Experimental Research

(Master of Arts Degree) The Experimental Research specialization of the M.A. degree prepares students for further study at the doctoral level, or employment in research-related occupations. In addition, knowledge and skills acquired in the program provide a beneficial foundation for further graduate study in other areas, including Clinical Psychology, Law, and Business.

The goal of the specialization is for students to develop skills in research design and analysis, broad knowledge of substantive areas of psychological research, and expertise in one research area. The program consists of both required and elective courses and an individual research experience that culminates in completing a master’s thesis.

Every student is expected to become involved in research when he or she begins the program and to continue this involvement during his or her course of study. Ideally, each student participates in a faculty member’s research program; after developing appropriate knowledge and skills about this domain, the student demonstrates expertise by completing a thesis (with the advice and supervision of that faculty member).


  • Thesis Aligned with Faculty Research Interests
    Opportunities for Conference Presentations/Publications
    Assistantships (Tuition Grants) Available for Research- and Teaching-Related Activities
    Expert Faculty with Varied Research Interests

Program of Study
Each student’s specific program of study is determined in consultation with a faculty mentor to ensure that educational experiences are well-suited to the student’s goals. In general, the Experimental Research specialization requires 40 semester credit hours of coursework and research experience. Courses (required and elective) include:

  • Univariate Statistics and Research Methodology
    Advanced Data Analysis
    Proseminar in Experimental Psychology
    Learning, Memory, & Cognition
    Social Processes
    Group Dynamics
    Lifespan Development: Child/Adolescent or Adulthood/Aging
    Research and Thesis

Faculty Research Interests

  • Cognition (perception, attention, memory, and decision-making)
    Human performance
    Accuracy of survey self-reports
    Control of action
    Language perception
    Spatial cognition

Refer to our Applying for Graduate Admissions page for information about admissions criteria and procedures.