Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Science

Program Coordinator: Charlotte Tate

The Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Science prepares students for professional careers in research, teaching, and practical applications of social psychology at the Master of Arts level, while at the same time offering a foundation of education and experience appropriate for students who intend to proceed to doctoral study. The program is committed to academic excellence, to research and professional service in the public interest, and to expanding the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in our discipline - the study of how individual thoughts, feelings, and actions influence and are influenced by individual differences, ideologies, other individuals, groups and institutions, and social contexts.

The Program emphasizes familiarizing students with the literature and methods of social/personality psychology and affective science training in advanced written and oral communication, and professional experience in both research and applications. Program requirements include 34 semester units of coursework culminating with a thesis. Classes and non-class activities are coordinated to promote integration of learning through academic study, original research, and supervised experience in field and laboratory settings. Courses are sequenced for completion of the degree in two years, with an attempt to partially fund students via graduate teaching assistantships. (Funding is not guaranteed.)

Graduate Programs in Psychology

Application to a graduate program is completed through the Cal State Apply application process.

The graduate admission application must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission. The department accepts applications for the fall semester only, with a deadline of February 1st. The Master in Science programs generally require an interview during the admissions process.

Some of the Psychology graduate programs require applicants to submit the results of the Graduate Record Examination — verbal, quantitative, and writing sections. Applicants should check the current application of the program they are applying for requirements.

Students who intend to work toward the M.A. or the M.S. in Psychology must meet the prerequisites outlined within each concentration. Required undergraduate coursework that an applicant may not have completed can be rectified as the graduate advisor deems fit without being included as units toward completion of the master's degree

To advance to candidacy (graduation), graduate students must meet all the general requirements for the specific program in which they are involved.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Science must meet both of the following proficiencies to advance to candidacy (graduation):

Level One - A score of 4.0 or better on the GRE Analytical Writing Test or equivalent.

Level Two - Satisfactory completion of the master's thesis (PSY 898).


Applicants to the Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Science must have:

  1. An undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline (e.g., sociology, human development, decision sciences), or any science background. It is most helpful to have some undergraduate preparation in the content areas of social psychology, or personality science, or affective science, or group processes, as well as in both research methods and statistics.
  2. Students are required to complete a statistics course at the intermediate undergraduate level before enrolling in their first year in the graduate program. The Department offers such a course for accepted graduate students that occurs in the Summer term (mid-July to mid-August).

Program Learning Outcomes

During completion of the Master of Arts in Psychological Science: Concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Science the student will:

  1. Acquire broad familiarity with the empirical and theoretical literature of Social, Personality, and Affective Science Psychology, and gain in-depth knowledge of one or more specific domains of research and application.
  2. Gain professional-level skills in written and oral communication of concepts and research in Social, Personality, and Affective Science Psychology.
  3. Become proficient in research design, and in the independent conduct of research projects that foreground quantitative data collection and analytic methods.
  4. Develop intellectual maturity and career-relevant experience through supervised research and/or applied endeavors in Social, Personality, and Affective Science Psychology subfields.
  5. Appreciate the nature and importance of ethical principles in research and applications in Social, Personality, and Affective Science Psychology.

Psychological Science (M.A.): Concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Science — Minimum 35 units

PSY 740Seminar in Social Psychology3
PSY 742Seminar in Survey Research3
PSY 751Seminar in Current Trends and Issues3
PSY 770Research Methods and Techniques3
PSY 771Analysis of Variance and Experimental Design4
PSY 772Applications of Multiple Regression to Psychological Research4
PSY 792Proseminar in Foundations of Contemporary Psychological Research3
PSY 798Research Colloquium3
PSY 799Supervised Selected Research3
PSY 891Seminar in Selected Problems3
PSY 898Master's Thesis3