The MA degree is in general psychology, but students may focus their course work, independent study, and thesis research in one of three content areas: (1) applied and evaluative psychology; (2) social, cognitive, and developmental psychology; (3) biopsychology and comparative psychology. Students interested in animal behavior and conservation may choose the MA in Animal Behavior & Conservation offered by the Psychology Department.
- Applied and evaluative psychology. Faculty research interests include topics in personality, psychopathology, theories of therapeutic methods, group dynamics, health and gender, stress and stress management, substance use, tests and measurements. Although the department offers theoretical courses on clinical topics, it does not offer supervision in counseling or therapy.
- Social, cognitive, and developmental psychology. Faculty research interests include multicultural issues, cognitive and linguistic development, discursive social psychology, gender and cognition, attitudes, political psychology, psycholinguistics, decisionmaking, memory function in different populations.
- Biopsychology and comparative psychology. Faculty research interests include hormonal influences on and neural control of behavior, mechanisms of drug abuse, developmental neuroscience, vision, animal learning and comparative cognition, evolution of behavior, animal orientation and communication, cerebral specialization of function.
Research Opportunities and Facilities
Students are encouraged to engage in research under faculty supervision. Laboratories at Hunter College provide specialized equipment for studies on human and animal physiology, acoustic analysis, human and animal learning, language and cognitive development, social development, and social psychology. Research is also possible at facilities of other universities and organizations where individual faculty members engage in collaborative research.
Requirements for Admission
Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their undergraduate grade point average, general GRE scores, background in psychology, two letters of recommendation (preferably from college instructors), and a statement of intellectual and research interests. Generally a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits in psychology, including one course in statistics and one laboratory course in experimental psychology are required; however, students who have a high undergraduate grade point average and high general GRE scores but lack a full psychology background may apply for admission. Such students may be required to take preparatory statistics and experimental courses. Note: There is no foreign-language requirement for the MA in psychology. The GRE advanced test in psychology is not required for admission.
Requirements for the MA Degree
Each candidate is required to complete an approved program of study including a thesis. A minimum of 30 credits is required for the general Psychology MA.
Required courses for all MA students (12 credits):
One course selected from each of the following three categories. See the course listing for category or categories into which each course falls.
- A (applied and evaluative psychology)
- S (social, cognitive, and developmental psychology)
- B (biopsychology and comparative psychology)
The MA thesis is a report of individual research supervised by a faculty member in the Hunter College Department of Psychology. The thesis must be approved by the student’s thesis committee, consisting of the supervisor plus at least another reader, and by the graduate adviser. An oral presentation and comprehensive examination in the area of the MA thesis, conducted by the thesis committee, is required.
The college offers some financial aid programs through the Financial Aid Office. Students should consult that office for information. In addition, some faculty have research grants on which students can work as research assistants. Small grants and awards for funding MA research are sometimes available.