Graduate Programs

01/25/24 - Social, Personality and Affective Sciences (SPA), Mind, Brain and Behavior (MBB), Industrial/Organization Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and School Psychology have extended their application deadline to 02/15/24. Clinical Psychology will maintain their deadline of 02/01/24.

The GRE requirement is waived for all programs this application cycle. Clinical Psychology and Developmental Psychology have permanently removed this requirement. 

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.

Graduate Programs Open House

Thank you to everyone who came to our Open House event! For those of you who couldn't make it, here is a recording of the event.

If you have any questions, please email the Graduate Services Liaison, Lauren Riley ( , or the Department Office at

Graduate Student Thesis/Research Support

Limited funding is available for Graduate Student Research and Thesis support through the department. If you are interested in funding, please contact Graduate Services Liaison, Lauren Riley ( with what you specifically would use the funding for and an estimation of the costs. 

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 at: , including your personal statements, Letters of Recommendation, Letter of Recommendation Waivers, Unofficial 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 Liaison, Lauren Riley (

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.

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. 

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. The prompts and page limits are also below.

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 out 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. You will need to print the Pre-Req form out, sign it, and then scan it in order to upload to Cal State Apply. Please make sure that all of your PDFs have saved and are completely filled in on Cal State Apply before submitting your application.

In addition to the personal statement and the Pre-Req Form, you also will need to upload your Unofficial GRE Test Score Report and up to ten Unofficial Transcripts. In addition, you can also upload a CV/Resume of relevant experience (this is required for Clinical Psychology applicants). 

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. You will also need to check the box saying that you waive your right to see your letters of recommendation. 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, as well as from employers who are relevant to your chosen field of study).

Applicants are required to upload legible electronic copies of unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended directly to Cal State Apply. These records need to include study abroad coursework, or community college coursework, even if this coursework appears as transfer credit on your degree transcript. Full academic disclosure is required. Photographs or screenshots of transcripts will be rejected. An incomplete academic history will significantly delay review of your application. 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 in order to officially enroll after acceptance to a program, all grades must be verified, so be sure to submit your official transcripts to Graduate Division. However, the Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts from you at any point during the application review process.

Graduate Division requires applicants to have a minimum of a 3.00 GPA in the last 60 semester units or overall to be considered for admission by the university. Graduate Division will calculate both GPA formulations from your unofficial transcripts and grant you whichever is higher when deciding if you qualify. If you do not meet this requirement you must contact the coordinator of the concentration to which you intend to apply prior to applying.

The following programs are requiring the GRE requirement for those applying to join the Fall 2024 cohort:

  • Mind, Brain, and Behavior

The following programs have waived the GRE requirement for those applying to join the Fall 2024 cohort:

  • Industrial/Organizational
  • School Psychology
  • Social, Personality, and Affective Science

The following programs have permanently removed the GRE from their application requirements:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

Only the general portion of the GRE is required.

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. You are allowed to submit your application before taking the GRE, but make sure to send your GRE scores to the department at ( or to before the February 1st deadline; your application may not be evaluated without GRE scores. To ensure you receive your official scores in time for the application deadline, take the GRE test no later than the December prior to the deadline. More information regarding the GRE.

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. For the MA programs, you must specify which faculty member you would like to work with and why.

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 the Division of Graduate Studies at More information can also be here.


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 CV/resumes, letters of recommendation, or your personal statement, however; you may replace any of these items if you wish.

Graduate Programs Application Links

Psychology Department Pre-Requisite Form

Letter of Recommendation Waiver

Personal Statement Prompts