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Master of Arts in Psychology

The Master of Arts degree in psychology is a rigorous program designed to develop research and conceptual skills for students whose primary interest is in continuing their education in a doctoral program.



Students who are admitted to the graduate program will be assigned to a mentor for advisement and program planning. A key feature of the program is a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member who oversees the student's progress toward his or her individual research goals.

Identification of a Research Advisor: As part of your application to the program, you will be asked to rank order the top three CSULA Psychology faculty members with whom you would like to do research with. You can look up our Faculty Research Labs and Areas of Interest for more detailed information about each faculty member's area of specialization.


Admission to the Program & Deadlines

Acceptance into MA program involves a two-step application process:

1. Applicants must submit an online application to the University by going to For questions, deadlines, and other information regarding this application, you can visit The University Admissions Office website or call (323) 343-3901. You should also submit one copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to the University Admissions Office. Please note that the University has it's own deadlines independent of the Psychology Department.

2. Applicants must also submit a separate application directly to the Department of Psychology. The MA Department Application must be accompanied by:

(a) A Statement of Purpose of 400 to 500 words (two pages, double-spaced, maximum) indicating your reasons for wishing to pursue a research degree, your particular areas of interest, and any experience relevant to your goals and interests.

(b) Three (3) letters of recommendation from faculty members or others who are familiar with your academic capabilities, at least two of which must be from academic sources.

(c) One copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.


Department applications can be mailed or dropped-off in person to the following address:

California State University, Los Angeles

Department of Psychology, Attn: Michael Sizemore

5151 State University Drive, KH C3104

Los Angeles, CA 90032-8227


Please note: if you are mailing your application, we recommend you write the mailing address exactly as it appears above and that you contact the department office at (323) 343-2272 to confirm receipt of your materials.



Review of applications will begin February 1, with an absolute deadline of March 1st on any given year for consideration for the following September; offers of admission will be made on an ongoing basis and hence individuals who submit an application late in the application review interval may find that all available spaces have been filled. All applicants will be notified of their status following their submission by June 1st.

Students are required to have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 to be eligible for the Masters Degree program. Students with a GPA below 2.75 will not be considered.



Interested students should review our Frequently Asked Questions. For other questions or for clarification on any aspect of the application process for the MA program, you can contact the Department of Psychology at (323) 343-2272 or contact the program Director, Dr. Jessica Dennis at (323) 343-2276. Dr. Dennis can also be reached via e-mail at


Prerequisite Program for Non-Psychology Majors

Students who do not have a bachelor's degree in Psychology are also encouraged to submit the University and Department applications. In such instances, admission may be granted on a conditional basis. Students admitted conditionally will be required to complete 31-36 units of Psychology coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or higher before beginning the Masters program. Whenever possible, credit will be given for equivalent coursework taken elsewhere. Click here for a list of Prerequisite Coursework.

Please note: coursework taken at a community college does not apply to upper division psychology requirements.

Requirements for the Degree (45 units)

At least 50% of the required 45 units must be 500-level. A minimum of 10 units must come from courses other than PSY 595-, 597, 598, and 599.

Departmental Core Requirements (17-18 units) Students must complete all core requirements with a grade of B or higher.

PSY 495 - Introduction to Graduate Study in Psychology (4)

PSY 504 - Advanced Experimental Methods (4)

PSY 491 - Multivariate Statistics (5)


Complete one other 500-level Quantitative Course (4-5 units)

PSY 515 - Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology (4)


PSY 591 - Advanced Multivariate Statistics (5)



Required Courses (2-6 units)


Select 2-6 units of PSY 597, Graduate Research, in consultation with




Electives in Psychology/Related (19-20 units)


Select 19-20 units of electives coursework in consultation with adviser to

complete the 45 units required for the degree. 400-level course cannot

comprise more than 50% of the elective units.



Thesis (4 units)


PSY 599 - Thesis (4)


Advancement to Candidacy

Upon satisfactory completion of the WPE Exam, PSY 495, one additional core requirement and 7-8 additional units (16 units in total), students must file the advancement to candidacy application form (GS-10) with the department.