C A L I F O R N I A S T A T E U N I V E R S I T Y B A K E R S F I E L D
Dorothy Donahoe Hall, D107
(661) 665-6955 (fax)
Program Coordinator: Steve Bacon
Dorothy Donahoe Hall, D117
Faculty: M. Abramson, M. Allen, S. Bacon,
D. Cohen, J. Deegan, A. Duran,
K. Hartlep, T. Ishida, C. Raupp,
B. Rienzi, E. Sasaki, S. Suter,
Psychology can be considered from a variety of perspectives such as a natural or biological science, a behavioral or social science, an applied or professional field, or a set of experiential or humanistic concerns. The MA in Psychology is designed to 1) prepare students seeking community college or high school social science teaching positions, 2) offer professional enrichment to professionals already in the field, and 3) provide appropriate research experience for students wishing to enter a doctoral program elsewhere.
The Department of Psychology offers an MA in Psychology, with three separate emphases. Each degree emphasis has its own admission and course requirements. Interested students must request application materials from the Department of Psychology and apply directly to the department for admission in addition to applying to the University as a post-baccalaureate student.
Master of Arts in Psychology
This 45‑unit MA program is designed with three emphases:
1. to prepare students to pursue admission to a psychology doctoral program;
2. to prepare students to seek a community college teaching position; and
3. to provide for academic or career development.
The Doctoral Preparation emphasis requires coursework and an empirical thesis and is intended for qualified individuals with strong potential for success in a doctoral program. The Community College Teaching emphasis requires supervised experience in college teaching and psychology content courses related to teaching duties at community colleges. It is intended for qualified individuals with strong potential for success in community college teaching and also for credentialed high school social science teachers with appropriate backgrounds who are seeking professional enrichment. The General Psychology emphasis requires coursework and a critical literature review thesis. It is intended for students seeking a Master’s degree for academic or career development.
Application and Admission Requirements
Students seeking admission to the Master of Arts in Psychology program should first secure application materials from the Department of Psychology. Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Psychology. Students must also apply to the Office of Admissions and Records for admission to the University; this application for general admission at the post-baccalaureate level will be processed by the University. Offers of admission by the Department are made on a quarterly basis. Deadlines are listed on informational sheets and are available from the Department, the Psychology Graduate Coordinator, and the departmental Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.csub.edu/psychology.
To be considered for admission to the MA program, the student must fulfill the following minimum requirements:
1. Complete these undergraduate prerequisite courses with a composite GPA of at least 3.0 and no grade lower than a “C” (2.0):
a. Introduction to Statistical Methods in Psychological Research (PSYC 200 or MATH 140)
b. Understanding Psychological Research (PSYC 300)
c. At least five additional upper division courses (25 quarter units) in Psychology providing diversity of preparation, including at least one psychology laboratory course. Students may also be required to take additional undergraduate courses that are prerequisite to courses in their emphasis.
Note: CSUB course numbers are provided for reference. The Department will determine whether courses taken elsewhere meet these requirements. Students may complete these prerequisite courses within the Department while enrolled in graduate courses for which they are eligible, although progress toward the degree will be slower. A maximum of 15 graduate units may be earned prior to admission.
2. Earn a 3.0 GPA in the last 90 quarter units of undergraduate coursework.
3. Submit GRE General Test scores. Students with scores of 1500 or higher (V+Q+A) will be given preference for admission to the program.
4. Provide three letters of recommendation attesting to capability and promise for the emphasis to which application is being made.
Admission to the Doctoral Preparation emphasis is limited to the number of students for whom the Department can provide appropriate research experience and is restricted to students with sufficiently strong GRE scores to predict reasonable success in obtaining admission to a doctoral program. Students should discuss their interests with a potential mentor before applying to the program.
Admission to the Community College Teaching emphasis is limited to the number of students for whom the Department can provide appropriate teaching experience and is restricted to students whose personal qualifications warrant placement in mentored teaching. The faculty of the Department reserve the right to admit those applicants they deem most qualified. In making this decision, the faculty may take into consideration applicants’ previous training in psychology, relevant work experience, and special skills and knowledge, which provide evidence of potential. Students who do not meet minimum requirements for admission to the program may petition for an exception to the admission requirements.
Student Classification Levels
The Department of Psychology determines the student’s initial classification level prior to admission as well as all subsequent changes in that level. Some 500‑level and all 600‑level courses are not available for undergraduate credit. Students enrolled in the MA in Psychology may enroll in any course on the approved Plan of Study for which they have met the prerequisite. Anyone else must obtain the instructor’s permission prior to enrollment. Such students will be classified as Post-baccalaureate.
Conditionally Classified - Students who have completed most but not all of the requirements for admission at the classified level (see below) and show promise of success may be admitted at the conditionally classified level. Students admitted at the conditionally classified level who complete all admission requirements or alternate requirements specified in the offer of admission will be moved to the classified level but may take no more than 15 units applicable to the MA degree prior to achieving classified standing. Students at the conditionally classified level are not allowed to begin a thesis or take a comprehensive exam.
