Master of Arts in Psychology

The University of Northern Iowa Department of Psychology offers a Master of Arts degree in Psychology designed to provide advanced training in the major applied and basic areas of psychology. The program has a strong empirical orientation, emphasizes competence in research methodology, and requires that each graduate student satisfy a thesis requirement. The program reflects the views of department faculty that such an orientation is essential for the education of sophisticated consumers of psychological research at the master's level and for the preparation of students interested in the pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Graduate admissions to our M.A. in psychology program are suspended for fall 2024 and spring 2025 as we go through a program reorganization.

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Contact us directly at:

Department of Psychology
Bartlett 1078
Cedar Falls, IA 50614

Phone: 319-273-2303

Students in the MA program may choose one of two emphases:

Clinical Science

Combining empirically supported, scientifically based clinical training with a solid foundation in clinical research methodology, this emphasis prepares students for doctoral programs or for jobs at the Masters level operating under appropriate supervision. Clinical practicum and research opportunities allow students to work with child, adolescent and adult clinical populations in a variety of settings. Clinical faculty members are dedicated to research, and actively involve students in ongoing and new areas of study. Students complete a thesis which they defend at the end of their second year.

‌More about Clinical Science Emphasis 


The Social emphasis is designed for students who are interested in social psychology and would like to complete a master's degree before seeking admission to Ph.D. programs in social psychology or pursuing employment as a research analyst, research associate, or community college teacher. Students in the social emphasis receive a broad education in psychology and especially social psychology. Students complete and present at least two research projects, their first year project and their thesis.

‌More about Social Emphasis

A complete list of Psychology graduate classes (starting with PSYCH 6001) offered at UNI can be found here.

Admission to the master's program is competitive, and successful applicants usually meet the following criteria:

  • A bachelor's degree in psychology; if a student does not have an undergraduate psychology major, 15-21 hours of undergraduate coursework as prescribed by the graduate coordinator may be substituted with the approval of the Graduate Admissions Committee.

  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above; students with otherwise strong credentials who do not meet the 3.00 GPA requirement may, at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, be admitted to the program with provisional status.

  • GRE scores of 150 or above on Verbal and Quantitative portions of GRE are preferred, but applicants with lower scores whose applications are otherwise strong will be considered.

  • Successful international students typically have scores of 100 or more on the internet-based TOEFL test.

Application Procedure

All application materials are now available on-line and described below. If you have any questions about the process or the program, contact Dr. Helen C. Harton, Coordinator of Graduate Studies.

To begin your application process, click here

If you haven’t previously attended or applied to UNI, you may have to set up an account (instructions provided). The system will lead you through the information you need to provide. You can log in and provide some information and complete the application at a later date.

The following types of information are required and will be reviewed with your application:

1) Three names of people willing to write letters of recommendation for you:

You will be asked to provide contact information requesting these letters, which will then be submitted electronically by your recommenders. Letters of recommendation should come from former instructors and those engaged in or familiar with the field of psychology.

2) A resume or CV (uploaded) that includes the following information:

  • Educational background
  • Research experience
  • Presentations and/or publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Relevant extracurricular activities and/or psychology-related public service
  • Awards, distinctions, honors, and/or skills

3) An applicant statement (uploaded).

Submit a personal statement (generally 1-2 pages) that addresses the following areas:

  • Background and preparation for pursuing a graduate degree in psychology
  • Reasons for seeking a degree at UNI
  • Research experience and interests
  • Professional goals

4) Application fee ($60 for US students—waived for UNI students and alumni--and $75 for international students)

You should also send the following items directly to:

Office of Admissions - Grad Admissions
002 Gilchrist Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0018

5) Official copies of transcripts from all colleges attended (must come directly from your previous institution)

If you are an international student, you will also need to submit:

  • An English proficiency score (must be sent directly from the testing provider. IELTS and TOEFL are accepted. There may also be cases (e.g., you attended college in the United States) where these tests may not be required. Please email if you think this may apply to you.
  • A financial statement (see further instruction on the application form)
  • A copy of your passport (uploaded)

The application deadline for full consideration of financial aid is February 1. Offers of admission will begin in early February and continue on a rolling basis until early May. All applications completed by April 30 will be given full consideration, but early application is strongly encouraged.

Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete. Applications completed after the deadlines will be forwarded to the Graduate Admissions Committee, but admission of these applicants will be contingent upon availability of space in the program at that time. Graduate students are only accepted into the program for entry in the fall semester and on a full-time basis. The program takes two years to complete.

The M.A. program in psychology admits 8-12 students each year.