Skip to Main Content

Psychology College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

Support Page Content

Admission Requirements & Application Instructions

The department held a Graduate Program Information Session on November 15, 2022. The recording of the event can be found here.

Admission Requirements (All Applicants)

  1. Preferred Cumulative Undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants with GPAs between 2.5 and 2.99 will be given lower priority.
  2. Undergraduate degree in Psychology preferred.
  3. Psychological Statistics and Methods Coursework Requirement.
    • General and I-O Programs. At a 4-year college, all applicants must have completed two (2) upper division statistics/methods courses with a grade of C or better prior to applying to the program. This requirement is met with PSYC 121 and PSYC 102 at Sacramento State, or their equivalents at other universities. Course equivalents must have included research methods in which students have analyzed a dataset and written an APA-style paper. They must also have included descriptive and complex inferential statistics, such as factorial ANOVAs, mixed model ANOVAs, ANCOVAs, MANOVAS, planned and unplanned comparisons, factorial analysis, and multiple regression. Courses without these elements will not be approved. PSYC 121 must be completed by the application deadline, and PSYC 102 can be in progress to be admitted to the program. In addition, applicants must have completed the following lower division courses (which may be taken at a community college or 4-year university): Introductory Psychology (Sac State: PSYC 2), Methods of Psychology (Sac State: PSYC 8), Statistics for Psychology (Sac State: PSYC 9).
    • ABA Program. All applicants must have completed a lower division undergraduate psychology course in research methods and an upper division undergraduate course in ABA with at least “C” grades in those courses. The lower division research requirement is met by PSYC 8 at Sacramento State, and the upper division ABA requirement is met by PSYC 171 at Sacramento State. Student may also take equivalents at other colleges or universities.

Admission Requirements for specific applicants.

ABA Applicants Only

All ABA Applicants are recommended to have prior course work in Applied Behavior Analysis prior to applying to the program. This could be achieved by taking PSYC 171 at Sacramento State, or an equivalent at another university. Applicants without Applied Behavior Analysis coursework will still be considered but may be asked to take PSYC 171 during their first year of graduate school.

Dates & Deadlines

International Applicants and Domestic Applicants with Foreign Documents

International Applicants and Domestic Applicants with foreign documents must submit their application to the University no later than December 15, 2023 to ensure verification of their transcripts. International Applicants please contact the International Programs and Global Education office for assistance. Domestic Applicants with foreign documents should consult the Office of Graduate Studies prior to submitting their documents.

Form Type Date
University Application Available October 1
University Application Due January 15, 2024
Letters of Recommendation Due January 15, 2024

Application Instructions

University Application

  1. Complete a CSU System Application via CalState Apply.
  2. Send one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, except Sacramento State. Transcripts should be addressed to: (preferred). Physical copies can be addressed to:
    Office of Graduate Studies
    California State University, Sacramento
    Riverfront Center, Room 215, MS 6112
    6000 J St.
    Sacramento, CA 95819
  3. In Quadrant IV, you will be required to upload the following information:
    • Personal Statement
    • Specific program option requirements (see below)
    • One (1) PDF copy of unofficial transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended, INCLUDING Sacramento State.
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Catalog descriptions and syllabi for courses used to meet program prerequisites.

To check the status of a Cal State Apply application, contact Graduate Studies at (916) 278-6470.

Additional Program-Specific Application Requirements

Submitted in Quadrant IV in CalState Apply Application. Please carefully review the following information as it relates to the additional items required by each program. Failure to submit these additional materials may result in a denied application.

ABA Option Requirements

  • A personal statement of professional goals and experiences (max 2 double spaced pages). Include information on previous research and practicum experiences, academic training in ABA (if any), and post-graduation professional goals. Applicants should demonstrate that they are committed to studying Behavioral Analysis as a science to understand human behavior.
  • Provide a list of faculty within the behavior analysis program with whom you would like to work and why. Research some of the ABA faculty’s academic publications to become familiar with their research interests.
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV). List any behavior analysis classes with grades.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation (two must be from former professors).
  • Indicate whether you will be able to attend a personal interview/program tour on campus, to be held on TBA. Applicants are asked to RSVP on the Department application. A remote interview option is available.

General Psychology Option Requirements

A personal statement (max 2 double spaced pages) addressing the area of psychology you wish to study (e.g., Social, Developmental, Clinical, Biological, Cognitive, Quantitative, etc.) long-range career goals, research experience, as well a ranked list of three Psychology faculty members with whom you would like to work. Applicants are encouraged to research the interests of the department faculty to determine if their interests overlap. An applicant’s ranked list of faculty helps to determine if there is space available in the program and to assign an advisor upon admission.

I-O Psychology Option Requirements

Students who apply to the I-O program will be asked to write a personal statement that is a maximum of three double-spaced pages, in which they address the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology? Briefly describe the topics that you would like to study while in graduate school.
  • What academic background (e.g., I-O related coursework and/or research experience) has prepared you for a graduate program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology?
  • What work experiences (e.g., internships, volunteer work, full or part-time jobs) have prepared you to study Industrial-Organizational psychology?
  • Why are you interested in studying industrial-organizational psychology at Sacramento State University?

The GRE requirement for the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program has been waived for the 2024 admissions cycle.

Letters of Recommendation

All applicants are required to submit 3 letters of recommendation (preferably Psychology faculty members) with their application.

We suggest that applicants waive their rights to see the letters of recommendation from their letter writers. In this way, letter writers are likely to speak freely, and faculty reviewers are likely to trust the contents of the letters. Waivers must be completed before invitations are sent to letter writers.

Additional Information