The general-theoretical program is designed to provide preparation for (a) further study at the doctoral level in more specialized substantive areas or (b) careers in industry (e.g., advertising/market research, organizational consulting), government (e.g., program evaluation, criminal justice research), education, or health sectors. The program is expected to take two years to complete for full-time students, but can be completed on a part-time basis for those working full-time. Students can be accepted for either the Fall or Spring semester; there are no application deadlines.

Admission Requirements

General Theoretical Psychology

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary school academic work. (Note: all former undergraduates of Fairleigh Dickinson University must request their official transcripts from their campus Office of Enrollment Services).
  • Applicants must submit an official score report for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), (the subject test in Psychology is not required). The schedule of testing dates can be obtained from Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540, or by visiting www.gre.org.
  • Applicants must have taken (1) general/introductory psychology, (2) statistics and (3) experimental psychology/research methods on either the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Behavioral Research Scholar Track

  • A bachelor’s degree and official transcript from an accredited college or university. It is recommended that applicants have a 3.25 GPA or higher.
  • Applicants must submit an official score report for the verbal and quantitative sections of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the equivalent sections in the GMAT. It is recommended that applicants score at the 50th percentile or higher in these sections.
  • Applicants must have taken general psychology, statistics and experimental psychology/research methods on either the undergraduate or graduate level with grades of “B” or better.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

All applicants must submit a graduate studies application and a nonrefundable application fee. When the credentials supporting an application are complete, the applicant may be requested to have a personal interview with the M.A. program director. Selection for graduate study is based on academic and personal qualifications for graduate study.

Materials can be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1000 River Road, T-KB1, Teaneck, NJ 07666. Applicants who have not completed all requirements for admission to the degree program may be permitted to enroll in classes for credit on a non matriculated or non degree basis.

Degree Plan

All MA students can tailor their elective courses to fit their areas of interest. The following are example elective concentrations (note, up to 6 credits can be taken outside of psychology).

General Theoretical Psychology

Core Courses (6 credits)

  • PSYC6121     Statistics and Research Methods
  • PSYC6129     Research Methods & Psychometrics

Required Courses (15 credits)

Students, with an adviser’s approval, will elect an additional 15 credits (minimum) from the following list of courses. Up to 6 of these 15 credits may consist of independent research/Master’s Thesis research (which is an option to the Comprehensive Examination – see below). Several courses (*) are offered jointly with the Ph.D. program.

  • PSYC6109     Social Psychological Applications
  • PSYC6111     Theories of Personality
  • PSYC6114     Psychopathology
  • PSYC6128     Computer Applications & Report Writing
  • PSYC7122     Developmental PsychologyPSYC7130     Biological Bases of Behavior
  • PSYC7133     Learning, Cognition and Emotion

Electives (partial listing) (15 credits)

Students will elect up to 15 credits from any 6000 or 7000 PSYC course

Comprehensive Exam or Master’s Thesis (6 Elective Credits)

In addition to the course requirements, candidates for the master’s degree must meet the following requirements: The Comprehensive Examination may be taken a maximum of three times. Subsequent to an initial failure of the examination, the student must retake the entire examination. If this second examination results in failure, the student must petition the faculty for a third and final opportunity to sit for the exam. This opportunity is contingent upon the student entering into a written agreement, approved by the program director and school director, which specifies a program of remedial studies potentially including formal course audits in areas of deficiency. The individual will be allowed to sit for the third examination only after completion of the agreed remedial program. The final and binding nature of this examination also will be a part of this written agreement. If a student completes a Master’s Thesis, the Comprehensive Examination will be waived.

The graduate program of studies should be completed within a period of five years.

Behavioral Research Scholar Track

Core Courses(18 credits)

  • PSYC6128     Computer Applications & Report Writing
  • PSYC6122     Clinical Research Methods*
  • PSYC7110     Statistical Analysis and Design I*
  • PSYC7111     Statistical Analysis and Design I*
  • PSYC7810     Master’s Thesis Research I
  • PSYC7812     Master’s Thesis Research II

Required Courses(9 credits)

Students, with an adviser’s approval, will select a minimum of 9 credits from the following list of courses.

  • PSYC6111     Theories of Personality
  • PSYC6114     Psychopathology
  • PSYC7133     Learning, Cognition and Emotion*
  • PSYC7122     Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC7125     Applied Social Psychology
  • PSYC7130     Biological Bases of Behavior *

Electives (partial listing)(9 credits)

Students will elect up to 9 credits from the following list of courses.

  • PSYC6624      Introduction to Psychotherapy
  • PSYC6230     Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • PSYC6630     Counseling and Interviewing
  • PSYC6115     Child Psychopathology
  • PSYC6130      Interviewing Techniques
  • PSYC6231     Psych  Bases for Criminal Behavior

The graduate program of studies should be completed within a period of five years. Students in the Behavioral Research Scholar Track do not have to take the Comprehensive Examination. *Courses taken in our Clinical Ph.D. program.

Suggested course schedule for BRST.

Fall (Year 1)

  • Comp Applications and Report Writing (online)
  • Statistical Analysis and Design I
  • Clinical Research Methods

Spring (Year 1)

  • Statistical Analysis and Design II
  • Required/Elective
  • Required/Elective

Fall (Year 2)

  • Master’s Thesis Research I
  • Required/Elective
  • Required/Elective

Spring (Year 2)

  • Master’s Thesis Research II
  • Required/Elective
  • Required/Elective

Special Information

  • Clinical Psychology: students interested in applying for doctoral programs in clinical psychology could take Psychopathology, Theories of Personality, Developmental Psychology, Biological Bases of Behavior
  • Social/consumer psychology: students interested in careers in market research could take Applied Social Psychology along with courses from the Silberman College of Business such as Marketing Research and Consumer Behavior
  • Organizational psychology: students interested in applying for doctoral programs in industrial/organizational psychology or in obtaining research-related careers in industry could take Applied Social Psychology along with courses from the Silberman College of Business such as Organizational Behavior and Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Behavioral Research Scholar Track. The Behavioral Research Scholar track (BRST) in the general-theoretical program is a selective, research-focused track for MA students with superior academic qualifications (i.e., GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, research experience). The BRST is differentiated form the standard MA program in that BRST students take the same sequence of research-related courses (research methods and two statistics courses) as students in our clinical Ph.D. program (this option is exclusive to students in the BRST). BRST students are also encouraged to complete a master’s thesis. Admission into the BRST is limited to the Fall semester only; the application deadline is May 1st