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Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work

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Applied Psychology Graduate Program

What is the applied psychology program?

The applied psychology program is a multifaceted approach to behavior that is designed to teach students about how psychology can be used to address the many serious issues facing us today. These issues include, but are not limited to, improving health, increasing safety, improving education, increasing prosperity, enhancing decision-making and promoting democratic principles.

All of the psychology courses in the program include an applied component. The applied component consists of 1) practical problems that could be addressed by psychologists, and 2) innovative ways of disseminating solutions to practical problems to a general public that is not equipped to accommodate social science findings in the language generally used to communicate empirical research. The program can be completed in a distance education (online) format. Students may elect to complete some courses in a traditional classroom setting.

All new graduate students in applied psychology are given a non-thesis degree plan. Students may switch to the thesis option if (a) they demonstrate skills in the areas required to successfully complete a thesis research project, and (b) a psychology faculty member is willing and available to supervise the thesis research. The degree plan will be revised to the thesis option by the faculty member who agrees to supervise the thesis.

To be considered for admission, individuals must submit a Graduate Application for Admission Form and supporting materials to the College of Graduate Studies. Admission requirements vary among the three psychology programs. 

Graduate Application for Admission Form 


  • Program

    What types of students does the program attract?

    The program generally attracts students who are qualified for a post-baccalaureate degree, but either do not have an interest in or do not have the requisite credentials to gain admittance to a doctoral program. In addition, because of its broad application and online nature, the program addresses those students who desire a post-baccalaureate degree to enhance their professional qualifications, but are unable to attend a traditional classroom program. Importantly, an undergraduate major in psychology is not a requirement for admission to the program.

    Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

    Students have the option of completing the master’s degree program with or without a thesis. Students in the non-thesis option must complete a Comprehensive
    Exam. Students in the thesis option complete six semester credit hours of thesis work and must pass a comprehensive oral exam over their completed degree work.

    What can I do with an M.S. degree in applied psychology?

    Students in the applied psychology program typically have one of the following three objectives: to obtain a Master of Science degree for professional advancement, to teach at the community college and/or university level, or to be accepted into a doctoral program.   

  • Degree Requirements

    What are the degree requirements for a Master of Science in applied psychology?

    • Thesis or Non-Thesis Option (36 semester credit hours)
      Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate-level work in psychology and six additional semester credit hours of graduate-level work in psychology or supporting electives.

      Psychology required courses: 6302 (required only if needed for leveling), 6314

      Three courses from: 6303, 6311, 6332, 6341, 6342, 6347, 6357

      Thesis students only: 6699 (Thesis) or 6399 (Thesis) twice.

      Courses for the remaining 18 (thesis) or 24 (non-thesis) hours in psychology or supporting electives are unspecified, but must be approved by the student’s graduate advisor.

      • PSY 6302 Core Concepts on Psychological Science
      • PSY 6314 Research Methods
      • PSY 6303 Social Psychology
      • PSY 6311 Theories of Personality
      • PSY 6330 Applied Economic Psychology
      • PSY 6332 Social Perception
      • PSY 6334 Environmental Psychology
      • PSY 6336 Psychology of Chemical Dependency
      • PSY 6337 Forensic Psychology
      • PSY 6338 Educational Psychology
      • PSY 6341 Advanced Learning
      • PSY 6342 Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
      • PSY 6347 Developmental Psychology
      • PSY 6355 Psychology of Human Performance
      • PSY 6357 Motivation, Emotion, and Stress
      • PSY 6361 Teaching of Psychology
  • Admission Requirements

    Applied Psychology Programs

    Students are welcome to apply for admission regardless of their undergraduate major. Those who have fewer than 18 credit hours of undergraduate psychology are required to complete a graduate leveling course that provides training in the foundational areas of psychology.  

    Students who have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or 3.25 or higher for the last 60 credit hours automatically qualify for admission, if space in the program allows. Students with a GPA below 3.0 may qualify for admission on the basis of the formula described below.

