Psychology Graduate Program Student Handbook 2. Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

The Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP) is designed to develop a broad base of knowledge and critical thinking skills. This program also provides a unique opportunity for research development and mentorship. Faculty interests cover a broad range of areas including Developmental Psychology, Behavior Analysis, Clinical Research, Social Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Human Factors.

This program provides a strong foundation for those interested in:


1)    Pursing further graduate work such as Ph.D. in psychology; or


2)    Employment in areas of applied psychology in government, community agencies, and industry

2.1 Mission Statement

The mission of the Master 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 who 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

1.     MAGP students will be able to communicate effectively in written formats.


2.     MAGP students will be able to communicate effectively orally.


3.     MAGP students will be knowledgeable in the use of electronic resources and be proficient in incorporating them into their studies and research.  Student will also be aware of the hazards and shortcomings of this relatively new medium.


4.     MAGP students will understand and apply ethical principles pertaining to the social sciences.


5.     MAGP students will be able to work independently in developing and carrying out original research.


6.     MAGP students will possess the knowledge and skills required for either further academic advancement or employment at the masters level in psychology-related fields.

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- 5 have been met.  Objective 6 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 second semester, each MAGP student must choose a faculty member from the Psychology Department to serve as his/her advisor for Supervised Research.  The same faculty member may continue to serve as the student’s 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.


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 enrolls sequentially in Thesis A and B.  Research Design and Analysis (PSY 6217) and Supervised Research (PSY 6910) are prerequisites for both thesis courses and Thesis A is a prerequisite for Thesis B.  That is, 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.  For Thesis A, the student will fill out a “Thesis Tracking Form,” which is placed in the student’s file, and a “Class or Thesis Permission” form.  The forms are given to the Program Director, who will ascertain that all requirements have been met and sign the “Class or Thesis Permission” form.  Please note that only the Program Director can permit a student to take a thesis course.  For Thesis B (3 hours and 1 hour), only a signed “Class or Thesis Permission” form is required.


5.         Students are required to meet with the thesis committee at least once before the thesis defense. It is recommended that the initial meeting occur during the second semester, in conjunction with Supervised Research. For the first meeting of the thesis committee (which all committee members must attend), the student should already have completed a thorough review of the literature and have a preliminary research question to present to the committee.  The initial committee meeting is not the place to come up with research ideas.  At this meeting the student’s research plan is fully vetted by the thesis committee, who may ask for modifications and revisions they feel are appropriate.


6.         If the committee accepts the proposed thesis project, the student must take the following steps before beginning thesis work:   

- Complete the CITI course sponsored through the IRB.
- Submit his/her research proposal to the IRB for approval.
- Read the Graduate School procedures for completing a thesis or dissertation. 

 These can be found at:


7.         Once the thesis project has begun, the student is expected to meet with his/her thesis adviser 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 initial 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. 


8.         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 at the following website:

Library policy takes precedence over APA format.


9.         The student must present the findings of the thesis to faculty, students, and interested outside parties in an oral defense. A public announcements providing the day, time, and location of the defense must be posted conspicuously on the Psychology Department bulletin board at least five days prior to the defense.


10.       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.)


11.       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 one week following graduation.


12.       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.


13.       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:


14.       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 3hrs

- SOP 6069 Adv Soc Psych 3hrs

- PSY 6910 Supervised Researchb 3hrs

- PSY 6937 Colloquium 1hr 

- PSY 6217 Research, Design & Analysis 4hrs

- PSY 6910 Supervised Researchb 3hrs

- PSY 6932 Seminar: Psych Sci 3hrs

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

- DEP 6055 Adv Human Development 3hrs
- EXP 6506 Learning & Cognition       3hrs

- PSY 6971 Thesis A 3hrs

- PSY 6937 Colloquium 1hr

- PSY 6972 Thesis B 3hrs

-PSB 6031 Adv Biopsych 3hrs

- PPE 6466 Adv Personality Theories 3hrs

Semester Total: 10 credit hours  

Semester Total: 9 credit hours  

2.8 Course Listings/Descriptions

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