Printable Version in PDF Format (Get Adobe Acrobat)


  • Policy Number: SP.14.019
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By: Virgil Adams
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 6/8/15
  • Effective Date: 8/19/15
  • Supersedes: N/A





Master of Arts in Psychology





The Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology, in general, will prepare students to think critically and analytically and to conduct qualitative and quantitative research in the field of Psychology. The MA in Psychology degree at CSU Channel Islands (CI) offers an innovative advanced degree program for students interested in applied and basic research in psychology. This program will offer two tracks with a distinct Culminating Experience Course: one is a terminal degree to prepare students for careers in applied psychology and program evaluation; and the other prepares students for entry into a doctoral program. Within both tracks training will emphasize breadth of knowledge in psychological theories and principles to solve real world problems in preparation for a wide range of academic, research, and applied careers in psychology. In addition, students will develop proficiency conducting research, statistical analyses, participate in civic engagement, and utilize interdisciplinary and multicultural applications of psychology. For students in the Applied Psychology track, the culminating experience will be to conduct a program evaluation through consulting with a community agency (this may involve grant writing and teaching). Students in the doctoral preparation track will be required to develop a thesis based on empirical research and analyses. This will facilitate the development of analytical, organizational and communication skills needed to successfully complete a dissertation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts in Psychology, a student will be able to:

  • PLO1: Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of theory and breadth of informational and methodological understanding in the field of psychology;
  • PLO2: Apply research skills in psychology emphasizing advanced and appropriate research methods and statistics;
  • PLO3: Evaluate issues and problems within psychology from multiple perspectives (e.g., multicultural, interdisciplinary, international, experiential, and/or theoretical perspectives); and demonstrate an awareness of the implications for understanding an increasingly diverse and global population;
  • PLO4: Critique and evaluate theories and research in the field of psychology.


The M.A. in Psychology program at CI has several goals aligned with the four mission pillars, which emphasize interdisciplinary, multicultural, international, and experiential/service learning.  It is aligned with the interdisciplinary pillar through emphasizing an interdisciplinary perspectives on issues and research. Our program emphasizes multicultural and international perspectives by offering courses highlighting cross-cultural and diverse perspectives of individuals of various ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.  Students will engage in civic participation and service learning through working with community partners conducting research, program evaluation, and gaining applied work experience.

PROVIDE A CATALOG DESCRIPTION OF THE DEGREE (include a program description, careers associated with the degree, and faculty names and titles)

The Psychology program offers a Master of Arts program that has two tracks. The first is to prepare students seeking a terminal Master’s degree with the requisite skills to immediately join the workforce in the area of program evaluation. The second track of the program is designed for students who are seeking to continue their education in a doctoral program. In both tracks of the program students will begin with a series of classes designed to provide a solid foundation in theory, research methods, and quantitative/qualitative methods. Student will conclude their training with a program evaluation or empirical thesis.


Admission into the program will be based Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, transcripts, and a careful review of application materials by the graduate admissions committee (especially the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation). The graduate admissions committee will review all candidate files and make their recommendations to the program faculty. In turn, the program faculty will vote on candidates until the requisite number of students has been selected (along with a waitlist of applicants in case any of those admitted decline enrollment).


(a)    For undergraduate degrees: What are the specific requirements for entry to the MA program? What are the requirements for probationary entry? Lower and Upper Division Course Requirements (including pre- and co-requisites). For post-baccalaureate degrees: use appropriate program structure (including pre- and co-requisites).  Identify required elective courses.  Identify currently available course in the catalog, and indicate newly developed courses.  (Course proposals and course modifications must be submitted by October 15 the year before the degree is to appear in the catalogue.)

All courses are newly developed & have been submitted for approval

Core Courses (18 units):

PSYC 500 Seminar in History & Systems of Psychology (3)

PSYC 501 Advanced Experimental Research Methods (4)

PSYC 502 Qualitative Research Methods (4)

PSYC 504 Advanced Statistics (3)

PSYC 505 Applied Multivariate Analysis (4)

Content Courses (12 -13 units):

PSYC 512 Advanced Social Psychology (3)

PSYC 514 Advances in Biopsychology (4) 

PSYC 517 Seminar in Personality Theory (3)

PSYC 518 Seminar in Sensation & Perception (3)

PSYC 519 Seminar in Cognition (3)

PSYC 520 Advanced Developmental Psychology (3)

PSYC 524 Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3

PSYC 600 Teaching of Psychology (3)

PSYC 696 Psychometrics (3)

PSYC 697 Directed Study in Psychology (3)

Culminating Experience Courses [Choose one](3 units):

PSYC 698 Program Evaluation (3)

PSYC 699 Thesis (1-3)

(b)   Total number of units in the Degree (including pre- and co-requisites).

33/34 units


(a)    Identify the program area and persons responsible for program management and oversight of the degree.

The Psychology program will be responsible for management & oversight of the program so initially the responsibility will fall to the program chair until such time as a graduate program coordinator is designated.

(b)   Estimate number of students enrolling in the degree in the initial year, and after three (3) and five (5) years.

By design this program will be intentionally kept small, with fewer than 20 students in the program at any one time. Thus it will allow for suitable class enrollment but be sufficient for faculty resources for supervision & mentorship. 

Class Enrollment
YearNumber of Students in the Minor
Initiation Year: 10
Third Year: 19
Fifth Year: 19


(a)    Existing faculty and staff qualified to each in and support the degree, including the percent of their work assignment contributing to the degree

All faculty currently associated with the Psychology Program are qualified to teach in the MA program. This includes nine tenured and probationary faculty as well as the eighteen lecturers we currently employ. When the program begins we will need to hire additional lecturer faculty to cover the six courses (twelve beginning the second year) required in the Master’s program.

(b)   Additional faculty and staff needed for the degree and the areas of expertise needed.

We plan to hire 1 or 2 lecturer faculty to covers courses as necessary for now. In addition, we anticipate needing 1 additional support staff member.

(c)    For post-baccalaureate programs only: If faculty currently teaching in the undergraduate curriculum will be involved in the post-baccalaureate degree, please explain how these faculty and/or their courses and their advising and service time will be replaced at the undergraduate level.

We currently have eight lecturer faculty who are teaching 9 or fewer units. Thus their workload can be increased to provide the needed coverage or we will hire additional personnel as needed.


(a)    Existing facilities, equipment, and information resources available to support the degree.

With the opening of Sierra Hall in the Fall of 2015, we will have the needed laboratory space to run the program.

(b)   External funding already in progress or anticipated

Although the development of grant writing skills may be a component of training for some students, there are no external funding in development at this time

(c)    Facilities, Equipment, and Information Resources Needed to Support the Degree

The only additional space we will be seeking is a common shared office space for graduate students.


(a)    If other information is required or if you wish to include any other information for the use of Curriculum Committee and other campus bodies/officers in reviewing this proposal, please include it here.  If you will be attaching any documentation (e.g., letters of support from campus programs, MOUs, donor commitments), please identify these items here.

The Psychology program is the largest program at CI with a headcount of over 870 students generating more than 540 FTE. There are no other public universities in Ventura County for our graduates to attend. Thus they are forced to either attend expensive programs at Pepperdine or California Lutheran University (historically we have had many students admitted into these programs). We have researched the community need and thoroughly planned for a feasible small program that can meet those needs. As planned this program will positively contribute to the county workforce as well as bring recognition of its excellence to the CI campus and community.



Back to Top ↑