Master's Plan of Work

To earn a M.A. a student must complete 32 semester credit hours, with an average grade of 'B' (3.0) or better. Included in the 32 credit hours must be the following*:

  • 8 thesis credits (PSY 8999)
  • Quantitative Methods I (PSY 7150)
  • Quantitative Methods II ( PSY 7160)

Each student must submit a Master's Plan of Work by the end of the second semester(Winter semester). The form should be filled out by the student and signed by their advisor, then submitted to the Psychology Department Graduate Advisor along with a copy of the student's pipeline transcript. Once the Plan of Work is approved by the College of Science, the student will be advanced to the rank of 'Candidate'. In preparing the Plan, the student and advisor should evaluate with care the personal and professional objectives of the student as well as all degree and departmental requirements. The above named coursework must appear on your Plan of Work.

*Please note that certain areas of concentration have additional requirements to obtain a Master's degree, please consult your advisor or area chair for these additional requirements.

If changes need to be made to an already approved Plan of Work, you must fill out a Change to Plan of Work form and submit it to the Psychology Department Graduate Advisor.


Master's Thesis Committee

The Master's thesis committee must consist of at least three (3) Psychology Department faculty members with Graduate Faculty Status.  Requests for exceptions to this committee composition should be emailed to the graduate office,, with an explanation of the deviation.


Master's Thesis Requirements

The student should prepare a detailed thesis proposal that meets the approval of the advisor. When this is done the student should prepare the Master's Thesis-Outline and Record of Approvalform, and have it signed by their advisor at the proposal meeting. Once signed by the advisor, the student should submit the form to the Psychology Department Graduate Advisor. 

An acceptable thesis must involve the use of laboratory or field data obtained by the candidate, or the use of data available from acceptable sources. No thesis proposal will be accepted that is an entirely theoretical, critical or essay-type study. All theses must conform to editorial usage in the journals of the American Psychological Association, as detailed in the Publication Manual of the APA. The student should consult the Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations published by the Graduate School. Copies may be obtained from the Graduate School website at:

Students may apply for thesis support after their proposal is approved.  Students can request up to $1000 with half coming from the Graduate School and half from the Psychology Department.  Application instructions and forms can be found here:  Applications should be submitted to the Associate Chairperson.

Each candidate for the master's degree must pass a final oral examination. This examination will normally cover the thesis and related topics. It will be evaluated by the student's thesis committee (see above).  The thesis chair or co-chairs must be present at the thesis defense.  Approval for other committee members to phone in or Skype in should be obtained from the graduate office,  

At least 2 weeks before the oral examination/defense, the student must submit their thesis for format check to the Graduate School.   At this time the student should also download and prepare the Master's Final Report form  in order to have it signed at the oral defense by the advisor and committee. After the oral examination/defense, the signed Final Report form and two (2) copies of the signed title page, must be returned to the Psychology Department graduate office. Lastly, the student is responsible for submitting the thesis in its final form to the Graduate School

The Graduate Writing Resources page is now available on the Graduate School’s website.   It offers students quick access to important online writing resources, including style guides and writing manuals, references works on disciplinary writing and citation, and provides additional resources and information. 



Each candidate for a degree (M.A. or Ph.D.) must file a Graduate Application for Degree no later than the fourth week of classes for the semester in which he/she expects to complete the requirements for the degree. If an application for a degree was filed for a previous term in which the student did not graduate, the form will have to be resubmitted. It is necessary to pay the fee again. Students can register for graduation on Academica.  


Time Limits

Students have a six-year time limit to complete all requirements for the master's degree. The six-year period begins with the end of the semester during which the student has been admitted to the program.


Check List for the Master's Degree

  • Student: File aPlan of Work and transcript during the second semester
  • Student: File a Master's Thesis and Record of Approval after your thesis proposal
  • Student: File an Application for Degree  no later than the fourth week of classes
  • Student: Submit a copy of thesis to Graduate School at least 2 weeks before defense date for format check
  • Student: File a Master's Final Report form after your thesis defense
  • Advisor: Submit change of thesis (8999) credit grades to Psychology Department Graduate Advisor
  • Student: Submit thesis in final form to the Graduate School


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