Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

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Application Information - M.S. Psychology Program

The M.S. Psychology Program admits new students once a year for the subsequent fall quarter. To apply for Fall 2018 go to Cal State Apply. Applications for Fall 2018 must be submitted on-line by 5pm, January 1, 2018.

See Cal Poly Graduate Education for additional help with the application process.

Items 1-2 below must be received in the Admissions Office (Cal Poly Admissions Office, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407; 805-756-2311) before January 1, 2018. See Admissions for details about the Cal Poly Admissions process.

Mail to: Cal Poly Admissions Office, 1 Grand Ave San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

  1. Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Transcripts should be sent to the Cal Poly Admissions Office from the issuing institution.
  2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Tests scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing); the GRE Advanced Test in Psychology is not required. GRE scores must be from tests taken within five years of admission.

Items 1-4 below must be uploaded to Cal State Apply by January 1, 2018. See Admissions for details about the Cal Poly Admissions process.

  1. A "Personal Statement" limited to two typewritten, double-spaced pages. Make sure to write "Personal Statement" and your name at the top of the page. The statement of purpose for the CSU application cannot be used in lieu of the personal statement. The Personal Statement is a very important part of your application. It gives you the opportunity to show how various personal, sociocultural, educational, and occupational factors informed your decision to enter the helping profession. It also gives faculty an opportunity to gauge your level of insight, maturity, thoughtfulness and other qualities conducive to success in the field. Please address the following in your statement:
    • Educational experience: Please describe coursework (e.g., Introduction to Clinical/Counseling Psychology), fieldwork (e.g., Internships), and/or research (e.g., Assistantships) that helped clarify your career goal.
    • Professional activity: Please describe paid or volunteer work in counseling, education, social services, or health-care that has informed your career goals. If you have little related work-experience, we strongly suggest you consider applying after such experience has been obtained.
    • Sociocultural experience: Please describe your development in cultural competency, including your experiences with and knowledge of diverse cultures, bilingual skills, travel, and experience living abroad, and how these experiences have contributed to your interest in becoming a mental health professional.
    • Personal experience: Please describe family, social, and/or other personal factors influencing your interest in the profession. Feel free to note whether you have benefited from counseling. This section should be more specific than simply saying you grew up in a dysfunctional family, that people have always found it easy to talk to you, or that you've always wanted to be a therapist.
  2. Three letters of recommendation are REQUIRED. Carefully choose your recommenders and obtain letters from individuals who know you well and can attest to your academic, social, occupational, and/or personal attributes that would support your career choice as a therapist. Letters from friends and relatives are unacceptable.
  3. Copies of unofficial transcripts for the most recently completed 90 units.
  4. Self reported Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores (Verbal, Quantitative,and Analytical Writing); the GRE Advanced Test in Psychology is not required. GRE scores must be from tests taken within five years of admission.

The M.S. Psychology Program accepts applicants with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees. All applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional association and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted. Applicants with a GPA of at least 2.5 may be considered if their application packets indicate that they are strong candidates in other areas. There are additional requirements for international students. Questions concerning applications from foreign students should be directed to the Cal Poly Office of Admissions.

In addition to GPA and GRE scores, applicants are evaluated on the quality of their letters of recommendation, academic background, relevant work/life experiences, personal statement, on campus interview, and any other information that might shed light on their likelihood of success as a student and marriage and family therapist.

Any other questions can be directed to the Program Coordinator, Dr. Lisa Sweatt (lsweatt@calpoly.edu; 805-756-6123).

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