Graduate Newsletter

Graduate Newsletter



from the computer of Diane:

Spring 2020

New: I have added a Helpful Services on Campus (and Off) web page.  

Reminder: CSULB is now requiring students, faculty, staff and offices – everyone associated with CSULB – to use students’ CSULB email addresses.  But please let me know if your alternate email address(es) change, especially after you graduate. 

And Another Reminder: The three Program Committees have designed a petition for students to use if they wish to petition their Committee to substitute a course for a required one.  There is a fillable form for petitioning.  Please note: You must submit your petition prior to the semester you wish to take the approved course.  (Faculty mentor refers to MAPR students.)  

* * * Thesis Change: The University thesis format instructions have been updated (see also this page).  Please visit the Thesis and Dissertation Office’s web site for details, updates and links. * * *  

* * * Additional Thesis Change: Beginning with the Spring 2019 semester, the Thesis and Dissertation Office will only be accepting electronic signature pages. * * * 

Please remember to check this Graduate Newsletter portion of the department web site frequently for recent updates, as well as answers to your questions as they arise (the most frequently asked questions are addressed there). Listed here is information about going through the Commencement ceremony, Advancement to Candidacy, GS 700B, and thesis.

Also, please remember to check the department web site regarding my office hours and availability (please note that I do not work on Fridays).  I’m happy to report that I’m back in my regular office, room Psy 215.  

Welcome to our new tenure/tenure-track faculty member: Nicholas Alt!  

The Graduate Student Resources page has been updated.  It is intended to help new students to the area, as well as seasoned continuing students. If you have any suggestions for additions, please let me know – thanks!  

The MA/MS Thesis Abstracts continue to be updated (click on “Full text – PDF” on the right to access the entire thesis, once you’re on the Abstract page):




Financial Aid

Don’t forget to file your 2020/2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning October 1, 2019. You may still submit a 2019/2020 year FAFSA to be considered for an Unsubsidized Stafford loan, and the Graduate Research Fellowship.  The CSULB Priority Deadline for 2020/2021 is March 2, 2020 (10pm west coast time).  This deadline is VERY IMPORTANT to be considered for State University Grant (SUG), Perkins Loan and Federal Work Study (FWS).  

There’s a web page that explains “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP) and how your unit cap is determined – there have been some additional changes to the SAP policy:  

Be aware that the Office of Financial Aid is keeping a very watchful eye on units attempted – including undergraduate units. It is advised not to take any 100-400 level courses (especially 100-200 courses – see the PACE discussion under the “Information Specific to Post- Baccalaureate Students” on the SAP page), unless specifically instructed to do so by me (such as required prerequisites).  A couple of our students have told me that Financial Aid has threatened not to fund undergraduate units.  Please let me know if you have any questions about this, or check with the Financial Aid Office.  Please note: I was told that there were changes coming to SAP, but what those changes were wasn’t explained – it could very well have been the “PACE” measurement discussed on the SAP page:  

Subsidized Stafford was eliminated for graduate students beginning 2012/2013.  Unsubsidized Stafford loan remains available.     

Beginning Fall 2013: State University Grant (SUG) has been limited to 125% of program coursework:   
Please note: they will be working with projected attempted units, which means that even though you may not have earned 38 (MAPR) or 45 (MSHF, MSIO) units, if you will go over that cap by the end of a particular semester, you won’t be funded. (Contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information regarding this stipulation.)


A reminder that the Enrollment Services office sends notices via email.  The system will now use your CSULB email address listed on your MyCSULB account. If you do not receive your registration notice shortly before registration begins for the next term, please check to make sure that any forwarding to the email account you’re most likely to check is working correctly.  You can also look up your registration appointment via your MyCSULB Student Center.

Please remember that if you wish to sign up for thesis or Directed Research units you must ask me to place a permit on the registration system.  Don’t use any code numbers that might be listed in the Schedule of Classes information or on the MyCSULB system — you’ll wind up in the wrong section.  This is extremely important for thesis units, as faculty put grades on the system through their account.  Therefore, thesis grades can only be posted by the professor with whom you are registered.  If you register using the default code, you’ll wind up taking your thesis units through the Department Chair or possibly another faculty member — this could result in disenrollment or a failing grade.

If you are registering for PSY 698 – Thesis units, you must do so in increments of 3 (either 3 units for two semesters or 6 units all one semester). This is a university requirement.