    The admission formula incorporates undergraduate GPA (50 percent) and scores on the Graduate Record Exam (50 percent). It sets the minimum score as the equivalent of a 3.0 cumulative GPA (or 3.25 for the last 60 credit hours) and an average score of 450 on each section of the GRE. Being below the cutoff in one area can be offset by being above the cutoff in another area.  

    Formula: Multiply GPA by 200 and add the average score on the three GRE subtests.* Using the cumulative GPA, the minimum formula score must be 1050. Using the last 60 hours GPA, the minimum formula score is 1100. 

    *The GRE Analytical Writing subtest is scored on a scale of 1-6. This score is converted to the metric of the other subtests as follows: 1.0 – 2.0 = 300   2.5 = 320   3.0 = 350   3.5 = 400   4.0 = 460   4.5 = 540   5.0 = 620   5.5 = 700   6.0 = 760            

    Priority admission dates for the Applied Psychology program:

    • March 1st for Summer and Fall admissions
    • October 1st for Spring admissions

    Applications for the Applied Psychology program will be reviewed beginning on March 1 for summer and fall admissions and October 1 for spring admissions. Applications received by these dates will receive priority and will be processed before registration so new students can register on time for a better selection of classes. After the priority deadlines applications will be reviewed when they are received and students will be admitted based on space available in the program. 

  • Ranking


    We are nationally ranked!


    No. 6 on the Top Online Master’s in Psychology by


    No. 15 on the Top Online Psychology Masters Programs by


    No. 18 on the Best Value Online Master’s in Psychology Programs by

  • FAQ

    Can I complete the program entirely online?

    Yes. Our program was designed to be completed entirely online and it is not necessary to come to campus for any program requirement, though we would love to meet you in person if you do! All of our required courses are offered online along with a wide range of electives. Please note that courses in our counseling psychology and industrial/organizational psychology programs are usually not offered online, but if you are local to the area, you may take these classes face-to-face as electives if you meet the prerequisites and space permits.

    What are my career options with an applied psychology degree?

    Our graduates are employed in a wide variety of settings, but many work within human service agencies. Some students use this degree for career advancement in their current positions. A lot of our students want to teach at the community college level and some choose to go on to doctoral studies.

    Do I need an undergraduate degree in psychology to be accepted into the program?

    No, students with any undergraduate major may apply to the program, but if students have less than 18 hours of undergraduate psychology they will be required to take PSY 6302 Core Concepts in Psychological Science their first semester.

    Can I get my LPC, LPA, LCDC, BCBA, or any type of licensure after completing this program?

    In general, no, the applied psychology program will not allow you to receive any type of licensure. This is not a program for students who want to be counselors or therapists. Some of our graduates do go on to obtain these certifications, but they always need to take additional classes and complete any necessary internships. We do have a counseling psychology program in our department that will allow you to obtain your LPC or LPA, but that program cannot be completed online.

    Can I go on to doctoral studies after receiving this degree?

    Yes, you can apply to doctoral programs after receiving this degree, but to be a competitive applicant to most doctoral programs, you will need to obtain a lot of research experience. We do offer online research opportunities for our students but a student wanting to go on will need to do more research than is required specifically for our classes. If a doctorate is your goal, you are encouraged to contact the program director before applying to discuss opportunities and make sure we have an appropriate faculty mentor for your needs.  In addition, students who want to go on to doctoral studies are strongly encouraged to be advised every semester.

    How long does it take to complete the program? Can I complete it in one year?

    On average students take about two years to complete the program (nine hours during fall and spring). We do have students who do not go full time and take longer and we have students who choose to take summer courses or more than nine hours during the long semesters and get finished sooner. We do not guarantee that the program can be completed in under two years. Students who are attempting to complete the program in under two years should consult with the program director about the course rotation and which courses to take each semester.

    Can I transfer hours into the program?

