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, or social 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. 

Also see MA Course Requirements

Students must

1. Fulfil the credit number requirement

  1. Take a minimum of 36 credit hours total
  2. At least 15 of these credit hours must be in Psychology
  3. At least 15 of these credit hours must be in courses numbered 500 or above

2. Complete a first-year project (usually first year of MA)

Take this twice 4-6 credits
PSYC 598 First-Year Project up to 3 credits/semester

3. Complete core course based on area of study 

Take one of these three 3 credits
PSYC 524 Cognitive Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 527 Social Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 547 Engineering Psychology 3 credits


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).

4. Complete additional content courses

Take two of these 6 credits
PSYC 501 Psycholinguistics 3 credits
PSYC 520 Learning Theory & Methodology 3 credits
PSYC 522 Sensation & Perception Theory & Methodology 3 credits
PSYC 525 Behavioral Neuroscience 3 credits
PSYC 530 Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) 3 credits
PSYC 531 Human Memory 3 credits
PSYC 540 History & Systems of Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 543 Cognitive Neuroscience 3 credits


5. Complete the quantitative methods courses

Take all three 9 credits
PSYC 507 Quantitative Methods in Psychology I 3 credits
PSYC 508 (prereq: 507) Quantitative Methods in Psychology II 3 credits
PSYC 510 Computer Methodology 3 credits


Note: For both the M.A. and the Ph.D. programs, the required quantitative methods courses may be fulfilled by coursework in psychology or in another qualifying department (e.g., Applied Statistics). A ST505, A ST506, and A ST507 correspond to PSYC 507, PSYC 508, and PSYC 510.


6. Complete a research thesis (usually second year of MA)

Take this twice 6 credits
PSYC 599 Master's Thesis up to 3 credits/semester


More information is available in the NMSU Catalog.

No practical experience is required. There is no non-thesis option.

Completion time: two to three years


*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.

**PSYC 570, Special Topics may be considered content, quantitative methods, or methods depending on the specific content of the course.

PSYC 590 (Research Seminiar in Psychology) will be offered for one credit each semester, but students are not required to enroll in it (i.e., students can enroll if they want/need to). However, all students should attend and actively participate in PSYC 590 regardless of whether they enroll in the course.