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Master of Science in Psychology Frequently Asked Questions


What are my chances for acceptance?

Admission is achieved through competitive application. Approximately 40 students are selected for an interview each year from the original pool of applicants. Approximately 10 students are admitted to the program each year. Over the past several years, the number of completed applications in the original pool has ranged from approximately 75 to 175. In-person interviews provide applicants with a chance to get to know our campus and program. Our selection process involves student achievement on all quantitative measures, ratings by faculty regarding letters of endorsement, match of applicant interests and graduate goals with our departmental resources and evidence of personal characteristics such as maturity and responsibility. The program has a strong commitment toward a recruitment process that promotes principles of multiculturalism and diversity.

Are there opportunities for teaching in the program?

The MS program does not offer formal teaching assistantships. However, there are a number of teaching assistant opportunities available on a course-by-course basis, which pay per credit hour.

If I enter the MS program, can that help me to gain admission to the PhD programs offered at Drexel?

Completion of the Drexel MS program does not guarantee admission into the Drexel PhD program. It will provide you with research experience necessary to apply to any PhD program. Your chance of acceptance to the Drexel PhD program does not increase because you completed the Drexel MS program.

I am interested in graduate study in psychology but I am unsure regarding the focus of my interests. Will this hurt my chance of admission?

Many excellent students attend our program precisely for this reason. They are strong candidates on all quantitative measures and have an excellent undergraduate record. However, they are unsure as to the direction they want to take their graduate research interest. Our program can provide a foundation in graduate education, help you to clarify your goals for further training and focus your interests.

I have a strong undergraduate record and have taken many prerequisite psychology courses. However, my major was not in psychology. May I still apply?

We do accept the applications of individuals who were non-psychology majors as undergraduates, if they are able to demonstrate strong foundations in undergraduate prerequisite coursework, as well as compete with other applicants concerning their other application credentials. However, it is important for such candidates to consider carefully their goals for graduate study in psychology and offer a compelling rationale in their personal statement and interview with regard to their decision to pursue this course of academic focus.

How will my faculty advisor/mentor be selected?

During the recruitment process, we try to identify faculty members that are a potential match for mentorship related to interest areas. However, because we invite the most competitive students for admission there may be several students in a given entering class with similar interests and mentor preferences. As such, there are no guarantees that your faculty mentor/advisor will share your specific interests.

In some cases, our entering students are unsure where their specific interests rest, and plan to discern this more closely as part of their MS training. All of our faculty members are committed to assume a mentorship role regarding the research process and will try to nurture your emerging interests. This may occur through work in their laboratory investigations, or may involve them putting you in contact with a research supervisor or project that works well for you. If this is the case, it is not unusual for your mentor to share responsibility for your activities through a co-mentor model.

May I arrange to have a tour of campus?

All applicants who are invited to interview for the MS program will have the opportunity to tour the department on interview day. The Graduate College also holds a few open house events throughout the year. If you would like more information on visiting campus, please contact the Graduate College

What is the timeline for interviews and acceptance letters?

Invitations for interviews are typically issued through late February, with our interview day taking place in mid March. Acceptance letters are sent in late March through the end of April.

Is this program more clinically or research oriented?

The master’s of psychology program is oriented toward research, and does not provide clinical training or experience.

What are some of the things you are looking for in a strong application?

Our strongest applicants will have three strong letters of recommendation from faculty in their previous program, a GPA of 3.5 or above, and a GRE total score of 1200/307.

What opportunities for funding are available?

Students are independently responsible for tuition payment throughout the two years of the program. However, students may be able to fund their education through several different avenues. Many students receive the Drexel Dean’s Fellowship, a merit-based award that covers a percentage of tuition each term. In addition, there are job opportunities available through Drexel. Students are able to work as Course Design Assistants (CDA) for online undergraduate psychology courses, which pay per credit hour. In addition, there are opportunities for students to work as Teaching Assistants for undergraduate psychology courses, also paid per credit hour.

For second-year students, there are two part-time, stipend-based Administrative Assistant positions for the MS program for which students apply and interview. Finally, the MS Program provides $750 in research support each year to each MS student, which can be used for purposes such as traveling to conferences or buying materials or paying participants to complete a thesis project.

Psychology faculty at Drexel may provide opportunities to hire MS students related to grant-funded research. Also, because of our location in Philadelphia, there are unique opportunities to find jobs outside of Drexel University. Many students work in laboratories at local universities, such as the University of Pennsylvania, as part-time research or clinical assistants. Research opportunities are often available at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, or the University of the Sciences.

Additionally, many students apply for government loans, private financial aid, or external scholarships and grants to fund their degree.

Learn more about tuition and fees

What is the average GRE score of students who enroll in the program?

On average, current students have quantitative scores of 650-700 (approximately a 153 on the new scale), verbal scores of 550-600 (approximately a 157 on the new scale), and analytical writing scores of 4.5-5.0.

What are the program requirements?

  • Minimum Supervised Research Hours: 8 hours/week for two years
  • Empirical Thesis
  • Total Credits Required at Graduation: 45
  • Present research at a local, international, or university conference
  • Independent Study is not required but strongly recommended

Can I take PhD courses as a Master's student?

Dependent upon instructor and mentor approval, there will be opportunities to enroll in PhD courses.

I currently hold a BA and MA from another university in a non-psychology related field, but am considering a career change. Are there prerequisite courses that I will need to show on transcripts?

We have had several successful graduates from our MS program who were making a career change. We use a mentor-based model so the faculty member you apply to will be the primary person to evaluate your application. You will need to explain in your application the psychology and science or research-related coursework you have had and why you are now interested in making a switch.

Is there clinical training available in the MS program?

There is no formal training available however, depending on your mentor and lab, you may have the chance to receive some limited clinical opportunities. (This is very lab-specific.)

If I want to get a terminal master’s degree to become a psychotherapist, is this the right program for me?

No. This program is intended for individuals who are interested in gaining additional academic and research training to work in research with a master’s degree or to help to foster credentials when applying to PhD programs (in which clinical training may be provided).