Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

M.S. Degree

Our Master's degree program is oriented toward research and designed to prepare students for admission to Ph.D. programs in all areas of psychology. Over two years of full-time work, students complete a minimum of 37 credit hours of course work, a first-year research project, and a second-year Master's thesis.

Coursework, research and professional development are the core components of the program. Details and a formal description of program requirements are found in the Graduate Catalog.


All Master's students take a year-long sequence in statistics, a graduate course in research methods, and a year-long sequence in Professional Development. Students also take at least  four elective courses. A complete list of courses is found in the Graduate Catalog.


Most of the course credits students take are directly concerned with research issues. These include two major research projects: a "first-year project" and an M.S. thesis, a course in research methodology, and a professional development seminar. The department expects that each student will engage in research beginning in their first semester in residence. The breadth of our faculty research areas provides a range of research opportunities for students.

Professional Development

The Professional Development seminar is unique among M.S. programs, for it is devoted to the explicit training of students in becoming professional psychologists. In particular, it focuses on developing the skills needed to prepare papers for publication, to give oral and poster presentations at conferences, to apply for grants, and to apply for Ph.D. programs. Students fulfill this requirement by completing a year-long course sequence, PSYC 618/619.