The mission of the graduate program in Psychological Science 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 Psychological Science is guided by programmatic student learning outcomes associated with our curricular and co-curricular offerings.
How to apply for our Master's Program (Deadline February 1, 2018)
- 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 Graduate 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. You will be asked on the Psychology supplemental application
to name the two faculty members with whom you would most like to work.
- 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.
- A complete application will be due on February 1, 2018. Late applications are accepted
on a case-by-case basis.
- Other than the submission of transcripts, everything in the application is done online.
A complete application will include the following elements:
- The application to the CSU (“Cal State Apply”), which is completed and submitted online.
(Graduate Application CSU). (Note: The Mentor application asks for a statement of purpose. You will submit
a personal statement along with your department application. You need not do so on the Mentor application).
- The Psychology Department supplemental application, completed and submitted online.
A link to the supplemental application will be provided when you submit the CSU application.
If you do not receive an email with this link within 3 business days, contact us at
- 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. (Note:
If you earned or will earn your Bachelor's degree from CSUSM, you need not request
that this transcript be sent in conjunction with your application).
- Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from professors you have
had. The online application will ask you for the names and email addresses of your
recommenders, who will be automatically contacted to upload their letters into the
- 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). GRE scores are sent electronically to programs selected by the
applicant when signing up for the GRE.