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Psychology

College of Liberal Arts

Pete the Prospector Statue

Psychology - Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs


Information about graduate programs may be obtained by examining the Department's web site. Go to karl.papubs.csulb.edu/cla/psychology, select "Graduate Program."

The Department of Psychology offers three options for graduate study leading to the Master's degree. One leads to the Master of Arts degree in Psychological Research. The other two options lead to the Master of Science degree, one in Human Factors, and one in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In each option a basic core of courses, including a thesis, is required; however, there is the opportunity for additional work in areas of special interest.

The Master of Arts - Psychological Research program prepares students for doctoral study, provides a general background in Psychology, and offers electives in clinical, physiological, and other traditional areas of psychology. The Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology prepares students primarily for professional work in business setting, although some students proceed to advanced study. The Master of Science in Human Factors program prepares students for careers in applied experimental psychology, with emphases on aviation psychology and computer usability.

Admission to Graduate Programs


An application for admission may be obtained on the Psychology Department web site (go to karl.papubs.csulb.edu/cla/psychology, select "Graduate Program") or by writing directly to the Psychology Graduate Office. Acceptance by the department is contingent upon (a) GPA based on last 60 semester units available at time of application; (b) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the verbal and quantitative sections; and (c) three letters of recommendation. For entry in the fall semester, all application materials, including complete transcripts, GRE scores and letters of recommendation, must be received by the department Graduate Advisor by February 14 for the Master of Science - Industrial/Organizational option, February 21 for the Master of Arts - Psychological Research option, and March 1 for the Master of Science - Human Factors option.

Financial Support


Students accepted into the graduate programs may apply for graduate assistantships (which provide monthly stipends) in Psychology or related departments on campus. Federal Work Study assignments are available in the Department, but must be applied for through the University Financial Aid Office one or two semesters prior to obtaining the assignment; other aid available includes the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). One student from the Master of Arts - Psychological Research and the Master of Science - Industrial/Organizational Psychology programs' entering class may be awarded a J. Robert Newman Scholarship. A Boeing University Relations Human Factors Graduate Scholarship is offered through the Master of Science - Human Factors program.

Master of Arts in Psychology


Option in General Research (code PSY_MA01)


This 30-unit degree program provides graduate psychology training for further study leading toward a doctorate and careers requiring masters level training. Core courses include quantitative and research methods and courses in the basic content areas of Psychology. Students from our program who later enter doctoral programs consistently inform us that they find themselves very well prepared for doctoral study as compared to other students.

Prerequisites


All students fulfill the requirements in Item #1 and choose either Item #2 or Item #3.

1. Six units of college level work in chemistry, physics, biology or mathematics as approved by the graduate advisor. No more than three of the six units may be in approved mathematics courses.

2. A bachelor's degree with a major in psychology that includes:

A. two courses from the following (not from same group):
1. PSY 331, 332, 333
2. PSY 336
3. PSY 340, 341, 342

B. one of the following: PSY 351, 356, 361, 365

C. PSY 310

OR

3. A bachelor's degree with a major other than psychology and 24 units of upper division psychology substantially equivalent to those required for the baccalaureate degree at this university, including:

A. two courses from the following (not from same group):
1. PSY 331, 332, 333
2. PSY 336
3. PSY 340, 341, 342

B. one of the following: PSY 351, 356, 361, 365

C. PSY 310

Advancement to Candidacy


Advancement to Candidacy is the next step after achieving classified status and confers catalog rights to graduate students. Advancement to Candidacy also signifies approval of a plan of study by the graduate student's major, department, and college. The requirements to advancement are:

1. Application for Advancement to Candidacy must be completed prior to or concurrent with enrollment in PSY 698 (Thesis).
2. Classified status.
3. An approved program of studies for the Master of Arts, Research option degree.
4. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
5. A minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (at least 6 graduate units).
6. Enrollment in regular session.

Requirements


1. The student must complete, as a graduate student, 30 units of graduate coursework (501-698), 24 of which must be in Psychology (not including PSY 697) including:
A. either PSY 511 or 512 if 411 or 412 or equivalent not taken as an undergraduate;
B. one course chosen from PSY 518, 527, 533, 541, 551, 556, or 582, if corresponding 400-level course or equivalent not taken as an undergraduate;
C. PSY 696 (comprehensive exam required);
D. three courses chosen from PSY 631, 632, 633, 634, 637, 651, 656 or 661 (with comprehensive exams in two of the three courses); PSY 698 (6 units).

