Masters Program in General Psychology

The Psychology Master's Program at The City College of New York provides a solid broad-based graduate education in general psychology. Students acquire knowledge in research methods and basic topics in psychology. Our Master's Program is designed for students who need to enhance their background and credentials in psychology either for the job market, or to advantage themselves in applying to doctoral programs.

Some students in our program are participating in our B.A./M.A. program, which allows them to obtain a B.A. or B.S. degree and the M.A. degree concurrently. Master's courses are usually conducted as seminars, consisting of 15-25 students. After their first semester, students may take up to 40% of their coursework at other CUNY branches, including doctoral courses offered through the Graduate Center.

Deadline to Apply:

Fall     -   June 1st (Extended deadline for Fall 2020)

Spring  -   November 15th


A student in the Masters Program in General Psychology has two choices for completing the degree:

1. Involves more coursework
2. Involves a research-intensive thesis experience

With either choice the program includes two mandatory courses:

V0100: Advanced Experimental Psychology I
Credits: 4
Hours: 2 lect., 4 lab hr./wk.

V0500: Statistical Methods in Psychology I
Credits: 3
Hours: 2 rec., 2 lab. hr./wk.

The student also must take one course from the following areas:

- Cognition
- Sleep
- Seuroscience
- Psychometrics
- Psycholinguistics
- Psychopharmocology

Or else achieve a score in at least the 65th percentile on the advanced psychology section of the Graduate Record Examination.

If the student chooses to complete the program without a thesis, he or she must complete 40 credits (including the two mandatory courses). If a student chooses to complete the program with a thesis, 31 credits are required. In either case, the student must maintain a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0.

Students choosing the thesis option are required to enroll in B9900 for which they receive 3 credits with no grade until they complete their thesis. Most students will also enroll for B9800 for at least one semester prior to B9900 while they develop their thesis plans and complete the proposal.

Admission Info

Students may enter the program with an undergraduate major either in Psychology or in another field. Acceptance is based on assessment of the student's overall record and promise. The Graduate Record Examination is required; however, admission is based on flexible criteria. Special attention is given to the student's performance in the undergraduate courses of statistics and experimental psychology (or research methods). Students who have earned less than a B in either of these courses, or who have not taken them, are advised to contact the Director of the Masters Program in General Psychology, Dr. Vivien Tartter at" rel="nofollow"> before applying.

For information on how to apply, please visit the City College Admissions website, or read the FAQ section below for further inquiries.

Prospective students should note that it is not necessary to obtain a Masters degree before applying to a Ph.D. program, but is a way to improve your credentials if your psychology background, undergraduate transcript, or direction for graduate study needs buttressing. Students who do move to Ph.D. programs sometimes can transfer credits, but often cannot. Students may apply from the Masters in General Psychology to the Masters in Mental Health Counseling program. If accepted, the courses taken in the General program will transfer as elective credits.


Spring  -   November 15th
Fall     -   June 1st 

Application process

Please visit the CCNY’s Graduate Admissions official website to learn more about the application process.

Applications typically require the following:

- The complete application form
- Application Fee
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation (at least one letter should be academic)
- Resume/CV
- Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
- Test scores such as GRE & TOEFL


The American Psychological Association’s booklet, Psychology: Careers for the Twenty-first Century, reports that most professionals with a terminal master’s degree handle research and data collection and analysis in universities, government and private companies. Others find jobs in health, industry and education, the primary work settings for psychology professionals with master’s degrees.

Government and industry positions in personnel and in mental health are often filled by persons with master’s degrees in psychology. Workers with their Master’s degree usually work under the supervision of a doctoral level psychologist, especially in clinical, counseling, school and testing and measurement psychology.

Over the past forty years our program has had a national and international reputation for providing outstanding training in psychology. Other institutions’ graduate programs have come to rely on the fact that students who achieve in our program can do so in theirs because we maintain high standards.

The faculty members are full-time professors. Most are also faculty in one of the ten City University of New York doctoral programs. The faculty members are all experienced teachers, researchers and/or clinicians; some are community consultants and evaluation researchers. The Director of the Program is Dr. Vivien Tartter.

Masters students can become involved in activities on the City College campus such as peer counseling, teaching-assisting, drug-and-alcohol counseling, and research in many areas of psychology.


Q: I do not have a psychology background. Can I still apply to the program?
A: Yes. Our program welcomes students with different academic backgrounds; however some demonstration of psychology pedagogy such as introduction to psychology and statistics courses is a must. If you have fulfilled those two courses with at least a B you can apply and be admitted with the condition that you take experimental/research methods at the undergrad level, not for master’s credit, in your first year and earn at least a B. You would be able to take MA classes simultaneously. 

Q: I did not take any statistics or research methods classes as an undergraduate. What are the steps I can take in order to qualify?
You must take the classes as a non-matriculated student either at CCNY or outside of CCNY

Q: I have not taken an Experimental Psychology course in undergraduate studies, but I took Research Methods. Does that qualify to apply to the program?
Yes. Research Methods is likely the same course by another name. Different schools use either.

Q: What do you look for in a successful applicant?
We look for applicants who are likely to be successful at graduate school and demonstrate evidence that they will be able to perform well academically. Our program is research directed and requires strong statistics and research methods skills at the graduate level. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate from the program.

Q: Is the GRE required?
Yes. It is a requirement for all students regardless of what you received in a statistics course as an undergraduate. GRE is required because most applicants apply for a PHD program, and performing well in the GRE is very important for that.

Q: My undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0, what can I do to improve my chances of getting into the program?
You may take the following steps to demonstrate your eligibility as an applicant:

  • Provide a thorough explanation in your personal statement as to why your undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.0.
  • Take courses as a non-matriculated student and demonstrate that you do well in graduate-level courses.

The admissions committee considers all components of the application. Strong letters of recommendation, a transcript trajectory or improvement, high GRE score, and a personal statement explaining effectively the poor grades can offset a low GPA.

Q: What is the typical class size?
Master’s courses are usually conducted as seminars, consisting of 15-25 students.

Q: Can I enroll in the program part-time?
Yes. Most students are part-time. You pay for the number of credits you take, and you move toward completion by how many credits you take.

Q: Do you offer weekend classes?
No. There are no weekend classes.

Q: Can I schedule a meeting with the program’s representative?
Prospective applicants are advised to reach out to the director of the program, Dr. Vivien Tartter with any inquiries via email at .

Q: When is the deadline to apply?

Spring  -   November 15th
Fall       -   June 1st 

Q: How do I apply?
Please visit the CCNY’s Graduate Admissions official website to learn more about the application process.

Applications typically require the following:

- The complete application form
- Application fee
- Personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation (at least one letter should be academic).
- Resume/CV
- Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
- Test scores such as GRE & TOEFL

Q: Where do I send application materials?
All application materials should be submitted online via the Apply Yourself website. Nothing should be mailed to the program director or to the department directly. All supporting documents such as official transcripts, application fee, and any other supporting materials should be mailed to the Office of Admissions at:

Willie Administration Building, Room 101
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031

QWill this degree let me practice as a therapist?
A: The MA General Psychology degree does not enable licensure as a Counselor, but completing the CASAC track within satisfies the state's academic requirements for being a Substance Abuse Counselor.