The registration system does not allow me to designate the number of units you are signing up for with PSY 697 (Directed Research), 698 (Thesis), or 699 (IO Portfolio/Research project).  Therefore, you will need to make sure that when you do sign up for the units, after I’ve placed the permit on the registration system, that you put in the correct number of units (the default is 1 unit).  MAPR students who wish to use one semester of Directed Research for their 30-unit program must take 3 units of PSY 697 during that semester for it to count as one of their program Electives.

Please be sure to refer to the Registration/Registration Concerns portion of the Graduate Newsletter below. This includes links to the master’s programs’ coursework charts. Please note: for MAPR students, a Research course may be used for one or both Electives; only one semester of PSY 697 – Directed Research may be used for the MAPR Elective requirement.

Registration for GS 700B must take place within the first four weeks of the Spring or Fall semesters. Summer session deadlines vary – check with CPIE (562-985-5561).  The current fee for GS 700B is $367.  Winter session GS 700B registration must be done by the registration deadline for all Winter session courses – check with CPIE for the deadline.  (You would register for Summer or Winter GS 700B only if that’s the term you’re graduating.)

See also:

Department and University Awards

PhD Programs

If you have applied to any PhD programs, please complete our PhD program inquiry questionnaire, or just email me.  Please do let me know if you have applied and more importantly when you are accepted into a program.  I won’t release your name if you’d prefer.  But potential applicants will ask me for the percentage of students from our program that go on to PhD programs — I can’t provide this information if you don’t let me know (it’s rather embarrassing when I have to admit that I don’t have the data).  And of course I’m personally interested in you — I’d like to know what you’re doing post-Master’s.  (Even if you don’t go on for a PhD — do let me know from time to time what you’re doing.  You’ve got my email address – please keep in touch!)

General Announcements

The decisions for our new master’s programs’ Fall 2019 students were as follows (number of applicants, number given an offer, and number that accepted the offer):

MSIO: 57 – 23 – 11   

MAPR: 55 – 25 – 14   

MSHF: 19 – 15 – 9   

Reoccurring nag: Please update your address, phone numbers, and especially email addresses whenever they change, with the Graduate Advisor.  She will gratefully appreciate it!  Make sure that you update your MyCSULB account as well regarding changes to phone and or mailing address.  University announcements, including your registration information, are sent via your CSULB email address.

As always, please let me know if there’s anything you need, whether that be in the area of information, resources or tools (such as the on-line Orals Announcement template).  If it’s not within my ability to deliver it myself, I’ll pass it on to your MA/MS program faculty committee, the department chair, or other “Powers That Be.”

Have a great rest of the summer!


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Advancement to Candidacy

The formal process of setting your master program’s requirements is known as “Advancement to Candidacy.”  Your program requirements are set based upon the university Catalogue year you either began your master’s program, or when you Advance, the latter usually due to changes in the program requirements.  The most recent program change was for the 2015/2016 Catalogue year, where the MAPR program eliminated the “Research In” lab course requirement, and increase the required Elective requirement to two courses.  

The university requires fulfillment of four requirements to be eligible to Advance to Candidacy: (1) successful completion of the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement Placement Exam (GWAR – AKA GPE) requirement via one of the following: earning a degree in the US, passing the GPE exam itself, or documentation of a 4.0 or higher score on the GRE Analytical Writing exam, (2) minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (min. 6 units), (3) classified status, and (4) enrollment in regular session (at the time of Advancement).  Additional GWAR/GPE information may be found at:

Our MAPR and MSHF students typically Advance during their second, or if necessary after their second, semester.  The MSIO Committee has asked that their students advance at the beginning of their third semester.  The university requires students to have Advanced prior to or during the first semester they register for thesis units.  Also, students must Advance prior to the semester in which they graduate, and prior to filing their Request to Graduate (AKA “grad check”) via their MyCSULB Student Center account.  The Psychology department does not require our master’s students to have Advanced in order to go to Preliminary Orals; however, MAPR students must have the required number of Colloquia attendances to go to orals (see below).

The department Graduate Advisor conducts Advancement workshops throughout the semester, completes department required paperwork with the student via an individual follow-up appointment, and then requests Enrollment Services office Advance the student.  The workshops take approx. one to 1.5 hours, and the follow-up paperwork appointment less than 10 minutes to discuss procedures and complete the form. 

If a student breaks continuous enrollment, the student loses all rights to the program set by the Advancement to Candidacy procedure – the student is out of the university and the program.  See GS 700B for additional information regarding continuous enrollment.  Also, additional information regarding university Advancement to Candidacy regulations may be found in the university Catalogue.