Classified - Students who meet all of the requirements for admission will be admitted at the classified level. Classified graduate students may take any graduate level course meeting the requirements of their Plan of Study as long as the appropriate prerequisites have been met.
Candidate - Classified level students will be advanced to candidate level in the term in which they intend to graduate and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the Plan of Study and have completed the graduation writing requirement. Students must also receive positive faculty evaluations concerning their effectiveness and responsibility in interpersonal relationships and in meeting academic and professional responsibilities.
Core Courses Required in All Three Emphases
1. BEHS 500 Quantitative Methods in the Behavioral Sciences
2. PSYC 501 Advanced Research Design and Methodology in Psychology
3. PSYC 575 History and Systems in Psychology
Requirements for the Doctoral Preparation Emphasis
1. Approved Electives (25 units; no more than 12 units may be at the 400-level)
2. PSYC 695 Empirical Master’s Thesis (5 units)
Students must complete an empirical thesis under the direction of a three-person Thesis Committee. A separate document details the thesis requirement.
Requirements for the Community College Teaching Emphasis
1. Approved Electives (20 units; no more than 12 units may be at the 400‑level)
2. PSYC 688 Practicum in Teaching Psychology (10 units)
Note: The student must complete ten units of PSYC 688 with grades of “B” (3.0) or better under the direction of at least two Psychology faculty. No more than 10 units of PSYC 688 (and no units of PSYC 698) may be applied toward the degree. Permission to re-enroll in this course requires successful performance in all prior enrollments. The student must develop a portfolio documenting all teaching experience and must receive certification from faculty sponsors that, across the mentored teaching situations, each of the required teaching activities has been successfully conducted. The Department maintains a list of the required teaching activities.
Part of the mentored teaching experience may be modified or waived for students who are experienced teachers. These changes must be approved by the Comprehensive Examination Committee and the Chair of the Department of Psychology.
Comprehensive Examination (0 units)
The student must pass a comprehensive examination which covers three areas of Psychology commonly taught at community colleges. The specific areas will be selected by the student from the list maintained by the Graduate Program Coordinator.
Students may select other specialty areas with the permission of the Comprehensive Examination Committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator.
Additional Requirements for the General Psychology Emphasis
1. Approved Electives (25 units; no more than 12 units may be at the 400-level)
2. PSYC 694 Critical Literature Review Master’s Thesis (5 units)
Students must complete a critical literature review thesis under the direction of a three-person Thesis Committee. A separate document details the thesis requirement.
Finally, for the granting of any degree the California State University requires demonstration of Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) either by passing the university-wide 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 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 individual’s Plan of Study.
A student’s Thesis or Comprehensive Examination Committee Chair will serve as the academic advisor. Until this person has been selected, the Graduate Program Coordinator will be the student’s academic advisor. The student and academic advisor will prepare a Plan of Study and submit it for approval.
To graduate with the MA degree, a student must meet the following requirements:
1. Complete the 45-unit program in accord with the approved Plan of Study and these requirements. Students may take no more than 10 units on a non-optional credit, no-credit basis.
2. Be in Good Standing in the MA in Psychology program. To be in Good Standing, a student must maintain at the end of each term of enrollment a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in courses taken to meet degree requirements. Students not in Good Standing must formally request permission (and receive written approval) to enroll in additional graduate courses. The Psychology Graduate Committee will review the explanations and plans set forth in the petition and make a decision whether to permit continued enrollment and what conditions must be met for a return to Good Standing.
3. Be advanced to Candidate level by the Department.
4. Receive an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher for the entire 45-unit program.
5. Regardless of the number of units, no more than two courses with grades of “C+” (2.3) or “C” (2.0) may be counted toward the MA program.
6. No course with a grade lower than “C” (2.0) may be counted toward the MA program.
Note: Some 500-level and all 600-level courses are not available for undergraduate credit. Students enrolled in the MA in Psychology may enroll in any course on the approved Plan of Study for which they have met the prerequisite. Anyone else must obtain the instructor’s permission prior to enrollment.
BEHS 500 Quantitative Methods in the Behavioral Sciences (5)
An examination of the major techniques used for quantitative analysis in contemporary behavioral science, including basic tests of significance, measures of association, bivariate and multiple regression, factor analysis, analysis of variance, nonparametric statistics, and computer techniques of data compilation and analysis. Prerequisite: a college-level course in statistics. Carries credit in Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology. [F]
PSYC 501 Advanced Research Design and Methodology in Psychology (5)
Advanced examination of research designs and methods in psychological research. Conducting literature reviews, analyzing research studies, designing research strategies, selecting appropriate data analysis techniques, and interpreting research results. Ethical considerations in the conduct of human and animal research. Prerequisites: PSYC 300 and BEHS 500. [W]
PSYC 510 Human Development: Childhood and Adolescence (4)
Focus on the developmental transitions from infancy through adolescence. Topics include biological basis of development, cognitive development, emotional development, personality development, social development, agents of socialization, the role of the family in development, and cultural and environmental influences on development. Prerequisite: PSYC 310. [W]
PSYC 511 Human Development: Adulthood and Aging (4)
Focus on the developmental transitions throughout adulthood. Topics include psychophysiological changes, cognitive development and intellectual functioning, personality consistency and change, consistency and change in social roles, including family membership, divorce, and step-parenting, variety of life-styles, gender and ethnic differences, and issues regarding sickness and death. Prerequisite: PSYC 310. [S]
PSYC 512 Advanced Psychological Social
An exploration of theory, research, and application of empirical studies in psychological social psychology. Emphasis is placed on historical and theoretical paradigms that have guided the field. The emphasis of the course is on the social influence of how individuals - cognitions, thoughts, and behaviors are influenced by the imagined, implied, or actual presence of others. Prerequisites: Psyc 312 (or any social psychology course taken at another university) and consent of instructor. Carries credit in Psychology only.
