The applications for the MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology and MA Psychology, Psychological Science programs are the same.
WESTERN REGIONAL GRADUATE PROGRAM (WRGP)
The MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology and MA Psychology, Psychological Science programs are eligible for the Western State Resident Tuition Classification Program, which offers residents from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming the opportunity to pay in-state tuition. The benefit is automatically applied to qualified students' tuition bill based on their legal residency.
ALL application materials (online graduate application, personal statement, vita or resume, three letters of recommendation, and all transcripts) are due on the December 15th for consideration of admission the following Fall.
All applications are completed online at the UCCS Graduate School website.
Application requirements for the MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology and MA Psychology, Psychological Science programs are as follows:
Complete the online graduate application and pay the application fee.
Obtain three letters of recommendation from professors (or employers) through the online application.
Attach a personal statement describing your interests, background, and reason for applying to our program.
Attach an up-to-date vita or resume.
Attach unofficial transcripts or submit official transcripts (see below) from EVERY college or university attended. If you are admitted to the program, official transcripts will be required.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is strongly recommended for all applicants. Applicants do not need to submit the original application to the department. Instead, have your results sent to UCCS at school code 004509.
How to Submit Official Transcripts
Electronic Submission: Official transcripts can be submitted electronically if the issuing institution is contracted with a secured server. Electronic transcripts should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mail: Any application materials that need to be mailed in should be sent to the following address:
Office of Admissions & Records
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3733
B.S. or B.A. degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university
An overall grade point average of 3.0 ("A" is equivalent to 4.0) or above in all undergraduate courses.
The GRE will not be required or recommended for Fall 2023 graduate student applications at this time. This applies to all psychology programs applications: PhD, MA Clinical, and MA Psychological Science.
Our most competitive applicants have Graduate Record Exam scores of the 50th percentile or higher on both the verbal and quantitative sections. The advanced psychology subject test is strongly recommended.
Three letters of recommendation from professors and employers.
An adequate undergraduate program in psychology including college-level mathematics, statistics, experimental psychology, and some background in the biological, physical, and social sciences.
Applicants to the clinical psychology track should also have course work and/or community experience in applied psychology.
Promising students who do not meet all the requirements may be considered as applicants. Admission to the program is competitive and applications are reviewed by the Psychological Science admissions committee.
Transfer credits from other graduate institutions will be reviewed and may be approved by the Program Director. The accepted list of transfer credits and courses will be documented and placed in the student’s file. Students will be asked to provide relevant course descriptions, syllabi, and assignments to help the Director determine equivalency of the classes.
Usually, this process is completed after the student earns an offer of admission to the program but before the student officially enrolls in the program. A Transfer of Credit form must be completed and approved by the Graduate School before graduation.
Additional Courses for Non-Psychology Majors
In order to be considered for the MA program, one needs to have an undergraduate major in Psychology or an "adequate background" in Psychology. For people who have only had general psychology, we recommend the following additional courses:
* PSY 2100 Introduction to Psychological Statistics
* PSY 2110 Introduction to Psychological Research and Measurement
* PSY 3130 Learning and Cognition
* PSY 3270 Introduction to Biopsychology
* PSY 3280 Abnormal Psychology
* PSY 3400 Social Psychology
* PSY 4510 Seminar in History of Psychology
* Course numbers are from UCCS
Sub-Plans within the M.A. Programs in Psychology
The Psychology Department offers two tracks within its Masters program: Clinical Psychology and Psychological Science. Upon completing either of these programs, a student is conferred a general MA degree in Psychology. But MA students also have the option to gain experience within a specialized sub-field, formally called a "sub-plan," in the discipline. The sub-plans include geropsychology, trauma psychology, cognition, and developmental psychology.
These more narrowly-focused programs specify required courses within the MA program, completion of a research thesis under the direction of a faculty mentor with expertise in that particular sub-discipline of psychology, and for students in the Clinical track, a practicum at a setting in that domain. Students who enroll in an optional sub-plan glean the benefits of a more concentrated focus of study that is reflected in their transcripts.
Applicants to the Psychology MA Program will be asked at the time of application whether they wish to pursue a sub-plan. The sub-plans are optional and the desire to pursue a sub-plan will not affect the likelihood of admission into our MA program.