Occasionally a student may need or wish to substitute a course for one required by their program.  This may be because the course has already been taken at CSULB as an undergraduate, such as 411 or 412 (therefore the 500-level version cannot be taken).  Or you may find a course in another department that you would like to use to fulfill an Elective.  You must petition your Program Committee for the substitution.  This must take place prior to the start of the semester in which you wish to take the course.  Please see the Petition for Course Substitution form for additional details regarding procedure and requirements.   

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MAPR Colloquia Requirements

MA-Psychological Research students who Advance to Candidacy Fall 2004 or later are required to attend 6 Psychology department colloquia.  Four must be completed prior to going to Preliminary Orals, and all six must be attended before Final Orals.  

It is suggested that a minimum of three to four colloquia be attended each semester.  Emails regarding the next upcoming Colloquium will be forwarded as received.

Although it is preferred that you attend the Psychology Department’s colloquia, on occasion MAPR students may petition the MAPR Committee to have related lectures/presentations hosted by other departments or at professional conferences count towards the attendance requirement.  Please contact the Graduate Advisor to petition.  Also, the MAPR Committee will encourage attendance at certain Psychology Department or other related departments’ events, with colloquia credit awarded for attendance.  An email notification will be sent out for such events by the Graduate Advisor with appropriate details.     

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Contact Information

Diane Roe, MA – Graduate Advisor 
Office Hours
Psy 215  

Psychology Main Office Hours:
7:00am-12:00noon, 1:00-5:00 pm (7:30am-12:00, 1:00-2:45 pm on Fridays)  
Room Psy 100  

Subject Pool Coordinator
Contact Psychology Dept Front Office   

University Thesis Office 
Visit web site or call for hours
LIB 501, 5th floor

Dean’s Office – COLA   
Dr. Deborah Thien, Associate Dean   
(Theses are now submitted via email – see Psychology Thesis Project page for instructions)    

University Research (IRB) 
Foundation building, rm 310  
Call for hours: 562-985-5314    
IRB apps much be filed via this URL:         

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Department and University Awards     

Nominations are sought mid-December to mid-January from our faculty for consideration for the Graduate Dean’s List (with the dept top-ranked student receiving the Gilbert J. Padilla Memorial Award).  Students who are nominated by one or more dept faculty are informed via email; the two students chosen to represent the department but not subsequently selected by the College for the Graduate Dean’s List receive the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award for the Department of Psychology.  To be eligible for consideration for the Graduate Dean’s list, a graduate student must have/will graduate the fall, winter, or spring of that academic year, or the following summer.

At the time of final orals, the student’s thesis committee may recommend a thesis for Best Thesis Award.  Just prior to the award’s deadline, these rankings are reviewed by the Graduate Advisor and the high-ranked theses are selected.  The Graduate Committee reviews them and selects one thesis to represent the Psychology Department, which is forwarded to the College for consideration of Best Thesis Award (one is awarded per each College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony).  To be eligible for consideration for the Best Thesis award, a graduate student must have graduated the previous summer; have/will graduate the fall, winter, or spring of that academic year, or the following summer.

Students chosen for either award are required to attend the corresponding academic year’s Commencement ceremony in late May.  The Psychology Department’s ceremonies were changed to Wednesdays, 2 – 4pm. For additional information on Commencement: click here.

The Psychology Department Awardees for the Spring 2019 Commencement ceremony were:

Graduate Dean’s List
Olivia Silke (MAPR)
Andrea Nicole Flores (MSHF)

Best Thesis
Jeremy Feiger (MAPR)  
The Impact of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders, and Neurocognitive Deficits on Violent Crime   

Distinguished Graduate Students
Olivia Silke (MAPR)
Andrea Nicole Flores (MSHF)

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Commencement Awards are:

Graduate Dean’s List
Olivia Silke (MAPR)
Andrea Nicole Flores (MSHF)  

Best Thesis

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Educational Leave/Leave of Absence

If you are planning to skip one or two consecutive semesters, you should file for an Educational Leave (AKA Leave of Absence) from the Enrollment Services office.  An Educational Leave Form should be filed during the semester before the leave is effective; this form must be signed by the Graduate Advisor.

The Enrollment Services office now has the Educational Leave form on-line so that you may print it out, complete it (you need to get my signature), and submit it to that office.    

Additional information regarding university Educational Leave, copied from the Enrollment Services web pages (, appears below:

Educational Leave     

Why Take an Educational Leave

Students are required to maintain continuous enrollment at CSULB. In order to maintain continuous enrollment, the student must attend and complete at least one class every Fall and Spring semester after he/she is admitted unless the student has applied for an educational leave. Any student who does not attend a Fall and Spring semester and does not obtain an approved educational leave will not be able to register for the next semester. The student will have to re-apply to CSULB and will be subject to the requirements of the Catalog dated the year they re-apply.

