Jul 18, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 
Academic Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Psychological Science, MA

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Program Purpose and Objectives

The goal of the Master’s Program in Applied Psychological Science (APS) is to foster learning of and competence in skills relevant to responsible and ethical conduct within clinical service settings.  Students gain expertise regarding the impact of cultural, biological, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral factors on psychological phenomena.  Emphasis is placed on developing a strong theoretical and scientific foundation, along with statistical, methodological, and clinical skills that can be employed in a variety of applied settings.

Graduates will find employment as masters-level psychological professionals or proceed to doctoral level training in psychology. The APS program offers courses in foundational science and practice in psychology as defined by the Master’s in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council and the American Psychological Association. 

The MA in Applied Psychological Science program has three primary objectives:

  1. To prepare culturally and ethically competent professionals who have achieved high standards of competence in science and practice foundations within the field of psychology.
  2. To prepare culturally and ethically competent professionals who effectively utilize research and clinical skills.
  3. To prepare culturally and ethically competent professionals who are committed to the collaborative practice of psychology and lifelong learning.


Applications for the Master of Arts in Applied Psychological Science are considered for Fall term entry only. The deadline for application is March 1st. Applications received after the deadline are considered on a space-available basis. APS admissions page: http://www.pacificu.edu/future-graduate-professional/colleges/college-health-professions/areas-study/psychology-applied-psychological-science/admissions.

Prerequisites and Application Process

A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a four-point scale is desired. Those with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA but show other evidence of high potential are encouraged to apply. (Applicants may demonstrate their academic potential by taking the optional Graduate Record Exam.).

Prerequisite courses: Introduction to Psychology and Quantitative and Statistical Methods

Recommended courses: Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Experimental / Research Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Social Psychology.

Applicants may be admitted conditionally with prerequisite course in progress. However, all prerequisite courses must be completed with passing grades of “C” or higher before an admitted student can matriculate into the program.

To apply, submit the following:

  • Departmental application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from non-related individuals familiar with your scholarly work and/or relevant work experience
  • Resume/curriculum vita that includes prior experience in research or clinical areas, awards and scholarships
  • A statement of interest (1-2 pages) which conveys your background and previous experience including why you believe yourself to be a good candidate for our program. Within this statement of interest, detail any relevant interests and what you hope to accomplish through pursuing graduate study
  • $40 application fee

Applicants are strongly encouraged to have some experience in mental health, human services, organizational, human resources, or research environments.

Students who do not have the requisite GPA, scores, or background but who show exceptional promise will be considered.

For questions about the admissions process or to make an appointment for a campus visit, contact gradadmissions@pacificu.edu

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for those for whom English is not the native language. Minimum score for paper test is 600; computer test, 250, Internet test 100.

Applicants who attended a non-US or non-Canadian college, university, or graduate school must provide a course-by-course evaluation of all international college and university transcripts. Several third-party organizations provide this service; WES (World Education Services – www.wes.org) is preferred by Pacific. The credentials evaluation must be received in our Admissions office by the application deadline to ensure consideration of your application.


The APS Program is designed so that students will complete the required credits in two years. Students who wish to complete the program part-time may create individualized education plans with a faculty advisor to complete the program in three or four years. All requirements for the APS Program must be completed within four years of enrollment.

Student Advisement

Upon enrollment in the MA program an academic advisor is assigned to each student. This person, a member of the full-time APS faculty, works closely with the student to provide continuity and coherence throughout the student’s program. The advisor provides guidance on the educational plan and general coursework and program requirements. MA students meet with their advisors on a periodic basis, or when necessary. Advising may encompass academic and professional concerns and opportunities, career questions, and other topics. Students may request a different advisor than the one assigned.

Degree Requirements: 67 Credits

The Master of Arts in Applied Psychological Science (APS) Program requires two years of full-time study. 67 credits are required for the degree.

Clinical Research Project: 6 Credits

Students complete one of three applied research options.  The thesis project is completed with a core faculty member as chair. In the spring of their first year, students are matched with a faculty chair. The community-based research project provides program evaluation and other research applications to meet the needs of real-world community agency partners. The evidence-based practice sample is completed under the guidance of a core faculty member in a seminar format.

Practicum: 12 Credits

Practicum:  A minimum 700-hour practicum in the second year is required. This practicum may be served in a variety of community settings, including sites that emphasize children or adolescents, adults and geriatric clients, as well as those offering a mix of all ages, issues, and cultures.

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