Sub-Plan in Biopsychology (available only to students in Psychological Science MA)
Sub-Plan in Cognition (available only to students in the Psychological Science MA track)
Sub-Plan in Developmental Psychology (available only to students in the Psychological Science MA track)
Sub-Plan in Geropsychology (available to students in Clinical Psychology and Psychological Science MA tracks)
Sub-Plan in Social Psychology (available only to students in Psychological Science MA)
Sub-Plan in Trauma Psychology (available to students in Clinical Psychology and Psychological Science MA tracks)
The program of study has three components that are common to both the Clinical Psychology and the Psychological Science tracks:
(a) coursework in research and the scientific method;
(b) coursework in the knowledge base of psychology: the core courses series; and
(c) a research thesis.
The following research and methods courses are required of all graduate students:
PSY 5810 Research Statistics and Methodology I
PSY 5820 Research Statistics and Methodology II
PSY 6030 Research Practicum
Detailed Course Requirements
A. MA Psychological Science students must take the following courses:
PSY 5810 Research Statistics and Methodology I
PSY 5820 Research Statistics and Methodology II
PSY 5830 Applied Multivariate Techniques I
PSY 6030 Research Practicum
PSY 7000 Master’s Thesis (6 credits)
PSY 6430 Contemporary Issues in Psychology (4 semesters)
B. MA Psychological Science students must take at least two of the following core content courses:
PSY 6100 Developmental Psychology
PSY 6110 Cognition
PSY 6120 Neuroscience
PSY 6130 Social Psychology
PSY 6140 Personality
C. Two additional courses are required. They may be taken from the Core Content Courses listed above or from the following required elective courses:
PSY 5210 Psychology of Aging I*
PSY 5220 Psychology of Aging II*
PSY 6160 Trauma Psychology I**
PSY 6170 Trauma Psychology II**
PSY 5840 Methods and Design for Analyzing Change
PSY 5860 Reproducible Research
PSY 6150 Psychology and Law
PSY 6813 Advanced Research Design and Statistical Methods Seminar (Special Topics)
*Note: Students may count either PSY 5210 or 5220 but not both towards this requirement.
**Note: Students may count either PSY 6160 or 6170 but not both towards this requirement.
Sample Course Sequence for Psychological Science Students
The Psychological Science track requires a minimum of 36 credit hours. The required courses can be completed by a full-time student in 2 years if the course sequence below is followed. In consultation with one’s faculty mentor, students may elect to complete their degree over 3 years. Notify Andrea Williams as early as possible if you are on a 3-year plan for help in course planning.
Fall: Research Statistics and Methodology I, Contemporary Issues in Psychology, a Core Content Course
Spring: Research Statistics and Methodology II, a Core Content Course, Contemporary Issues in Psychology, a Required Elective Course (possibly).
Fall: Applied Multivariate Techniques I, Contemporary Issues in Psychology, and Research Practicum or a Core Content Course/Required Elective Course
Spring: Methods and Design for Analyzing Change or Research Practicum, Master’s Thesis, Contemporary Issues in Psychology, and a Core Content Course/Required Elective Course
Empirical Research Thesis
A research based thesis is required of all Masters students. The psychology faculty are all actively engaged in research. Masters students are encouraged to establish a mentorship relationship with a faculty person and to develop a thesis from an ongoing program of research. The research and scientific method coursework is designed to help the student formulate a research proposal, analyze the data collected, and write up the results for scholarly publication. In addition to those courses, students take 6 credit hours of PSY 7000 Thesis. Students are encouraged to present their work at regional and national meetings and to write up their research for publication.
Graduate Student Characteristics
The MA applicant pool is national in scope. Our graduate students have earned undergraduate degrees from a wide range of institutions and we have a significant proportion of non-resident students. Of the students who have matriculated in the MA program since its beginning in 1978, about 20% earned their undergraduate degrees from UCCS. The others earned their BA or BS degrees at over 100 different undergraduate institutions across the United States, Canada, Japan, India, Brazil and Romania. In the past decade, about 50% of our students have been non-residents of Colorado.
Admissions to the MA program are based on Verbal and Quantitative GRE scores, undergraduate grade-point average, letters of recommendation, and applicant descriptions of their background and academic goals. The applicant pool for the past several years has ranged from 80 to 100 completed applications per year. During those same years we matriculated from 8 to 12 students per year. Our selection ratio is small enough so that the scholastic characteristics of the students who have matriculated are excellent. The means for GRE scores and undergraduate grade-point averages are shown below.
