Admissions

University Requirements

  • Hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.85 (This does not include lower division courses taken after award of baccalaureate degree.)  A 3.00 cumulative GPA for international coursework.
  • Have been in good standing at the last institution attended.

Department Minimum Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission to the Psychology Department’s master’s programs are outlined below. However, meeting all of the criteria does not guarantee acceptance, since admission is competitive and thus dependent on comparison with other applicants.

1. Grade Point Average

  • Minimum undergraduate overall GPA: 2.85
  • Minimum undergraduate psychology GPA: 3.0

2. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

  • The GRE is not required this year for admissions 2021/22.

3. Undergraduate Coursework

The vast majority of applicants will have undergraduate degrees in psychology, with at least one course each in statistics and research methods. Additional coursework in statistics, testing/measurement, and/or research methods is recommended.

  • I-O psychology track: Although not required, it is highly desirable to have an undergraduate course in I-O psychology. Applicants from schools without an undergraduate course in I-O psychology are advised to find a similar course in their business school and/or find other ways to demonstrate foundational knowledge of I-O psychology topics.
  • Quantitative methods track: Those applying to the Quantitative methods track will be more competitive when they have additional courses in statistics, applied mathematics, and/or computer science/coding.
SDSU MS Applied Psych Students
SDSU MS Applied Psych Students
SDSU MS Applied Psych Students

Application Process

Application Process

When to apply:

The MS in Applied Psychology program only offers fall admissions, not spring. The application period for the following fall semester opens on October 1st and closes on December 15, 8:59 PM PST.

How to apply:

To apply to this program, you must complete two applications. Important details are available on the Psychology Department website. Answers to common admissions questions can be found on our Admissions FAQ page.

Pathways to Graduation

Pathways to Graduation

MS Program Requirements

The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 38 units of graduate-level coursework, typically completed in two years. The required courses are designed to provide students with a thorough background in the major theories and findings in their chosen track (i.e., Quantitative Methods or Industrial/Organizational Psychology), including research methods and statistics in psychology.

Required Courses

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Track (38 Units)

Research in psychology. All master’s degree students are required to enroll in this course. Maximum credit two units

Problems and procedures in selection, classification, and performance appraisal, focusing on testing in industry, the interview, and other selection and assessment devices. Criterion development and measurement methods.

Applications of psychological principles and methods of investigation to problems of industrial relations and motivation of employees; factors influencing morale and employee productivity; criteria of job proficiency; psychological aspects of worker-management relationships and leadership.

Theory and practice of program evaluation. Surveys concepts, issues, and methods relevant to evaluating programs, services, and interventions in the public and private sectors.

Selected areas within personnel psychology including selection, classification, performance appraisal, test development, criterion development, measurement and scaling techniques. Course may be repeated with new content with permission of instructor and master’s program adviser. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

Selected areas within organizational psychology including leadership, motivation, organizational development, and organizational effectiveness. Course may be repeated with new content with permission of instructor and master’s program adviser. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

Fundamentals of multiple regression and correlation. Principles of experimental design. Analysis of variance including factorial and repeated-measures designs and a priori and post hoc comparisons including trend analysis. Computer-based statistical packages in the analysis of data from psychological research.

Principles and methods of behavioral research stressing interdependence of experimental design and statistical evaluation of results. General linear model in its regression and ANOVA formulations. Advanced multiple regression and correlation techniques using computer-based statistical packages.

General principles, theory and methods underlying measurement in studies of group and individual differences in controlled experiments.

Preparation of a project or thesis for the master’s degree. Credit is contingent upon acceptance of the completed thesis by the Department of Psychology. Sample thesis titles are available in the Program FAQ.

Supervised training in industrial and organizational psychology in a program approved internship setting. Maximum credit six units.

Students in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology track must take one elective course. This may include a course in Business, Economics, Educational Technology, and Statistics, or any course that is relevant to the students learning objectives.

Quantitative Methods Track (38 Units)

Research in psychology. All master’s degree students are required to enroll in this course. Maximum credit two units.

Theory and practice of program evaluation. Surveys concepts, issues, and methods relevant to evaluating programs, services, and interventions in the public and private sectors.

Fundamentals of multiple regression and correlation. Principles of experimental design. Analysis of variance including factorial and repeated-measures designs and a priori and post hoc comparisons including trend analysis. Computer-based statistical packages in the analysis of data from psychological research.

Principles and methods of behavioral research stressing interdependence of experimental design and statistical evaluation of results. General linear model in its regression and ANOVA formulations. Advanced multiple regression and correlation techniques using computer-based statistical packages.

General principles, theory and methods underlying measurement in studies of group and individual differences in controlled experiments.

Introduction to multivariate techniques. Latent structure models with attention to relationship between latent constructs and observable data. Includes causal models, factor analysis (both exploratory and confirmatory), canonical correlation, path analysis, discriminant function analysis, and loglinear analysis.

Statistical analysis of nested or hierarchical data generated by cross-sectional and longitudinal designs common to psychological science. Examine, critique, and discuss methodological articles regarding multilevel modeling.

Preparation of a project or thesis for the master’s degree. Credit is contingent upon acceptance of the completed thesis by the Department of Psychology. Sample thesis titles are available in the Program FAQ.

Supervised training in program evaluation in a program approved internship setting. Maximum credit six units.

Students in the Quantitative Methods track have their choice of three electives, and are expected to use those electives to pursue a focused specialization. Relevant courses may be found in Social Work, Public Health, Education, and Public Administration.

Internship

An essential component of graduate training in Applied Psychology is an internship experience, which provides students with an opportunity to apply their classroom training in an actual field setting to gain new skills. The Internship Coordinator works with students throughout the internship process, initially by providing leads, position openings, and contacts in local organizations. The Internship Coordinator also helps put a site agreement in place with new internship sites. After the internship is over, students and supervisors send the Internship Coordinator performance and site review documentation. Parallel to this effort, students work on developing leads for possible internships. After companies have been identified, students work with the Internship Coordinator to take the steps necessary to secure an interview.

Students find internship opportunities through announcements from the internship coordinator and/or searching for opportunities on their own.

Students in both emphases are required to work a minimum of 300 hours in an approved internship site to earn 6 units of credit (usually two 3-unit 791 or 792 courses). The internship is typically completed during the summer months. For more details regarding the internship process refer to the Student Internship Guide.

Thesis

All Master’s students are required to complete and present a thesis, involving the design of an original empirical study, data collection, analysis, and a write-up of the study hypotheses and findings. The thesis must fulfill the requirements of the Graduate School, described in the Graduate Bulletin. Students work closely with a Thesis Committee Chair to develop an original empirical project, which is evaluated and approved by a committee chosen by the student and his/her advisor. Students work independently during all aspects of the thesis, including design, data collection, analysis, and write-up. A final report is written by the student, approved by the Thesis Committee, and submitted to the Graduate School for credit towards the Master’s degree.

SDSU MS Applied Psych Thesis