FAQ

What does this program emphasize?

Experimental psychology is the cornerstone of an academic program in psychology. The Experimental Master's Program is committed to quality training of students at the graduate and undergraduate levels and the production of high quality research. Our goal is to offer courses and training in basic areas of experimental psychology. We strive to train our students to become researchers and/or teachers in experimental psychology. Because our faculty members are expected to maintain active research laboratories, we provide a rich environment for graduate and undergraduate students to participate and learn about the research process. Master's level students are exposed to an extensive background in several basic areas of research, with the ultimate goal of training students to plan and execute original research in the field, as well as to advance their oral, writing and critical thinking skills. These actions are intended to prepare master's graduates for advanced study so that they will be competitive applicants for a doctoral program.

What can I do with an M.A. in Experimental Psychology?

Most students enter an experimental master's program with the intention of continuing on to a doctoral level program in a sub-discipline such as cognitive, developmental, learning or social psychology. Since 2008, approximately 80% of our students who have applied to doctoral programs have been admitted. Graduates have gone to doctoral programs at Cornell, the University of Georgia, East Carolina University, and Tulane University. However, students who complete a master's in experimental psychology could seek employment as an instructor at a community college, or could work in some psychology related field. In recent years, program graduates have gone on to serve as research assistants/associates in university settings and as government contractors.

What is the orientation of the program?

The orientation of the program is research-focused. Students serve in an apprentice-like role assisting a mentoring faculty member with his or her research. The Experimental Master's Program faculty is composed of 16 full-time faculty members representing the areas of biological, cognitive, developmental, ecological, forensic, health, learning, personality, quantitative, and social psychology.

How can I be considered for admission?

Review of applicants will commence on March 1 and will continue until admissions are complete. It is helpful in completing your application materials to specify a mentor with whom you would like to do research.

How many students are accepted?

We typically have approximately 30-50 applicants and 6-10 students are accepted.

What are the average GRE scores and GPA of the students accepted to the program?

Over the last two years, average combined GRE scores for students admitted to the program was 312. The average GPA was 3.5. The ETS GRE Code for Appalachian State University is 5010, Psychology Dept. Code is 2001.

What factors are considered in the admission decision?

Academic background, research experience, and motivation to conduct research are the main factors taken into consideration when considering applicants. All information included with your application will be considered, including GRE scores, GPA, research experience, your personal statement, letters of recommendation and anything else you include with your application. Your personal statement should emphasize your research interests.

What is the ASU Psychology Department like?

There are 33 full time faculty members in the department. The Experimental program has 16 core faculty members who teach required courses, act as mentors, and serve as thesis committee chairs and members.

There are approximately 600 Psychology undergraduate students and 80 Psychology graduate students in the department at any given time. Students from the Clinical Health, Industrial/Organizational, and School programs will also be in many of the required core classes, and there are multiple opportunities to establish relationships with students outside of the Experimental program.

For more information, please visit the website for the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology.

How do I get financial aid?

Complete a Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov and list the schools you are considering on the form. You will receive an estimate of financial aid based on your current income. Students typically receive between $3,000 and $5,000 a semester for tuition and living expenses. Out of state students may receive more if they are independent.

For more information, please visit the Appalachian State University Office of Student Financial Aid Website.

What kind of support is available?

Most first year students are offered a 10-hour graduate assistantship, which pays $2,500 per semester. Several 15-hour assistantships are available each year.

Students in the first year (spring semester) have the opportunity to take Teaching of Psychology, a requirement for those students who would like to be able to teach an introductory Psychology class in the second year, for which they are paid about $3,750 per semester. There are often additional assistantships available within and outside of the Psychology department. Most Experimental graduate students teach General Psychology in their second year because they enjoy the experience of independently teaching a course as well as the assistantship support.

What is the tuition for graduate students at ASU?

Graduate tuition information is provided by the Office of Student Accounts.

Major codes (for current students):
Experimental: 226A