Psychological Science

Applications are now closed for the 2024-2025 school year.

Deadline: TBD

NOTE:  The posted University Application deadline is later than the Department Application deadline. However, both university and department materials must be submitted by the posted Department deadline of January 15th.

GRE Scores are not required and will not be accepted for Fall 2024 Applications


Want to learn more about our programs?

Join us at our VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE!


We will be featuring faculty in the Psychological Science, Clinical Psychology, and Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs! You will have a chance to meet and speak directly with potential faculty mentors followed by a panel of graduate students!


Picture of various places around Sierra Hall

What is Psychological Science? 

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. This program is well suited for students who intend to apply to Ph.D. programs in Clinical, Developmental, Social, Cognitive, or Quantitative Psychology, or other related fields (e.g., Human Development).


Want to know more about our program?  Look for our Virtual Open House later this fall!

We will be hosting a Virtual Open House for students considering applying to our program! This event will include an overview of our program and an introductions to our faculty.  Attendees will have a chance to rotate through different rooms to meet faculty and members of their labs to learn more about ongoing research.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from a panel of current graduate students and to ask any remaining questions they have to the faculty and program directors. 

  • Time and Date:  TBD
  • LocationL: Zoom (Link TBD)


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 the Psychological Science and Clinical MA programs have a shared application. For additional information and to access the application please visit our Application Page.
We encourage applicants to contact potential mentors prior to applying! (see program faculty below)

For More Information:

  • Contact the program co-directors: Dr. Drew and Dr. Berzenski
  • If you have further questions, contact the Psychology Department.

Program Overview

Similar to many doctoral programs, our program matches each admitted student with a faculty mentor based on mutual research interests.  Applicants rank up to 3 potential faculty mentors in their applications to the program. Students will work in their mentor’s research lab and receive guidance on their thesis project. As admission to the program depends in part on fit with a faculty mentor, students are strongly encouraged to review program faculty bios (see “Program Faculty” below) for more information on their areas of expertise and interest. Potential applicants may also wish to contact program faculty mentors prior to applying if they have questions about their work, interests, or available opportunities.

Course Curriculum for Master of Art in Psychology

Professional Development (2 units over 2 semesters) 

PSY 500 Seminar in Professional Development (1/1)

Univariate Statistics (3 units)

PSY 485US/S Univariate Statistics and Lab (3/2)

Multivariate Statistics (9 units)

PSY 524/L Multivariate Analysis Computer and Lab (3/1)

PSY 534/L Latent Variable Analysis and Lab (3/2)

Advanced Research Methods (3 units)

PSY 692A Seminar in Research Methodology (3)

Advanced Psychological Theory (6 units from Options below)

PSY 512/612 Graduate Seminar in Developmental Psychology (3)

PSY 525/625 Graduate Seminar in Psychological Testing (3)

PSY 540/640 Graduate Seminar in Social Psychology (3)

PSY 591A/691A Graduate Seminar in Cognition (3)

PSY 690A Graduate Seminar in Advanced Sensation & Perception (3)

Electives (6 units)

Students must take 6 or more academic units at the 400- (by permission), 500- or 600-level

Thesis (6 units over 2 semesters)

PSY 698 Thesis or Graduate Project (3/3)

Total Units for the M.A. Degree in Psychology: 37 units

Additional program requirements can be found online in the University Catalog


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, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Nebraska. You can view a current lift of current faculty below.

Andrew Ainsworth

Alyssa Arentoft (*not accepting Psych Science students for fall 2024)

Sara Berzenski (Program Director)

Thomas Chan

Gabriela Chavira

Stefanie Drew (Program Director)

Elise Fenn 

Que-Lam Huynh

Sun-Mee Kang 

Justin Kantner 

Debbie Ma

Bradley McAuliff

Mark Otten

Scott Plunkett (*not accepting new graduate students)

Jill Quilici

Abraham Rutchick

Omar Ruvalcaba (*only accepting students through the Clinical Fieldwork Track)

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

Yolanda Vasquez-Salgado

Erica Wohldmann

Recent Emeritus
Donald Butler
Jerry Shaw
Michele Wittig