GRE and Undergraduate Grade-Point Averages (UGPA) for Matriculated M.A. Students
Evaluation of the MA Program
What happens to the students who matriculate in the MA Program?
Overall, we have a graduation rate of about 70% and a very low academic failure rate of less than 5%. The remainder withdrew from the program. The reasons for withdrawing from the program are varied. Several of the students withdrew from the program in order to continue their studies in a PhD program. For some, family and business considerations led to their withdrawal. it should be noted that the program is designed so that it can be completed in two years by a full-time student. Some of our students attend part-time and some take longer than expected to complete their thesis research.
What happens to our graduates?
About half of our graduates choose to go on to doctorate programs and the other half choose to enter the work force. The percent of students who get accepted for doctoral level programs is very high. Nearly 90% of those who have applied for PhD level programs have been accepted. Our graduates have gone on to places such as University of Houston, University of Miami, Kent State University, University of Nebraska, University of Kansas, University of Missouri, Purdue University, University of Alabama, Washington University, University of Arizona, CU-Boulder, Denver University, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, University of Montana, Nova Southeastern University, and Pacific University. Nearly all of the graduates who choose not to go on to doctoral level programs are working in areas that are relevant to their degrees. However, we are NOT a licensure program and it is possible that licensure at the MA level will no longer be possible in the State of Colorado for graduates of our clinical program.
The external review team very positively evaluated the Master of Arts program during the 1989 Academic Program Review of the Psychology Department. After interviewing graduate students in the program the external review team reported that the students "expressed high regard for their training." They report that "students felt that their professors were quite competent, readily accessible to them, and eager to involve them in interesting thesis research projects," and that most professors "served as good mentors." They summarize their findings about the master's program with the following observations:
Many master' degree programs in the field of psychology are weak or dubious in their quality. The MA Program at CU-Colorado Springs does not fall into this category. The MA Program at CU-Colorado Springs has an admirable record of preparing students for PhD work and placing students into doctoral programs at good universities.
The external review for 1996 was equally positive. It reads, in part:
The Psychology Department has a history of offering masters level education of the highest quality. All markers suggest that this program has been and continues to be one of the very finest general masters degree programs in the United States. In this regard, the Review Team would rate the masters program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as being among the five best such programs in the country.
Our external review for 2003 provided superb results as well. It reads, in part:
Members of the faculty are an active, energetic, and professionally productive group. They received their doctorates from outstanding graduate programs followed, in some instances, by postdoctoral training and clinical internships. They have published their scholarly work in a wide variety of professional outlets. Although some publications are in less prestigious and less rigorous journals, many of the scholarly publications are in the best journals in the field. As is typical of psychology in general, members of the faculty appear to publish their work mostly in journals, although some are involved in book writing. These journal publications often involve masters level students as junior authors. There is also considerable publication with colleagues. Both of these patterns are highly desirable.
The Psychology Department has a history of offering masters level education of the highest quality. All markers suggest that this 2-year program has been and continues to be one of the very finest masters degree programs in the country.
There are two forms of housing available for graduate students: 1) off-campus housing in apartments and houses and, 2) on-campus dormitories.
A recently completed housing survey of graduate and undergraduate honors students in psychology found that 50% of the students lived within 5 miles of campus (range = 1-12 miles) and that it took them 10 minutes or less to commute to campus (range 3 to 25 minutes). The mean rent was $750/month for a one-bedroom apartment and $800/month for a 2-bedroom apartment, not including utilities.
On-campus housing is available. See the Housing Village page for more information including information on the new apartment-style dorms.
Graduate Student Handbook
This handbook is designed to provide you with information about the program requirements, policies, and procedures. It supplements the information available on Graduate School website and the UCCS Student Code of Conduct. In order to be fully informed of all important requirements, you should peruse the website and read the documents in their entirety.
It is your responsibility to be informed of all relevant requirements and procedures. You are required to sign the written statement (at the end of this document) acknowledging that you have received, read, and agree to the policies and procedures detailed in this handbook. Please submit a signed version which will be sent to you electronically as soon as possible. An in-person orientation session is conducted for all entering students upon arrival on campus.
The Director of Psychological Science Training is responsible for all aspects of the Psychological Science MA track including recruitment and admissions, curriculum, professional development, and assessment.
Dr. Andrew Lac
Associate Professor, Interim Director of Psychological Science Training
Phone: (719) 255-4151
Columbine Hall 4049