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Psychology (MA)

[Program Overview] [Program Outcomes] [Curriculum] [Admission Criteria] [Application Requirements] [Transfer Credits] [Academic Standing] [Time to Completion] [Faculty] [Contact Information]


Note: We are not currently admitting students for the Spring/Fall 2016 semesters. The next review of applications will begin March 1, 2017 for Fall 2017 admission.

We will still be offering classes during the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters! Those interested in registering for graduate level courses during that time are encouraged to apply for nondegree seeking status. With permission of course instructors, and necessary pre-requisites, students can complete up to 9CR of graduate coursework that may ultimately apply toward the MA degree.

Learn more about applying to the MA in psychology program below.

*Although we do not require that applicants have an undergraduate major in psychology, applicants are required to have taken some coursework in psychology. We recommend an introductory course, a course in research methods in psychology, a course in statistics, and at least one content course.*

Please contact Program Director, Professor Mark Stasson) with questions or for more information. (**Note, please contact Shana VonRuden, during summer schedule May 2 – August 20). 

Thank you for your interest, we look forward to working with you as your education journey begins at Metropolitan State University.


Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Psychology degree provides access to high quality graduate education in psychology to students who are interested in the application of psychology to a variety of community and organizational-related issues. The program's theoretical orientation requires students to examine the complex relationships among individual, family and community well-being and the impact of the wider environment in which we live and work.

The program emphasizes community-based interventions rather than individualistic therapies. (This is not a clinical or counseling psychology program.)

Program Outcomes

The goal of the psychology master's program is to provide students with an opportunity for both breadth and depth in an area of particular relevance to them. Students graduating from this program will have attained the following:

  • advanced understanding of the science and practice of psychology;
  • understanding of the intersection of race, class and gender issues and psychological theory;
  • ability to apply psychological principles to issues of concern in communities and organizations;
  • skills and knowledge to assist in their work with communities and groups to create and sustain healthy settings;
  • ability to assess the impact of interventions;
  • ability to be critical consumers of the existing social science and psychological literature;
  • ability to pursue an in-depth study of the topic and community of most interest to the student; and
  • ability to independently conduct relevant applied research.

Curriculum (36 credits)

  • PSYC 601 Psychology in the Public and Community Interest I (4 credits)
  • PSYC 603 Advanced Social Psychology and Applications (4 credits)
  • PSYC 610 Applied Research Methods (4 credits)
  • Thesis or Project (4 credits)
  • 20 elective credits which could include a practicum, additional psychology courses, courses in other departments, and/or approved learning experiences (including up to 9 graduate transfer credits). Possible elective courses include: Attitudes and social influence, Program Evaluation, Prevention, Health Psychology, Political Psychology, Health Psychology, Qualitative Research, Group Dynamics, Program Design and Community Intervention, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Peace Psychology, and Grants in Community-Based Practice.

Admission Criteria

Generally, new students are accepted for the fall and spring semesters only. To be considered for admission to the MA in Psychology program, you must:

  • hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university at the time you start the program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  • have a psychology major or major in a related field;
  • have completed prerequisite courses:
    • general psychology (e.g., PSYC 100),
    • social or community psychology (e.g., PSYC 336 or PSYC 363),
    • a social science or psychology research methods course (e.g., PSYC 312, PSYC 317, or SSCI 311), and
    • statistics (e.g., STAT 201 or PSYC 307).

International students should note the additional university requirements described under Admission Information earlier in this catalog.

Application Requirements

  • Graduate Application
  • Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of intent
  • Current resume
  • Three letters of reference

See Applying to the Program for application packets and details on the requirements and deadline.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken elsewhere may be transferred into the master's degree program for up to nine degree credits. Courses to be transferred must be equivalent to courses in the program or be relevant to the student's plan of study. Decisions about transfer credit are made on a case-by-case basis by the student's graduate program advisor.

Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing in the Master of Arts in Psychology program, you must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0* and earn at least a B (3.0) in all courses. Only internships are graded as pass or no pass.

If you receive lower than a B grade in a course you will have to repeat the course. Courses can only be repeated once, and students may repeat no more than two graduate courses. Though a graduate course may be repeated, credit for the course is applicable toward the degree only once, and all grades for that course are used in calculating the GPA.

If you receive more than one grade that is below a B, you will receive an Academic Warning letter. If significant academic improvement is not demonstrated within the following semester you will be put on Academic Probation. If significant academic improvement is not demonstrated after the semester on probation you will be dismissed from the program.

*Please see the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Time to Completion

All requirements for the Master of Arts in Psychology degree must be completed within five years of the first semester of enrollment in the program. A one-time extension of up to one year may be considered, provided a written request is submitted prior to the expiration of the initial five year period. Students requesting this extension must submit a letter to the program coordinator that includes rationale for the request, a detailed plan regarding completion of degree requirements, and a target completion date.


Resident Faculty: Heidi Frankard, Kelly Hazel, August Hoffman, Kerry Kleyman, Caitlin Mahoney, Susan Rydell, Glen Spielmans, Gary Starr, Mark Stasson; Community Faculty: Rebecca Ericson, Dave Mathews, Alexandra Pierce, Barb Schillo.

Contact Information

Psychology Department
Master of Arts in Psychology Program
Metropolitan State University
1450 Energy Park Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55108-5218