Our Program
Social Psych Club
Applying News
UNR's main page
Program Alumni

How to Apply for the M.A.

Document last updated 11/19/07


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 already accomplished.

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.


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 advance.

Please complete the Program of Study form online with the following information:

Your name and R number.
Degree:  MA
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   - F06
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 paperwork.)

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 for details.

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 current time.

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 have anyone 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 GRADUATIONApplications 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.

Additional 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 08?

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 of study.

2.  What if I list something on the program of study and then end up taking a different course? 

If you end up taking something other than what you listed on the form, or change a committee member, there is a separate form for changes (available here) that you and your advisor would need to file.

3. Can students receive their MA in spring of the 2nd year?

Yes, 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 meets.

4.  If I took SOC 750 ( SEM ) where can it be applied?

There are a couple of choices.

1. 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.

2. 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?

The 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).


University of Nevada, Reno
Maintained by: jsinger@unr.edu
Last Modified: 11/19/2007

| Our Program | Handbook | Applying | Faculty | Students | Program Alumni | Social Psych Club | Resources | News | Copyright Information|

Questions/Comments? Please contact the current webmaster

UNR Interdisciplinary Social Psychology Program
Mailstop 300
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557