[from left to right: Brenda Quijada, Jessica Mendoza, Lauren Hocker, Catarina Madruga, Ireri Bernal and Carlos Letonia]
The Master of Arts degree in psychology is a rigorous program designed to develop research and conceptual skills for students whose primary interest is in continuing their education in a doctoral program.
Students who are admitted to the graduate program will be assigned to a mentor for advisement and program planning. A key feature of the program is a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member who oversees the student's progress toward his or her individual research goals.
Identification of a Research Advisor: As part of your application to the program, you will be asked to rank order the top three Cal State LA Psychology faculty members with whom you would like to do research. You can look up our Faculty Research Labs and Areas of Interest for more detailed information about each faculty member's area of specialization.
Admission to the Program and Deadlines
Acceptance into MA program involves a two-step application process:
1. Applicants must submit an online application to the University by February 15, 2021 through Cal State Apply: http://www.calstate.edu/apply. For questions and other information regarding this application, you can visit The University Admissions Office website or call (323) 343-3901. You should also submit one copy of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended to the University Admissions Office:
Office of Admissions and Recruitment
Student Affairs 101
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
2. Applicants must also submit a separate Psychology MA application directly to the Department of Psychology by February 15, 2021. The Master of Arts application must be printed, completed and submitted to the department accompanied by:
(a) A Statement of Purpose of 400 to 500 words (two pages, double-spaced, maximum) indicating your reasons for wishing to pursue a research degree, your particular areas of interest, and any experience relevant to your goals and interests.
(b) Three (3) letters of recommendation from faculty members or others who are familiar with your academic capabilities, at least two of which must be from academic sources.
(c) One copy of unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
Department applications can be mailed or dropped-off in person to the following address:
California State University, Los AngelesDepartment of Psychology, (Attn: Graduate Coordinator)5151 State University Drive, KH C3104Los Angeles, CA 90032-8227
Please note: if you are mailing your application, we recommend you write the mailing address exactly as it appears above and that you contact the department office at (323) 343-2250 to confirm receipt of your materials.
- Master of Arts Application
- Cal State Apply Application
- Letter of Recommendation Form (pdf)
- Letter of Recommendation Form (docx)
- Prerequisite Program for Non-Psych majors
- Department Student Handbook
- University Catalog
- Graduate Resource Center
- Travel Support for students attending conferences and RSCA Application to support students in research, scholarship & creative activities.
- Office of Graduate Studies
- Office of Research Development
Forms for Thesis
Students are required to have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 to be eligible for the Masters Degree program. Students with a GPA below 2.75 will not be considered.
For More Information
Interested students should review our Frequently Asked Questions page. If your specific question isn't listed or for clarification on any aspect of the application process for the MA program, you can contact the Department of Psychology at (323) 343-2250 or contact the program Director, Dr. Karen Wu at (323) 343-2283. Dr. Wu can also be reached via e-mail at Kwu25@calstatela.edu.
Prerequisite Program for Non-Psychology Majors
Please note: coursework taken at a community college does not apply to upper division psychology requirements.
General Program Requirements
At least 50% of the required 31-32 units must be 5000-level. A minimum of 9 units must come from courses other than PSY 5950, 5970, 5980, and 5990.
Core Requirements (Total 13-14 units)
In the First Semester (3 units):
Within the First Year (7 units):
One Other 5000-level Quantitative Course (3-4 units):
Required Courses (3 units)
Electives in Psychology (12 units)
Select 12 units of electives coursework to complete the 31-32 units required for the degree. 4000-level courses cannot comprise more than 50% of the elective units.
Thesis (3 units)
- PSY 5990 - Thesis (1-3)