Please note: While on educational leave, you may not attend another CSU campus.  CSULB students who want to attend classes at another CSU institution must meet the eligibility criteria and submit the Concurrent and Visitor Enrollment Form to the Office of Enrollment Services (double check with Enrollment Services).


Students may take a leave of absence from CSULB for one or two consecutive semesters without having to re-apply to the University. Students are eligible to apply for an educational leave if they:

  • Are admitted/matriculated at CSULB
  • Are in good academic standing with the University
  • Have completed at least one semester (Fall or Spring) and have earned units at CSULB as an admitted student and not had a break in enrollment
  • Have not filed to graduate in the semester of requested educational leave

How to Request an Educational Leave

    1. If enrolled, the student should drop all classes using MyCSULB for the term in which the leave will be taken.
    2. Students should complete the Application for Educational Leave (PDF) form obtaining the required signatures.

    3. Students should submit the completed, signed application form to Enrollment Services (BH-101) by the last day of the previous semester.

      • Fall 2019: May 24, 2019
        • Deadline to file Request for Educational Leave without $10 missed deadline fee
      • Spring 2020: December 20, 2019
        • Deadline to file Request for Educational Leave without $10 missed deadline fee
    4. Students who miss this deadline must pay a $10 missed deadline fee. Late applications will be accepted only until the last day of the semester in which the educational leave will be taken.

      • Fall 2019: December 20, 2019
        • Last day of semester
      • Spring 2020: May 22, 2020
        • Last day of semester

GA/SA Positions

Graduate Assistant (GA) applications for fall are due around May 15th (reviewed during June or early July), and for spring around December 1st (reviewed during January). Please submit an application as soon as possible to be considered, but by these deadlines.   Please email for Spring 2021 – do not mail.  A fillable PDF version is in the next paragraph. 

You may find a fillable GA application here – you still must submit as a hard copy – please email for Spring 2021.  The due dates are May 15th for Fall and December 1st for Spring.  

To be eligible to work a GA position, you must be a graduate student enrolled in at least 6 units (“face value”), unless you have fewer than 6 units remaining to complete your degree. (Enrollment in GS 700B will count.)

Some department courses are considered “over-sized,” and therefore are allotted Student Assistant (SA) positions. If you are interested in being considered for a SA position, please look for an email forwarded by the Graduate Advisor calling for applications a week before instruction begins.

GA positions are also available through other departments — see the list of Graduate Student Assistantships for information  

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Grad Check (AKA Request to Graduate)

CHANGE: Enrollment Services now has students filing for graduation via the student’s MyCSULB Student Center.  They want you to look through these web pages on Master’s Degree Requirements and Graduation Filing Process and Apply to Graduate (Graduate Students).  

You should file your grad check with the Enrollment Services Office almost one year prior to graduation, or at least the semester prior to the semester you plan to graduate, via your MyCSULB account.  Filing periods/deadlines are dependent upon the semester you plan to graduate:

May (Spring) or August (Summer):
file between the previous March 2nd and October 15th

December (Fall) and January (Winter):
file between the previous October 16th and March 1st

Those who file by the appropriate deadline listed above will appear in the Commencement Program published each Spring.  Please note: you must have Advanced to Candidacy prior to filing for graduation.

Also, if you missed the deadlines above, you may still file for graduation late – use the Application for Graduation (Special Considerations Only) form under What Happens if I Miss the Deadline to Apply and submit with a $10 late fee.

Please be sure to take a look at the information listed on the Enrollment Services web site

If your original graduate date has passed, and you have not completed all requirements to graduate (including thesis), you will need to file the Request to Change Graduation Term form found under Extend Your Graduation Term (If Needed) to move your grad date in order to maintain continuous enrollment.    

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The Spring 2019 ceremony will be Wednesday, May 22nd, beginning at 2:00pm.  Congrats grads!  Please note – we will have a Hooding ceremony conducted by the Master’s program faculty.  Family and friends are invited to observe.  Details coming. 

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GS 700B/Continuous Enrollment

When to be enrolled in GS 700B:

(You must have complete all of your program coursework and register for all of your thesis units in previous semesters to be eligible to enroll in GS 700B.  If not, an Educational Leave – AKA Leave of Absence – may be appropriate to avoid breaking continuous enrollment.)

