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General 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. 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.



Students who are admitted to the graduate program will be assigned to a mentor, for advisement and program planning. The mentor supervises the student's completion of the program, but mentors can be changed if a student's interests change and an alternate is available. Students' specific requirements to meet individual academic needs are developed in conjunction with the mentor.


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 and requirements independent of the Psychology Department that also must be met to be considered for Fall admission.


2. Applicants must also submit a separate application directly to the Department of Psychology. Refer to pdf file located on the right, under Prospective Students. In addition to the MA application, all of the following materials must also be submitted to the department:

(a) The application must be accompanied by 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.

(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 April 10th 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 FAQ's. 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 [email protected].


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 (55 units)


Departmental Core Requirements (4 - 5 units)

PSY 411 - Advanced Research Methods in Psychology (4)

PSY 414 - Analysis of Variance (4)

PSY 417 - Single Case Research Design (4)

PSY 491 - Multivariate Statistics (5)

PSY 504 - Advanced Experimental Methods (4)

PSY 515 - Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology (4)



Required Courses (35 units)


Conceptual/Experimental Analysis of Behavior (12 units)

PSY 428 - Introduction to Analysis of Behavior (4)

PSY 421 - Psychology of Learning and Behavior (4)

PSY 500 - Seminar: Learning and Behavior (4)


Applied Behavior Analysis (23 Units)

COUN 501 - Behavior Analysis in School, Home, and Agency Settings (4)

COUN 502 - Advanced Behavioral Contingency Management in Schools (4)

COUN 504 - Advanced Study in Application of Behavior Analysis to Education (4)

COUN 592 - Behavior Interventions for Severe Behavior Problems (4)

COUN 593 - Practicum: Staff Development and Consultation (3)

PSY 528 - Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis (4)


Electives (4 units for Thesis students; 8 units for students who take the Comp Exam)


Select from the following:

PSY 501 - Seminar: Sensation and Perception (4)

PSY 506 - Seminar: Physiological Psychology (4)

PSY 510 - Seminar: Abnormal Psychology (4)

PSY 511 - Seminar: Developmental Psychology (4)

PSY 512 - Behavior Disorders in Children (4)

PSY 538 - Seminar: Conceptual Issues in Behavior Analysis (4)


Field Work (4 Units)


PSY 585 - Directed Clinical Practice (4)


Comprehensive Exam (2 units) or Thesis (6 units)


PSY 596 - Comprehensive Examination (0)

PSY 598 - Directed Study (2)


PSY 597 - Graduate Research (2)

PSY 599 - Thesis (4)



Prospective Students

Current Students

  • > MA Graduate Handbook
  • > Permit Slip for 595-900
  • > University Catalog
  • > Student Application for Travel Support

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