The Research Psychology option is a 36-credit MA program that requires two years of full-time study. This program is designed to prepare students for doctoral work in psychology and related fields as well as for careers in research requiring a masters’ level education.
The program combines coursework in basic areas of psychology with research skill objectives, such as critically analyzing research and designing studies. This coursework provides the basis for collaborative research with faculty members.
An outstanding feature of this program is the opportunity for close interaction with faculty, both in the classroom and in the laboratory, because of the low student to faculty ratio. Faculty have a broad range of research interest areas and are willing to consider student proposals for a specific interest area.
Career opportunities for psychology researchers
Upon graduation, psychology researchers typically find jobs in fields focused on human interaction, inside a classroom, or in a laboratory.
- government agencies
- marketing departments
- private research organizations
- non-profit organization
Applications for admission into the Research Master’s Program will be reviewed on a rolling basis. However, applications received by May 15 will receive priority in selection for graduate assistantship. Application reviews will begin March 1.
We award a limited number of graduate assistantships and tuition credit to qualified graduate students each year. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.
Full-time students in the research rsychology option must have a thesis advisor by the end of spring break of their first year. You will be enrolled for thesis credit after you have completed your first year in good standing.
In addition to the Graduate Degree Requirements, students in the Research Psychology Option must pass at least 5 of the 6 required courses with a B- or better in each course.
- completion of coursework
- successful thesis proposal & thesis defense
- completion of thesis edits from advisor and committee (provided after defense)
- thesis formatting approval from the Office of the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies
- submission of thesis to the UMass Dartmouth Library (via email)
Typically students will complete the 36-credit MA program in two years of full-time study. There are four required content courses, one offered each semester of students’ careers. Each of these courses have their own skill objectives that are required for successful research careers—analyzing research, writing literature reviews, developing ideas for research, and presenting research.
First year students also take a two-semester sequence in statistics and research design. Second year students enroll in thesis credits both semesters. Students round out their curriculum with elective courses and independent study.
Our faculty study a variety of topics, from the highly theoretical to highly applied research, such as:
- Clinical psychology: eating disorders and obesity; health behavior change; youth health-risk behaviors such as substance use, self-injury, self-criticism, and perfectionism
- Cognitive psychology: skill learning in educational settings, problem solving, creativity
- Developmental psychology: cognition and mental health in aging, emotional development, autism
- Forensic psychology: risk assessment of sexual and violent offenders, treatment of trauma in military and veteran populations
- Health psychology: health and functioning during emerging and older adulthood
- Social psychology: resilience and forgiveness in close relationships, nonverbal communication, emotion perception, facial expressions
Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements
In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements
Successful candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree, and an interest in research. Students must demonstrate evidence of potential to excel in course work and research. Admission decisions will be made based on all of the submitted documents (e.g., research experience/interest, personal statement, GPA, letters of recommendation, etc.)
- A Bachelor of Arts or Science degree from an accredited institution (official transcript is required)
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with student’s academic (two) or research experience
- A personal statement in which students provide evidence of research interest/experience and the reason they believe our graduate program is a good fit (Students are encouraged to specify the faculty members they would like to work with or the preferred area of research).
- The submission of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is optional but the scores will be considered as part of the application if submitted.
- A sample of student’s writing is optional.
- Admitted students must have successfully completed an undergraduate statistics course before beginning the program.
Apply and submit all required application materials to the Office of Graduate Studies.
International students: official TOEFL or IELTS scores sent directly from ETS or testing agency; copies/scans not accepted. Required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country. Scores on the TOEFL should be 80 IBT minimum for admission and 100 IBT minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship. Scores on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) should be 6.5 minimum for admission and 7.0 minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.