* * * Big Change * * *  Graduate students will be still be limited to two semesters of GS 700B without hindrance.  After that, (the change is) Enrollment Services is requiring students be authorized by their Graduate Advisor to take additional semesters of GS 700B.  Active advancement on the student’s thesis project is required by the department.  You must have your Thesis Chair email the Graduate Advisor and state that you have made recent progress on your thesis.  After a total of four semesters of GS 700B, it becomes much more difficult to be approved – please try to complete your thesis before then! 

* * * Another Big Change * * *  Beginning Fall 2017, registration for GS 700B will be through your MyCSULB Student Center through the first two weeks of instruction.  Please note: GS 700 is now GS 700B as of Fall 2017 for the College of Liberal Arts departments, which includes us.  If a student has not already registered for two previous semesters of GS 700, the student can register using MyCSULB.  Please be very cautious, though – you must have already fulfilled all your required coursework, including your thesis units.  If you register for GS 700B out of order, you will create a big problem for yourself.  My recommendation is that you wait until I tell you that you may now begin GS 700B enrollment, before you do register for it for the first time.   

1) You need to be enrolled in GS 700B every fall and spring semester (summer and winter not included) once you have completed all of your courses (do not register for GS 700B until you have taken all of your program coursework, including thesis units or IO 699).  Enrollment in GS 700B allows you to access the library, computer labs, IRB and other campus facilities, to conduct orals, even to talk to and meet with your thesis committee members and other professors.  (Note: Use of the Student Health Center and the Wellness Center is not covered by GS 700B enrollment.)  Enrollment during the previous spring semester allows you access to these services during the summer.  See below discussion regarding breaking continuous enrollment.

2) You need to be enrolled the semester you graduate (this could be a fall, winter, spring or summer semester).  This would be the only condition where you would need to be enrolled in either Summer or Winter (and of course supersedes condition #1).

Note: Regular enrollment during the previous spring or fall semesters covers university services used during summer or winter terms – so you do not have to be enrolled during summer or winter if you are not graduating, in order to use PsycINFO and the Library, meeting with your professors, collecting data or otherwise working on your thesis, etc.  GS 700B registration fees do not cover use of the Student Health Center nor the Wellness Center (you may use the latter via a monthly fee – contact the Wellness Center for details).

What is GS 700B? How do I register?

GS 700B is a zero unit, non-credit “course” that allows you to continue working on your thesis if not completed by the time you finish your other program coursework.  You cannot enroll in GS 700B if you have not completed your coursework and/or registered for all of your required thesis units (you may, however, take a one or two semester leave of absence instead before starting GS 700B).

You must register for GS 700B by the registration deadline (“census date”) for the semester/term, the same as regular courses.  And like regular courses, you can use the computer to register for only the first two weeks.  After that you need to call in to CPIE (562-985-5561), but I need to send them a permission slip (via email) before you can register – let me know if this occurs. 

A Leave of Absence may be desirable if a student has finished all MA/MS program coursework but not the thesis, and wants/needs to take a break before finishing up coursework for a teaching credential or certificate program, or even taking courses in addition to the 30/36-units required for the Master’s degree.  The university policy on Leave of Absences is one or two consecutive semesters; however, it is possible through a petitioning process to do up to a limit of two additional Leaves of Absence, or four semesters total Leave of Absence (it is not clear if the latter can be consecutive — please check with the Enrollment Services Office for clarification).  But you can only file a request twice. 

Please note: your “grad date” must not have passed in order to be able to register for GS 700B.  You must Request to Change your Graduation Date with the Enrollment Services Office (in Brotman Hall), which requires a fee of $10.  Your grad date is usually based upon when you will be submitting your thesis – please estimate it as closely as possible, so that you do not have to continuously change the date (and continue to pay $10 each time changed).

What is “Breaking Continuous Enrollment”?

If you do not keep current with the University through GS 700B or other course enrollment every fall and spring semester, or take a Leave of Absence before you begin GS 700B, you break what is termed “continuous enrollment.”  If you do, you will lose your program rights (your program coursework established through the Advancement to Candidacy procedure).  If this happens, you would have to reapply to the University as well as submit an appeal to your committee (MAPR, MSIO or MSHF) for reinstatement into the Psychology Department and your Master’s program.  Please don’t let this happen – it is possible that your program committee will say no and require you to reapply to the program and start over (assuming you’re successful in reapplication).  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact your Graduate Advisor.

Financial Aid considerations

GS 700B does not qualify for receiving Financial Aid, nor for an “In-School Deferment” to delay repayment of student loans.  You must be “at least half-time” (4 graduate level (500-600) units) in order to receive aid and to keep from going into repayment on student loans.  A Leave of Absence will also cause your loan’s 6 month grace period to be used up.

