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MA Program

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 psychological science 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 psychological science 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.   


Applications for admission in Fall 2021 will be accepted starting October 15, 2020.  Deadline for applications is February 1, 2021.  Applications must be complete at that time.  

Applications will be submitted via the Cal State Apply website (see link below).  

A complete application will include:  

  • Transcripts
    You will find the mailing address for transcripts on the Cal State Apply application form.
  • GRE scores   

For applications submitted in the upcoming admission cycle (i.e., applications due Feb. 1, 2021), the  GRE is optional.  Students may submit GRE scores if they choose to do so. Students will not be penalized for failure to take the test or report the scores.  On the application itself, you will find that you cannot move forward in the application if you do not fill in the boxes that ask for GRE scores. Likewise, the application will ask you to upload the GRE score report. Please fill in the boxes with zeros, and instead of the score report you can upload a word document that you create, stating “I choose not to submit GRE scores.”  That way, we will know you are opting not to report scores.

 If you do opt to take and report GRE scores, please be sure you have taken the GRE in time for the February 1st deadline.  Late scores may not be accepted.

  •  Three letters of recommendation
    • At least two letters must be from college professors who know you. You will provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders on the application. The recommenders will be automatically contacted to submit their letters on line.  
  • Personal Statement (also known as a Statement of Purpose)
    • No minimum or maximum length.
    • Note that we do not accept résumés or CVs.  

BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE APPLICATION, READ THE FAQs.  The FAQs answer many of your questions and will help you decide if the Master's Program in Psychological Science at CSUSM is right for you.  The FAQs can be accessed through the link at the left or from the drop down menu indicated by the three bars at the top left of your screen.  

Do you have questions not answered by the FAQs?  Write to us at

Cal State Apply