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The Master of Science in Psychology

Course Requirements for the Master’s Degree: 48 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer credit may be applied toward the degree.
Graduate Time Limit: All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See “Graduate Education” in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

Application Procedures:

The Department of Psychology admits applicants to its MS program only in the fall semester each year. In addition to the Office of Graduate Programs’ admission prerequisites and application procedures (please see The University Catalog, Graduate Education: Application Procedures), the Department of Psychology requires the completion of its own Admissions Application, including a Statement of Purpose and three letters of recommendation. These application materials are available through the Office of Graduate Programs and are to be submitted along with transcripts and test scores, by March 1 for consideration for fall admission.

MS Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapists:

The Master of Science in Psychology degree has been designed to meet the educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) license in the State of California (MFT licensing law AB 4980.08).

For specific advisory patterns and recommended course sequence in the MS Psychology program’s specialization, MS admits should consult the MS Psychology Coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in “Admission to Master’s Degree Programs” in The University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Programs.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate from an accredited institution.

4. Completion of either the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test or the Miller Analogies Test. The Graduate Record Examination Advanced Test in Psychology is not required but will be considered if available.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

Students must have completed the following four course prerequisites within the last ten years: one course in psychology of learning; one course in developmental or child psychology; one course in statistics for psychology; one course in either the psychology of personality, abnormal psychology, or social psychology (abnormal psychology is recommended since it is also a prerequisite for PSY 343 in the MS program).

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Classified graduate standing and completion at the university of at least 18 units of the proposed program, including PSY 273A, PSY 370, PSY 373A, and 9 units selected from remaining eligible program course requirements with at least a B average in these courses.

2. A student must pass the writing proficiency requirement in order to be advanced to candidacy.

3. All “Incomplete” grades must be completed before a student will be advanced to candidacy.

4. Formation of the graduate advisory committee.

5. Development of an approved program in consultation with the MS Psychology Coordinator and the graduate advisory committee, and approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

6. Demonstrated ability to provide competent service, in accordance with Section F (Standard of Practice 42) of the American Counseling Association’s Ethical Standards and Sections 1.22 and 6.05 of the American Psychological Association’s Principles and Code of Conduct.

7. Approval of the graduate committee in the Department of Psychology.

Requirements for the MS Degree in Psychology:

Completion of all requirements established by the department graduate committee, the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Programs.

MFT Course Work:

Students seeking eligibility for the California Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license must complete at least 48 units of course work, including PSY 398R (Analytical Review) or PSY 399 (Master’s Study) as designated by the department, the courses listed below (under Requirements for the MS Degree in Psychology), and any elective units needed to attain this 48-unit minimum. In addition to the specific MS degree program course requirements listed below, MFT licensure applicants are required to have completed a minimum 2-unit survey course in psychopharmacology. This may be taken as elective units (PSY 271) in a student’s MS degree program or may be taken after the degree is completed and before taking the written licensure exam. MFT licensure applicants are also required to have completed a minimum of seven contact hours of training in child abuse assessment and reporting in addition to MS degree program requirements. Both the psychopharmacology and child abuse reporting requirement must be completed before sitting for the licensure exam.

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 48 units of 200/300-level courses as follows:

13 courses required:

PSY    273A    Counseling Psychology    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 225 or PSY 235; senior or graduate standing; faculty permission.

PSY    300    Research and Evaluation Methods    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 107 or equivalent, faculty permission.

PSY    331    Advanced Developmental Psych    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 202, faculty permission.

PSY    343    Child/Adult Psychopathology    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: PSY 225 and classified status in Psychology MS program.

PSY    365    Psy Assess Counseling Profess    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: PSY 255 or equivalent course in psychometrics strongly recommended.

PSY    370    Seminar in Group Counseling    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 273A (with a grade of B or better), faculty permission.

PSY    371    Child/Adolescent Counseling    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: PSY 273A, PSY 331, faculty permission.

PSY    372    Cross-Culture Issues Counseling    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: PSY 273A, faculty permission.

PSY    373A    Practicum Individual Counseling    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 273A (with grade of B or higher), classified status in MA or MS Psychology program, faculty permission.

PSY    373B    Practicum in Group Counseling    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: Candidacy in MA or MS Psychology program. Grade of B or higher in PSY 370, PSY 373A, faculty permission.

PSY    374    Couns Sexuality/Substance Abuse    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: Classified status in MS Psychology Program, PSY 273A (may be taken concurrently), faculty permission.

PSY    375    Theories of Family Therapy    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: PSY 373A (with a grade of B or higher), faculty permission.

PSY    379    Prof/Ethic/Legal Issues Counsel    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: Classified status in the MS in Psychology program or faculty permission.

1 course selected from:

PSY    373C    Practicum: Marriage/Fam Therapy    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 373A (with grade of B or higher), PSY 375 (may be taken concurrently), faculty permission.

PSY    387    Internship: Counseling Psych    1.0-6.0    FS

Prerequisites: PSY 373A and PSY 373B (with grade of B or higher in each course), PSY 373B may be taken concurrently with faculty permission.

PSY 387 may be selected only with the approval of the MS Psychology Coordinator.


3 units selected from:

NOTE: Students who include 6 units of PSY 399, Master’s Study, in their program do not need a course from the following selection list.

PSY    271    Psychopharmacology    3.0    SP

PSY    328A    Issues Teaching Counsel Process    1.0    FS

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in psychology; concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of PSY 373A, concurrent enrollment in PSY 329A, faculty permission.

PSY    329A    Supervised Teach Counsel Process    1.0    FS

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in psychology, concurrent enrollment in PSY 328A, faculty permission.

PSY    332    Advanced Human Learning    3.0    FA

Prerequisites: PSY 109 or PSY 205; faculty permission.

PSY    378    Career Counseling/Development    3.0    SP

Prerequisites: Faculty permission.

PSY    398    Independent Study    1.0-6.0    FS

3 units selected from:

PSY    398R    Analytical Review    3.0    FS

Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy, faculty permission.

PSY    399    Master’s Study    1.0-6.0    FS

Prerequisites: Advancement to candidacy, faculty permission.

(a) Not more than 9 semester units of transfer and/or extension credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension course work are not acceptable).
(b) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.
(c) At least 9 units completed after advancement to candidacy.
(d) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (398) and Master’s Thesis (399); not more than 6 units of Master’s Thesis (399). (Enrollment in 399 is restricted to students who have been advanced to candidacy; students may not enroll in 399 for more than three semesters.) Not more than 4 units of supervised college teaching (PSY 328 and PSY 329).
(e) With the exception of Master’s Thesis (399), all course work included in the approved program must be taken for a letter grade.

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis or an analytical review as specified by the student’s graduate advisory committee.

3. Satisfactory completion of an oral examination for the thesis option and a written examination for the analytical review.

4. Approval by the departmental graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the university.

Graduate Literacy Requirement:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Psychology MS students will demonstrate their writing competence through an essay examination offered once a semester by the Department of Psychology’s graduate committee. This requirement must be completed before advancement to candidacy.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exception of Master’s Study-399) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (200-level courses), AB/No Credit (300-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 399 and courses outside the major).

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work on the approved master’s degree program as well as in all course work taken subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status.

All courses in the major (with the exception of Master’s Study-399) must be taken for a letter grade.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Students should consult the MS Psychology Coordinator in planning their MS program.

Reasearch With Human Participants Or Animals:

All research projects which involve human participants must be reviewed for adherence to ethical guidelines as outlined in departmental and university policies (EM 84-03). No project may proceed without prior approval by the department’s Ethical Treatment in Human Investigations Committee. All research with animals must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the University Animal Welfare Policy.