CPSY 530 Human Sexuality (4)
Examination of the major variables affecting human sexuality. Includes the physiological, psychological, and sociocultural variables associated with the development and manifestation of sexual identity, sexual behavior, and sexual disorders. Special attention to the etiology, assessment, and treatment of sexual dysfunctions and to the relationship between sexual dysfunction and intimate interpersonal relationships. Not available for undergraduate credit. [S]
PSYC 575 History and Systems in Psychology (5)
Historical analysis of the development of modern psychology as a science and the examination of its many strands – the evolution of research and theory, important figures and systematic positions, methods of thought and work, social and intellectual contexts - which have contributed to its pattern of development. Lectures/discussion, and special student projects. Prerequisite: Three upper division courses in Psychology. [S]
PSYC 577 Special Topics in Psychology (1-5)
Offered periodically as announced. Topics of special interest to graduates and senior students. May be repeated for different course content. Specific prerequisites will be indicated with each announced course. [F,W,S]
PSYC 602 Seminar in Organizational Psychology (5)
Examination and application of theories and concepts pertaining to the behavior of individuals in contemporary work organizations. Deals with those factors which affect the ability of individuals in contemporary work organizations. Deals with those factors which affect the ability of individuals and groups of individuals to work effectively within the structure and climate of complex organizations. Topics deal with issues associated with individual values, beliefs, attitudes, and expectations as they affect the management processes, including leadership, decision-making, and communication. Prerequisites: At least one upper division course in Psychology and MGMT 300 or permission of instructor. [Variable Quarters]
PSYC 680 Directed Graduate Research Seminar in Psychology (5)
Elaboration of principles of research design. Student conducts and writes up an individual or group study under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: PSYC 300 and consent of instructor. [Variable Quarters]
PSYC 681 Directed Graduate Research in Psychology (1-5)
Student designs and conducts a research project and writes a final report under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: consent of instructor who will serve as a sponsor, approval by chair of Department of Psychology. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only, except for students preparing for a thesis in the MA in Psychology. [By Petition]
PSYC 688 Practicum in Teaching Psychology (3-5 units)
Theory and practice in teaching psychology for students in the MA in Psychology (Community College Teaching emphasis). Regular meetings with faculty sponsor and supervised experience which may include course and syllabus development; lecturing; tutoring; developing, administering, and scoring examinations; developing and grading paper assignments; leading discussion groups; setting up and supervising laboratories, projects, or classroom activities; and in-depth directed readings of relevant topics. Prerequisite: consent of faculty sponsor and approval by Chair of Department of Psychology. [By Petition]
PSYC 694 Critical Literature Review Master’s Thesis (5)
Critical literature review in an approved area of psychology conducted under the supervision of a faculty committee. Preparation of an approved proposal, carrying out the approved library research, preparation of a final report in accord with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and an oral explanation and defense of the thesis. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only. Prerequisite: limited to classified level students in the MA in Psychology (General Psychology emphasis) with the approval of the thesis committee chair and Chair of the Department of Psychology. [By Petition]
PSYC 695 Empirical Master’s Thesis (5)
Empirical research in an approved area of psychology conducted under the supervision of a faculty committee. Preparation of an approved proposal, carrying out the approved empirical research, preparation of a final report in accord with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and an oral explanation and defense of the thesis. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only. Prerequisite: limited to classified level students in the MA in Psychology (Doctoral Preparation emphasis) with the approval of the thesis committee chair and Chair of the Department of Psychology. [By Petition]
PSYC 698 Directed Graduate Study in the Instruction of Psychology (1-5)
Theory and method in undergraduate and graduate instruction in psychology. Weekly meetings with faculty sponsor and supervised experience which may include administering and developing examinations, proctoring self-paced instructional units, course development, discussion group leadership, treatment simulation supervision, observing psychological test administrations, and in-depth directed readings of relevant topics. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only. Prerequisite: consent of instructor who will serve as sponsor, and approval by Chair of Department of Psychology whose responsibility it is to monitor the appropriateness of the student’s responsibilities. [By Petition]
PSYC 699 Individual Graduate Study (1‑5)
Investigation of an approved project leading to a written report. Project selected in conference with professor in area of major interest; regular meetings to be arranged with professor. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only. [By Petition]