Jul 18, 2024  
2013-14 Graduate Catalog 
2013-14 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Experimental Concentration, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Department/Programs

Dr. Stephen Schmidt, Program Coordinator
(615) 898-2556

The Department of Psychology  offers programs that lead to two graduate degrees: the Master of Arts with a major in Psychology and concentrations in Clinical, Experimental, Industrial/Organizational, Quantitative Psychology, and Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology and the Specialist in Education with a major in Curriculum and Instruction, concentration in School Psychology. The department also offers a minor at the graduate level.

A major goal of the Experimental concentration in Psychology is to prepare the student to be a research psychologist. The primary objective is to prepare the student to enter a Ph.D. program in psychology. However, many industries, clinical settings, and research universities are interested in students with the analytical and statistical skills of a research psychologist. In addition, students with master’s degrees in experimental psychology may also be employed as faculty at the community college level as psychology instructors.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study in experimental psychology is competitive and not automatic for students meeting minimal admission requirements. Students are selected from a pool of qualified applicants. Each year the number of students admitted to the program depends on the availability of adequate faculty supervision.

In order to be considered for unconditional admission, candidates must meet two standards: an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher and a minimum score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). A minimum of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the combined Verbal and Quantitative sections is expected for the Experimental concentration within the Master of Arts in Psychology.

Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis. (See admission standards under Admission to the College of Graduate Studies .)

Students who do not meet admission requirements may be admitted conditionally to the Experimental concentration. Students admitted conditionally must maintain a 3.25 GPA in their first semester (9 hours minimum) of required graduate courses in the concentration area.

Previous students seeking readmission to the Experimental program should contact the graduate program director and refer to the program handbook for readmission policy.

Experimental students need to have a strong background in the core areas of experimental psychology. Some of this background can be attained at the undergraduate level; however, students must also complete a core of graduate experimental courses. In addition, students are encouraged to become involved in research and to participate in research projects throughout their graduate enrollment. Toward this goal, the student should enroll in at least one hour of research (PSY 6600) or thesis work (PSY 6640) each semester.

Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of the core areas of psychology by completing the following courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level prior to entering the Experimental program or during enrollment in the program (relevant courses offered at MTSU are listed in parentheses):

  1. introductory/general psychology (PSY 1410);
  2. research methods (PSY 3070 or PSY 5070 );
  3. social psychology or personality (PSY 2210, 3230/PSY 5230 , 3590, PSY 6020 , or PSY 6030 );
  4. learning or cognition (PSY 4040, 4480/PSY 5480 , or PSY 6190 );
  5. developmental (PSY 2300, 4190, 4210/PSY 5210 , 4610/PSY 5610 , PSY 6120 , PSY 6130 PSY 6410 );
  6. brain and behavior or sensation and perception (PSY 2190, 4030/PSY 5030 , 4240/PSY 5240 , or 4780/ PSY 5780 );
  7. statistics (PSY 3020).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit three letters of reference;
  4. submit letter of intent stating goals and objectives;
  5. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Degree Requirements

The major in Psychology with a concentration in Experimental requires completion of 36 semester hours including at least 30 hours in graduate psychology courses. Only 30 percent of the total number of hours may be dually listed (5000-level meeting in conjunction with 4000- or 3000-level) courses.

Candidate must

  1. complete PSY 6280  and PSY 6290 ;
  2. successfully write and orally present a written thesis evaluated by a committee of psychology faculty in conjunction with PSY 6640 ;
  3. pass a written comprehensive examination prepared by the faculty in the student’s concentration (may be taken no more than twice).


 Candidate must complete 36 hours in the following course of study:

Electives (6 hours)

To be chosen with the approval of the student’s advisor.

Program Notes

Students must be able to meet the demands required for professional work in psychology. Therefore, students may be subject to dismissal from the Psychology Department if they (a) commit a serious breach of ethics or gross professional negligence or (b) present evidence of impaired psychological functioning that would present a danger to themselves or others in a professional role. Students who are dismissed may reapply and will be considered for readmission on a competitive basis. Students who reapply may be asked to provide evidence of improved ability to meet performance requirements.

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to the completion of 21 credit hours;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Department/Programs