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Graduate Programs in Psychology

The Department of Psychology offers the Master of Arts degree with an emphasis on research and conceptual skills for students whose primary interest is in continuing their education in a doctoral program.

The department also offers the Master of Science degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Forensic Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis. The Applied Behavior Analysis option trains students in the concepts and techniques of behavior analysis as they apply to areas of counseling, behavior medicine, and education, provides training in traditional areas of psychology, and prepares students for employment at the master's degree level and for doctoral degree training. The Forensic option prepares individuals to work in the criminal justice system. The Marriage Family Therapy option qualifies students for state licensure in the field and and equips them with the skills necessary for employment in mental health and related fields that utilize psychological and counseling services.


Admission to the Programs in Psychology

Acceptance into any of the department’s graduate programs involves a two-step application process:

  1. Applicants must submit an online application to the University by going to For more information or for questions regarding this application, you can visit The University Admissions Office website or call (323) 343-3901. The University application also requires that you submit one copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Be aware that the University application has different, earlier deadlines than those listed below.

  2. Applicants must also submit a separate application directly to the Department of Psychology. In addition to the department application itself, each applicants must also have a) Three (3) letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf, b) must submit one copy of official transcripts from each college or university attended and c) must submit a personal statement/letter of intent. Please refer to the application pdf files located above for more detailed information. For a list of FAQs, see below.

Department applications should 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 contact the department office at (323) 343-2272 to confirm receipt of your materials.



Applicants must submit a complete departmental application by the deadlines listed below to be considered for September (Fall) admission:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis option: February 1
  • Master of Arts in Psychology: March 1
  • Forensic Psychology option: April 1
  • Marriage & Family Therapy option: Program temporarily suspended; no applications are being considered


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 and required materials. 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.


Q1: What is the minimum GPA and GRE scores for admission into your programs?

A1. The minimum GPA for admission to the the General MA program is 2.75. For the ABA and Forensic programs, the minimum GPA is 3.0.

The GRE is not required for any of our programs.

Q2: Do you admit students in Spring or Winter?
A2. No, we only admit in Fall. Please refer to the deadlines listed above.
Q3. How many letters of recommendation do you require?
A3. Each program requires three (3) letters of recommendation, at least two (2) of which should be from academic sources. Make sure you print the Letter of Recommendation Form and have each of your recommenders attach their letters to this form.
Q4. Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation on my behalf?
A4. You should get people that know you, your coursework, and your lab work well, like a past advisor, professor, lecturer, etc. References should come from individuals who are familiar with your academic and your professional abilities. Recent college undergraduates should have at least two (2) academic recommendations. Applicants who have been out of college for more than three years may use either academic or professional recommendations.
Q5. Do I have to have a BA/BS in psychology in order to be accepted into any of your programs?
A5. No, you do not need to have a BA or BS in psychology in order to apply. However, the department committee will still want to know WHY you are applying to psychology, if you have any research experience, and that you possess a firm understanding of the program field you are applying to. These questions should be addressed in your personal statement/letter of intent. If you are admitted, you will also be required to complete a prerequisite program consisting of 31-36 units of psychology coursework before beginning the master's program.
Q6. If I have no background in psychology, what can I do to strenghten my application? Do I need to have research experience?
Q7. I am interested in a certain type of research, can you tell me if any of your faculty is doing this type of research?
A7. Go here to review the Faculty Areas of Interest. If you see the research you are interested in doing, you may contact the faculty member via email to inquire about mentoring with that faculty member.
Q8. What should I say in my personal statement or letter of intent?
A8. Please make sure you review the specific questions that are being asked by each program.
Q9. How many students are admitted each year? How many apply?
Q10. Would you please send me an application and information packet about your programs?
A10. We no longer print any application or information packets. All of the information regarding our graduate programs, including the applications, can be found on our website.
Q11. On what basis are applicants reviewed?
Q12. Do I have to send in all application materials at once?
A12. No, you can send in the different materials of your application as they are completed. We will hold any materials that arrive under your name, but will only begin tracking you and corresponding with you once we receive your department application. If you send in your application and do not receive an email confirmation within 2-3 weeks, please email our Graduate Assistant or call (323) 343-2272.
Q13. I applied last year and was denied admission. I will be applying again this year and want to use some of the same materials from my earlier application, is that possible?
A13. Yes, we keep applications on file for 1 year. After receiving your deny letter, send an email to our Graduate Assistant stating that you are reapplying and would like to you some or all the documents from your previous application. It is also helpful to contact the Director of the program to find out why your application was denied and if there are ways to strenghten your next application for the next cycle.
Q14. Are there additional requirements for international students?
A14. No, the department does not hold you to any additional requirements. However, it is very important that you check with the International Office and find out what materials/documents are needed by the University Admissions Office. These offices have separate deadlines for submission of all materials or documents.
Q15: For the MA program, how does the mentorship system work? Do I need to secure a mentor before applying to the program?
A15. There is no need to secure a mentor before applying to the MA program. However,


For More Information

For other questions or for clarification on any aspect of the application process, please email the Graduate Assistant, Michael Sizemore. You can also reach him at (323) 343-2272.

You may also contact the Faculty Director of each respective program:

Applied Behavior Analysis - Dr. Henry Schlinger (323) 343-2257

Forensic Psychology - Dr. Mitchell Eisen (323) 343-5006

Master of Arts - Dr. Jessica Dennis (323) 343-2276


Application Materials

  • Options
  • > ABA Application
  • > Forensic Application
  • > MA Application
  • Template for LOR's
  • > Letter of Recommendation Form
  • University Application
  • > CSU Mentor

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