Objectives and Emphasis
The Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology prepares students for jobs that require the application of psychological knowledge to the workplace or to community settings. This involves training in theory, research, and practice. Although some students continue study for a Ph.D. degree, most accept challenging jobs in public, private, or non-profit field settings upon graduation.
The program has two emphases: a) Industrial/Organizational Psychology and b) Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. Both emphases are based on a scientist-practitioner model. Thus, graduates from the Applied Psychology program learn how to meet the opportunities and challenges faced by researchers working in the field, by participating in the design, conduct, communication, and application of results of research while working with practitioners and lay persons in applied settings. Learn more about the faculty members in the MS program and research opportunities.
One key component of training in applied psychology at San Diego State University is a supervised internship involving the application of classroom learning and acquisition of new skills in a field setting. Students collaborate directly with psychologists and others working in the field.
The Master’s program in Applied Psychology at San Diego State University provides advanced training both for recent graduates and for individuals who have been in the workforce for a number of years. The program is designed to take two to three years to complete. It is a full-time program, and therefore serious commitment to graduate training is expected. View a complete list of the MS program requirements. Funding in the form of assistantships is available so that students can give their full attention to their graduate studies. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the SDSU/University of Mannheim International Exchange Program.
Graduates will be prepared to enter rewarding professional careers. Those who choose the Industrial/Organizational emphasis may work for corporations or consulting firms in positions involving the development, delivery, and evaluation of human resources interventions. Examples include personnel selection, training, motivation, job design, quality of work-life interventions, satisfaction/climate surveys or larger-scale organizational change and development efforts. Students who choose Program Development, Implementation, and Evaluation find employment in settings such as health care, education, community-based programs, mental health settings, or government agencies. They perform functions such as: needs assessment, program implementation, program monitoring, feasibility studies, survey design and administration, impact evaluations, formative evaluation and cost benefit analysis. They communicate and use evaluation findings to effect change. These jobs tend to be intellectually exciting, and the rewards include having an impact on people’s lives. Students in either emphasis may also choose to pursue doctoral-level training in related areas of psychology after completing their MS degree. To learn more about opportunities in the field, visit the San Diego Industrial/Organizational Professionals website (SDIOP).
The City of San Diego and outlying areas provide an ideal environment for both research and practice in applied psychology. The SDSU library, in addition to the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and University of San Diego (USD) library systems, provide excellent access to wide array of resources for research. Moreover, numerous corporate headquarters and regional offices of business organizations, the Navy and Marine Corps, and community service organizations provide opportunities for internships and job opportunities.
Prospective graduate students are encouraged to visit the Graduate Access Page, MyGAP. Using MyGAP you can create a personalized web page containing information about all SDSU graduate programs that interest you. Click on the MyGap image below to begin.