May 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychological Sciences, M.A.

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          Contact: Jan Wallander, Chair,

We do not admit students into a Master’s program, but offer the M.A. as an en route degree, fulfilled while pursuing the Ph.D.. The M.A. degree has the same foundational curriculum as the Psychological Sciences Ph.D. degree. The recipient of the M.A. degree is understood to possess knowledge of a broad field of learning that extends well-beyond that attained at the undergraduate level, but is not expected to have made a significant contribution to knowledge in the field.

Psychological Sciences cover a broad array of approaches to the study of both basic and applied problems. Psychological Sciences at UC Merced focuses on three of those approaches—Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology, and Quantitative Psychology–culminating in the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychological Sciences. Training begins with five core courses, two in statistics, one in methodology and two in a year-long professional seminar designed to introduce students to the field of Psychological Sciences. Along the way to completion of the PhD, the student will complete at least seven additional courses, an empirical pre-candidacy project (by end of second year), a candidacy exam portfolio (by end of third year), and a dissertation. We do not admit students unless we expect to support them with teaching or research assistantships while they are in the program, contingent on acceptable progress.The graduate program in Psychological Sciences accepts and trains students who wish to pursue the Ph.D. and a career in research. We do not offer training in clinical psychology or related fields like counseling or school psychology. 

Master’s Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Core Knowledge: Graduate students will demonstrate advanced knowledge in a specialized area of Psychological Sciences of their choosing.
  2. Statistics and Methods: Graduate students will demonstrate skills in the use of basic data gathering methods and statistical techniques used for typical analyses in conducting research in the Psychological Sciences.
  3. Communication Skills: Graduate students will demonstrate effective communication skills appropriate for the field of psychology. These include written communication (clear expression, compliance with APA style) and oral communication (effective oral explanation of disciplinary material for both lay and scientific audiences).
  4. Professionalism: Graduate students know and participate in the intellectual and organizational aspects of the profession of psychology.
  5. Research: Graduate students will conduct supervised research demonstrating broad knowledge in Psychological Sciences, including all steps from generating an original question to writing a manuscript describing all aspects of the study.

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