Frequently Asked Questions

Who is This Program For?

This program is best suited for students bound for either Ph.D. programs or employment in a research-related career.

Ph.D. programs can be extremely competitive. Undergraduate students are often not accepted because they do not have the necessary research experience, GPA, or statistics background. This program helps students gain the necessary research experience, data analysis skills, and confidence to pursue their goal of earning a doctorate.

With only an undergraduate degree, pursuing a research-related career in psychology can be difficult. Employers expect new hires to be comfortable conducting research and analyzing data. With an M.S. in Research Psychology and Data Analysis, you gain the necessary experience in research and data analysis to separate yourself from the pack.

How Long Does This Program Take?

This 36-unit program can be completed in 11, 18, or 24 months, depending on the chosen track. If desired, students can add a concentration of 9 additional units that will add to the completion time for 11-month students; because of this, concentrations are recommended only for students on an 18- or 24-month track, or 11-month students willing to extend their time in the program. With the support of a faculty advisor, students are expected to balance their coursework with progress toward completion of a master’s thesis.

What Optional Concentrations are Offered?

The following optional concentrations are available:

Data Analytics

This concentration equips students with statistical and data visualization techniques. It consists of courses that develop students’ skill in statistical programming (including R and SAS), data visualization using Tableau, and data mining. Such training prepares students to pursue careers in business and/or data analytics.

Marketing Research

This concentration equips students with conceptual and applied knowledge of marketing processes and the evaluation of products, services, and consumer behavior. It consists of courses that introduce marketing strategy and equip students to apply quantitative research methods and data analysis techniques within business and marketing contexts, using relevant marketing terminology and statistical software. Such skills are in high demand and prepare students to pursue applied psychology careers related to marketing.

Note: The cost per unit for the concentration is based on the cost of the concentration courses, and may be different from the per-unit cost for the M.S. in Research Psychology and Data Analysis.

Can I Add a Concentration after I Have Been Admitted?

This is not a problem, and we encourage students to do so. You will just need to submit a Graduate Admissions Change of Program Form (PDF) through the Department of Psychology.

Note: Adding a concentration may increase the length of time in the program. Students should be aware of the additional 9-unit workload of the concentration, and that the restrictions of course offerings may impact the time it takes to complete the program.

How Many Units Do I Take at a Time?

Depending on the length of track the student chooses, students take 3-7 units every 8-week term.

What Am I Getting From This Program?

You will benefit from a mentorship model where you learn to master research methods, data analysis, and writing skills—key skills necessary for a research psychology career or pursuing a Ph.D. These skills are reflected in every course you take and during weekly one-on-one meetings with your thesis advisor.

What Courses Will I Take?

Coursework includes, in part: Experimental Research Methods, Non-experimental Research Methods, Theory Research and Practice in Psychology, Analysis of Variance, Regression, Psychometrics: Assessment and Measurement, Program Evaluation, and Statistical Labs. View the full list of courses.

Data analytics concentration coursework includes: Statistical Computing and Programming, Data Visualization, and Data Mining.

Marketing research concentration coursework includes: Quantitative Analysis and Research, Marketing Research, and Marketing Strategy.

How Long is a Term?

Each term is 8 weeks. There are two 8-week terms per semester.

How Many Evenings Will I Be on Campus?

Classes are held 1-2 evenings a week. Time and duration of each class varies with your chosen track.

How Long Are the Classes?

Each class runs approximately 2-4 hours, depending on the course.

Can I Work While Completing the Program?

Many students decide to work throughout the program. However, it is up to you to balance outside work with program requirements. If you are enrolled in the 11-month track, we recommend working no more than 20 hours per week. The 18- and 24-month tracks are amenable to full-time employment. If you plan on working during the program, you’re encouraged to consult with your faculty advisor because certain thesis projects may require more time commitment.

How Do I Choose a Faculty Thesis Advisor?

You will choose their faculty thesis advisor based on area of interest. View our program faculty and see who has expertise in your area of interest. If you would like guidance in selecting a faculty thesis advisor, please contact the department for further assistance.

What Type of Research Can I Do?

Our 22 full-time faculty have expertise in a many different areas (e.g., social, cultural, clinical, educational, cognitive, neuro, developmental, quantitative, substance abuse) and in many different types of research methodology (e.g., eye-tracking, facial recognition, focus groups, survey design, physiological measures).

What Do We Do in Lab Courses?

The lab courses are designed to give you a hands-on opportunity to apply your statistical knowledge using popular statistical software (e.g., SPSS, R). Labs are integrated with, and supplemental to, seminar-style courses. Labs are required to be taken during the same semester as the lecture portion of the class.

What Kind of Research Will I Conduct During This Program?

Your thesis is entirely up to you! Each area of psychology and faculty advisor asks different research questions, and uses different methodology, depending on their area of expertise. Your thesis may be a continuation or adaptation of the faculty advisor’s ongoing research or it may be an independent project related to their area of expertise. During the program, you’ll collaborate with your advisor via 12 units of coursework (allocated as thesis research units), culminating in a thesis project.

Note: This information is current for the 2019-20 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.