The mission of the graduate program in psychology at CSU San Marcos is to provide graduate education of the highest caliber to qualified students from the local community and beyond, leading to the Master of Arts (MA) degree. Our program is designed to accommodate students with a wide range of goals. The active research programs of our faculty, and our recognition of psychology as a scientific enterprise, provide students with the intensive research training and course work in primary content areas that are central to preparation for more advanced graduate work. Likewise, students who have aspirations for careers in community college teaching, community service, or business and industry, benefit from our program's emphasis on critical thinking, research methods, and advanced course work.
Many students undertake graduate work in psychology in order to pursue careers in clinical psychology or psychological counseling. Training specifically geared to those seeking licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) or Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC)is not offered at CSUSM. However, the psychology graduate program will prepare students to better compete for admission to doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology.
The M.A. in Psychology is guided by programmatic student learning outcomes associated with our curricular and co-curricular offerings.
Applying to the Graduate Program in Psychology:
Applications for Fall 2016 will be due on February 1, 2016.
Please follow these steps as you consider applying for admission to our program:
- Before you do anything else, read the FAQ page very carefully (Frequently Asked Questions). It will help you determine if our program is right for you, and if you are right for our program. Additional information can be found in the Graduate Handbook and course descriptions.
- If, based on the FAQ answers, you think our program is a good fit for you, look carefully at the Faculty Research page. Can you identify one or more faculty from this list with whom you would like to do research? Acceptance to our program requires a "match" between you and one or more of our faculty.
- Send an email to the faculty member(s) you have identified to introduce yourself and ask about her/his plans for accepting graduate students in the next cycle.
- If you choose to apply, answer the questions on the applications carefully.
- A complete application is due on February 1, 2016. Late applications are accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- A complete application includes the following elements:
- The application to the CSU (“CSU Mentor”), which is completed and submitted online. (Graduate Application CSU). You may do this at any time between now and February 1, 2016.
- The Psychology Department supplemental application, completed and submitted online no later than February 1, 2016. Once you have completed the Mentor application, you will receive an email with a link to complete the supplemental application for Psychology. (Note: the email with the link may not be sent immediately, as the system is currently undergoing an upgrade).
- Official copies of all college transcripts. These should be sent to the Office of Admissions, CSU San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92096.
- Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from professors you have had. When you are filling out the supplemental application for Psychology you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of three recommenders. Those individuals will then receive an email from us asking them to upload their letter into the online system. You will get verification that the letter has been sent on your behalf.
- GRE scores (the general GRE is required; the subject test in Psychology is not required but is recommended in cases where the student was not a psychology major or where the GPA is marginal). You will be asked to report your GRE scores and percentiles on the supplemental application. In addition, you should have your official score report sent to us by indicating the code for CSU San Marcos (4155) when taking the GRE and/or when you request existing scores to be sent.
- If you have any problems with the online application system, please contact Ms. Sonia Tubiolo and she will try to resolve it for you. We appreciate your interest in our program and hope to make the application process as smooth as possible. Other questions about our graduate program should be directed to Dr. Nancy Caine, Psychology Graduate Coordinator.