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Psychology Department

MA - Psychology, Concentration in Research and Experimental Psychology

The Master of Arts Program in Psychology affords its candidates an opportunity for advanced study of psychological theory and research techniques with the following objectives in mind:

  • To ultimately earn a doctorate in psychology - the course work and experience obtained in the Psychology Program is designed to enhance students' credentials when applying to highly competitive doctoral programs.
  • To succeed in business, industry and or a research setting - our program's emphasis on the mastery of statistical and methodological procedures, research experience, and critical thinking produces graduates that are well suited for many careers in business, government, and/or an array of research settings.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into our program, you must:

1. Meet all of the University's graduate admissions requirements

2. Have the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree

3. Have completed a minimum of 30 semester units in undergraduate psychology

4. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of all college and/or university course work

5. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all college and/or university psychology courses taken

6. Have taken the GRE Exam (General Test only), although we do not require a minimum score for your application to be considered.

Degree Requirements

General university requirements and procedures for completing the Master of Arts degree are described in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog. In addition to these, the following departmental requirements must be fulfilled.

General Program requirements

1. The student's combined total of approved undergraduate and graduate work in psychology must be at least 60 semester units, including 30 units for the MA Degree Program.

2. The student must complete at least 30 approved graduate units. At least 27 of these 30 units must be psychology or statistics units; of the 27, at least 24 must be 200-level courses, i.e., up to six units may be from 100-level courses with the program coordinator's approval.

3. The candidate must complete an acceptable thesis. This thesis will be a quantitative investigation of some degree of originality and of publication caliber.

4. Satisfactory performance on a final examination is required. This examination may be written, oral or both, as determined by the student's thesis advisory committee. This is typically satisfied through the oral defense of the student's thesis research.

5. The University requires that all graduate students demonstrate competency in written English as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Competency in Written English" for details. For graduate courses that meet the competency in written English requirement, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Evaluations website at http://www.sjsu.edu/gape.


Course Requirements

Graduate Competency in Writing0
At SJSU, students must pass the graduate competency in writing requirement. For information on the Competency in Writing Requirement, please see http://info.sjsu.edu/gcw.html.
Requirements of the Masters30
Core12
PSYC 280. General Seminar3
PSYC 220. Seminar in Experimental Psychology3
STAT 245. Advanced Statistics3
Complete one course from:
PSYC 240. Research Design and Applied Psychometrics3
STAT 235. Multivariate Analysis3
Breadth12
PSYC 204. Advanced Child Psychology3
PSYC 230. Seminar in Physiological Psychology3
Complete one course from:
PSYC 235. Seminar in Cognitive Psychology3
PSYC 256. Seminar in Perception3
Complete one course from:
PSYC 200. Seminar in Personality Theory3
PSYC 254. Social Psychology Seminar3
Culminating Experience6
PSYC 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-6
Elective3

Total Units:30

Thesis Requirement

The thesis serves as the culmination of a student's course work, research experience, and growth as a scholar and scientist. This process is guided closely by a thesis advisor; a tenured or tenure-track faculty member of the Department of Psychology. As the student's ideas develop into a full thesis proposal, a thesis advisory committee is formed in order to provide further guidance and expertise. Collection of the thesis data begins once the proposal has been approved by the committee and the proper animal care/human subjects' approval has been obtained. The introduction, analysis, and interpretations of these data will form the core of the student's written master's thesis. These efforts all culminate in an oral presentation and defense before the thesis committee. A detailed statement of thesis policies is available in the Psychology Department Office and on the departmental website www.sjsu.edu/psych.