Master of Arts, Option in Psychological Research


The Master’s of Arts in Psychological Research (MAPR) program is designed to provide foundational graduate education in the content areas and research of general psychology to prepare for a master’s-level career or entrance into a doctoral program. All graduate seminar courses have an enrollment of 15 or fewer students which facilitates close communication and intellectual stimulation among participants. The program is designed to be completed in two years.

Why Choose CSULB?

The Master of Arts in Psychology, Option in Psychological Research (MAPR) program is desigMAPR Psych Dayned to provide graduate education in the content areas and research of general psychology in order to prepare students for doctoral work or for master’s-level careers.  It is a two-year, full-time program.

The core seminars cover basic areas of psychology including cognition, learning, physiological/sensory psychology, social, personality, health, clinical, developmental psychology and quantitative methods.  Students are required to complete a research thesis as their culminating experience.

Faculty work closely with students to provide training and hands-on cutting-edge research experience. This mentor/mentee relationship leads to co-authorships, conference presentations and laboratory experience that fully prepares you for either the doctorate or workforce route. See the “MAPR Faculty Mentors” tab for more details about their areas of research.

Want to hear from our current students and alumni?

Admission & Application


  • University and Department applications deadline:  January 15, 2022
  • Transcripts deadline: February 4, 2022
  • Financial Aid CSULB Priority deadline: March 2, 2022
  • First day of Fall 2022 Instruction: August 22, 2022

*Note:  Due to COVID-19, the GRE General Test will not be required for the Fall 2022 application to all of the Psychology Department's master's programs. If applicants submit GRE scores, these will not be considered in our review of applications.


  • You must have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from a four-year accredited college or university, or a bachelor’s in another area and the equivalent of four lower division and eight upper division CSULB courses (please see Non-Psychology Bachelor’s Degree web page)
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5
  • Prerequisite coursework must include the following CSULB courses (or equivalents, to be determined by Psychology Dept.):

PSY 310 (Intermediate Statistics; requires Introductory Statistics)

One of the following:

PSY 351  Social Psychology or

PSY 356  Personality or

PSY 361  Child and Adolescent Development or

PSY 363  Developmental Psychopathology or

PSY 365 Development: Emerging Adulthood to Aging

Two courses selected from the following.  (Note that only one course may be counted from each section to fulfill the two-course requirement.):

Section 1

PSY 331  Sensation and Perception

PSY 332  Human Cognition

PSY 333  Learning

Section 2

PSY 336  Emotion (and/or Motivation)

PSY 337  Psychology of Happiness

PSY 378  Health Psychology

PSY 379  Psychology of Stress

Section 3

PSY 340  Physiology of Behavior

PSY 341  Neuropsychology

PSY 342 Psychopharmacology



Download a MAPR Application Checklist

The following documents must be submitted via the CalState Apply website

*Attention Mac users:  You must download Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete all fillable PDF forms for the application.  Although Mac Preview appears to save the information correctly, the forms are blank when opened. 

Submit official transcript from Bachelor's degree-granting institution:

Either by Mail:
Enrollment Services/Admissions
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA  90840-0106

Or Electronically:
Official transcripts may be submitted electronically directly from a US college or university to

*International Students: Please be sure to contact the International Education office for
university application procedures.

Tuition, Assistantships, & Scholarships


Please refer to the university’s webpage on Tuition and FeesTuition and fees will depend on each student’s residency status and semester unit load.  Typically MAPR students take three courses (9 units) per semester, for a total of four semesters.  


GA positions are available on a competitive basis.  Successful Psychology applicants who accept a program offer and are eligible to work in the US will be invited to submit a GA application.


Links to information about Scholarships and Financial Aid are listed here.

