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Psychology Department
376 Sierra Hall
CSU Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8255

Hours: M-F (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Phone: (818) 677-2827
Fax: (818) 677-2829


General Experimental Psychology Frequently Asked Questions page

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My GRE scores are not very high, should I still apply to the program ?

We require that your GRE scores on the Quant and Verbal subscales be above the 50th percentile. If your GRE scores are better than the 50th percentile (or even close) apply.

I haven't taken the GRE psychology subject test, should I still apply?

Our graduate handbook currently requires the psychology subject GRE exam, but this requirement is typically waived.

I only have 2 letters of recommendation, will my application be reviewed?

Although we do require 3 letters of recommendation an application would not be rejected simply because something was missing. However, any missing component will put you at a disadvantage when compared to students with complete applications.

How do I chose an advisor or is one chosen for me?

When you first start in the GE program one of the GE faculty will be assigned to you as an Academic Advisor. The role of the academic advisor is to simply help you get acquainted with the program, answer questions you may have and to serve as a resource while you are in the program. Preferably within the first year you will begin doing research with one or more of the GE faculty and from them you will eventually chose a Research Advisor who will also chair your thesis committee. You will eventually need 3 members for you committee and goal of having an Academic Advisor is that he/she will help you to find your Research Advisor and committee or serve as a committee member his/herself. In the end you should have 2 advisors, one that is assigned to you and another that you chose based on your research interests.

What are the prerequisites for the GE program?

The current prerequisites include:

  • An undergraduate major in psychology
    • Non-psychology majors who would otherwise be acceptable to our program are urged to qualify themselves for admission by completing core psychological courses (e.g. Psy 320/L, 321/L). Applicants whose background differs from that of the typical applicant to our program should ensure that at least two of the required three letters of recommendation are provided by faculty members from whom they took upper division courses in psychology.
  • Normally, GRE scores above the 50th percentile and a grade point average above 3.0.
    • Students with lower scores on the GRE or with somewhat lower grade point averages are occasionally accepted if they can provide alternative evidence of capability to perform successfully in the General-Experimental option. Alternative evidence might include a broad background in mathematics and natural science, a linguistic or sociocultural background which differs from that of the typical applicant, a research or professional background, or a disability that requires alternative measures of potential competence.
  • Evidence of suitability for work in psychology is required.
    • Applicants must submit transcripts of prior academic work, letters of recommendation, and a statement of personal goals, objectives, and work history.

Note: We are currently working on changing the curriculum so that that beginning in the Fall of 2010 the GE program will require Psy 420 (Advanced Statistical Methods or Equivalent) as a prerequisite for admission. Students that have not taken psy 420 by the time they begin the program must take it before they will be allowed to enroll in any of the statistics (Psy 520 and 524) or research methods (Psy 692) core courses within the program