Degree Requirements

Requirements for a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology

Students must complete 10 three-credit courses as specified below, for a total of 30 credits, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (See the Psychology Department policy on academic standing).

They must also complete all requirements for one of two tracks:

  • Complete an independent research project and present it as a master’s thesis (thesis track). This involves proposing a thesis project before a committee of 3 faculty members and later defending the finalized project before the same committee.
  • Pass a written qualifying exam demonstrating competency in content areas studied in the program (content track).

Both tracks lead to the same degree. The only difference is the focus on completing a specific research project or survey a broader set of core courses. Many students in the content track work with faculty on research projects but are not required to write a thesis based on this research. 

Download the MA in Psychology Program Worksheet (PDF).


Two research and statistics courses are required of all students:

  • Research Methods
  • Statistics and Research Design

In addition, all students must complete two Psychology Core classes listed on the course descriptions page.

Two Independent Study courses are to be completed by students pursuing the thesis track. 

  • Independent Study: Thesis Proposal (56:830:590)
  • Independent Study: Thesis Research (56:830:690)

Before or during the first weeks of the program, students pursuing the thesis track option are matched with a faculty adviser.  It is expected that students will pursue collaborative and independent research with this faculty mentor that results in a thesis. 

Consistent with their individual interests, students also select four (if pursuing the thesis track) or six (if pursuing the content track) additional courses from among the graduate courses offered by the Psychology Department.  With approval obtained in advance of enrollment, students may also take psychology-related graduate classes in other Graduate School departments at Rutgers–Camden, and use credits earned as electives to meet graduation requirements for the Psychology M.A. degree.

In rare instances, graduate students may enroll in psychology-related undergraduate classes at the 300 or 400 level, and count credits earned to meet graduation requirements for the Psychology M.A. degree.  This would require doing additional work above and beyond what is required for the undergraduate class, by arrangement with the instructor. To do this, students would also need to fill out a G Prefix Form.

In cases where there is an exceptionally compelling educational reason, students in the program may enroll in psychology-related graduate classes offered by another division of Rutgers or another university, and count credits earned to meet graduation requirements for our Psychology M.A. degree.  Approval to take such courses must be obtained from the Graduate Director and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School in advance of enrollment.

Students may switch from the Thesis Track to the Content Track during the duration of the program, but may have to take additional content courses. Students may also switch from the Content Track to the Thesis Track, but may have to take additional research and independent study classes. 

Students in the graduate program are expected to receive A or B grades in all coursework; two or more lower grades may result in dismissal from the program.  For students in the Thesis Track, good academic standing also requires evidence of progress toward completion of the thesis.  For students in the Content Track, good academic standing requires steady progress toward completing coursework and scheduling of the comprehensive exam.

Additional details about the graduate program and resources available to students can be found in the Psychology Graduate Student Handbook, which is available on the Psychology Graduate Program site on Canvas.

Visit the Graduate Program’s page about graduating, including the deadlines and forms that must be filled out.