How to Apply for the M.A.
Document last updated 11/19/07
WHY WOULD I WANT TO GET THE MA IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY EN ROUTE TO THE PHD?
Students who apply for the MA have several reasons. Here are some of the
most common ones:
They want to show intermediate progress, and feel a reward for the years
They want to obtain a beginning graduate degree if their undergraduate
degree was in a different field.
If they plan to go into academia or teach they want teaching experience
during their doctoral program. To be eligible to teach a class of one's
own, you need to already hold a masters degree.
Obtaining the MA en route to the PhD requires only 8 credits more (total)
than if one just obtained the PhD.
SO, IF YOU DECIDE TO APPLY FOR THE MA, PLEASE READ ON:
If you are applying for the MA for spring 2008, please check the Graduate
School site for info on application deadlines. Program of Study forms are
due November 30. If you cannot make that deadline, please see me in
Please complete the Program of Study form online with the following
Your name and R number.
Program: Social Psychology
Check the box for NonThesis option
Total credits required: 32
Human Subjects: check NO
Check NO in all the boxes on that line
List your email address and phone number, and add your signature.
Courses: (write the title, grade received, sem/yr such as F07 or SP08)
The info you input would look like this (the dashes just represent the
differences boxes on the form) (anything below in parentheses is just for
your info and doesn't go on the form):
SOC 739 - 3 credits - Advanced Social Psychology I - A - F06
PSY 706 - 3 credits - Intermediate Statistics I - A -
PSY 724 - 3 credits - Applied Research Methods II - A - F06
HDFS 718 - 3 credits - Research Methods in Social Psychology - A
Sp07 (if you took it during a different year when it was SOC 718 use the
SOC dept prefix)
SOC 740 - 3 credits - Advanced Social Psychology II - A - Sp07
SOC 707 - 3 credit - Intermediate Statistics II - A - Sp07
HDFS 795 - 1 credit - Comprehensive Exam (FYI to student: this course
was used for the Qual Exam) - S (grade of pass) - F07
ALSO: Supervised research (list the course
number that you are using for your second year research project;
SOC 702, PSY 752, HDFS 752, PUBH 792, etc.) You should apply 4
credits of this to the MA. Ideally, you took either 4 credits
of it in fall or spring so you just use that one semester. I am
not sure if a course can be broken up and part applied to MA and
part to PhD. If you try to use 3 credits from one semester, and
1 credits from a 3 credit research from another semester (to come
up with 4 credits total), you risk losing the extra 2 credits
as not transferable to the PhD) It would be better to follow the
handbook and just do 4 credits during one semester.
AND: SOC 737 - 3 credits (If you have completed this survey methods
course or are taking it in the Sp08; if not, then substitute one of the
other courses you have taken, and you can later include 737 on the PhD
AND: List 2 of the seminars you have taken during your 2nd year. This
should total 6 credits.
A year or so later, when you do the program of study for your PhD degree:
You will be able to transfer 24 of these credits into your PhD program
when you later complete the Program of Study for the PhD. See the handbook
Committee members for the MA (you will have a total of 3): The membership
of your MA committee does not need to be the same as for your PhD,
however, the committee chair usually reflects faculty advising you at this
1. Committee Chair - You need an an advisor/committee chair from among the
faculty in the social psychology program.
2. Member - You need a second faculty member from social psychology who
is listed on the form as a "member". It can be any of us.
3. Graduate School Representative - this can be any faculty member on
campus who has Graduate Faculty Status. You can find a list of them on the
Grad School website. What if you don't know a faculty member outside the
program to ask? Never fear! Since this is an interdisciplinary MA program
involving faculty from several departments, you can actually have a social
psychology faculty member fill this role, AS LONG AS it is a person from a
home department that differs from that of your MA committee chair.
For example, if Markus or Marta or Jim is your committee chair you could
outside the sociology department as the Grad School Rep (such as Judith
Sugar, Bill Evans, Dan Weigel, Monica Miller, Paul Devereux, Yvonne
Stedham, me, etc.). If Paul Devereux is your chair, you could NOT have
anyone from Public Health (such as Judith Sugar) as the Grad School rep.
If you had Bill Evans as your chair, you could not have Dan Weigel,
Colleen Murray, or Karen Kopera-Frye as your grad school representative.
4. AFTER YOU HAVE THE OTHER FAUCLTY SIGNATURES: I will sign as Graduate
Director, but I can also still be a chair, member or grad school rep on a
committee as well. I can sign two places on the form, if you choose to
have me on your committee.
You can then walk the form to the Grad School and turn it in. They will
check, and if there are no errors Dean Marsha Read will sign and send back
an approved copy to the program.
