M.A. Degree Requirements

The department considers the master’s degree to be a legitimate terminal goal for many students; most students who earn a master’s degree in the program successfully find employment in a degree-relevant job. The master’s degree is in general experimental psychology with possible emphases in engineering psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, biopsychology, or developmental psychology. The program is designed to provide graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary for further training at the doctoral level or for employment in industry or government.  Students must take a minimum of 36 credit hours with at least 15 credit hours in Psychology and at least 15 credit hours in courses numbered 500 or above. Students are also required to

  1. Complete a first year project (4-6 credits of PSY598 First-Year Project)
  2. Complete the core course corresponding to the student’s area of study (see below for eligible courses)
  3. Complete two additional content courses (see below for eligible courses)
  4. Complete the required quantitative methods sequence: PSY507, PSY508, and PSY509
  5. Complete a research thesis (6 credits of PSY599 Thesis).
More information is available in the NMSU Catalog.

No practical experience is required.  Also, there is no non-thesis option.

Completion time: two to three years

Core, Content and Methods Courses:

The following three courses will fulfill the core course requirement for both the M.A. and the Ph.D. program

  • Cognitive Psychology (PSY524)
  • Social Psychology (PSY527)
  • Engineering Psychology (PSY547)

Note: For both the M.A. and the Ph.D. programs, once a student fulfills the core requirement, the remaining two core courses can be can be considered content courses (i.e., students can enroll in either or both of them to fulfill the content course requirement).

All other courses are in one of the following three categories:

Content Quantitative Methods Methods
Psycholinguistics (PSY501) PSY507 Computer Methodology (PSY510)
 Learning Theory & Methodology (PSY520) PSY508 Methods in Cognitive Psychology (PSY523)
Sensation & Perception Theory & Methodology (PSY522) PSY509 Methods in Social Psychology (PSY529)
Behavioral Neuroscience (PSY525) Methods in Engineering Psychology (PSY548)
HCI (PSY530) Teaching of Psych (PSY550)
Human Memory (PSY531)
Developmental Psychology (PSY535)
History & Systems of Psychology (PSY540)
Cognitive Neuroscience (PSY543)

*Grandfather clause: Students enrolled in the M.A. or Ph.D. program prior to Fall 2017 can choose either the previous requirements or these requirements. However, either set of requirements must be chosen as a whole; specific elements of the two sets of requirements may not be mixed.

**PSY570, Special Topics may be considered content, quantitative methods, or methods depending on the specific content of the course.

PSY590 will be offered for credit but students are not required to enroll in it each semester (i.e., students can enroll if they want/need to). However, all students should attend and actively participate in PSY590 regardless of whether they enroll in the course.