MA in Psychology

The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences offers a one-year, eight-course program of study leading to the Master of Arts in Psychology that provides the flexibility to explore a variety of areas in psychology, building on a common foundation of scientific methodologies. Particular strengths of the program include cognition, neuroscience, developmental science, and clinical psychology. Most graduate-level courses offered by the department are open to MA students, and all faculty are available for academic supervision. Faculty are actively engaged in psychological research, which provides ample opportunity for students to participate in ongoing projects.

The program satisfies the interests of those who wish to undertake a rigorous course of study that leads to the master’s degree. The program is appropriate both for students with a limited background in psychology and those who hold an undergraduate degree in the field. Some students use the program as a means to clarify their interest in professional psychology; others use it as a first step toward a doctoral program. Many of our graduates have applied their advanced training in psychology to work in government and industry as researchers, mental health workers, administrators, and managers. Others have continued with doctoral studies in psychology or related fields. The program is not intended to qualify students for the independent practice of professional psychology.

Although we do not require that applicants have an undergraduate major in psychology, applicants are required to have taken some coursework in psychology. We recommend an introductory course, a course in research methods in psychology, a course in statistics, and at least two content courses.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an MA in Psychology are expected to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in a minimum of two of three programmatic knowledge areas: Brain, Behavior & Cognition, Clinical, and Developmental Science.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of statistics and research design and the ability to evaluate the quality and implications of scientific research.
  • Write an empirical research report in APA (American Psychological Association) or Index Medicus style by completing a research project (supervised by a faculty member).
  • Demonstrate competence in oral communication and understanding of scholarly research by giving a conference-style presentation.

Course Requirements

Candidates for the MA in Psychology must complete eight 4-credit courses (32 credits) in psychology. Required courses are as follows:

  • CAS MA 614 Statistical Methods II
  • GRS PS 704 Contemporary Trends in Psychology
  • GRS PS 901/902 Directed Study in Psychology
  • A minimum of one course from two of the three fundamental programmatic knowledge areas in psychology (please see the Graduate Student Handbook)

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Directed Study

The MA program does not require a formal thesis, but does require a directed study, a research apprenticeship in which students work with a faculty member on a research project. Please visit the Psychological & Brain Sciences Department website to view the research interests of our faculty.