Psychology Graduate Program Student Handbook

2. Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)  


The master of arts in general psychology (MAGP) is a broad based, research-oriented program intended to equip students with the critical skills and knowledge necessary for continued educational and occupational advancement in the field of psychology. The program consists of course work designed around a core curriculum of statistics, research design, substantive areas of psychology and a research based thesis. Students completing the program are qualified to:  (a) go on to further graduate work at universities offering a doctorate in psychology; (b) find employment in jobs requiring masters level expertise in applied psychology; and/or (c) work as human factors and evaluation research specialists in government, community agencies and industry.

2.1 Mission Statement

The mission of the Masters of Arts in General Psychology program is to maintain the highest standards of graduate education in the field of general psychology by:  (a) maintaining excellence in teaching, (b) offering innovative academic opportunities both in the classroom and the community, (c) instilling the ethical standards of the profession, and (d) offering research, applied, and other professional opportunities to students through a dedicated faculty and community support.  Moreover, our goal is to instill in our students the knowledge, values, and skills that are required of an educated and responsible citizen in our global and multicultural society.  The highest personal, professional, and academic accountability is expected of both the faculty and students in the MAGP program.

2.2 Expected Learning Outcomes

MAGP Students will:


1.         Demonstrate advanced understanding of foundational and emerging concepts, theoretical perspectives, applications, and empirical bodies of knowledge in core areas of psychology. 

2.         Identify and explain quantitative techniques and research designs, and appropriately apply these designs and analyses to original research. 

3.         Demonstrate mastery of the literature in a topic of interest by identifying and synthesizing relevant empirical and theoretical literature, drawing sound inferences that lead clearly to research questions and hypotheses. 

4.         Demonstrate competency skills in using the methodologies of psychology by conducting a research project that constitutes a justifiable contribution to the discipline of psychology. 

5.         Demonstrate proficiency in the written and oral presentation of scientific content in psychology, including the appropriate use of APA style. 

6.         Understand ethical principles pertaining to the social sciences and apply these principles to scientific inquiry. 

7.         Cultivate professional skills by presenting and disseminating research, assuming graduate assistant assignments, and engaging in departmental activities (e.g., participation in faculty searches, attendance at colloquium and thesis defenses). 

8.         Possess the knowledge and skills required for either further academic advancement or employment at the masters level in a psychology-related field.


    2.3 Master of Arts in General Psychology Degree Requirements

    The MAGP program consists of a minimum 39 credit hours of course work, which most students complete within two years of admission.  While courses and sequencing may change, the following constitutes the current program of study.

    Degree Requirements 

    Grades of “B” or better are required in all graduate courses.


    - Core requirements: 39 credits of graduate Psychology coursework


    - Supervised Research: 3 credits


    - Thesis hours: 4-9 credits (see subsection below regarding additional thesis information)


    - Capstone experience consisting of a master's thesis and oral defense


    Degree Evaluation

    Major: General Psychology  

    Degree: Master of Arts  


    Core Requirements (39 hrs)

    Grades of "B" or better are required in all graduate courses.

    Students must apply to graduate by the published deadline during their final semester.

    • DEP6055 3 Human Development
    • EXP6506 3 Learning and Cognition
    • PPE6466 3 Advanced Personality Theories
    • PSY6217 4 Research Design and Analysis
    • SOP6069 3 Advanced Social Psychology
    • PSY6937 1 Colloquium in Psychological Research (take twice)
    • STA5126 3 Stat Methods/Social Sciences
    • PSY6932 3 St:Psychological Sci Seminar
    • PSB6031 3 Advanced Biopsychology
    • PSY6910 3 Supervised Research  
    • PSY6971 3 Thesis A
    • PSY6972 1 -6 Thesis B

    2.4 Capstone Experience Assessment Strategy

    A capstone experience consisting of a masters thesis and oral defense is required of every student.  The psychology faculty uses this experience as a basis for assessing the degree to which program objectives 1- 7 have been met.  Objective 8 is measured through success in obtaining acceptance into doctoral-level programs and/or in occupational pursuits.

    2.5 Thesis Requirements

    The master’s thesis should constitute a justifiable contribution to the discipline of psychology. The contribution may involve either an original study or the development of a theoretical model for which the student provides empirical justification through his/her own research.  By the first semester, each MAGP student must choose a faculty member from the Psychology Department to serve as his/her Thesis Advisor. However, the student’s initial choice of faculty advisor should not automatically be considered permanent.  If either the student or the faculty member decides that a change is needed, the student will identify a different faculty member as his/her Thesis Advisor.  It is extremely rare, however, for a student to change his/her thesis committee once the thesis project has begun.  A decision to change advisors at any point during the student’s program of studies must be reported to the Program Director.  A change in faculty supervisors will not, in any way, adversely affect the student’s standing in the Program. For more detailed information, refer to MAGP Thesis Guidelines.


    A student undertaking the master’s thesis should follow the procedure outlined below.

    Departmental Requirements 

    1. The student asks a member of the psychology faculty to serve as his/her Thesis Advisor.


    2. The student selects a thesis topic.  Topic selection should be in conjunction with a thorough review of the literature.  This both assures the originality of the research and clarifies the focus of the study.  Because of time constraints, thesis planning and literature review should begin during the second semester, often in conjunction with Supervised Research, and be continued over the summer.  


