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Psychology

Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D., Director, Graduate Psychology Program

Post 223, 610- 660-1806, jmindell@sju.edu

Program Description

The Saint Joseph’s University graduate program in psychology offers students a general curriculum of study emphasizing experimental psychology. The program is designed to complement the strengths and interests of the present psychology faculty and facilities and reflects the current state of the discipline of psychology. It consists of a traditional and academically oriented forty-eight credit curriculum and requires the successful completion of a qualifying comprehensive examination and an empirical thesis project. The program is designed for successful completion over two academic years. Additionally, a five-year combined Bachelor/Master of Science degree is offered.

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Students are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree with either a major or minor in psychology. For those students without a psychology major/minor, a minimum of twelve undergraduate credits in psychology (including courses in Introductory Psychology, Research Methods, and Statistics) must be completed.

Applicants should submit or have sent to the Office of Graduate Operations the following:

  • a completed Saint Joseph’s University graduate application.
  • official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework. If you are an SJU graduate the Office of Graduate Operations will obtain your SJU transcripts for you.
  • a current resumé or curriculum vitae
  • two letters of recommendation from at least two faculty appraising the candidate’s promise and capacity for graduate study, reflecting, from a professional’s point of view, the candidate’s ability to pursue a rigorous, independent course of study at the graduate level.
  • a personal statement outlining the candidate’s professional goals and educational objectives for the program, including the applicant’s rationale for program choice and professional study.
  • Psychology insert
  • General GRE scores.
  • $35 application fee – waived if attended an Open House or an SJU graduate.

All application materials are due by March 1st. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.25 may be admitted on a probationary basis. A non-refundable deposit equivalent to one graduate credit, which is applied to tuition, is required upon the student’s acceptance of admission.

Undergraduate psychology majors at Saint Joseph’s apply for the five-year combined BS/MS program following the completion of the first semester of the junior year. These undergraduate applicants will be asked to submit:

  • a completed Saint Joseph's University graduate application.
  • official sealed transcript(s) of undergraduate/graduate coursework. If you are an SJU graduate the Office of Graduate Operations will obtain your SJU transcripts for you.
  • a current resumé or curriculum vitae.
  • two letters of recommendation from at least two faculty appraising the candidate’s promise and capacity for graduate study, reflecting, from a professional’s point of view, the candidate’s ability to pursue a rigorous, independent course of study at the graduate level.
  • Psychology insert
  • $35 application fee – waived if attended an Open House or an SJU graduate.
  • All application materials are due by March 1st. Acceptance into the five-year program will not affect the Core Component or the University Distribution Requirement of the General Educational Requirement.

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of a Graduate Research Assistantship stipend is awarded on the basis of merit for students in their second year of graduate study. No additional information is required beyond the application materials. Other forms of financial assistance are also available through the Financial Aid Office of the University.

Academic Dismissal

Students enrolled in the graduate psychology program who receive 2 grades of C or below will be dismissed from the degree program. Students who receive a grade of C or below in any of the Common Core Courses (i.e., PSY 551, 552) must repeat the course and receive a grade of B or higher.

It is anticipated that students will complete the graduate psychology program in two academic years. Students who do not complete the program by the end of their second year of enrollment may at their request have their enrollment in the program extended by one academic year. In order to obtain an extension, a student must request one in writing in a letter to the director of the graduate psychology program before the end of the student’s second year of study. Failure to complete the requirements of the program by the end of this additional year will result in dismissal from the program.

If due to unforeseen circumstances a student anticipates that he/she will not complete the requirements of the program before the end of the additional year, the student may apply for a one-time extension of the deadline. The student must request the extension in writing before the end of the additional year in a letter to the director of the graduate psychology program. The letter must be co-signed by the faculty member supervising the Master’s thesis research of the student. The letter must include a date by which the student will have completed the requirements of the program. This completion date must be within 180 days of the last day of the additional year. Failure to complete the requirements of the program by the date specified in the letter requesting the extension will result in the student’s dismissal from the program.

A continuing enrollment fee will be charged for each semester or portion thereof that a student remains enrolled in the graduate psychology program beyond two academic years from the time of initial enrollment.

Program Structure and Curriculum

The curriculum is composed of three major components: an eight-credit Common Core required of all students; twenty-four credits of content courses, and a sixteen-credit Research Component in which students complete the comprehensive examination and research thesis.

The graduate psychology program is a full-time course of study. Classes are primarily scheduled on weekday afternoons. Students are expected to attend these classes regularly. Attendance is also required at colloquia, lab meetings, and other functions of the Department of Psychology. In addition, students are expected to have time available during weekdays to conduct scientific research.

The comprehensive examination is taken by students during the second year. Students are eligible to sit for the exam if they have submitted an acceptable draft of their thesis proposal. The examination is scored as a 3 (superior), 2 (acceptable), or 1 (failure). A student must achieve a total score of 2 or higher to pass the comprehensive examination. If the student fails, remediation must be completed by May 15th of that year. No student is permitted to fail the examination more than once. Failure to pass or complete the comprehensive examination terminates further graduate study. Completion of the thesis must occur within two years following the completion of the comprehensive examination.