The graduate core course must be completed within the first 16 units in order to be eligible to advance to candidacy. A grade of "B" must be attained in the graduate core course to continue in the graduate program.
Students who have completed the equivalent of these courses as an
undergraduate with a grade of "B" or better, need not repeat these courses
as graduate courses. The requirement must be met within the first 16
units of coursework taken or within the first two quarters.
Note: Students need to have a classified program on file before enrolling in a 500-level course.
In planning a program, students pursuing the M.A. or the M.S. Forensic Option and the M.S. ABA Option are required to submit a thesis as a culminating experience for the Masters Degree. Students in the MFT program complete a comprehensive examination.
The thesis option is generally open only to students in the Master of Arts and the M.S. Forensic Option. In special cases, other students who have a faculty member willing to sponsor them may apply to do a thesis. The thesis consists of either an original empirical research project or a novel theoretical or conceptual interpretation of existing psychological thought based on material previously published. In either case, the thesis must deal with a problem of some importance to the field of psychology, in a manner that is scholarly, logical, objective, and systematic.
The first step in the process of doing a thesis is to complete Psy 597. It is recommended that the student begin thinking about their thesis topic several quarters before beginning Psy 597. During this course, the student is expected to establish a suitable topic, review pertinent literature, design their study or topic, and write a proposal. The proposal includes a statement of the proposed topic, review of literature on the topic, and, for empirical studies, a statement of hypotheses to be tested and the research methodology to be used. The student should identify two additional faculty members willing to serve on their thesis committee. The proposal should be approved by the thesis chair and by the two other committee members. The three committee members should sign a GS-12 form, this form plus a copy of your proposal must be filed in the Psychology Office by the seventh week of the quarter in which PSY 597 is taken.
Students taking the comprehensive examination will usually have 2-3 units of PSY 598 Graduate Directed Study on their programs which provides an opportunity for guidance of work done in preparation for the examination. The student should complete their PSY 598 units under faculty supervision during the quarter prior to enrolling in the comprehensive exams. Typically, students will work independently with their advisor who will guide their study, recommend reading materials and give feedback on their preparation. For more information students should consult Dr. Brigitte Matthies.
The comprehensive Examination in the MFT program consists of two areas:
1. A Multiple Choice Exam covering broad principles of psychology as a scientific discipline.
2. Essays on Clinical Vignettes covering issues of diagnostics, therapy, ethics, judgment and the law.
The examination is given on two successive days, during Spring and Fall quarters only, in sessions lasting three hours each day. The first day covers area one; the second day covers area two.
The student is required to write on two clinical vignettes. Each examination response will be scored on a pass/fail basis, being read independently by at least two professors. To pass the examination, a student must receive "pass" scores from both professors on two of the four questions. In the case of a split evaluation on a comps question, a third reader will be asked to evaluate the question. A student who successfully passes two questions on a particular day but does not pass overall, does not have to repeat the portion passed on a subsequent sitting. A student who enters the examination room, and then leaves without attempting an answer, will be considered to have "sat" for that examination. The comprehensive examination must be passed within three sittings.
Students may have no more than one course remaining to complete on their graduate program following the quarter in which they first take the comprehensive examination. Students must formally apply to take the examination the quarter before it is scheduled. This is done by filing an application with the graduate secretary of the Psychology Department. They must also register for PSY 596 (0) during the quarter in which they expect to take the examination. Those who subsequently wish to withdraw from taking the examination without penalty may do so no later than the scheduled date of the examination by notifying the graduate secretary.
The faculty will from time to time prepare up-to-date lists of suggested readings to assist students in preparing for the examination. However, students are expected to show an acceptable breadth of mastery in the field, acquired not only from the lists of recommended reading, but also from class work.
The next step is for the student to enroll in Psy 599. Upon approval of the research design by the thesis committee, the student will undertake the thesis, working under the guidance of the thesis chair. One year from the point of the first enrollment in Psy 599 is allowed to complete the thesis units. If the thesis is not completed after registering in all of the 599 units on the program (maximum=4), the student must register for Psy 900 (which carries no credit) in order to complete thesis requirements and graduate.
Progressively revised drafts of the thesis will be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee periodically for review and comment. The chair may, from time to time, require the student to submit copies to other members of the committee as well. The final draft must show clarity of purpose, competent critical analysis, tight organization, and originality. The presentation must be both accurate and complete. In style, it must follow the recommendations of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (latest edition). It should include a separate title page and the following sections:
- ABSTRACTA brief summary of both the problem and results.
- INTRODUCTIONDefinition of the problem, development of the background, and statement of the study's purpose and rationale.
- METHODOLOGYInformation and subjects, apparatus, and procedures. (This section and the next may not apply to a non-experimental thesis.)
- RESULTSA complete factual statement of the findings, including any tables, figures, and statistical analyses.
- DISCUSSIONThis section should include a thoughtful and logical analysis of the implications of the findings as well as conclusions that can be drawn, and any limitations.
- REFERENCESThe references should reflect a thorough literature review of the salient literature dealing with the subject.
- APPENDICESCopies of letters, form, measures, or other written materials used in the study.
After the draft has been approved by the thesis committee, a date is fixed for the final oral defense of the thesis. An abstract and copy of the thesis should be submitted to committee members at least two weeks before the oral defense. The student is required to prepare and bring to the oral defense the following materials for committee signature: The Title Approval Page (Form GS-13) in triplicate and one copy of The Final Oral Examination Results Page. These materials are available at the psychology office. The oral defense is open to any who wish to attend. After a successful oral defense, the student must return both of the above forms to the psychology office. Final thesis corrections are made and a final typed thesis with copies are prepared for distribution.
Students are advised to consult with the thesis advisor in the Library at an early date, in order to conform to the Library requirements. The original must be delivered to the University Library, in the required format, no later than the last day of final exams in the quarter of graduation. The Library also requires two original copies of the title page, with the appropriate signatures. Another bound copy of the thesis should be made for the Psychology Department Office. Additional copies, as required by committee members should be prepared as needed.