, applicants are required to identify a thesis mentor among the faculty in the Department of Psychological Science.

Learning goals for Master of Arts in Psychology students are:

  • Development of a foundational understanding in the area of research specialization.
  • Development of effective skills in communicating Psychological Science.
  • Thesis option: Development of strong research skills

NOTE: It is not the program's goal to train licensed therapists pursuing a career in clinical practice. Hence, this program’s curriculum does not provide any supervised practicum or internship hours necessary for licensure. Students interested in a career as a licensed therapist should pursue that goal via the Master’s program in Counseling through the College of Education and Social Services.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Arts

A major or its equivalent in undergraduate psychology is recommended, with a recommended minimum overall GPA of 3.3 and a GPA of 3.5 in the major. For the thesis-based option, applicants to the concentration in General/Experimental Psychology should have coursework in experimental psychology, and applicants to the concentration in Clinical Psychology should have completed abnormal psychology. 3 letters of recommendation are required, and letter-writers should comment on the readiness of the applicant for a graduate program. For the thesis-based option, 1 of the 3 letters of recommendation must be from the prospective faculty mentor and there must be completion of 3 or more undergraduate research credits with the prospective mentor prior to admission. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination are required. Subject scores (Psychology) are not required but are strongly recommended for students applying without a psychology major. An interview is required of top applicants.

Minimum Degree Requirements

Students pursue the thesis-based option with either a General/Experimental Psychology or Clinical Psychology concentration. The non-thesis based option does not have a concentration. For students pursuing the thesis-based option in General/Experimental Psychology, 9-15 credits must be accumulated in Master’s Thesis research, in addition to successful defense of an empirical Master’s Thesis.  For students pursuing the concentration in Clinical Psychology, 9 credits must be accumulated in Master’s Thesis research, in addition to successful defense of an empirical Master’s Thesis. Detailed information on courses of study is available on the department website.

Thesis-Based Option: General/Experimental Psychology Concentration

CATEGORY A: RESEARCH (6 credits)
1 of these combinations is required:
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
PSYS 305Adv Statistical Methods II3
or
PSYS 303Seminar in Psyc Research Meth3
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
CATEGORY B: EXPERIMENTAL (minimum of 6 credits)
At least 2 of the three courses below:
Biobehavioral Proseminar
Proseminar in Exp Social Psych
Developmental Proseminar
CATEGORY C: ELECTIVES (minimum of 3 credits)
At least 1 additional 300-level Psychology course3
CATEGORY D: MASTER'S THESIS RESEARCH
PSYS 391Master's Thesis Research9-15

Thesis-Based Option: Clinical Psychology Concentration

CATEGORY A: RESEARCH (6 credits)
1 of these combinations is required:
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
PSYS 305Adv Statistical Methods II3
or
PSYS 303Seminar in Psyc Research Meth3
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
CATEGORY B: CLINICAL (minimum of 9 credits)
At least 1 course from each pair below is required:
PSYS 370Child Psychopathology3
or PSYS 371 Adult Psychopathology
PSYS 374Behavior Therapy: Children3
or PSYS 375 Adult Cognitive & Behav Thrpy
PSYS 372Child & Adolescent Psyc Assess3
or PSYS 373 Adult Psychological Assessment
CATEGORY C: ELECTIVES (6 credits)
2 additional 300-level Psychology courses. 6
Students may substitute 1 of the following 2 courses for one of the additional 300-level Psychology courses:
Advanced Fit Kids: Applied Res
Advanced Special Topics (Advanced Fit Kids: Special Populations)
CATEGORY D: MASTER'S THESIS RESEARCH
PSYS 391Master's Thesis Research6-9

Non-Thesis Option

CATEGORY A: STATISTICS AND RESEARCH METHODS (6 credits)
1 of these combinations is required:
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
PSYS 305Adv Statistical Methods II3
or
PSYS 303Seminar in Psyc Research Meth3
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
CATEGORY B: ELECTIVES (24 credits)
8 additional 300-level Psychology courses

Comprehensive Examination

For the thesis-based option, a written thesis proposal and an oral examination serves as the comprehensive examination.  For the non-thesis option, a written examination based on coursework serves as the comprehensive examination.  The Comprehensive Examination requirement should be completed by the end of the first semester of the second year in the program. 

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts

Satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination.