When do classes open for registration?
It is important to register as soon as possible for required courses. Classes, and especially the required ones, do fill up. The department schedules a combination of day and evening classes to accommodate a variety of student schedules. However, some courses are not offered every semester so students must be vigilant about ensuring they enroll in the appropriate required courses as soon as possible, especially those seeking clinical licensure. It helps to become very familiar with one’s specific track within the program so required courses are completed in a timely manner and graduation is not delayed.
What GPA and GRE scores are acceptable?
GPA: 2.5 Cumulative Undergraduate (4.0)
GRE: 146 Verbal, 140 Quantitative
Admissions are not solely determined by standardized scores and grades - professional references, life experience, and the interview are weighed heavily in consideration for acceptance. For those who have taken the GRE prior to 2011 and wish to convert their scores to the current GRE scale, please see use this table.
What are the minimum and maximum course loads?
9 hours is considered full time and 5 hours is considered part time. The maximum load is 12 hours, without permission, and there may be other restrictions depending on a GRA position or other forms of financial aid/employment. More information can be found in the Graduate Catalog.
Which classes are best to take early on in my program?
Two courses are required for the Master’s Program:
Foundations in Humanistic Psychology: PSYC 6000
Human Growth and Potential: PSYC 6010
If you are uncertain of your direction, a class that could help you determine your path would be: PSYC 5085-02 Professional Orientation . This class provides you with information on the counseling perspective, work you can do with an MA in Psychology, as well as insight into the value of pursuing a doctoral degree.
Can I finish in five years or less going part-time?
Graduate students must enroll in at least 5 credit hours per semester to be eligible for financial. Students must complete their degree within 6 years. While it is feasible to finish within 5 years, it is strongly recommended that you consider constraints such as time and money in planning your degree.
Can I take courses outside of the psychology department?
Those who will be writing a thesis may take up to 9 hours outside of the department. For those who are planning on not writing a thesis (45 total required hours), you may take up to 12 hours outside of the department. Special permission is necessary in order to take more than these. Please check with your advisor for more details.
What are the possible areas of emphasis in the program?
Students may choose an area of emphasis to individualize their education. We offer the following as examples of areas of emphasis pursued by students in our program. Note that these are overlapping and are NOT intended to suggest exclusivity of emphasis.
Theoretical Foundations of Psychology: This area involves the investigation of the historical development of psychology and the philosophical controversies surrounding psychological theories, concepts, methods, and technologies. Faculty and students vary in their particular approach, and research focus.
Applied Humanistic Psychology: The essential feature of this focus is an emphasis, through study and supervised involvement, on the application of psychological principles to suffering and development through psychoeducation, advocacy, and resilience-building. We acknowledge the need for such involvement, and the need for a rigorous and relevant program of training adequate to this need. “Giving psychology away” (in the words of a prior president of the American Psychological Association, George Miller) is a long-term emphasis of the Department. This is not a “clinical” or “licensure” track per se, and students seeking a highly structured and technique-based and efficient path to licensure will want to seek training elsewhere. It is essential to understand that a license is between a regulatory board and an applicant, rather than between our students and the department or university. Rather, we have organized this focus to equip students with theoretical foundations in community and social systems and in personality, with models of individual and collective suffering, and with a beginning knowledge of skills and self-awareness to bring to praxis. Unlike practice, which refers to exercise of skills or techniques, praxis is a process whereby a theory is enacted, embodied or realized. Students choosing to structure their Masters program work around Applied Psychology will seek, in apprenticeship to supervising and appropriately qualified faculty, to prepare themselves for work in community mental health, consultation, advocacy, and as agents of social change.
Social, Cultural, and Community Psychology Approaches to Social Justice: Students interested in the topic of social justice and its application to the human condition will find a home in a series of courses and perspectives that share an explicit commitment to social justice. Within the MA program a social justice perspective is reflected in course offerings that draw upon various psychological frames including, but not limited to: social psychology, community psychology, developmental psychology, cultural psychology, feminist psychology; community based participatory research; qualitative research writ large. Within this theoretical and methodological umbrella faculty and students seek to apply psychological theory, research and praxis to various social justice issues such as intersectional forms of oppression, human rights, poverty, intergroup relations, physical and mental health, and community development.
Consciousness Studies: At the heart of the M.A. program is the question of the meaning of being human, and central to this question is the issue of consciousness. A variety of courses explore the meaning of consciousness, the phenomenology of its modalities as lived experience, and it potentialities, in both everyday and extraordinary modes.
Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology: Transpersonal Psychology emerges from the study those experiences and their correlates in which the sense of self in some way extends beyond individual identity. These are often described as spiritual events and inform consideration of human consciousness, development, and potential. One might consider the nature of knowing, the life of mystics, clinical crises and opportunities, integration and distinction of psychology and spirituality or any number of related interests.
Psychology of Mind and Body: The emerging research in neuroscience joins the already extensive literature in mind-body medicine and philosophical-theoretical conceptions of the body both East and West to provide fertile ground for varied in-depth exploration of the bodymind. This is commonly grounded in and applied to the lived experience of embodiment ranging from the consideration of pleasure to healing to stress; the body may be taken up as text, shadow, a source of intelligence, lived meaning, a social construction, energy, and much more.
Parapsychology: Parapsychology is the empirical study of subjective experiences which are difficult to accommodate within the current dominant scientific paradigm. Parapsychologists employ quantitative and qualitative research methods to study a range of subjective experiences that appear to expand the limits and capabilities of human consciousness. An emphasis on parapsychology could include courses on parapsychology, research methods, transpersonal psychology, the psychology of dreams and consciousness studies, among others.
Dialogical Psychology: The focus field of Dialogical Psychology takes up the dialogical epistemology elaborated in the 20th century by several scholars in Eastern and Western Europe (linguistics, literary criticism, language philosophy, language psychology). This framework – often associated with the sole figure of Mikhail Bakhtin – has been further developed in contemporary human sciences following a holistic approach to human beingness. In psychology, it articulates specifically language and socio-psychological formations such as the self, identity, community, and society to each other. The focus field addresses theoretical and empirical researches, including methodological considerations on investigating dialogical, socio-culturally situated and embodied processes.
Who is my advisor?
Your first advisor will be the Chair of the Department. However, it is encouraged that you seek out a faculty member whose interests align with your own. Unofficial peer mentorship is encouraged as a way for incoming students to have their questions answered by those who are already in the program.
Will I be a therapist or licensed psychologist/counselor when I'm finished with the MA program?
There is no provision for independent practice of psychology at the masters level, as regulated by state licensing boards (see here). However, there are other options for masters-level practice of mental health in related fields such as Licensed Professional Counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Work, or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy. Although we offer coursework corresponding to some content areas similar to those required for some of these mental health related fields, we are not accredited by CACREP or any other professional practice body, and our departmental curriculum is not organized around those requirements. Matters related to licensure in any professional field are between an applicant and a licensing board, and we encourage you to investigate thoroughly your areas of interest.
Students wishing to receive training as Licensed Professional Counselors, for example, will be better served pursuing specific training in that field, for example in the Department of Communication and Professional Counseling on campus (see here).
Can Master students get financial assistance?
There are various forms of loans, scholarships, as well as employment opportunities that can serve as financial assistance. Below are links that may prove useful:
Are scholarships available?
There are several university scholarships that a Psychology Master's student may be eligible for as well as the Mike Arons scholarship within the department.
More Information on the UWG Scholarships
Where can I park?