Graduate Programs

Master of Arts/Masters of Science

The Psychology Department presently offers two master's degree programs, each with three unique concentrations. The Master of Arts in Psychology program has concentrations in Developmental; Mind, Brain, Behavior; and Social Psychology. The Master of Science in Psychology program has concentrations in Clinical, School, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. All of these concentrations have been designed to meet specific academic needs and to qualify students for further study and/or career goals.

Application Filing Period

The application filing period for all Psychology graduate concentrations is October 1st through February 1st. All application materials must be received by the filing deadline.There is one online application for both the department and the University, on Cal State Apply. You will submit your materials for both the University and the Psychology department on, including your personal statements, Letters of Recommendation, Letter of Recommendation Waivers, Unoffical Transcripts, GRE scores, and CV. All materials must be completed and submitted by February 1st.

Questions regarding the application process can be directed to the Division of Graduate Studies: – (415) 338-2234 –

Questions about admission to a specific psychology program can be directed to the Psychology Graduate Services Coordinator, Katie Vogt (

NOTE: If you did NOT receive your MS in School Psychology from SF State, and you want to apply to the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential, YOU MUST GET EXTERNAL EVALUATION before you can apply to the program. For more information, please visit the PPS Credential Page.

The Application Process

For a more detailed How-To Guide on the application process, head over to the Cal State Apply Help Center.

1. University Application (Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information)

The first 3 sections of the application on Cal State Apply require you to sign releases of information, as well as to submit your personal information, academic history and unofficial transcripts, letters of recommendation, and relevant experiences. 

2. Psychology Program Materials

The Psychology Department requires that you write a personal statement based on questions specific to the concentration for which you're applying. This personal statement needs to demonstrate your readiness for graduate level work, as well as any experience you have in your chosen concentration or psychology in general. The statement should also reflect on your motivations for applying, and provide some background on yourself and your academic/research interests. Some concentrations also require that you specify which faculty member you wish to work with and why. Your statement will be a central factor in the evaluation of your total application. The questions and the page limits for each concentration will be listed in the Program Specific Questions portion of the Program Materials section on Cal State Apply. 

You will also need to upload a filled out copy of the Department Pre-Requisite Form, where you demonstrate what coursework in Psychology you've already completed. Different concentrations have different specific pre-requisites, so make sure to check the page for your chosen concentration to find what their pre-reqs are. Generally, it's helpful to have some background classes in psychology, as well as intermediate-level (upper-division) statistics and experience with/classes on research methods in Psychology.

In addition to the personal statement and the Pre-Req Form, you also will need to upload your Unofficial GRE Test Score Report, up to ten Unofficial Transcripts, and a Letter of Recommendation Waiver Form for each recommendation you request. (More information about this below) In addition, you should also upload a CV/Resume of relevant experience. 

3. Request Three Letters of Recommendation

All applicants must request at least three letters of recommendation from persons whom are acquainted with your academic qualifications or related experience (i.e. research, practicum, or work). In the Evaluations section of the Cal State Apply Application, you will have the opportunity to enter the names and email addresses of your three references, along with the due date for the letter of recommendation and a short personal message to the evaluator. Each reference will receive an email allowing them to submit their letter directly via the application platform. This email will be from with a subject line that reads 'Evaluation Request Submitted,' so please remind your evaluator to check their Junk Mail and add to their contact list to prevent them missing the email. It is highly recommended that you inform your references of your intent to apply prior to submitting your application. (Letters from professors in courses or fields that are closely related to the concentration to which you are applying are the most useful).

4. Letter of Recommendation Waiver Form

All applicants must submit a waiver of their right to view their letters of recommendation. A PDF of this waiver is available below. Please print the waiver and fill it out in its entirety. Be sure to list the names of all three references and sign the waiver statement for each one. You then need to scan and upload the signed waiver statement to your Cal State Apply Application.

Letter of Recommendation Waiver

5. Unofficial Transcripts

Applicants can upload electronic copies of your university transcripts directly to Cal State Apply. A set of official transcripts should be later ordered for the University application, and sent to the Graduate Division. The unofficial transcripts will be used during the application review process, but before any admission decision can be made all grades must be verified so be sure to submit your official transcripts to Graduate Admissions by the application deadline.

6. GPA Requirement

The departmental application requires applicants to include their cumulative GPA from your degree granting undergraduate institution and your GPA from all undergraduate coursework in psychology. The Graduate Admissions requires applicants to have a minimum of a 3.00 GPA in the last 60 semester units to be considered for admission by the university. If you do not meet this requirement you must contact the coordinator of the concentration to which you intend to apply prior to applying.

7. GRE Requirement

All of the psychology programs require the general portion of the GRE. Request to have your official GRE scores sent directly to the University (California State University – San Francisco school code: 4684). An electronic copy of your score report should be uploaded to your Psychology Department Program Materials portion of the Cal State Apply application. There is a place in the Cal State Apply application that allows you to input your GRE scores, but you also need to upload your GRE Unofficial Score Report as well. To ensure you receive your scores in time for the application deadline, take the GRE test no later than the December prior to the deadline. For more information regarding the GRE visit

8. Personal Statement

Applicants must upload a personal statement specific to this application to their Psychology Department Program Materials portion of the Cal State Apply application. Prompts for each concentration are listed in the “Personal Statement Prompts” file below and in the Psychology Department Program Materials portion of the Cal State Apply application.

Personal Statement Prompts

9. CV/Resume

Applicants may submit a Curriculum Vitae or resume (CV/Resume is required for applicants in Clinical Psychology) These items can be uploaded to the Program Materials portion of your Cal State Apply application.

International Students

Inquiries about specific University application procedures for international students should be directed to International Admissions.


If you submitted a Psychology Department application during the last admissions cycle and you wish to reapply, you must submit a new application through Cal State Apply and indicate that you have materials on file. You do not need to resubmit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, or your personal statement, however; you may replace any of these items if you wish.

Graduate Programs Application Links

Department Application Forms

Psychology Department Pre-Requisite Form

Letter of Recommendation Waiver

Personal Statement Prompts