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Master of Arts in Psychology

Current Stanford doctoral students can apply for a Master of Arts in Psychology during the course of their PhD program.

Graduate students who are already enrolled in the Psychology PhD program and who have completed (a) the first-year and second-year course requirements; and (b) at least 45 units of Psychology courses may apply for conferral of the MA degree. This application should be discussed with the Student Services Manager.

Students who are currently enrolled in a Stanford PhD or professional program in another Department may be granted a Master of Arts in Psychology. In such cases, admission to the MA is considered by the faculty on a case-by-case basis. An admitted student must complete at least 45 units of Psychology courses and possibly other research or course requirements as determined by the faculty.  Interested applicants should consult with the Student Services Manager, Emily Fay (ecfay@stanford.edu).

All applicants must satisfy University residency requirements for the degree and are responsible for consulting with their primary departments or the Financial Aid Office about the effects of the proposed program on their current funding. 

Please note: The Department of Psychology does not offer terminal MA degrees for students who are not already pursuing another advanced degree at Stanford.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of 45 units of graduate level Psychology courses
  • 27 units must be from Core Courses, including two statistics courses
  • A maximum of 18 units may be from lab courses, independent study, outside units, and practica (eg. 222, 258, 269, 281, 297, 282, 290)
  • Successful completion of the First Year Project (FYP) or equivalent Master's thesis

How to apply for the Psychology MA: Current Psychology PhD Students

  1. Fill out the application form and obtain your advisor's signature.

  2. Submit the completed application form to the Psychology Student Services Manager, who will obtain the Department Chair's signature.

  3. Submit a request for the Master's Degree via Axess. In the Student Center tab, select "Petitions and Forms."

  4. Enter your payment and select "Apply to Graduate" in Axess (make sure to select the Master's, not PhD).

  5. Psychology's Student Services Office will approve your request in Axess.

How to apply for the Psychology MA: Current Stanford JD, MD, or PhD Students

  1. Carefully review the Psychology MA Policy and Process document.

  2. Set up a meeting with the Student Services Manager (Emily Fay, ecfay@stanford.edu) to review the process.

  3. Secure Psychology faculty MA advisor.

  4. Submit an application to the Student Services Manager. The application consists of the following: Statement of Purpose, CV, and letter of support from primary home department advisor(s). This application will be reviewed by Psychology Faculty.

  5. If approved by Psychology faculty, the Psychology MA advisor will mentor you as you complete the MA requirements. The requirements include the 45 units of coursework outlined above as well as a Master's Thesis and Master's Thesis defense. For complete details, refer to the Psychology MA Policy and Process document

  6. Upon completion of required MA coursework, Thesis, and Thesis defense, fill out the application form and obtain your advisor's signature.

  7. Submit the completed application form to the Psychology Student Services Manager, who will obtain the Department Chair's signature.

  8. Submit a request for the Master's Degree via Axess. In the Student Center tab, select "Petitions and Forms."

  9. Enter your payment and select "Apply to Graduate" in Axess (make sure to select the Master's, not PhD).

  10. Psychology's Student Services Office will approve your request in Axess.