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

Psychology, M.S.

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The Forensic Psychology Option requires 52 units. At least 50% of all units for the degree must be 500-level.

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.


Master of Science: Forensic Psychology Option (52-53 Units)

The M.S. in Forensic Psychology option is designed for students whose primary interest is in working or studying in areas of psychology that intersect with the Criminal Justice system. 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 career goals. All students begin their program in the fall quarter and take several core courses together. Students will also take part in a 9-month practicum (PSY 595) where they will receive hands-on training and on-site supervision.

Admission to the Master of Science Program in Forensic Psychology

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

Students are required to have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the last 90 quarter units to be eligible for the forensic psychology option. However, students with a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 may be admitted if they present evidence that they are qualified for graduate work. This evidence could include relevant experience or an advanced psychology GRE score of 550 or higher. Students with a GPA below 2.75 will not be considered.

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