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Psychology | Master's Program

Photo by Thierry Caro

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Results from master's student Gina Luff's research of thinness messages in teen magazines were published in Body Image.

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MA in Psychology

The psychology master's degree program provides students with classroom and laboratory experience that prepares them to work in specialized research and applied fields within psychology and/or enter into clinical, experimental, and neuroscience doctoral programs.

  • 33 credit hours
  • Full-time; completion within two years. Part-time study welcome.
  • Advanced classes are small and intensive. Most classes taken by our doctoral students are also available to MA students, the main exceptions being classes that provide training in therapeutic techniques.
  • Graduate students have opportunities to conduct research with faculty in the many research labs on campus.
  • Students without a background in psychology are welcome.
  • Approximately 20 new students enroll each year.

Admissions Process

Our primary goal is to admit bright students who will benefit from the rigorous training and flexible academic tracks of the program.

For students particularly focused on gaining research experience and completing a Master’s thesis research project, we endeavor to match them with faculty mentors and research labs at the point of admission. To facilitate this we encourage you to indicate your area of interest and potential mentors in your statement of purpose.

Master’s thesis research is not a degree requirement, however. For students who are more focused on our diverse coursework and who do not plan to undertake a thesis, please indicate this in your statement of purpose so that we can consider you for admission under our nonthesis option.

The MA admissions process does not include interviews with applicants. Visit our Graduate Admissions page for deadlines and requirements.

Admissions Data

For 2016, we received 185 applications and admitted 40 for an entering class of 20.

The median undergraduate GPA for the entering class of 2015 and 2016 was 3.40. The median quantitative GRE score was 154, and the median verbal GRE score was 161.


Graduation and Placement

For the entering classes of 2009-2014:

  • 81% have graduated.
  • 9.3% have transferred to other AU programs (most to one of our PhD programs).
  • 1% is still enrolled.
  • 8.5% left the university without completing the degree.
  • Of those who graduated from the MA program, 81.5% did so within two calendar years and another 15.4% did so by the end of their third year.

We have information on 94% of those from the entering classes of 2009-2014 who graduated or transferred to PhD programs at AU. Of those:

  • 44.3% went on to doctoral programs.
  • 36.8% were employed in psychology-related jobs, including clinical-medical research and mental health advocacy.
  • 5.7% were in other educational programs.
  • 13.2% were in non-psychology-related jobs.