Learning Outcomes & Program Requirements

Candidates in this program are responsible for observing the general requirements stated in the University Catalog as well as requirements specified by the Psychology Department.  Information may be obtained from the Graduate Advisor

Learning Outcomes of the MAPR Program

Program Requirements

Sample Course Schedule

The MAPR Program features a 30-unit full time, four-semester curriculum, with a Thesis as the capstone project.  Students must maintain both a minimum cumulative and program GPA of 3.0 and successfully defend their capstone project.  Here is a PDF download of the MAPR Timeline



  • PSY 596 – Proseminar on Graduate Research
  • MAPR Seminar
  • Statistics or Elective


  • PSY 696 – Research Methods in Psychology
  • MAPR Seminar
  • Statistics or Elective


  • MAPR Seminar
  • Statistics or Elective
  • Thesis (3 units)


  • MAPR Seminar
  • Remaining Elective (if any)
  • PSY 698 – Thesis (3 units)

Curriculum subject to change

MAPR Faculty Mentors

The following faculty are considering accepting new MAPR applicants into their research programs.  It is strongly suggested that these specific faculty members be considered as potential mentors when completing Part D of the MAPR department application.

This procedure applies to MAPR applicants only.  

Potential Mentors

Woman with brown hair wearing a pink shirtCourtney Ahrens
I am broadly interested in community psychology and the psychology of women. My research focuses on violence against women (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence) with an emphasis on survivors’ experiences of abuse, help-seeking, and recovery.  Current projects include an analysis of cultural influences on survivors’ experiences of intimate partner violence, financial challenges experienced by survivors of intimate partner violence, and supportive services provided by Title IX offices on college campuses.  


Nicholas AltNicholas Alt   
My research spans the areas of social psychology and vision science.  In particular, I am interested in our rapid visual perception of people (both individuals and groups) and the social judgments we make when we see others (e.g., social categorization, trait impressions, stereotyping).  For example, I examine how quickly we perceive and recognize group diversity (e.g., gender, ethnicity/race, etc.) and how who makes up a group impacts our judgments about the group (e.g., competency, threat, cohesiveness, etc.).  I am also interested in processes and outcomes associated with confronting instances of prejudice and discrimination, such as how to facilitate ally-confronting behaviors and how confronting prejudice changes attitudes. 

Woman in glasses with short brown hairMaricela Correa
My research examines the organization of childhood and family life in communities that do not have a long history of participation of schooling.  In particular I examine some of the ways that families organize teaching and learning in everyday family and community life and some of the strengths associated with these forms of learning.  My work has centered on families that have historical roots in the Americas (Mexico and Central America in particular) as well as in immigrant families. 


Gino GalvezGino Galvez   
Dr. Galvez has played key roles as an investigator or lead program evaluator on several multi-year grant-funded research projects (e.g., National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education). These research projects have focused on examining interventions that broaden participation in the STEM fields, low-income and underrepresented student success, first-generation status, undergraduate research training programs, the role of mentoring, and the development of noncognitive factors (e.g., science identity). 

Araceli Gonzalez
I am broadly interested in assessment and treatment of anxiety and depression.  Specifically, my work focuses on (a) trying to understand the interplay of individual (cognitive bias, physiological stress response) and social (family, ethnicity) factors in the development and expression of internalizing problems, and (b) developing and improving culturally appropriate mental health services.  I recently completed a study to see how college students respond in stressful situations, and what factors predict how they respond (e.g., parenting behavior, ethnicity, cognitive processes, anxiety levels). 

May Ling Halim
In my primary line of research I study how, across different cultural groups, children’s gender and ethnic identities develop from preschool to early elementary school. I also investigate what factors lead to differences in gender and ethnic identities, as well as what consequences are associated with them (e.g., intergroup gender attitudes, psychological adjustment). In my secondary line of research I study how forms of group-based discrimination (ethnic, gender, language) interact with one’s identity in affecting health and well-being.  

