Formal visits with a faculty member are by invitation only, as well as touring research spaces. Please contact the graduate faculty member you plan to work with in regards to your interest in the program.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for specific questions about our graduate programs. In person availability to answer general questions will vary, please call or email at least 1 week in advance if you plan on dropping in. We are unable to help you fill out your application and we encourage you to utilize our online resources for information about the program and application requirements (links provided below).
Click here to view the application process for Mason psychology graduate students. Applications for Fall 2024 open on September 15th, 2023
We have a very limited amount of fee waivers available compared to the number of applications we receive. Fee waivers are given out at the discretion of the concentration and may be only given at special events such as conferences or graduate student college visits. If you would like to be considered for a fee waiver, you may reach out to the Program Director of the concentration you are applying for - Applied Developmental Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology, Human Factors and Applied Cognition and Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Clinical Psychology is not accepting taking fee waiver requests for the Fall 2024 cycle. Please note that due to the number of requests we receive for fee waivers, you may not receive a response unless you are considered for a fee waiver.
The application requirements/deadlines differ based on degree.
Click here to view the requirements/deadlines for the MA in Psychology. (Applied Developmental, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, or Human Factors/Applied Cognition programs available). We do offer the MA in the Clinical Psychology concentration, however this is not a terminal degree and is only available as a milestone degree for current doctoral students in the Clinical Psychology program. If you are looking for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, please visit the College of Education and Human Development website.
Click here to view the requirements/deadlines for the PhD in Psychology. (Applied Developmental, Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, or Human Factors/Applied Cognition programs available).
None of our graduate programs in our department lead to the counseling licensure requirements in the state of Virginia. If your sole goal is to become a therapist/counselor, you may want to apply to the George Mason University programs in Counseling (M.Ed.) in the Education Department or Social Work (MSW)in the School of Social Work. In the Washington, DC area you may also want to consider the Marriage and Family Therapy master's degree program at the northern Virginia campus of Virginia Tech or the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program at Argosy University in Arlington. You can also search nationally for programs with www.gradschools.com.
All doctoral applicants who are offered admission to their program of choice are offered a funding package with their decision letter. A separate application for financial aid from the department is not necessary.
Unfortunately, funding is not guaranteed for those who are admitted to the MA program. There are some limited opportunities available that are competitive. Some examples of competitive funding offered by the university can be found here: https://graduate.gmu.edu/financial-support/grants-fellowships-awards/internal
A: At this time, only the MPS - Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology is offered online. None of our MA or PhD programs are offered in a hybrid or online format. Students admitted to the MA, PhD and certificate programs should expect to attend all courses in person on the Fairfax campus.
A: PhD students are required to be full time students in the program. While it is rare, some MA programs may allow more flexibility, and students should verify this with their program if they are admitted. Those admitted with commitments to a research mentor are expected to complete the program as a full time student. The University requires that MA students complete their program in 6 years, PhD in 9 along with achieving specified milestones within those 9 years.
A: Applications for the MA Programs received after the deadline may be considered on a space-available basis.
A: For Fall 2024 applications:
GRE is optional for:
Applied Developmental Psychology (MA and PhD)
Human Factors and Applied Cognition (MA and PhD)
Industrial and Organizational Psychology (MA)
The GRE is required for:
Industrial and Organizational Psychology (PhD)
The GRE will not be considered for:
Clinical Psychology (PhD)
Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (MA and PhD)
GRE scores are sent directly to GMU when you add our school code (5827) to your GRE test scores.
A: At this time (2023-2024, 2024-2025 academic years) none of our programs are designated as STEM programs.
A: DEFINITELY! We encourage all interested students to apply. We take the entire application into consideration and look at ALL the applicant’s experience, strengths, and weaknesses.
A: The primary consideration in selecting a graduate program is that it offers coursework and research related to your area of interest. For example, if you are interested in counseling psychology, the psychology department is not the place for you as we do not offer a graduate program in counseling psychology. This program is offered through George Mason School of Education. Most programs have detailed webpages that prospective applicants will be expected to review thoroughly. Cold-calling programs for information that is accessible via the web does not reflect well on you as a potential applicant. Graduate programs encourage prospective applicants to ask questions, but expect that the prospect has also done their homework. As trivial as it may sound, it is important that you realize that once you have made the decision to pursue an advanced degree, the first day of your career has begun and first impressions are important.
Once you know that a university offers the program in which you are interested, you should consider other factors. You should consider, for example, basic facts such as whether they offer the specific degree (master's or doctoral) that you seek, whether your scores (GPA, GRE) are in the ballpark of those students they accept, location, and cost. However, there are other issues you should also consider:
You will also need to supply transcripts that may need to be translated if English is not the first language of the institution from which you received this degree. While Mason will provide translation services free of charge, please keep in mind that due to the high volume your transcripts may take some time to be translated. Keep this in mind when applying, and you should work to get your full application in at least a month before the stated deadlines to make sure there are no delays in your application.
You will also be required to submit a verification of English proficiency as part of your package. Acceptable tests include: TOEFL, IELTS, SAT/ACT, and Duolingo English Test, which can be taken at home. Waivers are also granted for those students who have who will have completed four years (grades 9-12) of college preparatory English. Please see this page for full details on waivers.
A full list of requirements for International Applicants is available via the Admissions Webpage. Applications are not passed on from admissions to the psychology department until they are complete.
A: Although there are exceptions, the master’s degree is generally targeted at individuals who want to work in a specified field within psychology, but who are not interested in research. Our master’s programs provide students with a “tool kit” that they can take with them to a job. All of them, however, are grounded in research and theory.
If you are unsure of your commitment to research, we encourage you to consider the master’s program where there are opportunities to perform research and find out if that is something you want to pursue further.
You should also know that there are differences between graduate programs, both in academic goals and practical philosophies. In deciding on which schools to apply to, you should spend a significant amount of time thinking about your own goals and directions, and use that knowledge to weigh differing graduate programs before you decide where to apply. If at all possible, make an appointment to speak with your undergraduate faculty advisor and/or professors to seek out their assistance and guidance.
Please note: The clinical psychology MA concentration is not a terminal degree. Students who have been admitted to the doctoral program with a concentration in clinical psychology may apply to receive the MA in psychology on completion of 30 credits of coursework. Students must also be in good standing in the program, as determined by the director of clinical training. Applicants cannot apply directly to the clinical psychology concentration for the Master of Arts degree. This degree is only available for admitted doctoral students in clinical psychology.
No, you can apply to a PHD program right out of your undergraduate program. You even have the option to get your Master's degree while you are pursuing your PHD program.
Several of the PhD concentrations have an option on the application itself where you can select that you would like to be considered for the MA program if not admitted to the PhD.
Please note: The clinical psychology MA concentration is not a terminal degree. Students who have been admitted to the doctoral program with a concentration in clinical psychology may apply to receive the MA in psychology on completion of 30 credits of coursework. Students must also be in good standing in the program, as determined by the director of clinical training. Applicants cannot apply directly to the clinical psychology concentration for the Master of Art's degree. This degree is only available for students who have been admitted to the doctoral program in the clinical psychology concentration.