Master's in General Experimental Psychology

Outstanding Features

  • Expand your knowledge and skills with advanced coursework in research methodology and statistical analysis as well as social, cognitive, developmental and physiological psychology
  • Receive individualized attention and guidance from faculty mentors
  • Actively engage in psychological research while collaborating with experts in the field
  • Develop your own research interests and present your research at professional conferences across the country
  • Enhance your professional competitiveness with optional certification in Research Design and Analysis
  • Two-year program
  • Graduate assistantships available

Your kind of program

The general experimental program will provide you with the very best in graduate instruction both in and outside of formal classroom settings. You'll be able  to work with faculty on the many exciting research projects being conducted in the department and develop and  conduct research projects of your own. The training you receive and the skills you develop will make you more competitive when applying to Ph.D. programs or for positions in workplace settings where strong research and methodological abilities are needed. Some of our graduates have also been employed as instructors in two-year academic institutions.

About the program

The General Experimental graduate program is based on the philosophy that the master's degree is first and foremost a degree in psychology, and students should achieve a broad base of knowledge in the field, including strong quantitative and research skills. Thus, you will take four psychological foundations courses and three research foundations courses. A master's thesis is also required. You can complete the program in two years. 

Faculty in the Department of Psychology have active research programs; they publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at national and international professional meetings. As a student in the General Experimental program you will have many opportunities to gain hands-on research experience in addition to your thesis by working on a faculty member's research team and/or by conducting your own individual, faculty-mentored research projects. Many students in the program have appeared as co-authors with faculty members on published articles and have presented their findings at scientific meetings across the country. Graduates of our program who have entered doctoral programs have often commented that the program's research-oriented curriculum has prepared them better for doctoral level work than their peers who graduated from other institutions. Read what alumni have said about our graduate program.

Admission Requirements for the Program

CIP 42.2704


Total Course Requirements — 36 hours

  • Foundations of Behavior
    • PSY 621 Biological Bases of Behavior
    • PSY 622 Cognitive Bases of Behavior
    • PSY 623 Social Bases of Behavior
    • PSY 624 Developmental Bases of Behavior
  • Research Foundations
    • PSY 610 Graduate Seminar in General Experimental Psychology
    • PSY 651 Correlational Research Design and Statistics
    • PSY 652 Univariate Research Design and Statistics
    • PSY 698 & PSY 699 Thesis
    • 600-level PSY courses approved by advisor (9 hrs)
  • Other Degree Requirements
    • Oral defense and examination of the thesis.
    • Competency in an approved foreign language (M.A. only).

The listed requirements provide an example of what is applicable to most students entering Murray State University at the present time. Criteria as they may relate to individual students may vary. The primary source is the Murray State Bulletin applicable at the time of the student's enrollment.

For more information contact:

Dr. Jana Hackathorn

Department Chair and Graduate Coordinator, General Experimental Master's Program
Department of Psychology


212 Wells Hall, Murray, KY 42071-3318


Studying psychology at MSU taught me how to become a leader and to understand how people think, feel, and act in different situations. I used what I learned to get a job where I turn creative ideas into real results. The skills I gained through my coursework, department events, and faculty guidance enable me to build stronger relationships, motivate my team, and help move the company forward.

Hillary CopelandOperations Manager, Ardent Growth

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