The M.A. in Psychological Science is a thesis-optional terminal degree awarded after 31 hours of coursework, approval of a major literature review of an approved topic area, and completion of a written comprehensive examination. The coursework requirements are designed to provide training in statistics and research methodology and breadth of coverage in several content areas of psychology. The department offers Ph.D. level training in applied-experimental, clinical, and human development. Students in the general M.A. program take many of the same classes as Ph.D. students. Some courses, including all clinical practicum courses, are not open to M.A. students.

The general master's program is an appropriate program for students with many different backgrounds and is designed for individuals who either:

  • Hope to find career opportunities in areas related to psychology or want to broaden understanding of the field of psychology. Such individuals may or may not have undergraduate backgrounds in psychology. A master's degree in psychology, with experience in understanding and conducting psychological research, is valued in many different employment settings such as human relations, marketing, advertising, management, arbitration, lobbying, and business.
  • Intend to seek a doctoral degree in psychology and who do not have adequate undergraduate training and/or research experience. As part of our program, these students complete a research apprenticeship that substitutes for three hours of course work. Many recent students who completed a research apprenticeship in the general M.A. program have been accepted into clinical, developmental, and applied-experimental psychology Ph.D. programs. Completion of the M.A. general degree shows that one can handle graduate-level courses and can conduct graduate-level research in psychology. Many otherwise qualified individuals fail to be accepted into Ph.D. programs because they lack research experience in psychology. The research apprenticeship in the general M.A. program can provide this critical experience.