    Yes you may transfer up to nine hours into the program, but most of our students only transfer six because we only allow up to six hours outside of psychology that will count for the degree. To transfer nine hours at least one must be a graduate psychology course, taken in a psychology department, not a counseling or education course. In addition, transfer hours must not have counted towards another degree, a grade of a B or higher must have been received, and courses must have been completed within six years of graduation from ASU. Please see the university catalog for more information and direct questions to the program director.

    What type of financial aid is available?

    ASU has many financial aid opportunities for graduate students, including distance education students. You will find our scholarship opportunities for graduate students are impressive. Check out the Graduate School’s Paying for School page for more information:

    n addition we offer graduate assistantships for students who are on-campus. Assistantship applications are generally due at the end of the spring semester for the following year. Please ask the program director for more information.

    How many hours can I take during a semester?

    Students may take up to twelve hours during the fall and spring semesters and six hours per summer semester. For a student to be full time they must take nine hours during the fall or spring semester and six hours total across the summer. Most of our students take six or nine hours during the fall and spring semesters. We do not guarantee that you will be able to register for the maximum course load. It is the student’s responsibility to register on time to get the classes they need for the upcoming semester.

    Can I take classes in the counseling and industrial/organizational psychology programs as psychology electives?

    Yes you may take these courses as part of your psychology electives, but students in these programs will always have the opportunity to register for them first. In addition some of these courses have prerequisites and students are encouraged to speak with the professors of these courses before registering to make sure the course is a good fit for their needs. Please note that most of these courses are offered in face-to-face format only.

    How do I set up my email, register for classes, etc.? 

    Consult the Graduate School’s webpage: for information.

    Please note that all official university communication will be sent to your email.

    How do I get on the wait list?

    A waitlist is created by a department when all seats in a particular class have been filled. If a student drops the course, the department can use the waiting list to notify other interested students of the opening. Learn more >

    What is the comprehensive exam?

    To graduate and obtain your degree you must complete a comprehensive exam. This exam is taken the semester you graduate and is completed online. Information will be sent to you during your final semester.

    Is the program accredited?

    No, our program is not accredited. In general, programs that do not train practitioners are not accredited.  Angelo State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS). 

  • Assistantships

    Graduate, Research and Teaching Assistantships

    Our department provides financial support to graduate students by offering 11 assistantships. Six are graduate assistants (GAs), two are research assistants (RAs), and three are teaching assistants (TAs).

    Job Availability, Application and Wages

    New students as well as current students can qualify for the GA and RA positions by submitting this application to the department office.

    The GA and RA salaries are $7490 for two semesters ($13.50 per hour for 17.5 hours per week). 

    The three TA positions are available only to students who have completed at least 18 graduate credit hours prior to the appointment. TA candidates use the same application form as GA and RA applicants and also submit it to the department office. The TA salary is $11,095 for two semesters.

    Duties of Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants

    Graduate assistants have responsibility for a wide range of duties designed to support the undergraduate instructional program. Each works under the supervision of a faculty member who directs their work assignments.

    Research assistants are assigned to work on research projects determined by the faculty project directors.

    Both GA and RA positions are considered half-time employment and enable students to make normal progress toward their degrees.

    Duties of Teaching Assistants

    Teaching assistants receive teacher training in the fall and spring semesters by assisting their directing faculty members. In this capacity, they lead instructional discussion sessions with undergraduates and practice lecturing.

    Selection Procedure

    The selection of Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants are typically done during the summer prior to the upcoming academic year in which the appointments begin. The GAs and RAs are selected by the graduate advisors, psychology faculty members who provide the training and supervision of those who are appointed.  Interested students should apply for the positions by May 1, so that their application can be given full consideration.

    The selection of Teaching Assistants are typically done during the spring semester prior to the upcoming academic year in which the appointments begin.  TAs are selected by Dr. Kristi Cordell-McNulty and Dr. Crystal Kreitler, psychology faculty members who provide the training and supervision of those who are appointed. Interested students should apply for the positions by March 1, so that their applications can be given full consideration.