California State University, Bakersfield
offers an excellent (45 unit, 2 year) Master of Arts program in Psychology.
Students are prepared for careers as community college instructors and for
doctoral programs, depending upon the goals of the student.
MA Program in Psychology is NOT appropriate for students whose goal is a
career in Counseling Psychology. Individuals interested in pursuing a
master's degree in counseling should contact the M.S. Program in Counseling
Psychology ( "http://www.csub.edu/cpsy/).
first year emphasizes the breadth of psychological knowledge, and includes
proseminar courses in the following major areas of psychology: biopsychology,
cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, sensation
and perception, and contemporary topics in psychology. The first years
work culminates in a comprehensive exam focused on proseminar content, and
research methods and statistics. The comprehensive exam must be passed to
continue in the program.
The second year is
devoted to developing skills necessary for both teaching and research.
Coursework in the second year includes an Ethics and Practice in Teaching and
Research course. The rest of the years curriculum entails research and
teaching internships, elective coursework, and completion of an Empirical
Students benefit from the M.A. in Psychology at CSUB
in a number of ways. Class sizes are small, so students are known by the
faculty and interact frequently with them, as well as with each other. Within
the department, there are opportunities to work with faculty on research and to
assist in teaching undergraduate courses. Faculty have a range of teaching and
research interests which they share with their students. Students who have
graduated from this program have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees at
excellent universities, are now teaching in community colleges, or have used
their M.A. in Psychology to further their professional development. The
atmosphere within the program is friendly and professional, and graduate study
is convenient for students residing in the lower San Joaquin Valley.
Bakersfield is a growing community with active theater and music performances,
and is only a two hour drive from Los Angeles and many California beaches.
Students admitted to and enrolled in the M.A. program
will be assigned an academic advisor. The assignment will be based on the fit
between the research interests of the student and those of the faculty member.
Accordingly, applicants must indicate in their application materials the three
faculty members they are most interested in working with. Applicants should
choose those faculty members based on the fit between the faculty members
research activities and interests and the interests and goals of the applicant.
The students academic advisor will act as a mentor for the student,
providing assistance with the Plan of Study, research experience, and direction
of the Empirical Research Thesis.
Year 1 Courses
BEHS 500: Quantitative
Methods in the Behavioral Sciences (5)
PSYC 501: Advanced Research
Design and Methodology in Psychology (5)
PSYC 575: History &
Systems in Psychology (5)
PSYC 502: Proseminar IBiopsychology
& Cognitive Psychology (4)
PSYC 503: Proseminar
IISensation and Perception & Contemporary Topics (4)
504: Proseminar IIIDevelopmental Psychology & Social Psychology
Year 2 Courses
PSYC 601: Ethics and
Practice in Teaching and Research (5)
PSYC 681: Directed Graduate
Research in Psychology* (variable)
PSYC 688: Practicum in Teaching
PSYC 695: Empirical Master's Thesis (5)
Electives (variable) (See CSUB Catalog)
* At least 3 units must be taken for Psyc 681 and 688, with
a total of 8 units for both courses combined.
Students must satisfactorily pass a Comprehensive Exam
during the summer after their first year in the program. The exam tests
students knowledge of material covered in the courses taken during Year 1
of the program. This exam must be passed in order for students to continue into
the second year of the program.
Additional Requirements for the MA in Psychology
Granting of any degree by the California State University
requires demonstration of writing ability either by passing the university-wide
Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) examination or by achieving a
grade of C or better in COMM 304, 306 or 311, ENGL 304, 305, 310 or
311, HIST 300, ADM 510 or other courses approved by the English Department.
Brochures with more information about the GWAR are available in the Testing
Center, the Department of English, and in all Deans offices.
Selected courses in Counseling Psychology may be appropriate
for graduate degree credit. Selection must be done with permission of the
Graduate Program Coordinator in accord with the individuals Plan of