Graduate Programs - Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate program in psychology is based on the evaluation of a student's capacity to successfully complete Master's level work. The graduate committee uses multiple criteria to assess an applicant's qualifications including coursework completed, grades, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. In addition, an applicant's professional interests and goals are evaluated in terms of the interests of the faculty and resources of the Department of Psychology. Separate evaluation of applicants are made for the M.A. general/experimental program and the M.S. School Psychology Program. Although many applicants meet our minimum admission requirements, we are limited in the number of positions available and some qualified students may not be offered admission.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A four-year undergraduate degree is required for acceptance as a graduate student. A GPA of 3.0 or better in psychology undergraduate courses as well as a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA are typically minimal expectations for successful applicants.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All students are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission to CSU, Fresno. Students must submit scores for the General Test and the Subject Test in Psychology. The GRE General Test is considered an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their potential for future academic success; total (Verbal + Quantitative) scores of 1000 or above are considered desirable. However, acceptance into the Masters Degree programs in the Psychology Department is based on multiple criteria and there are no absolute cutoff scores on either the General or Subject Test for admission.

Students should contact ETS for testing dates and locations. Failure to submit GRE scores on time is a major cause of rejection. Original GRE test scores from ETS must be submitted directly to the Division of Graduate Studies; a copy of your scores should also be included with your department application materials in order to ensure that you will be evaluated in the application process. Scores must be received in the Psychology Department office by the application deadline.

Undergraduate Course Entry Requirements for MA Program

The following courses are part of the undergraduate psychology major at CSU, Fresno. Students from other institutions or those holding a bachelor's degree in areas other than psychology should also have completed the following courses or their equivalents.


One course from the following:

Clinical Processes Psych 160T
Abnormal Psychology Psych 166
Psychological Aspects of Physical Disability Psych 169
Environmental Psychology Psych 173
Family Counseling Psych 175
Industrial Psychology Psych 176
Behavior Modification Psych 177
Basic Content Area

One course from the following:

Personality Psych 154
Developmental Psychology Psych 155
Social Psychology Psych 134
Culture, Social Class & Development Psych 178
History and Systems Psych 182
Basic Processes Area

One course from the following:

Learning and Memory Psych 121
Motivation Psych 122
Sensation and Perception Psych 124
Physiological Psychology Psych 125
Cognitive Psychology Psych 128
Basic Processes Area

One course from the following:

Elementary Statistics Psych 42
Research Methods Psych 144
Psychological Testing Psych 149
Biological Basis of Behavior Psych 36 or 125
Human Learning & Behavior Psych 136, 121, or 128
Learning & Memory Psych 121
Cognitive Psych 128
Developmental Psychology Psych 155
Introduction to Counseling Psych 174
Introduction to Statistics Psych 42
Intermediate Statistics Psych 143
Research Methods Psych 144
Psychological Testing Psych 149
Abnormal Psychology Psych 166
Exceptional Children (recommended) Psych 168
Applied Behavior Analysis (recommended) Psych 170T
Courses Completed at Other Institutions

The Graduate Committee of the Department of Psychology carefully evaluates all transcripts submitted from other institutions. The Graduate committee reserves the right to request documentation of coursework from applicants to determine that course's equivalency to CSU, Fresno Psychology courses. The following materials may be requested by the graduate committee A catalog description of the course containing the course content.

  • A course syllabus or outline.
  • A copy of the textbook(s) used in the course, or a complete bibliographic citation of the text(s).
  • Copies of work completed in the course including examinations, papers, and any other work completed
International Students

In addition to fulfilling the above requirements, International Students

  • Must possess the equivalent of a four year U.S. degree.
  • Must present TOEFL scores of at least 550.
  • Must have adequate financial support. The University does not typically have funds to assist international students. CSU, Fresno cannot offer scholarships, loans, or any kind of financial aid to entering international students.