The M.S. in Psychology 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 research goals. All students begin the program in the fall semester and take several core courses together. Students will also take part in a 9-month practicum (PSY 5950 ) where they will receive hands-on training and on-site supervision.
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 on the department website. 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:
- Students with an undergraduate major in psychology with a grade point average of 2.75 or higher in the last 60 semester units of work at an accredited institution; OR students whose bachelor’s degree is not in psychology, completion of the non-major conditional program of 23 units (described below) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- 3 Letters of Recommendation from those who are familiar with your academic capabilities, at least 2 of which must be from academic sources.
- A Statement of Purpose of 400 to 500 words indicating your reasons for wishing to pursue a research degree, your particular areas of interest, and any experience relevant to your goals and interests. If you have identified a particular faculty member as a possible mentor, indicate this in your letter. (Note that this does not guarantee working with this faculty member.)
- Applicant interview and applicant interview writing sample may be requested.
Note that these minimum admissions requirements apply to the MA degree. Forensic Psychology option of the MS degree requires a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Admission to the Forensic Psychology Option
I. Students with a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0
Students are required to have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 semester units to be eligible for the forensic psychology program. 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.
The following 13 units of 4 prerequisites (or their equivalents) must be completed before beginning the Master’s program.
PSY 1500 , PSY 3020 , PSY 3100 , and one of these two courses: PSY 3180 , PSY 4100
II. 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 high GRE scores. Students whose petitions are approved must complete a 12 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.
III. Non-major conditional program for students whose baccalaureate is not in Psychology:
The following 23 units of prerequisites (or their equivalents) must be completed before beginning the Master’s program.
- Group A (11 units): PSY 3020 , PSY 3040 , PSY 3080
- Group B (any 2 courses, 6 units): PSY 3100 , PSY 4100 , PSY 4120
- Group C (any 2 courses, 6 units): PSY 3220 , PSY 4010 , PSY 4210 , PSY 4240 , PSY 4250 , PSY 4330