More information regarding GS 700B: click here.

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MA/MS Program Grads

Congratulations to the following Psychology students who received/will receive their Master’s degrees for the semester indicated.  The Spring 2019 Commencement was held on Wednesday, May 22nd at 2:00 pm, with the department Pre-Commencement and Hooding Ceremony having taken place at 12:00 pm beforehand. 

Summer 2019
Timothy Diep (MSHF) 
Andrea Nicole Flores (MSHF) 
Daniela Franco (MAPR) 
Amber Latham (MSHF) 
Catherine Rehmann (MSIO) 
Olivia Silke (MAPR)
Ezekiel Skovron (MSHF) 

Spring 2019   
Sharmin Alam (MAPR)   
Catharina Chang (MSIO)  
Alsatia Folk (MSIO)   
Angela Hart (MAPR)   
Jason Lambert (MSIO) 
Renee Lutz (MSIO)     
Geovanna Medina (MSIO)   
Courtney Patterson (MSIO)   
Diana Pineda Vaichis (MAPR)    
Marisa Rodriguez (MSIO)   
Nicole Saulnier (MSIO)   
Jimena Sosa (MAPR)   
Laura Yorba (MSHF)   

Winter 2019 
Vanui Barakezyan (MSHF) 
Christina Logan (MAPR)   

Fall 2018
Graham Bowers (MAPR)   
Yuliya Cheban (MSIO) 
James Cunningham (MSHF)  
Ronald Flores (MAPR)   

Summer 2018
Audrey Carrillo (MAPR) 
Jeremy Feiger (MAPR) 
Michelle Frankot (MAPR) 
Sabrina Moran (MSHF) 
Whitney Oleman (MSIO) 
Bryan Salgado (MAPR) 
Andrew Taylor (MAPR)   

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PhD Program Application Questionnaire

Have you applied to any PhD programs? If so, we’d like to know where you applied and what the outcome was.  I ask this not only because I am interested in you, but also because it will help in guiding future students.

It is not necessary to include information about schools which may not have accepted you.

Information about acceptances will be kept confidential unless you authorize me to publicize it to the Department.  I very much wish to do so, so that other people may be happy for you, too.  Please email me the information below for each institution (you may cut and paste), or print and send me the PDF form (thanks for your trust, cooperation and help – and best of luck! -Diane):

___ Yes, you may publicize my acceptances.

___ No, I’d prefer you did not publicize my acceptances.

Please provide the following for each institution to which you were accepted:

University name

Ph.D. field (social, learning, etc.)

Funding? (if so, what?)

Are you going there?

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Registration/Registration Concerns

Fall 2020 course list  (tentative)  

Spring 2021 course list     

Program Coursework

Please refer to your Master’s program handbook for your program coursework. Or click on the appropriate link here (PDF documents):

MSIO Applied/Portfolio Track (entry beginning F13 / Advanced after S13)
MSIO Research/Thesis Track (entry beginning F13 / Advanced after S13)

MAPR (entry beginning F12)
MAPR (entry beginning F15)  

MSHF (entry beginning F11)  
MSHF (entry beginning F17)  

Also, please keep in mind that the MSIO and MSHF program coursework is sequential.  Please be sure to take courses in the correct order.  If you are unsure, contact the Graduate Advisor or the head of these programs.

A tentative list (subject to change) of MAPR Seminar and Research courses may be viewed by clicking on this link.

500-600 level courses

Due to the increasing number of MAPR students, they cannot be “guaranteed” admission to all of their preferred program courses.  Therefore, they need to register as soon as possible to get their first choices.  Also, the sooner the better, as low enrollment courses are subject to cancellation.  IO students are “guaranteed” a seat in their restricted program courses; however, courses that are open to MAPR and MSHF students, including 511 and 512, may fill up quickly — again, register early to get your preferred classes.  MAPR 600-level seminar courses that will count towards the IO elective may be taken by IO students ONLY after the Graduate Advisor gives the go-ahead (this is an agreement the IO program entered into with that of the MAPR).  Please let me know if you’re having difficulty registering for a 500 or 600 level course – the system now enforces all prerequisites, and if you didn’t take them here, it won’t recognize them (you will need a permit from me to register for PSY 697 and 698 – see notes below).

