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Psychology: Research

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.

  • universities
  • government agencies
  • marketing departments
  • private research organizations
  • non-profit organization

MA in Psychology students may also choose concentrations in

Graduate Thesis 

Full-time students in the research psychology 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.

Grade Requirements

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.

Degree Requirements

  • 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)

Coursework Requirements

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.

Student success

Stephanie Chenard '19, '20, '22
Stephanie Chenard '19, '20, '22: Writing your own story

Psychology BA, MA, and Master of Teaching student earns three degrees in her forties.


Assistant Professor of Psychology Raina Lamade, PhD, photographed in The Grove.
Dr. Raina Lamade

Assistant Professor appointed to prestigious APA panel and subcommittee

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. 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.

Learn more about assistantships at UMass Dartmouth

International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is 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, see exemptions for more details. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program-specific requirements

Candidates must submit the required application materials, university requirements and program-specific requirements, for consideration.

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.).


  • 2 letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with student’s academic or research experience. Applicants will be required to provide the recommenders name and email address so we can contact the recommender for the letter of recommendation.
  • The personal statement should include 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.

Program deadlines

Psychology: Research faculty

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
Andrew Revell
Andrew Revell, PhD
Anna Schierberl Scherr, PhD
Brian Ayotte
Brian Ayotte, PhD
Elizabeth Richardson
Elizabeth Richardson, PhD
Mahzad Hojjat
Mahzad Hojjat, PhD
Raina Lamade, PhD
Robin Arkerson
Robin Arkerson, PhD
Thomas Boone
R. Thomas Boone
Trina Kershaw
Trina Kershaw, PhD
Ted Powers
Ted Powers, PhD
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