Danielle wearing purple turtle neck with brown hairDanielle Kohfeldt   
As a social-community psychologist I am interested in understanding and contributing to social contexts that facilitate individual and collective liberation and well-being. Within an overarching programmatic framework focused on social justice, my research interests are eclectic. I and my co-researchers have studied a wide range of topics: neoliberal ideology and the perceptions of refugees, ethics of care and COVID-19, anti-racist and anti-ableist organizing, disability justice and ableism in education, activist art, popular culture fandom communities (e.g., eSports, comics, women in gaming), and children’s participation in social action. Uniting all of my work is a critical psychology approach that seeks to disrupt psychology’s pathologization of difference. To these ends, my work is often participatory (e.g., PAR), community-based, and informed by the perspectives of those most impacted by oppressions and injustices. I am drawn to interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and methodologies, and have been greatly influenced by feminist, decolonial, crip, queer, and Latin American liberation psychology perspectives. I find academic community within the Society for Community Research and Action, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the Popular Culture Association, and the Comics Arts Conference of Comic Con International. 

Karissa MillerKarissa Miller   
My research focuses on the psychosocial determinants of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, with a particular emphasis on the pathways  (endocrine, autonomic) through which health disparities in CVD may arise. I am particularly interested in threat appraisal, and examining how individual differences in attention to threat might contribute to sociodemographic health disparities.  This work involves examining whether social disadvantage is reflected in heightened attentional vigilance for threat, and testing whether computerized threat bias interventions might be used to improve cardiovascular health.

Bradley Pan-Weisz
Broadly speaking, my research centers on understanding how stigma and societal stereotypes can contribute to academic and health disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged social groups (from both the perceiver and target perspective), and how social-psychological interventions can be used to reduce these disparities. One of my current lines of research investigates the stereotype content of college students, particularly college students from different social-class backgrounds. My other line of current research investigates how contending with these stereotypes can impact college students' psychological well-being and academic achievement. 

Dr Bill Pedersen

William Pedersen   
My research is focused on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence. I am interested in a variety of personality factors including trait rumination, narcissism, impulsivity, and religiosity. I have also investigated a variety of situational factors that impact aggression including collective rumination, priming aspects of religion, resource inequality, alcohol priming, personal control, and social exclusion.  A related line of research investigates the impact of trait displaced aggression on romantic relationships, life satisfaction, and both mental and physical health.  Please see my lab website for more information

Woman with long brown hair and blue topYada Treesukosol 
Taste cues and feeding behavior.  My research takes advantage of animal models to ask questions related to how oral signals (e.g. taste, smell, texture) send information to the brain to control feeding and drinking behavior.  My approach is to use physiological procedures (e.g. pharmacology, electrophysiology, genetic manipulations) combined with behavioral measures (e.g. meal patterns, detection thresholds, preference).  This allows us to begin to tease apart the relative contributions of oral stimulation, post-ingestive cues and reward-related mechanisms to eating behavior.  Such studies contribute to efforts to reveal how the system is organized and in turn may also identify potential targets for therapeutic interventions for eating disorders and obesity-related complications.  

Photo of Christopher Warren

Christopher Warren  
The domains of research I am current investigating can be roughly grouped into three categories: affect, performance, and psychometrics. My work on affect, or affectivity, investigates the various predispositions that shape the way we view our environment and interpret our work settings, including how we interact with others. Another area of interest for me includes individual performance, including counter-productivity and deleterious behaviors such as sexual harassment. Finally, my work in psychometrics focuses on ways to best measure concepts as well as ways to understand the relationships we analyze. My applied work mostly involves the assessment of educational programs, vocational guidance, and educational strategies. 

Amy Wax
My research interests broadly include diversity in the workplace, teamwork, and social network analysis.  Currently, my stream of research investigates women’s issues and LGBTQ issues at work. 


Male wearing black glasses, navy suit, and red tieArturo Zavala   
Areas of interest include animal models of drug addiction and developmental neuropsychopharmacology. Specifically, my research investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life, and on the role of serotonin in modulating the effects of drugs of abuse.  My laboratory combines neurochemical, molecular, and pharmacological approaches with animal behavioral models to understand the neural basis of addiction. 

Contact Us


Diane Roe
Graduate Advisor

BA, Music - Therapy Concentration
BA, Art - General
Certificate - American Indian Studies
Graduate Certificate - Museum Studies
MA, Art - Option in Art Education

Office: PSY 215
Email: (email preferred)
Phone: 562-985-5000
Office Hours: TBD 
(off on Fridays)
Website: Personal web page