Please contact me to arrange for my signature, also so I can check over
the program of study form. I will be on campus each day.
APPLICATIONS FOR GRADUATION: Applications for graduation should not be
filed until the MA Program of
Study has been approved by the Graduate School. If you send in the graduation
application (and pay online) before they approved the program of study,
the system will not recognize you as eligible, and it will gobble up your
money ... requiring you to pay again later when you are eligible.
Applications for graduation are due no later than March 1 ... which is
plenty of time, as it usually just takes a couple weeks to get programs of
Study approved by the Graduate School. I will let you know when we receive
your approved program of study, so you will know when it is "clear' to
apply for graduation.
NOTICE OF COMPLETION FORM: This form (online here) is due in the spring.
It must be filed by May 2. As we get into spring I will send an email with
instructions for how to complete this form, too.
Q and A about the Master's
1. Since this is filing a
Program of Study, am I right in assuming that we can list courses
prospectively -- that is, specific courses I would take in Spring
Yes, you list courses that you will take in spring even though
you have not yet taken them. The grad school will check at the
end of spring to be sure you took what you listed on the program
2. What if I list something on the program of study
and then end up taking a different course?
you end up taking something other than what you listed on the
form, or change a committee member, there is a separate form for
here) that you and your advisor would need to file.
3. Can students receive their
MA in spring of the 2nd year?
that is typically when people would receive the M.A. The program
of study is not something completed after all the coursework is
done. In fact, in your Ph.D. the program of study will typically
be filed before you take your comp exam, when your committee first
4. If I took SOC 750 ( SEM ) where can it be applied?
are a couple of choices.
The structural equations course can be applied to the MA as one
of the seminar courses; students who enter the social psych program
and hold a Master's from another university often apply some of
those courses to their degree (the grad school allows you to apply
up to 9 relevant credits from outside the MA program - see me
if this applies to you). The SEM course seems like it would be
comparable to some of those outside courses that students have
applied to the MA here.
Or the SEM course could be used as part of the breadth requirement
for those who do not have a foreign language already, and who
want to do their breadth requirement instead. This would mean
they are doing a breadth focus in statistics/methodology. Breadth
requirement credits do not count toward the total required for
the Ph.D. The breadth requirement is separate and is typically
used when students do not meet the foreign language requirement.
Students who enter the program with the equivalent of a 2nd year
undergraduate mastery of a foreign language have already met the
requirement and do not need to take either more foreign language
or breadth courses. However, the SEM course does not qualify as
a seminar course in the Ph.D. program. To be a social psych seminar
a course needs to meet both of the following: 1) a seminar in
the content area of social psychology, and 2) taught by a member
of the social psychology faculty, or a social psychologist approved
by the program as offering a particular relevant course (such
as Debbie Davis from the Psych dept.).
5. Can adjunct graduate
faculty members serve as chair of a Masters or dissertation committee?
program and graduate school allow the appointment of individuals
who are not UNR tenure-track faculty members to be appointed as
adjunct graduate faculty, because of a special skill or expertise
they bring to the position.
Adjunct graduate faculty members can include those such as (but
not limited to): faculty members on the faculty at another university
(in the U.S. or another country); university employees (administrative
faculty) who are not in tenure-track positions but hold credentials
and have some skill or knowledge that would be a significant contribution
to the program and its students; new faculty members who may not
yet be eligible in their departments for all of the demands placed
on those with program graduate faculty membership (not all depts..
award graduate faculty status to new faculty); or community members
who have high expertise, appropriate degrees and credentials and
skills. All adjunct graduate faculty appointments are for one
year terms, and renewable by the program at the end of each year.
They are reviewed by the program and the graduate school for appropriate
background, expertise, and contributions they are able to make
to a program (such as bringing a skill or applied focus that may
be desirable for the students in a program). Many times they are
in applied positions in the community and add an important dimension
to university programs.
The graduate school allows adjunct graduate faculty members to
be members of either a Master’s or dissertation committee.
However, since they are not typically permanent members of the
UNR academic faculty, with ongoing appointments, and other factors
that go along with holding a tenure-track position, they are not
allowed to chair a Master;s or doctoral committee. This allows
students to benefit from the skills, knowledge, and connections
of the adjunct graduate faculty member, but does not put the student
in the vulnerable spot of working with someone who isn't equally
accountable to the university, or who can be transferred to another
town in a flash by their outside job, etc.
Thus, having adjunct graduate faculty members is a benefit to
the student and the program, and gives the individual adjunct
member the opportunity to work with doctoral students (something
many people in community jobs miss).