What will I learn?

The mission of the graduate program in psychology at California State University San Marcos is to provide graduate education of the highest caliber to qualified students, leading to the Master of Arts degree. Our objective is to prepare students for continued study at the doctoral level, for a variety of positions in business, industry, and the public sector, or for academic careers at the two-year college level. It is our belief that excellent graduate education is best accomplished in an atmosphere in which graduate students are treated collegially, and are closely mentored by the faculty. We are committed to the study of psychology as a scientific enterprise, and our program encourages the development of skills that are consonant with the scientific spirit of inquiry in particular, and graduate-level study in general: critical thinking, articulate verbal expression, quantitative reasoning, and healthy skepticism.

In keeping with the mission of the University, we offer a curriculum that includes opportunities to enhance the professional development of our students and to contribute to the community around us. In addition, our program seeks to recognize the value of multicultural perspectives and to be sensitive to diversity concerns.

Preparation and Training Offered by the Program

The Master of Arts degree is traditionally seen either as a preparatory or terminal degree. Our program is designed to accommodate students with different goals. The active research programs of our faculty, and our recognition of psychology as a scientific enterprise, will provide graduate students with the intensive research training and coursework in primary content areas that are central to preparation for more advanced graduate work. Likewise, students who have in mind careers in community college teaching, community service, or business and industry, will benefit from our program’s emphasis on critical thinking, research methods, and advanced coursework.


  • Behavior intervention specialist
  • Career coach
  • Career counselor
  • Case manager
  • Clinical research coordinator
  • College advisor
  • Consultant
  • Counselor
  • Educational director
  • Human resources manager
  • Human resources specialist
  • Organizational development specialist
  • Outreach specialist
  • Patient care manager
  • Prevention coordinator
  • Program director
  • Psychologist
  • Psychometrician
  • Researcher
  • Shrink
  • Social services director
  • Therapist

Which department am I in?

College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS)

Study options

Full Time (33 semester units)

Tuition fees
US$18,640.00 per year
Local Fees: USD $1,970
Application deadline

1 February 2022

Start date

29 August 2022


College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS)

California State University San Marcos,

333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road,



92096, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Equivalent of a Bachelor's Degree from an institution that meets our accreditation standards, Overall 2.5 GPA or higher in the overall degree or last 60 units attempted.

For international students

Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree in psychology, or a bachelor’s degree plus at least one course in statistics and at least four upper-division courses of three to four (3-4) units each in psychology from an accredited university. Among the upper-division courses, there should be one or more laboratory courses in psychology.

Applicants should have computing skills relevant to graduate coursework in psychology. Admission to the program will be influenced by the breadth and appropriateness of undergraduate coursework and research experience in psychology. In addition, applicants should have a grade point average of not less than 3.0 in the last sixty (60) units of undergraduate study, plus a minimum 3.0 GPA in upper-division psychology courses.

All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must present a score of 80 or above on the internet-based TOEFL (213 on the computer-based TOEFL, and 550 on the paper-based TOEFL). Applicants may also submit IELTS results. An IELTS score of 6.0 or above is required.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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