The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences


Poster Research Discussion

The Master of Science in Psychology (PSYC) degree provides advanced training in psychology. A strong emphasis of this program is research training, helping serious student scholars become more competitive for nationally prominent programs in clinical and experimental psychology as well as for applied careers in areas such as program management, data analysis, and research science.

As part of the program, students take advanced coursework in psychology and attend professional development workshops. In addition, students are required to work with a research mentor and to be actively involved in one or more research laboratories throughout the two-year training. During their final semester in the program, they work with their research mentor to develop and present a scientific poster on a research project. Students also have opportunities to gain additional applied experiences through the thriving internship program in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Degree Program

Students earning a master’s degree in psychology specialize in one of four major fields: developmental psychology, cognition, social/personality psychology, or neuroscience. The curriculum is research-focused. Throughout the program, students work with a research mentor in their area of specialization.

The degree requires 36 graduate credit hours: six hours of core courses in the student’s major field, six hours of core courses from one of the other specialization areas, six hours of core courses in research methods, 12 hours of advanced electives and six hours of independent research.

The Master of Science in Psychology degree is designed for full-time, degree-seeking students, and most courses are offered only during the day. Students move together through the program as a cohort beginning in the fall term; it is not possible to start the program in the spring or summer term.

The UT Dallas graduate catalog provides more information on the PSYC degree program; the university’s course look-up site, CourseBook, describes specific courses in the PSYC program.

Career Paths

The PSYC master’s degree program is excellent preparation for doctoral programs in psychology. This program is also ideal for individuals interested in applied careers where strong skills in designing, conducting, and understanding research are useful, including careers in data analysis, health care, and program management. Please note that this program is not designed to provide clinical training nor does it lead to licensure as a counselor or psychologist.


Admission to the PSYC master’s degree program is based on a review of the applicant’s grade point average (GPA), scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)*, three letters of recommendation, and a “statement of purpose” essay describing the applicant’s specific interests and career goals. See the UT Dallas graduate admission page for general information on the application process.

Priority application deadline for the fall semester is February 15. The program will consider applications on a rolling basis until May 1.

Specific questions about applying to the psychology master’s degree program should be directed to [email protected].

As noted above, there is not a non-degree seeking option for the PSYC master’s degree program. In general, applicants to this program will have undergraduate backgrounds in psychology. Although students’ qualifications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, most students accepted for this program will have had courses in statistics and research design, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, personality psychology, and abnormal psychology.

* GRE scores waived for Fall 2022 applicants as a result of continuing issues in students accessing the exam due to COVID-19.

Graduate Application Fee Waiver Program

The Office of Graduate Education and the Office of Admission and Enrollment at The University of Texas at Dallas are pleased to offer a Graduate Application Fee Waiver Program to qualified participants (past or present). To qualify, students must be applying for a PhD or Master’s degree at UT Dallas. Non-degree applicants are not eligible for fee waivers. Only U.S. citizens, or permanent residents, are eligible to request a fee waiver.

Financial Aid

The UT Dallas graduate admission website provides general information on financial aid for graduate students. For more specific questions about funding opportunities for master’s students, contact the PSYC program coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Program Contacts

Program Head

Jackie Nelson, PhD
Office: JO 4.202
Phone: 972-883-4478
[email protected]

Program Coordinator

Alice Presti
Office: JO 4.310
Phone: 972-883-2697
[email protected]

Program Mailing Address

Psychology Master’s Degree Program
ATTN Alice Presti
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Rd., GR41
Richardson, TX 75080

Phone: 972-883-2697
[email protected]

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Program Resources

Psychology MS Fast Facts
This document provides a quick, printable overview of the program.