About the Program


What areas of specialization does the department offer?

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Department faculty have expertise across the spectrum of psychological sciences. The objective of our graduate program is to provides coursework and applied opportunities that meet the educational goals of the individual student. The MA degree can be obtained with both thesis and non-thesis options. Regardless of a students primary educational goals, our graduate program is designed to strengthen quantitative skills and provide students with research experience that will increase one’s competitiveness when applying to Ph.D. programs in psychology and/or for positions where these skills are required.

How long is the program?

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The program is designed to be 2 years (4 semesters). Students often take extra time after finishing coursework to finish their thesis projects. 

Are graduate students eligible to receive funding?

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Yes, we have competitive funding available in the form of Graduate Assistantships (GA) and a small number of tuition waivers. These GA assignments support our undergraduate courses and range from large Introductory Psychology sections to survey content courses (e.g., social, developmental) as well as statistics and research methods courses. These Graduate Assistantships provide a tuition reduction and a stipend for Graduate Assistant work. GA hours are initially allocated during the application review process and are finalized just before the semester begins. For the 2015-16 academic year 100% of our full-time graduate students had some form of funding.

What types of opportunities do recent graduates from your program pursue?

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Graduates from our MA program go on to a variety of doctoral programs and areas of employment that where the the skills learned can be utilized. 

How can I be a successful applicant?

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Competitive applications are characterized by the following:

  • Minimum combined grade point average of 3.0
  • Minimum of 18 units of psychology credit, including Introductory Psychology, statistics (in Psychology) and research methods
  • A combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 300 or more
  • Three references, preferably from academic sources (we understand that this may not be possible if people have been out of academia for a while)
  • Prior research experience is desired but not required for admission

We also require a vita, all unofficial transcripts (the University requires official transcripts after admission) and a statement of interest (500—700 words), discussing the following (with examples): 

  • why you are interested in our graduate program in psychology
  • educational, research, and professional qualifications that highlight your fit with our program
  • career goals
  • level of independence as a student
  • level of motivation


Where do I send my GRE scores?

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Northern Arizona University - Department of Psychological Sciences. The school code is 4006 and the department code is 2001. 

Do you require the GRE subject test in Psychology?

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Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in psychology?

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No, but you do have to have 18 hours of college level psychology credits including introductory psychology, statistics (in psychology) and research methods.

How many applications do you receive?

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We usually receive between 40—60 applications. We enroll 10—15 students for an incoming class.

Do you admit applicants to work with specific faculty?

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We admit students who are a good match with our training program. but we do not admit students to work with specific faculty members. If you have ideas about specific faculty with whom you would like to work, or areas of research interest, please include those preferences and ideas in your statement of interest. Once in the program, students can work with one or more faculty as interest and availability permit.

When do I hear about admission decisions?

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Students who apply or have applied by the application deadline are usually notified by March. Potential graduate students will be contacted for a phone interview prior to any admission offer.

Do you have online degree programs?

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Our department values face to face collaboration and mentoring. Therefore we do not offer an online degree.

Where do you offer your degree?

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Our degree program is exclusively on the Flagstaff Mountain Campus.

Can I apply/begin in the Spring?

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No, admission is only offered for the Fall semester.

Do you offer summer courses?

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We generally do not offer graduate courses in the summer.

Do you offer summer funding?

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Although there may be a few Graduate Assistantships available during summer sessions, we generally do not offer graduate funding in the summer.

What kind of courses do you offer?

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A list of courses can be found in our program of study forms in our Graduate Handbook (need link here to the handbook: GradHandbook_8_21_2013.pdf). Further descriptions of these courses can be found the NAU Graduate Catalog.

What is Flagstaff like?

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Flagstaff is a mountain town with a population of 67,468. Nestled at 7,000 feet at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff is surrounded by the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world.

Flagstaff has four distinct seasons, an annual average of 288 days of sunshine, and a climate that encourages year-round outdoor activities. For more information see the About NAU pages. 

Does your degree program prepare students to be eligible for licensure as a counseling or clinical health psychologist?

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No. Our program does not lead to any counseling or clinical type of licensure.