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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

GE logo with Oviatt LibraryPictures of Sierra Hall and CSUN


What is General Experimental psychology?

GENERAL EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY EMPHASIZES BASIC THEORY AND INCLUDES TRAINING IN EXPERIMENTAL, QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL AND NON-EXPERIMENTAL METHODOLOGY IN PSYCHOLOGY. Currently, some areas of interest in which specialized training is available are a) quantitative methods and research design, b) physiological psychology, c) cognitive psychology, d) social psychology, and e) developmental psychology. A rigorous program in General Experimental Psychology, with thesis, is advised for the student who intends later to go on to pursue a Ph.D. in an area of psychology in which research and methodology are required.

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What can I do with a General Experimental degree?

A rigorous program in General Experimental Psychology with thesis, comprehensive exams, research experience and teaching experience is advised for the student who intends later to apply to a Ph.D. program in theoretical psychology or certain areas of applied psychology.

Recent graduates of the General Experimental Psychology Master's program have gone on to PhD programs at Claremont Graduate University, Kansas State University, Pepperdine University, Simon Fraser University, University California, Davis, University California, Irvine, University California, LA, U of Michigan University California, Riverside, University California, Santa Barbara, University California, Santa Cruz, University Nevada Reno, University of Cincinnati, University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Delaware, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Rochester.

Our graduate students have also gone on to employment at California State University, Dominguez Hills, California State University, Northridge, California State University, San Bernadino, Kansas State University, Moorpark College, Nova Southeastern University, University of Pittsburgh, Rand, Loyola Marymount, University of Florida, and University of Southern California

The M.A. degree in General Experimental psychology can also serve as a basis for employment in applied psychology. Graduates may qualify for research positions in government or industry, particularly those positions that require knowledge of data base management and computer applications. In conjunction with expertise in business or health science, graduates often find excellent career opportunities in educational, consumer, corporate, or community settings.

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How do I apply to the General Experimental Program?

Typically an undergraduate major in psychology (although we have had successful students from other majors) and a strong overall grade point average are required. Normally, GRE scores should be above the 50th percentile and the grade point average should be no less than 3.00 in Psychology courses and 3.00 overall. 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 socio-cultural background which differs from that of the typical applicant, a research or professional background, or a disability that requires alternative measures of potential competence.

Non-psychology majors who would otherwise be acceptable to our program are urged to qualify themselves for admission by completing the requirements in our Graduate Handbook. 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.

Applications are due:
  • April 1st - Fall Applications
  • November 15th - Spring Applications (we are no longer accepting Spring Applications)
For More Information:

**Additional forms may be found on the Graduate Forms page.

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What is expected for the M.A.?

GE requirements 1GE Requirements 2

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Program Faculty

Our Faculty have earned doctoral and graduate degrees (i.e., M.A., M.S., M.Ed., J.D.) from California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Northridge, Florida International University, Northwestern, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University, University of California, Davis, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Nebraska and Wake Forest University

Andrew Ainsworth (Program Director)
Sierra Tower
Donald Butler (Emeritus; not pictured)
Gabriela Chavira
Janet Oh
Sun-Mee Kang (not pictured)
Bradley McAuliff
Mark Otten (not pictured)
Jill Quilici
Scott Plunkett (not pictured)
Abraham Rutchick (not pictured)
Carrie Saetermoe
Jerry Shaw (not pictured)
Holli Tonyan
Michele Wittig
Erica Wohldmann (Program Director)
Robert Youmans

GE Faculty

Top L to R: Jill Quilici, Janet Oh, Erica Wohldmann, Gabriela Chavira, Holli Tonyan, Carrie Saetermoe

Bottom L to R: Robert Youmans, Michele Wittig, Bradley McAuliff, Andrew Ainsworth

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