300-400 level courses

If you need to take a 300 or 400 level course to fulfill your Master’s program’s prerequisites, you may have trouble registering.  There are usually prerequisites for these courses; if you did not take these prerequisite courses at CSULB, I probably will have to put a permit on to over-ride the computer looking for them.  But please keep in mind that you are in competition with undergraduates for enrollment in these courses — register for them as soon as possible to take advantage of your priority as a graduate student.  Also, I cannot put on a permit that will override the course enrollment cap.  So the sooner you register for these courses, the better.  If the course(s) is full, you might want to email the professor(s) and explain that you are a new Master’s student taking care of required prerequisites, and have been told to take the course(s).  But instructors cannot admit more students than the room has been approved to hold by the Fire Marshall (this is not a joke).  

Directed Research (PSY 697)

*** During the COVID-19 situation, please use this fillable PSY 697 – Directed Research form.  Please follow the instructions on the first page.  ***

If you are interested in a Directed Research course, you must sign up for PSY 697; PSY 599 (Independent Study) is for non-program graduate students only.  Don’t use the course code number used by the MyCSULB registration system — contact the Graduate Advisor for the correct number (it will be provided on the contract form).  Submit a completed contract (click here for form – please use this form only) signed by your faculty supervisor to the Graduate Advisor (don’t submit it to the front office!), and a permit to register for that course will be placed in the campus registration system, allowing you to complete your registration, if you register during computer registration (after that, adds are through the Add/Drop paper form).  Please be sure to sign up for the correct number of units (the default is 1).  To be used for a program requirement, PSY 697 must be taken for 3 units during one semester.   

After the second week of the semester, there are many more steps and paperwork involved in registration — try to avoid them by completing your registration by the computer registration deadline.

Please note: PSY 697 is for work done assisting a professor with his/her research, or being supervised by a professor on your own research project other than your thesis. It can be for work that leads to your thesis project, but cannot be for your thesis work itself – you already get 6 units for the thesis project (see next topic).

If you do not finish the project and receive a letter grade for PSY 697, when you are cleared for graduation any grade of “RP” for PSY 697 will be converted to a “W.”

Thesis Units (PSY 698)

To register for thesis units, email the Graduate Advisor (state you want to register for thesis units for the upcoming semester).  You will need to provide the name of your thesis chair, who has formally agreed to chair your thesis (this will be verified).  Once confirmed, the Graduate Advisor will place a permit on the registration system under the thesis chair’s class number and then give you that number.  You will then add the units, using the class number.  (Please note: you will need to request a permit every semester you register for thesis units and be given the new class code number – they are semester specific.)  You may “break up” thesis units over two semesters (3 units each semester), but please be sure not to sign up for more than the total number of thesis units required for your program (all of our graduate programs require 6 thesis units).  If you do, you will have trouble graduating and will wind up with a grade of “W” for your excess units once it is resolved.  (See me if you would like to discuss a thesis registration strategy to possibly save money on registration for one or perhaps two semesters.)  Please note: to take thesis units, you must do so in increments of 3 (either 3 units twice or 6 units all one semester).

To be eligible to register for thesis units you must have Advanced to Candidacy or Advance during the semester you begin to register for thesis units.  Please contact the Graduate Advisor if you wish to discuss how to break up your thesis units to possibly save money.

When grades are posted, your thesis units will initially have a grade of “RP” (“Report in Progress”) – this is a holding value until the final grade is assigned.  Your thesis committee will determine the grade at your final oral (thesis defense); however, your grade will not be changed until after the Thesis Office approves and accepts your thesis on behalf of the university.  (Enrollment Services may elect to wait until your degree is posted before they change your grade.)  If you do not finish your thesis, the grade value of “RP” will remain indefinitely (it will not affect your GPA).

PSY 696 – Research Methods

Registration for PSY 696 is by Graduate Advisor’s permit.  To take this course you must have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in an Advanced Stats course, as well as have had a professor agree to be your thesis chair (this will be verified prior to assigning you a permit – please email the Graduate Advisor with the name of your thesis chair and your desire to take PSY 696).  Please ask a fulltime Psychology professor to be your chair – a list of faculty who are willing to serve on theses committees is available (not all faculty on this list are willing to chair).  Please note: first year MAPR students do not currently have this restriction – you are to take PSY 696 during your second semester (permits will be put on before registration for you).  Also, this is primarily a MAPR course – if you are not in the MAPR program, you will need to obtain the instructor’s permission to take PSY 696. 

Registration Tips

Be sure to register for each semester by the end of open enrollment, which usually closes the Sunday before instruction starts.  If you are not registered for something (a one unit KPE course would do it — you can adjust your schedule once instructions begins), you will be charged an additional $25 late fee.  Also, remember that you must pay your fees within 30 days of registering for the course(s), otherwise your classes will be dropped, unless you have an active Financial Aid fee offset.  Registration shuts down during the Thursday – Friday before instruction, and opens back up on Saturday.  Wait lists are taken down approx. two weeks before instruction begins. 

