Master of Arts in Psychology
Frequently Asked Questions
I am interested in the master's in psychology program. Where should I begin?
The first step in the process, and the best way to get all of your questions answered, is to attend an information session. For a schedule of upcoming sessions and to RSVP, please visit: https://gsep.pepperdine.edu/masters-psychology/information-meetings/[BROKEN LINK].
If you are unable to attend, please contact us at 310.258.2850 to set up an appointment.
What are the admission periods for the master's programs in psychology? When will I know if I am accepted?
For the master's programs in psychology, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology operates on a "rolling admissions" basis. This means we review and accept applications as they are completed. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the deadline. You will receive a decision via mail within three to four weeks after the submission of your completed application.
Do I have to send in all application materials at once?
No. You can send in different parts of your application as they are completed. We will hold any materials that arrive under your name, but will only begin tracking your application and corresponding with you when we receive your online application.
What are my chances of being accepted into the program?
At Pepperdine, we utilize a holistic approach in our thorough review of each and every application. This means that we do not disqualify applicants based on any one part of their application.
What are the minimum admission requirements?
Admission requirements can be found here[BROKEN LINK].
Will professional references be accepted?
References should come from individuals who are familiar with your professional and academic abilities. Recent college graduates should have at least one academic recommendation, while applicants who have been out of college more than three years may use either academic or professional recommendations. Letters can be sent in lieu of the forms provided in the application booklet.
Can foundation classes be waived?
Students who have taken undergraduate or graduate-level courses judged to be equivalent in content to foundation level courses may petition to waive such courses. Previously taken courses will qualify for waiver consideration if they were taken no earlier than seven years prior to admission and a grade of "B" or better was earned. Applicants without recent course work (within the last seven years) in psychology, however, will be required to complete foundational courses in preparation for the core curriculum. Foundational courses are offered as part of the master's program.
Where should I send my application materials?
All application materials, including GRE scores, should be sent to our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus, regardless of which campus an applicant plans to attend. The GRE institutional code is R4326, department 2001. The MAT code is 2729. The admission address is:Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Enrollment Services Office
6100 Center Drive – 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Are there additional requirements for international applicants?
You'll need to:
1. Send all international transcripts to be evaluated by either the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org) or World Education Services, Inc. (www.wes.org) for a comprehensive report that they will send directly to Pepperdine. This process can take a few weeks.
2. Submit all original certified transcripts in English to Pepperdine directly.
3. If your first language is not English, you must submit a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). If taking the computer-based TOEFL test, you will need a minimum score of 220. If taking the Internet-based TOEFL test, you will need a minimum score of 80. Information concerning the availability of this test outside of the US can be obtained by contacting TOEFL, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA or online at www.toefl.org. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam.
What is the difference between the two master’s programs in psychology?
The MA in Psychology program provides students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the principles of psychology within the framework of a strong clinical emphasis. This program prepares individuals for doctoral study in psychology or positions in human services, vocational counseling or marketing.
The MA in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy provides the knowledge and experience needed to work as a clinician, in private practice or with an agency, by preparing students for the Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) and/or the LPCC Licenses. As part of the curriculum, students are required to gain supervised counseling experience in approved clinical settings. This program is designed for students who wish to gain knowledge and develop skills necessary for providing high quality psychotherapeutic services in a variety of settings.
How long do the master's programs in psychology take to complete?
Both of Pepperdine's evening-format master's in psychology programs offer great flexibility. Each student can progress at his or her own pace, taking fewer or more courses each term, depending on each individual's preference. Part-time students may take as few as 3 units per term and full-time students may take as many as 12 units or more per term.
As a full-time student taking 6 units each semester, one can complete the MA in Psychology in as few as 1.5-2 years, or the MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy in as few as 2.5-3 years.
When are the classes offered?
Classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening. Each class meets once per week from 4:15 -7 PM or 7:15-10 PM. Classes are offered Monday-Thursday. During the summer term, classes meet twice per week.
Where is the master’s program in psychology offered? Do I have to take all of my classes at the same campus?
At Pepperdine, we offer evening format psychology courses at our Irvine, Encino, and West Los Angeles Graduate Campuses. Once enrolled, students can take courses at any and all of our three campuses.
Is funding available?
Yes. The best way to learn about opportunities for grants, loans, scholarships and assistantship positions is to attend one of our Information Sessions, as most meetings include a Financial Aid presentation.
Does Pepperdine assist with clinical practicum experience?
Yes. MFT Clinical Training and Professional Development staff assist students in locating Pepperdine-approved clinical practicum sites. The clinical training staff visit and evaluate established and potential sites, while maintaining the Field Placement Directory, which lists sites approved by Pepperdine. This directory can be found here.
Can I go straight on to the doctoral program from the masters program?
There is a separate application process for admission into the doctoral program. Applicants to the doctoral program must have a completed master's degree, or will have completed a master's degree prior to starting the program. Acceptance to one of the master's in psychology programs does not guarantee admission to the doctoral program.