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Psychology (MA)

Offered by the Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must submit a completed graduate application form, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for the General examination (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic), two letters of recommendation, and copies of all college transcripts. Admission is based on academic record, test scores, and two letters of recommendation.

Up to 6 credit hours of graduate coursework in psychology from another university or up to 12 credit hours of graduate course credit taken at American University may be transferred, provided that these credits were not counted toward another degree. These transfers of credit are subject to approval by the director of the MA program.

Completion of the degree does not necessarily lead to admission to the PhD program; students who wish to be considered for the PhD program must apply. Applicants with a BA who wish to obtain a PhD in Psychology from American University should apply directly to the PhD program. If they do not have an MA, students will earn one as part of the PhD program. See the description of the PhD program for more information.

Degree Requirements

  • 33 credit hours of approved graduate work
  • Written general comprehensive examination
  • Thesis option: The master's thesis involves an original research project. Students must prepare a thesis proposal, collect and analyze data, submit a written thesis, and give an oral defense. The thesis must be accepted by the thesis committee, the department chair, and the university
    • Nonthesis option: available only in the General Psychology track (see course requirements below)
    • All coursework for the thesis and nonthesis options for fulfilling the research requirement must be completed with grades of B or better
  • Tracks: General, Personality/Social, or Experimental/Biological

Course Requirements

Complete one of the following tracks:

General Psychology Track (33 credit hours)

Personality/Social Psychology

Complete two courses from the following:

Experimental/Biological Psychology

Complete two courses from the following:

Statistics

  • Graduate statistics course (3)

Thesis or Nonthesis Option

Students in the General Psychology track complete either the thesis or nonthesis option:

Thesis Option:
Required
Thesis

Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

Electives
  • 9 credit hours of graduate elective courses with at least 6 credit hours from the Department of Psychology
Nonthesis Option (General Psychology track only):
Required
Electives
  • 12 credit hours of graduate elective courses with at least 6 credit hours from the Department of Psychology

Personality/Social Psychology Track (33 credit hours)

Personality/Social Psychology

Complete four courses from the following:

Experimental/Biological Psychology

Complete two courses from the following:

Psychological Research

Thesis

Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

Statistics

  • Graduate statistics course (3)

Elective

  • Graduate elective course (3)

Experimental/Biological Psychology Track (33 credit hours)

Experimental/Biological Psychology

Complete four courses from the following:

Personality/Social Psychology

Complete two courses from the following:

Psychological Research

Thesis

Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

Statistics

  • Graduate statistics course (3)

Elective

  • Graduate elective course (3)

We Know Success

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both

Frequently Asked Questions

 Yes! Prior to enrolling in any MA courses, however, students must show that they have met the prerequisites for the program including: Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON-300) and Intermediate Macroeconomics (ECON-301) (or Introduction to Economic Theory (ECON-603); Basic Statistics (ECON-202); and Applied Calculus (ECON-211). We are happy to waive these prerequisites for students who have completed comparable courses from another institution. Prerequisite credits are not counted toward your degree.

All MA students must complete 15 credit hours of core courses, including Introduction to Mathematical Economics, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Econometrics I and II. Students choose from one of five tracks: General, Development Economics, Gender Analysis in Economics, Financial Economic Policy, and Business Economics. Depending on the track chosen, students complete their degree by taking an additional 15 to 21 credits of electives or required courses.

Students must complete 30 to 36 hours of approved graduate work, depending on the specific track chosen by the student. Full-time students typically enroll in 9 credit hours per semester, which allows students to complete the program in as little as 1.5 to 2 years. Part-time students choose to take fewer than 9 credit hours per semester. All of our MA courses are offered in the evening.

Still have questions? Send us an email: econ@american.edu