2. With the Graduate Advisor's approval a maximum of six units from related areas may be used for six of the 30 units.

3. Attendance at six Department Colloquia, four of which must be completed prior to preliminary oral examination, all six must be completed prior to final oral examination.

4. Completion of all requirements as established by the M.A. Research Committee.

5. Comprehensive examinations taken in three of the four required graduate seminars, as outlined in 1C and 1D above.

6. A preliminary oral examination on the thesis proposal and a final oral examination in defense of the completed thesis.

 

Master of Science in Psychology


Option in Human Factors (code PSY_MS04)


The Option in Human Factors under the MS in Psychology is designed to prepare students to apply knowledge of psychology to the design of jobs, information systems, consumer products, workplaces and equipment in order to improve user performance, safety and comfort. Students in the program acquire a background in experimental psychology and research methods. They are trained in the application of the material through courses in human factors, computer applications and interface design. Special topics seminars, in areas such as large-scale simulation and usability testing, complement the core program of study. Finally, students complete a thesis in their chosen area of human factors.

This option is designed as a terminal degree, but also provides excellent preparation for advanced graduate work.

Prerequisites
1. An undergraduate major in Psychology or in another field with 24 units of upper division psychology. A minimum grade point average of approximately 3.0 for the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) and for all Psychology units.
2. The following psychology courses or their equivalents: PSY 310, 331, 332. Students lacking only 310 may be admitted to the program but must complete the course their first semester in attendance.
Recommended: CECS 174 or any course in computer programming; One of the following psychology courses or their equivalents: PSY 340, 341, 342.

Advancement to Candidacy
Satisfy the general requirements of the university for advancement to candidacy.

Requirements
1. A minimum of 36 units of upper division and graduate work including PSY 511, 518, 527, 627, 633, 697, 698, 533 or 634; MAE 508, CECS 448; and 1 course chosen from PSY 512, 544, 696; ENGL 419 or otherwise approved by the program committee.
2. A preliminary oral examination on the thesis proposal and a final oral examination in defense of the completed thesis.

 

Option in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (code PSY_MA05)


Students admitted to this 36-unit program prepare for business and industrial positions including personnel selection and organizational development, employee training, applicant and employee testing, etc. Graduates usually go directly into business and industry, though some enter Ph.D. programs.

Prerequisites

1. A bachelor's degree with a major in psychology or 24 upper division units of psychology.

2. PSY 200, 310, 314 or 315, 332 or 333 and 351 or 453/553. Students may be admitted to the MSIO program if they lack only one required course. The missing course must be completed within the first year of graduate study. However, PSY 314 or 315 AND 351 or 453/553 must be completed prior to MSIO program entry, as they are prerequisites for the first semester MSIO program coursework. Students missing more than one prerequisite course at the time of application may be offered provisional admission if they submit an approved plan to take the missing courses prior to admission to the program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy is the next step after achieving classified status and confers catalog rights to graduate students. Advancement to Candidacy also signifies approval of a plan of study by the graduate student's major, department, and college. The prerequisite to advancement are:

1. Application for Advancement to Candidacy must be completed prior to or concurrent with enrollment in PSY 698 (Thesis).
2. Classified status.
3. An approved program of studies for the Master of Science, Industrial and Organizational option degree.
4. Fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
5. A minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (at least 6 graduate units).
6. Be enrolled in regular session.

Requirements

1. The student must complete a minimum of 36 units of graduate course work. The following courses are required: PSY 581, 585, 515, 582, 681, 683, 686, 688, and 698; two courses chosen from PSY 511 or 512 or an approved substitute; one course chosen from PSY 518, 527, 553, 575, 634, 637, 651, 656, or HRM 445.
2. A preliminary oral examination on the thesis proposal and a final oral examination in defense of the completed thesis.
3. Students with credit in 411 or 412 as undergraduates may petition the MSIO Program Committee to substitute a maximum of 3 units from related areas toward the 36-unit program.