Master of Arts in Psychology

The MA in Psychology is an experimentally-oriented program that concentrates on the scientific sub-disciplines of psychology. The program is designed to give students a broad foundation in psychological science and does not provide training in the delivery of psychological services. The flexibility of the curriculum allows students the opportunity to pursue their personal academic and research interests, and concentrations in other fields - such as Criminal Justice and Business - are possible. All students are initially admitted to the non-thesis degree plan, but students may pursue a formal thesis when a faculty mentor supports their prospectus and agrees to supervise their thesis research.  In addition, in order to graduate with an MA degree in this program, students will take a comprehensive examination which assesses their knowledge of the areas to which they have been exposed.

Students seeking admission to the Master of Arts program in Psychology must submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application: The Graduate Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining State of Texas residency.
  2. Application fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.* (12 hours of psychology coursework required; a statistics and/or research methods course is strongly encouraged)
  4.  Applicants are expected to have earned a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 from the accredited institution granting the undergraduate degree.  Applicants who have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 and do not possess graduate coursework demonstrating a higher GPA are encouraged to provide an explanation for the applicant’s low GPA and why the GPA is not indicative of the applicant’s academic and professional potential in the Letter of Intent.
  5. Letter of Intent/Personal Statement: The Letter of Intent - also referred to as a Personal Statement - is your opportunity to discuss your fit with the program offered at Sam Houston State University. While you have a significant amount of freedom to discuss anything you would like in your letter of intent, you may want to address your short-term and long-term academic/professional goals and how your interests and goals fit with our program. In addition, if planning a thesis, please describe your research interests and how they align with specific faculty research agendas.
  6. Three completed recommendation forms that comment on the applicant’s suitability for graduate study.  The most useful recommendations come from university faculty who are able to describe the applicant’s potential for success in graduate study.
  7. Official GRE scores.
  8. Curriculum Vita (CV) with sections emphasizing education, research experience, volunteer experience, and any notable achievements, awards, or proficiencies.

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

Students will be admitted for the Fall (no summer admissions). The application deadline for Fall enrollment is February 15.

Notes

Admission to the MA Program in Psychology is competitive and the number of available positions is limited.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

In addition to the courses listed below, all students must complete a comprehensive 
examination near the end of their program. The details of the comprehensive 
examinations are set out in the Program Handbook.

Plan 1 - MA in Psychology (Non-thesis)

Master of Arts in Psychology (Non-thesis)
Specified Courses
PSYC 5331Grad Smnr General Psychology3
or PSYC 5392 History & Systems Of Psychlogy
PSYC 5332Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYC 5336Advanced Cognitive Psychology3
PSYC 5360Adv Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 5381Advanced Learning Theory3
PSYC 5387Advanced Statistics3
PSYC 5388Experimental Design3
PSYC 5397Adv Developmental Psychology3
Electives
Select four graduate courses in an approved field 112
Total Hours36
1

Selections should be made in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and cannot include PSYC 5395PSYC 5396, nor any thesis courses.

Plan 2 - MA in Psychology (Thesis)

Master of Arts in Psychology (Thesis)
Specified Courses
PSYC 5331Grad Smnr General Psychology3
or PSYC 5392 History & Systems Of Psychlogy
PSYC 5332Advanced Social Psychology3
PSYC 5336Advanced Cognitive Psychology3
PSYC 5360Adv Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 5381Advanced Learning Theory3
PSYC 5387Advanced Statistics3
PSYC 5388Experimental Design3
PSYC 5397Adv Developmental Psychology3
Electives
Select two graduate courses in an approved field 16
Thesis
PSYC 6098Thesis I3
PSYC 6099Thesis II 23
Total Hours36
1

Selections should be made in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and cannot include PSYC 5395PSYC 5396, nor any thesis courses.

2

Once enrolled in PSYC 6099, students must enroll in this course in every semester until graduation.

Note: Students must pass a written Comprehensive Exam at the close of their training in order to obtain an M.A. degree. Students must be enrolled in the University during the semester or summer session in which the comprehensive exam is administered.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The MA in Psychology is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Knowledge in the scientific process, which is an essential skill for employment in research and development.
  • A thorough understanding of physiological, cognitive, social, and emotional determinants of behavior.
  • The ability to write up and disseminate findings from research.
  • Proficiency in critical analysis.
  • Qualification to teach at the Community College level and other educational settings.