Texas Tech University

Terminal Masters

The master's programs are designed to provide a basic graduate level education in psychology, methodology, and one area of specialization for students who intend to terminate their education at the master's level. The program aims to educate individuals for research positions in a variety of settings.

In the master's programs, students and faculty work together, particularly through on-going, active collaboration in research. The programs function on an apprenticeship model in which students conduct research under faculty supervision. In addition to course work, all candidates for an M.A. degree must complete the written and oral presentation portions of a research requirement (or complete and defend a formal thesis); engage in research throughout their tenure in the program, and participate fully in the intellectual life of the department.

Despite variation in the time it takes students to complete the M.A. degree, the typical student starting with an undergraduate degree in psychology can expect that it will take approximately one-and-one-half to two years. The programs are designed for full-time students, but exceptions are sometimes considered.

The number of students admitted into the terminal master's degree program is limited. If you are interested in applying to the terminal master's program, please email the faculty you intend to apply to work with about your application.


The terminal master's degree in the Experimental Psychology Division requires 36 credit hours. A formal thesis is optional, but a research project of equivalent scope must be completed.

All master's students in the Experimental Psychology Division take a minimum of two courses in statistics: Data Analysis in Psychological Research; either Experimental Design or Advanced Correlational Methods and Factor Analysis.

They must also complete 6 hours of core courses, one course in Cognitive Bases of Behavior: (Seminar in Learning Theory, Seminar in Cognition, or Seminar in Perception) and one course in Biological Bases of Behavior: (Seminar in Physiological Psychology, Neuropsychological Assessment, Psychopharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs, Life Span Development: Psychobiological and Cognitive Processes in Aging, or Work Physiology).

In addition, 12 hours of electives in the Experimental Psychology Division, 6 hours of free electives, and a minimum of 6 hours of research credit are required. The electives offer a flexible program that allows for more specialized training in Human Factors, Social, or Cognitive/Applied Cognitive Psychology or for a more broad-based program depending on the student's needs.