Apr 25, 2024  
University Catalog 2015-2016 (Final Quarter Catalog) 
University Catalog 2015-2016 (Final Quarter Catalog) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, M.A.

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The M.A. degree is a rigorous program designed to develop research and conceptual skills for students whose primary interest is in continuing their education in a doctoral program. A key feature of the program is a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member who oversees the student’s progress toward his or her individual research goals.

General Admission Requirements

In addition to submitting a University Admissions Application, applicants must also apply separately to the department. Please note that acceptance into the University does not guarantee admittance to the department. Application forms are available in the department graduate studies office. Completed applications and transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (except Cal State L.A.) must be received by the department as well as the admissions office before action on admission can be taken. Note that application deadlines for each program and required supporting materials are stated within the department’s application form.

The minimum requirements for admission to the graduate program in psychology are:

  • Completion of an undergraduate major in psychology with a grade point average of 2.75 or higher in the last 90 quarter units of work at an accredited institution.


  • For students whose bachelor’s degree is not in psychology, completion of the non-major conditional program of 36 units (described below) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Note that these minimum admissions requirements apply to the MA degree and to the MS degree with MFT option only; both the ABA and the Forensic Psychology options of the MS degree require a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Special Action Admission

Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements must petition directly to the department for admission by Psychology / 643 special action. All petitions must be accompanied by evidence that the applicant is qualified for graduate work. This evidence could include (but is not limited to) relevant experience or an advance psychology GRE score of 550 or higher. Students whose petitions are approved must complete a 16 unit conditional program of upper division course work in psychology with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Students are cautioned that no credit toward a graduate degree can be earned before completion of the conditional program.

Non-major conditional program for students whose baccalaureate is not in Psychology

The following prerequisites (or their equivalents) must be completed before beginning the master’s program.

General Program Requirements

Departmental Core Requirements (4-5 units)

Classified graduate students must complete within their first four courses one of the following with a grade of B or higher:

Advancement to Candidacy

Upon satisfactory completion of one of the departmental core requirements listed above, the WPE exam, and 12 additional units (16 units total) selected in consultation with an adviser, students must file Advancement to Candidacy application form (GS-10) with the department.

Enrollment in PSY 585 , 595 , 597 , 598 , 599 , and the Comprehensive Examination (PSY 596 ) is limited to students who have been advanced to candidacy.

Admission to the Master of Arts Program

Students must submit a complete application by April 10 to be considered for September admission. Applicants will be notified of their status by June 1st.

General Program Requirements

At least 50% of the required 45 units must be 500-level. A minimum of 10 units must come from courses other than PSY 595, 597, 598, and 599.

Core Requirement (Total 17-18 units)

Students must complete the following with a grade of B or higher.

Required Courses (2-6 units)

Select 2-6 units of PSY 597  in consultation with adviser.

Electives in Psychology/Related (19-20 units)

Select 19-20 units of electives coursework in consultation with advisor to complete the 45 units required for the degree. 400-Level courses cannot comprise more than 50% of the elective units.

Thesis (4 units)

Advancement to Candidacy

Upon satisfactory completion of the WPE Exam, PSY 495 , one additional core requirement and 7-8 additional units (16 units in total), students must file the advancement to candidacy application form (GS-10) with the department.

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