Psychological Science

GRE Scores are not required and will not be accepted for Fall 2021 Applications

Picture of various places around Sierra Hall

What is Psychological Science? (Formerly the General Experimental Psychology Program)

CSUN’s Psychological Science graduate program provides rigorous training in advanced statistical methods, research methods and design, and theory in psychology for students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology in a research-focused program.  The program is comprised of faculty who are active researchers in their fields, and who are dedicated to training and mentoring students who plan to pursue academic and/or research careers in an array of basic and applied areas of psychology.

What can I do with a Psychological Science degree?

Recent graduates of our Master's program have gone on to Ph.D. programs at Claremont Graduate University, Georgetown University, Kansas State University, Pepperdine University, Simon Fraser University, University of California, Davis, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Riverside, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of 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 Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Washington.

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

What do I need to apply to the Psychological Science 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, the grade point average should be no less than 3.00 in Psychology courses and 3.00 overall. Students with somewhat lower grade point averages are occasionally accepted if they can provide alternative evidence of capability to perform successfully in the Psychological Science program. 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 consider having two of the required three letters of recommendation provided by faculty members from whom they took upper division courses in psychology.

How do I apply to the Psychological Science Program?

Please note that it is a CSUN Graduate Studies policy that you can only apply to 1 graduate program. Therefore, you cannot apply to both the Psychological Science and Clinical MA program.
To get started, please visit the Application Page to begin your application!  To access all material, you must create an account and log on to the Cal State Apply system. You can save your progress in the system at any time, and you do not have to submit your application until you are ready!
The personal statement prompts can be found within the application, but are also listed here for those who would like to prepare their statement before starting their online application:
  • Please provide a brief synopsis of all your research experiences including coursework, work with professors, work with peers, and independent research. What was the purpose of the research? What type of training did you receive? What skills did you acquire? Please provide a complete reference (Title, Author(s), Conference, Date(s), etc.) for all papers or conference presentations.
  • Please provide a brief description of your research interests.
  • In reference to each of the faculty that you selected as potential research mentors, briefly describe why you want to work with him/her and indicate how you think you can contribute to his/her research
  • Please describe your long-term educational and career goals.
Please note, we encourage applicants to contact potential mentors prior to applying! (see program faculty below)

Applications are due: February 1st

For More Information:

What is expected for the M.A.?


 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, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, University of California-Davis, University of California-Irvine, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of California-Riverside University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, State University of New York at Buffalo and University of Nebraska. You can view a current list of faculty research interests

Andrew Ainsworth

Alyssa Arentoft (*not accepting graduate students for fall 2021)

Sara Berzenski (Program Director)

Thomas Chan

Gabriela Chavira

Stefanie Drew (Program Director)

Elise Fenn

Que-Lam Huynh

Sun-Mee Kang (*not accepting graduate students for fall 2021)

Justin Kantner (*not accepting graduate students for fall 2021)

Debbie Ma

Bradley McAuliff

Mark Otten

Scott Plunkett (*not accepting graduate students for fall 2020)

Jill Quilici

Abraham Rutchick

Omar Ruvalcaba

Carrie Saetermoe

Holli Tonyan (*not accepting graduate students 2022-2025)

Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado

Erica Wohldmann

Recent Emeritus
Donald Butler
Jerry Shaw
Michele Wittig