The College of Education Master of Arts in Psychology program consists of two sequences: Clinical and Theoretical. The program provides students with a strong theoretical and research base in Psychology. Both sequences stress the importance of cultural and individual differences and are designed to prepare students to pursue advanced graduate degrees in psychology.
The Clinical Sequence is designed to develop competent and creative professionals who have the capacity to function in a variety of clinical settings. This sequence is based on the scientist-practitioner model, which calls for clinicians to be trained in both science and applied clinical practice. Students are expected to develop proficiency in the theories and methods of clinical psychology; learn to apply research to clinical practice; gain specialized knowledge of psychological dysfunction and evidence-based assessments and treatments for psychological disorders, and learn and apply the ethical standards of the profession. The Clinical Sequence curriculum is aligned with the course requirements for eligibility to sit for the examination for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois.
The Theoretical Sequence in Psychology is designed to provide students with a strong theoretical background in applied general psychology and individually specialized training in conducting ethical, culturally sensitive psychological research. Students will be prepared to pursue advanced graduate studies in psychology (the Ph.D. or Psy.D. degrees), to be employed in research units in business or social services, or to teach at the college level. With the addition of a teaching certificate from another program, graduates may be eligible to teach in a high school. The M.A. in Psychology (Theoretical Sequence) does not lead to licensure.
While an undergraduate major in psychology is strongly recommended, students without a psychology background may be admitted to the major and enroll for courses. Students must show evidence of having completed the following prerequisites (or their equivalent): Personality Theories (PSYC-2410 ), Cognitive Psychology (PSYC-3520 ) or Learning and Behavior (PSYC-3524 ), Abnormal Psychology (PSYC-3430 ), Social Psychology (PSYC-2345 ), Child Development (PSYC-3201 /PSYC-2201 ), Research Methodology (PSYC-4750 /PSYC-2150 ), and Statistics (STAT-2100 ). These courses may be taken at another institution, and they may not be used to fulfill degree requirements for the M.A. in Psychology.
Special Admission Requirements
New students are admitted to the MA Psychology program once each year. The application deadline for Fall admission is March 15th. In addition to meeting university admission criteria, applicants must:
- have completed, with an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, no grade lower than a “C” and no more than two grades of “C,” undergraduate courses from a regionally accredited college/university that are comparable to Personality Theories (PSYC-3310 /PSYC-2410 ), Cognitive Psychology (PSYC-3520 ) or Learning and Behavior (PSYC-3524 ), Abnormal Psychology (PSYC-3430 ), Social Psychology (PSYC-3345 /PSYC-2345 ), Human Development (PSYC-3201 /PSYC-2201 ), Research Methodology (PSYC-4750 /PSYC-2150 ), and Statistics (STAT-2100 ). Please note, these courses are prerequisites and may be taken at another institution, and may not be used to fulfill degree requirements of the M.A; **
- have earned a grade point average (G.P.A.) of at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work; **
- have a combined score (Verbal and Quantitative) of at least 302 on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). general test if the GRE is taken after August 2011, or a combined score (Verbal and Quantitative) of 1050 if taken prior to August 2011; **
- demonstrate evidence of satisfactory professional writing and analysis by one of the following: a grade of “B” or higher in PSYC-2102 (Thinking and Writing in Psychology) or its equivalent, or a score of 4.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE General Test**
- provide a statement of the applicant’s purpose in seeking a master’s degree in psychology and his/her long-term goals (applicants should be aware that faculty also evaluate this statement as a professional writing sample);
- ask three professionals/professors who can speak to the applicant’s academic and/or professional capabilities in the field of psychology to complete and submit a Personal Reference Form available on the M.A. Psychology website accessed via the student portal of the GSU website; and
- Complete a “Statement of Character” Form available on the College of Education, MA in Psychology, Admission and Program Requirements webpage.
Admission to the program is determined by the program faculty. Program faculty reserves the right to request personal interviews with applicants to the program. Application packets must be received by March 15 for fall admission.
** Applicants not meeting one of the above noted admission criteria are eligible to petition for conditional admission to the program. Applicants choosing to petition should include a letter with the supplementary admission materials. Faculty recommend the letter, include discussion of the factors contributing to the academic achievement and why those factors could be judged by the faculty as successfully remediated. Faculty reserve the right to require additional coursework as a condition of admission.
Admission to Candidacy
After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student must apply for candidacy. Application forms are available in the Division of Psychology and Counseling Office. Application for candidacy should be made within two weeks of the start of the term in which degree candidacy is sought. To qualify for candidacy, a student must:
- complete all preparatory courses listed above with the minimum grades required; and
- complete PSYC-6110 , PSYC-6160 , PSYC-6221 , and PSYC-6229 with a grade of “B” or better and submit core course candidacy evaluation forms for each course to the faculty.
The candidacy committee will review the applications and inform students of their candidacy status within six weeks of application. Candidacy review is one of several evaluative steps to help ensure program objectives are being satisfied and student outcomes are being reached. Students should refer to the Handbook for Graduate Students: Master of Arts in Psychology for further details.