New Accelerated M.S. Program Designed to Prepare Students for a Doctoral Program
by Dr. Pam Shapiro
Fall semester 2016 marks the inaugural year of the Psychology Department’s accelerated Master of Science degree program. The new 4 + 1 program allows outstanding psychology majors to earn both the B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Psychological Research in just 5 years, offering students substantial time and tuition savings over 2-year Master’s programs. The program is designed to prepare our most promising students for doctoral training in academic psychology.
Admission to Psychology Ph.D. programs is highly competitive with acceptance rates ranging from fewer than 5 percent of applicants for clinical science programs, to between 10 and 20 percent of applicants for other psychology disciplines. Although some of our top undergraduate psychology majors will be accepted to Ph.D. programs without additional training or work experience, many promising students will not. The M.S. in Psychological Research provides an opportunity for rising seniors planning to pursue doctoral studies to enhance their applications with additional research and professional experience, while demonstrating their capacity to excel in graduate coursework in Temple’s highly ranked Department of Psychology.
Although the program is best suited for students planning to pursue doctoral studies, it also provides valuable experience for other kinds of research positions in academic, non-profit, and private sector settings. The 32-credit M.S. degree curriculum includes four semesters of mentored, empirical research culminating in a publishable paper, along with coursework in methodology, statistics, professional development, ethics, and topical seminars. Students will also participate in lab meetings, journal clubs, and attend regular advising meetings.
Standards for admission to the accelerated M.S. program are high and our goal is to achieve 100 percent placement for our graduates. Consistent with the goals of Temple’s Fly in 4 initiative, the 4 + 1 program offers a strong incentive for incoming freshmen to obtain the B.A. in 4 years, strive for academic excellence, and earn an M.S. degree without taking on excessive debt.