Master of Arts, Option in Psychological Research

master's of arts in psychological research bannerThe 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?

Degree Career Paths

Admission & Application


  • University and Department applications deadline:  January 15, 2023
  • Transcripts deadline: February 3, 2023
  • Financial Aid CSULB Priority deadline: March 2, 2023
  • First day of Fall 2022 Instruction: August 22, 2023

*Note:  Due to COVID-19, the GRE General Test will not be required for the Fall 2023 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.  Please email for more information.

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

Barbara Caplan
I study families of children with autism and other developmental disabilities and the delivery of evidence-based interventions and practices in community settings. My research seeks to promote equity in care for children with disabilities and their families by studying the use of culturally responsive and research-supported practices with traditionally underserved populations (e.g., families from low income and/or racial/ethnic minoritized backgrounds). To achieve this, I use community-partnered approaches and implementation science methods and frameworks.  I have a particular interest in researching best practices for engaging families in their child’s care.

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).

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.  

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.

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.  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.  

Guido Urizar
My research in the area of Health Psychology has focused on how chronic stressors (e.g., discrimination, poverty, family instability, immigration stress) can lead to the intergenerational transmission of adverse health outcomes during critical periods of development, such as pregnancy. As such, my area of expertise is in behavioral medicine, with specializations in maternal and infant health, psychoneuroendocrinology, and disease prevention in underserved populations. Specifically, my research has examined how chronic stress and its biomarkers (e.g., cortisol, genetic markers) impact the health of low-income, ethnic minority parents and their infants. The central goal of this research is to reduce health disparities by identifying groups at risk for stress-related disorders and designing, testing, and disseminating effective health promotion interventions (e.g., stress management, exercise) aimed at regulating biological markers of stress in these underserved communities. Students in my PRO-Health research group are trained in salivary bioscience, developmental psychoneuroendocrinology, health disparities, and health behavior interventions as they continue on to doctoral programs and research careers. For more information about my PRO-Health research group, please refer to the following web site:

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.
Amy Wax CV  

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.

Current Students and Alumni
Contact Us
Dr. Bill Pedersen
MAPR Graduate Advisor