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Psychology Master's Degree

Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology

What to expect from our M.A. in Psychology with a Clinical Concentration

The clinical psychology MA program focuses on training students in the assessment and treatment of mental disorders through individual, family, and group therapies. This program differs in several ways from counseling programs, such as mental health counseling programs housed in schools of education. Our program is grounded in the scientist-practitioner model and thus involves training in theory, research design, statistics, and the application of evidence-based principles to the provision of psychological services. Our students gain a firm foundation in research and scientific practice, which allows empirical evidence to influence their applied practice. Although our clinical orientation leans toward cognitive behavior therapy, we want our students to learn about several theoretical orientations that can guide practice, and to select a therapeutic orientation that best fits their personal interests. Further, at the conclusion of the program students may apply for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) or psychological associate (LPA), the latter of which allows one to conduct psychological assessments. Students receive one-on-one training in practice via the on-site practicum course. Our psychological services clinic, with several private meeting rooms, serves the Permian Basin community and the university by providing psychotherapy and psychological assessment.

What to expect from our M.A. in Psychology with an Experimental Concentration

The experimental psychology MA program focuses on advanced psychological theory, research methods, statistics, and manuscript preparation. In this program, students learn to utilize different methodological and statistical procedures, gain research experience, think critically about theory and the application of psychology, and enhance project management and communication skills. Students acquire skills that are in high demand, and that enable to seek a career in industry and research settings. Those seeking further education can enhance their credentials and gain experience prior to applying to competitive Ph.D. programs. Our faculty have expertise and interests that span several areas of research in psychology including clinical-counseling, cognitive, developmental, health, social, and neuroscience. Please see faculty profiles for more information about specific faculty interest.

M.A. in Psychology Degree Requirements—Clinical Psychology

M.A. in Psychology Degree Requirements—Experimental Psychology

  • Students must complete 36 semester credit hours.
  • 18 hours of required foundation courses must be completed.
  • Students are required to complete 12-15 hours of elective courses. Those courses should be consistent with a student’s overall goals.
  • Students must complete a master’s thesis for up to 6 semester credit hours.
  • Here is our MA Degree Plan in Experimental Psychology Concentration.
  • Here is the recommended course progression for the experimental psychology concentration.

See the detailed program information in the Psychology Graduate Handbook.

Application to the M.A. Program in Psychology: Minimum Requirements

  • Complete a UTPB Graduate Application.
  • Request for official transcripts to be sent to the Office of Admissions.
  • Must have a GPA of 3.0 or better for all hours of undergraduate work.
  • Must meet the minimum University requirements.
  • Must provide three letters of reference, two of which must be from past professors who are in a position to evaluate the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study. The third letter, if not also from a past professor, should be from someone knowledgeable of the applicant’s knowledge and skills in a work or volunteer environment.
  • Submit a statement of interest (also known as statement of intent) indicating their reasons for selecting UT Permian Basin, their interest in graduate education in Psychology, their preferred option of either Clinical or Experimental concentration, and their preferred mentor, if known. This statement should be no longer than two typed pages.
  • Provide a writing sample with preference for research proposals, theses, or literature reviews written recently as an undergraduate student. If no recent undergraduate work has been done, candidates may write an essay regarding their educational journey to the master’s degree.
  • Applicants should have all the necessary course prerequisites. Four undergraduate psychology courses (12 credit hours minimum) are required for admission to the M.A. program in Psychology:
    • Introductory Statistics (e.g., PSYC 3301 at UTPB)
    • Psychological Research Methods (e.g., PSYC 3304 and 3104, formerly known as Experimental Psychology at UTPB)
    • An advanced, junior or senior level, course in psychology. Students interested in pursuing the M.A. in Psychology with the Clinical concentration are encouraged to take Tests and Measurement (PSYC 4351), as it is required before or concurrently enrolling in two of the graduate courses required for the degree (PSYC 6350 and PSYC 6351). 

Students with deficiencies in the course prerequisites listed above may be granted “provisional” or “conditional” admission status, and must take the specified prerequisite courses and earn a minimum grade of B during the first two semesters the student is enrolled provisionally in the program. Students may enroll in the necessary undergraduate courses (PSYC 3301, Statistics; and/or PSYC 3304 and 3104, Psychological Research Methods) and in selected graduate courses concurrently. 

University policy permits some graduate coursework taken while students are classified as “provisional.” Specifically, students may apply six graduate credit hours without petitioning (and a maximum of nine with petition) toward the degree. For all students, graduate courses with less than “B” (i.e., a grade of “C” or less) are not counted toward the degree. 

Applicants, who have a GPA below 3.0 but above 2.5, may still submit their applications and be considered for “conditional” admission. However, in addition to the required application materials listed above, these applicants need to provide either their GRE test score or scores from Psychology ACAT test. 

Please note that meeting the minimum requirements listed above does not guarantee admission into the program. 

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