Graduate Studies

Psychology (MA & MS)


  • Psychological Science
  • Applied / School Psychology – The MA in Applied/ School Psychology degree meets the educational requirements for the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) School Psychology credential in the State of California.
  • Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) - The MS in Psychology degree meets the educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license in the State of California.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall admission only
    • Psychological Science: January-19 (December-19 for international applicants)
    • Applied / School Psychology: February-15 (January-15 for international applicants)
    • Marriage and Family Therapy: January-12 (December-12 for international applicants)
  • No spring admission
  1. Three letters of recommendation
  2. Application for advancement to classified status (MFT; Applied/School Psych)
  3. Written interview questions (MFT; Applied/School Psych; Psych Science)

See the department website for guidelines.

Program Coordinator
Dave Hibbard

Seven Mills (left) and Chloe Edington (right) work on their drawings and artwork while enjoying the outdoors on Kendall Hall lawn

Is the MA in Psychology for you?

Do any of the following describe you?

  • Interested in how we think and learn.
  • Passionate about scientific research.
  • Fascinated with human development.
  • Want to know more about personality and social relationships.
  • Curious about the biology of the brain.
  • Want to work with children in a school setting. • Want to lay down a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

Alix MacDonald, is the Safe Place Assistant Director, photographed on Monday, March 2, 2020 in Chico, Calif. The mission of Safe Place is to support and advocate for victims and survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking through crisis intervention, prevention education, resources and referrals.

Do these jobs sound interesting to you?

Our alumni are:

  • Professors
  • School psychologists
  • Attending PhD programs

Other possibilities are:

  • College advisor
  • Behavioral health consultant
  • Psychologist
  • College and university instructor 

Kevin Lacombe (age 19, 2nd year, KINE major, from Willows) (center) talks with friends in Meriam Library

Is this the kind of salary you are seeking?

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(opens in new window), shows the following outlook for Psychologists:

Median Pay
$81,040 per year
$38.96 per hour

Job Outlook
6% (As fast as average)

Some psychologists work independently, conducting research, consulting with clients, or working with patients. Others work as part of a healthcare team, collaborating with physicians(opens in new window) and social workers(opens in new window), or in school settings, working with students, teachers(opens in new window), parents, and other educators. Those in private practice often work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients.

In its inaugural debut, the Wildcat Leadership Institute's "Women Like You" Leadership Symposium is held on Friday, February 15th in Chico, Calif. The conference focuses on the resilience and rise of women in today's social climate with highlights from female campus leaders and speakers that host discussions and tell their personal stories of success and failure, sharing their journeys of empowerment.

What if my bachelor’s isn’t in Psychology?

You can still pursue this degree if your undergraduate degree was in a different field. You will be required to take some prerequisites to bring you up to speed. Talk to your graduate coordinator for details.

Flowers shade the Monoliths

How long will it take?

  • The length of time it takes depends on the option the applicant chooses. The MA in psychology—psychological science option is a 30-unit program that can be completed in two years.
  • Some students pursue the MA in psychology—option in applied psychology pupil personnel services (PPS) program which requires 68–71 units because it includes the PPS credential. In this case, the program can be completed in three years.

What is it like to be a Psychology master’s student?

North State Public Radio Interim News Director Sarah Bohannon (center) works on developing a program called After Paradise that is focused on impacts of the Camp Fire

Research Experience

  • Research experience with ongoing faculty research activities.
  • Supervised teaching experience as a teaching assistant.

Katrina Cunningham (left) helps Kelsi Rice (right) and other displaced students from Paradise High School are helped with finalizing their college application to apply for college in a computer lab in THMA 131

Research and Teaching Opportunities

  • Students conduct and write up their own empirical research study with faculty consultation, assistance, and supervision.
  • Research and teaching opportunities strengthen student understanding of psychology and ability to teach it to others. 

Delaney Sarantopulos (left) receives advise from College of Agriculture (AGR) Student Success Advisor Lindsey Jeffery (right) in the Student Success & Retention Office (SSRO)

Internship Experience

  • School psychology students gain two years of supervised practicum and internship experience in local schools.

Here's What Our Students are Doing

Cory Tondreau

Opportunities Waiting for You

Cory Tondreau was asked to serve as lab coordinator for the Learning Cognition and Instruction Research Laboratory, and was granted a prestigious research fellowship at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Her graduate research looks at knowledge and attitude change, and she plans to pursue her PhD in educational psychology so she can continue to mentor and advocate for students.

Robert Lester

Support to Purse Your PhD

Robert Lester was selected a Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) recipient and is currently pursuing the Counselor Education and Supervision PhD at North Dakota State University. The CDIP offers loans and CSU faculty mentorships in an effort to increase the number of doctoral students applying for future CSU instructional faculty positions. The loans are forgivable for those returning to teach at any CSU.