Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Graduate Study

The primary objective of doctoral programs in the Department of Psychology is to develop psychologists who are creative scholars. At the same time, students must develop the basic skills of their particular specialty and be well prepared for job entry duties and responsibilities through carefully supervised experience in research, teaching, and consulting. Relevant learning experiences are arranged in agencies such as industries, clinics, hospitals, schools, and government offices as needed by the individual student on-campus.

Our graduate programs include: behavioral neuroscience, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, clinical, ecological/community, organizational, and social/personality psychology.  Students in these programs may also participate in advanced graduate training through a concentration in Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science (QMES).

A fully online master's program in Program Evaluation and graduate certificate are available. See http://progeval.msu.edu.

Students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs in the Department of Psychology may elect an Interdepartmental Specialization in Cognitive Science. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Cognitive Science. For additional information, contact the Department of Psychology.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Psychology may elect specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood.


Psychology - Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy

Students are accepted for graduate study in psychology only if judged by a departmental committee to be qualified to complete a doctoral degree, and programs of study are planned with this goal in mind; the master's sequence is generally developed as an integral part of the doctoral program with special attention given to the plans and needs of each student. Additional details are given under the doctoral program as outlined below. There is no terminal master's program.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Factors given major consideration for admission to the graduate program at the first–year level include (1) an approved bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university, (2) a junior–senior undergraduate grade–point average of 3.20 or better in academic studies, (3) undergraduate courses in experimental psychology and statistics, (4) satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test and Subject Test in Psychology, and (5) approval by a departmental committee. The same factors are considered for entrance at an advanced level, plus a record of scholarly achievements in the graduate study of psychology. That an applicant has achieved the above is not sufficient for admission. The number of applicants with superior qualifications exceeds the number of students that can be accommodated.

The department is especially interested in quality students and generally accepts them regardless of their undergraduate majors provided that they have adequate background for graduate study in psychology. Students meeting only the requirements for admission to provisional status are not generally accepted.

Students planning to apply for admission to graduate work in psychology should correspond with the department by October in order to meet the January 5 application deadline. This will allow time for tests and other formalities which must be completed before admission. Completed applications must be received by January 5 for consideration for the subsequent fall semester. Only rarely are new students admitted for semesters other than fall semester.

Requirements for the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Psychology

To meet individual needs, every student has a guidance committee with the student's advisor as chairperson. The committee develops a program of studies in consultation with the student. In the doctoral program, a comprehensive examination is required.

There is no general language requirement. Where acquaintance with a foreign language is necessary for advancing the special interest of a particular student, the guidance committee may impose foreign language requirements.

Psychology graduate students may participate in advanced graduate training through a concentration in Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science (QMES).  Students selecting this concentration must complete two prerequisite courses, three advanced training courses, and one student-developed project under the supervision of two members of the Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science faculty.  For additional information on specific requirements, refer to the Quantitative Methodology and Evaluation Science Web site at www.psychology.msu.edu/GraduateProgram/Quant.htm.

Clinical psychology graduate students also participate in two concentrations: Multiculturalism and Diversity in Clinical Psychology (Psychology 828, 853, 854, 855, 952, 954, and 3 credits of Psychology 994) and Research Methods in Clinical Psychology (Psychology 818, 828, 853, 854, 855, 952, and 954).


Transfer Credits

For Law College students who have been admitted to the dual J.D. - M.A. program with Michigan State University - College of Law, a maximum of 9 credits from Michigan State University - College of Law may be transferred to the M.A. program with a major in psychology. A grade of 2.0 in a Law course will transfer to MSU as a passing grade. Students will be assessed at the Law College tuition rate with a graduate assistantship covering only the MSU cost of in-state tuition.

 


Program Evaluation - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation prepares students for evaluation careers in diverse settings including government, education, social services, and evaluation consulting firms. It emphasizes professional development in history, theory, and standards of evaluation practice; evaluation methods; effective interpersonal and communication skills; and management of evaluation activities. Students will obtain direct practice experience under the supervision of program faculty.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Social Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation, applicants must have:

  1. a bachelor’s degree from a recognized educational institution.
  2. an academic record equivalent to at least 3.00 (B) in undergraduate course work in their junior and senior year.
  3. at least 12 undergraduate credits in a social science such as anthropology, sociology, or psychology.
  4. submitted three letters of recommendation and a personal statement about their academic and professional goals and experience.
  5. submitted Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores if they are an international student.
Admission to the program is selective and meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. The applicant’s overall record is considered, including the student’s personal statement, recommendations, academic transcripts, and other documentation as required.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Program Evaluation

The Master of Arts degree in Program Evaluation is available only online and only under Plan B (non-thesis). A total of 37 credits are required for the degree.
               
1. Students must complete 37 credits from the following courses:  
  PSY 880 Foundations of Evaluation Practice 3
  PSY 881 Evaluation Design 3
  PSY 882 Evaluation Data Collection Methods 3
  PSY 883 Statistics for Evaluators I 3
  PSY 884 Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation Methods 3
  PSY 885 Communicating and Reporting 3
  PSY 886 Evaluation Practicum Preparation 1
  PSY 887 Statistics for Evaluators II 3
  PSY 888 Evaluation Management 3
  PSY 889 Evaluation Practicum 12
2. Completion of a final oral examination or evaluation.  


Program Evaluation - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation prepares students for evaluation careers in diverse settings including government, education, social services, and evaluation consulting firms. It emphasizes professional development in history, theory, and standards of evaluation practice, evaluation methods, and evaluation practice skills.

Admission

To be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation, applicants must have:

  1. an academic record equivalent to at least 3.00 (B) in undergraduate course work in their junior and senior year. This requirement is waived for students currently pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree program at MSU.
  2. submitted three letters of recommendation and a personal statement about their academic and professional goals and experience. This requirement is waived for students currently pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree program at MSU. Students currently pursuing a graduate degree at MSU should submit a letter from their program adviser or chairperson indicating that the student is in good standing and they agree the certificate is an appropriate adjunct training opportunity.
Admission to the program is selective and meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. The applicant’s overall record is considered, including the student’s personal statement, recommendations, academic transcripts, and other documentation as required.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation

The Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation is available only online. A total of 12 credits are required for the certificate.
1.   The following course (3 credits):
PSY 880 Foundations of Evaluation Practice 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
PSY 881 Evaluation Design 3
PSY 884 Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation Methods 3
3. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
PSY 881 Evaluation Design 3
PSY 882 Evaluation Data Collection Methods 3
PSY 883 Statistics for Evaluators I 3
PSY 884 Qualitative and Mixed Method Evaluation Methods 3
PSY 885 Communicating and Reporting 3
PSY 887 Statistics for Evaluators II 3
PSY 888 Evaluation Management 3
Courses used to fulfill requirement 1. above may not be used to fulfill this requirement.