Graduate Programs in Psychology

Read what our Psychology alumni have to say about their graduate program experience

Master's Degree Programs

The Department of Psychology offers either the master of arts (M.A.) or the master of science (M.S.) degree in General Experimental Psychology and in Clinical Psychology. A joint objective of both graduate programs is to provide graduate study whereby the student can seek career opportunities in governmental agencies, teach in two-year colleges, or pursue doctoral level study in psychology or related fields. An additional objective of the program in clinical psychology is to train the student in the areas of psychodiagnostics and psychotherapeutic techniques where these skills can be utilized in a community setting to include comprehensive care centers, schools and mental hospitals.

The curricula in both programs have been developed to provide exposure to the breadth of psychology as well as intensive study of those areas which are currently of greatest concern in the field. In addition, work in statistics and research design is provided and involvement in research is encouraged. A thesis is required in both programs. The program in clinical psychology is accredited by the Master's in Psychology Accreditation Council and is a member of the Council of Applied Master's Programs in Psychology.

Psychology graduate courses are offered on a regularly scheduled rotation. Assuming no undergraduate course deficiencies, it is possible for a student to complete the general experimental psychology program in two years and the clinical psychology program in two years.

Requirements for Admission

The deadline for submission of applications to all psychology graduate degree programs is March 15. Early submission of applications is encouraged, as admission is competitive. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Note: For non-native speakers of English, a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, paper-based TOEFL score of 550, an internet-based TOEFL score of 88, or a previous degree earned from an accredited United States institution is required and these scores/transcripts must be submitted with the application materials for the application to be considered complete.

Applications arriving after March 15 will be considered only if space is available. Applicants must meet the Murray State University requirements for unconditional admission.

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Unconditional admission

  • A minimum of 15 undergraduate credit hours in psychology, including courses in research methods and statistics or their equivalent
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher overall and 3.0 or higher in undergraduate psychology courses
  • Acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A written statement of purpose for entering graduate work in psychology
  • For the General Experimental program, a written statement of personal research interests

Conditional admission

The Department of Psychology does not normally admit students who fail to meet the university requirements for unconditional admission. However, students who otherwise meet those standards but lack the prerequisite undergraduate courses in psychology are encouraged to enroll in those classes as irregular or unclassified students. Such students should contact the department chairperson.

In some cases students lacking only one or two undergraduate prerequisite courses may be admitted with the understanding that they must complete those undergraduate courses along with their graduate courses.

Admission Procedures and Required Application Materials

Application for admission to a graduate program in psychology is a two-part process:

In addition to submitting the foregoing materials to the Murray State Graduate Admissions office, the following items must be submitted directly to the Department of Psychology's Graduate Coordinator of the program to which you are applying:

  1. Three letters of recommendation: These should be written by people like academic faculty who can speak directly to your qualifications and suitability for graduate work. Each letter should be written on the recommender's professional/organizational letterhead, and the recommender should send his/her letter directly to the Psychology Department at the address listed below.
  2. A personal statement of purpose/intent
  3. For applicants to the General Experimental and dual master's program: a statement of personal research interests

Recommendation letters and personal statements should be sent directly to:
Graduate Coordinator of [ClinicaloGeneral Experimental] Program
Department of Psychology
212 Wells Hall
Murray State University
Murray, KY 42071

Remember: All materials must be received in both the Graduate Admissions and the Psychology Department offices no later than March 15.

Please Note: Admission into Department of Psychology graduate programs obligates students to adhere to the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association as well as the academic conduct principles and the interpersonal skills policies of the department. Any violation of these is cause for dismissal from the program. In the case of the clinical program, the department reserves the right to deny admission to or discontinue the training of any student who in the judgment of the department’s graduate training committee would not be able to function competently in the profession of clinical psychology.

Dual Master's Degrees in General Experimental Psychology and Nonprofit Leadership Studies

The Department of Psychology in conjunction with the Department of Community Leadership and Human Services also offers a dual master's degree program in General Experimental Psychology (GEPSY) and Nonprofit Leadership Studies (NLS). This program leads to a master's degree in GEPSY and a master's degree in NLS and is designed to be completed in 5-6 semesters (2½ - 3 years). Students wishing to complete this option must meet the requirements listed above for unconditional admission to the GEPSY program as well as requirements for admission to the NLS program. Additional information about the program and curriculum is available on the Dual Degree Program page.

Certificate in Research Design and Analysis

The Certificate in Research Design and Analysis is designed to complement traditional, disciplinary graduate and professional degree programs. The graduate certificate program will enable students and professionals in fields like psychology, business, education, health, science, government, and technology to enhance their skills in collecting and analyzing data, interpreting and making decisions based on statistical methods and techniques, and applying data analysis tools to solving problems in a variety of areas. See the curriculum and find out how to apply for the certificate program.