    3. With the approval of the Thesis Advisor, the student asks another member of the Graduate  faculty or a qualified professional with expertise in the area of the thesis research to serve as second reader and submits a Thesis or Dissertation Committee Membership form to the Graduate School.  The student’s thesis committee must include, at a minimum , a thesis advisor and a second reader.  Additional faculty members from within the Department may be added to the committee at the student’s discretion.  The inclusion of any non-Graduate Faculty member (e.g., committee member from outside the department, or who is not a member of the UNF Graduate Faculty, or who does not hold a terminal degree in his or her field) must be approved by the Program Director. If your committee consists of a Non-Graduate Faculty member, you will need to submit a Request for Non-Graduate Faculty Thesis/Dissertation Committee Member form with your Thesis or Dissertation Committee Membership Form. If there are any changes in your committee, updated forms must be submitted to the Graduate School.


    4. The student writes a thesis proposal document, consisting of a title page, introduction, and methods section. The thesis proposal should include adequate detail and depth and will be reviewed by the thesis committee to determine readiness to proceed with the thesis project. It is recommended that the proposal meeting occur during the second semester, in conjunction with Supervised Research. At this meeting, the research plan is fully vetted by the thesis committee, who may ask for modifications and revisions they feel are appropriate. 


    5. The student enrolls sequentially in Thesis A and B.  Research Design and Analysis (PSY 6217) and Supervised Research (PSY 6910) are prerequisites for both thesis courses, Thesis A and a proposal meeting are prerequisites for Thesis B. You must submit a completed Thesis Proposal Form, signed by all thesis committee members, to the Program Director prior to registering for Thesis B.  Thesis A and B cannot be taken concurrently. Both Thesis A and B (3 hours and 1 hour) require the signature of the Program Director.  


    6. Once the thesis project has begun, the student is expected to meet with his/her thesis advisor at least once a month. While the thesis advisor and the student typically work together closely on the thesis, the second reader and other committee members must, at a minimum, be present at the proposal meeting and the thesis defense. The second reader and other committee members must also review and comment upon the final drafts of the thesis and provide input at other agreed upon points in the process.


    7. The final draft of the thesis should be presented to the thesis advisor and the second reader at least two weeks before the date of the oral defense. Consult the library's requirements as described on the Graduate School's website: Library policy takes precedence over APA format.


    8.  The student must present the findings of the thesis to faculty, students, and interested outside parties in an oral defense. A public announcement providing the day, time, and location of the defense must be posted on the UNF Calendar of Events and Osprey Update at least two weeks prior to the defense.


    9. The student incorporates any changes requested during the defense into the thesis, after which the thesis director, other committee members, and student sign the signature page , which becomes a formal part of the thesis document. (Please note that the Program Director does not sign this document unless he/she is on the thesis committee or is the Department Chair.)


    10. The thesis is then submitted to the Department Chair, who has two weeks to read and comment and to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who has three weeks to read and comment. The student will make any final changes requested by the Chair and Dean (or their representatives), then send it on to the Graduate School for final approval.   The thesis must arrive at the Graduate School no later than two weeks prior to graduation .


    11. If at any point in the thesis process (including reviews that take place after the thesis defense) a member of the faculty or administration believes the writing quality does not meet thesis standards, the student will be asked to employ the services of a copy editor, at   his/her expense.   The Graduate School can direct you to several it recommends.


    12. It is the student’s responsibility to submit to the Graduate School a Non-Exclusive License Agreement form with a full copy of the thesis and signature page.   More detailed information can be accessed at the webpage:


    13. If the student is unable to finish the thesis by the end of the spring semester of the second year, he/she can complete it over the summer.   However, this will require the student to re-apply for summer graduation.   If the thesis is still not finished by the end of the summer term, then: (a) the student must sign up (and pay) for 1 hour of Thesis B, up to three hours total until the thesis is completed, and (b) these additional hours must be taken across consecutive semesters.


    2.6 Graduation

    Students must submit a formal graduation application to the Registrar's Office by the deadline date listed in the Academic Calendar at .  All work required for the degree must be completed and certification of completion posted in the UNF student record system prior to graduation.

    2.7 Sample Timeline for MAGP Students

    The MAGP program consists of a minimum 39 credit hours of course work, which students complete within two years of admission.  While courses and sequencing may change, the following constitutes the current program of study:


    Year 1
    Fall- First Semester Spring- Second Semester Summer- Third Semester

     - STA 5126 Stat Methods in the

       Social Sciences     3 hrs


     - SOP 6069 Adv Soc Psycha   OR

        PPE 6466 Adv Personality Theoriesa  

        3 hrs


     - PSY 6932 Seminar: Psych Sci  3 hrs


     - PSY 6937 Colloquium 1 hr
    - PSY 6217 Research, Design & 

       Analysis     4 hrs


    - PSY 6910 Supervised Researchb

      3 hrs

    - EXP 6506 Learning & CognitionaOR

       PSB 6031 Adv Biopsycha     3 hrs 

    No MAGP courses are currently offered.

    However, the student may take an elective and should continue the thesis process.

    Semester Total: 10 credit hours  

    Semester Total: 10 credit hours  



    Year 2
    Fall- Fourth Semester Spring- Fifth Semester
    - SOP 6069 Adv Soc Psycha   OR 

       PPE 6466 Adv Personality Theoriesa 

       3 hrs

    - PSY 6971 Thesis Ab    3 hrs


    - PSY 6937 Colloquium   1 hr

    - DEP 6055 Adv Human Development 3 hrs

    - PSY 6972 Thesis Bb    3 hrs 


    - EXP 6506 Learning & CognitionaOR 

       PSB 6031 Adv Biopsycha     3 hrs  


    -Elective 3 hrs

    Semester Total: 10 credit hours  

    Semester Total: 9 credit hours  


    a Denotes courses offered in alternate years.
    b The research component of the MAGP program is anchored by one semester of supervised research and two semesters of thesis.  The student is expected to take these courses sequentially.

    2.8 Course Listings/Descriptions

    Click here for the current graduate catalog's course listings and descriptions