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MA Program

Welcome to the website for the Master’s Program in Psychological Science at CSU San Marcos!  If you are a potential applicant, please start by reading the mission statement, and then read the FAQs that are linked on the left.  The FAQs answer many of your questions and will help you decide if our program is right for you. 

Mission statement. 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 currently offered at CSU San Marcos.  However, the psychological science graduate program will prepare students to better compete for admission to doctoral programs in clinical or counseling psychology. Similarly, we do not offer course work or training that is specifically aimed at preparing students to deliver ABA-based services, nor do we offer the courses that are required for becoming a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). However, our curriculum and research opportunities may be of interest to students who are interested in a research-based Master’s program as part of their preparation for the BCBA.     

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 2022 will be accepted starting October 15, 2021.  Deadline for applications is February 1, 2022.  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:  

  • Transcript
    You will find the mailing address for transcripts on the Cal State Apply application form.
  • GRE scores (optional)
    GRE scores are optional. You may submit GRE scores if you choose to do so. Applicants will not be penalized for failure to take the test or report the 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 online.
  • Personal Statement (also known as a Statement of Purpose)
    • No minimum or maximum length.
    • Describe your goals, interests, and relevant academic skills and accomplishments.
    • Include the names of CSUSM tenure-track faculty members with whom you would like to do research, and why.  A list of faculty and their research interests is linked on the left.
    • Résumés or CVs are optional.

If you have questions that are not answered by the FAQs, write to us at and we will be more than happy to help.   

Cal State Apply