Petitioning Courses  

The three Program Committees have designed a petition for students to use if they wish to petition their Committee to substitute a course for a required one.  There is a fillable form for petitioning.  Please note: You must submit your petition prior to the semester you wish to take the approved course.  (Faculty mentor refers to MAPR students.)  

Course Call Numbers

Contact the Graduate Advisor for the correct number to the following courses: PSY 697 (Directed Studies) and PSY 698 (Thesis).  To sign up for Thesis units, you must have a tenured/tenure track Psychology faculty member agree to chair your thesis at that time, so that he or she gets credit through your enrollment.  Also, you must have been Advanced to Candidacy in order to register for Thesis units.

Financial Aid/Full Time Status

Most Financial Aid requires only halftime status.  Possible exceptions to the need to be “halftime only” status may include graduate fellowship or department scholarship enrollment requirements, insurance eligibility requirements, or if you are an International student.  If you have any questions regarding enrollment requirements for receiving your Financial Aid awarded funds, please check with either that office or myself — I have limited access to view Financial Aid screens.  8 graduate units (500 – 600 level courses) is full time; 4 graduate units is minimum for halftime status. 

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If a graduate student breaks continuous enrollment, he or she will no longer be a matriculated student at CSULB and loses program rights as set by his or her Advancement to Candidacy.  The University requires students that have broken continuous enrollment to reapply to CSULB, using the university application and paying the associated fee, after obtaining permission from their department. 

The MAPR, MSHF and MSIO programs require the student to petition the appropriate program committee for readmittance back into the master’s program, and reinstatement to his or her program coursework as set by the student’s Advancement to Candidacy where appropriate.  The petition should include an explanation as to why there was a break in continuous enrollment, why it is no longer a hindrance (i.e., how the situation has changed) and a statement as to when the student plans to complete his or her program (including thesis) and expected semester of graduation.  The student’s position in regards to thesis progress should also be addressed (the name of your chair should be the minimum provided — if you don’t have at least a thesis chair, you are not ready to request readmittance).  The petition is to be submitted to the student’s program committee via the Graduate Advisor.  If the student’s program coursework is no longer valid, it will have to be repeated or replaced.  Revalidation of coursework is no longer a possibility.  

If the student’s break in enrollment is considered too great by the committee, she or he may be instructed to reapply to the appropriate master’s program, thereby competing with other applicants.  All required paperwork for the department application must be submitted/resubmitted, including valid GRE scores (GRE scores are valid for a maximum of five years).

If the student’s program committee rules in favor of the student being readmitted to his or her master’s program and reinstatement to his or her program coursework (where Advancement to Candidacy had occurred), the Graduate Advisor will send a formal memo, via the College office, to the Enrollment Services office, requesting reinstatement of the student’s program coursework.  The College office requires that the student’s expected date of graduation be listed, as well as where the student is in regards to completion of coursework (and acknowledgment of revalidation needs where appropriate) and thesis progress.

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Seven Year Rule/Change of Program

Please note: Beginning with the Spring 2009 entry semester, our department will no longer revalidate coursework.  Please get your thesis done ASAP to avoid having to repeat coursework because it has become outdated!

You have seven years from the end of the first semester’s coursework used for your program to complete your Master’s degree.  Any courses older than that will no longer be valid.  It is highly suggested that you do not let your coursework go over seven years – otherwise you will need to retake your courses or take other courses that will fulfill your program requirements.  Please, please avoid this!

Change of Program

If you want to make a change in your program after advancing to candidacy, as long as it follows the Catalog requirements when you entered your program, nothing need be done.  However, if a course outside of the official requirements changes, even if approved by your Program Faculty Committee, Enrollment Services needs to be notified by the Graduate Advisor.  This tells the Master’s Evaluator in the Enrollment Services Office what courses to check for when he or she does your grad check and/or your actual clearance for graduation.   Also, your thesis grade will not be posted and you will not be cleared for graduation until the University Thesis Office notifies Enrollment Services that your thesis has been accepted per university regulations.

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* * * BIG CHANGE: As of Spring 2019, there is a new University thesis format manual.  Please visit the Thesis and Dissertation Office’s web site for details and links. * * *  

* * * BIGGER POTENTIAL CHANGE: There has been some forewarning that the University may announce an even newer thesis format Summer 2020.  

* * * ANOTHER CHANGE: Beginning Fall 2019, the designated College of Liberal Arts’ representative for theses is Dr. Deborah Thien, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts.  You need to submit your final thesis manuscript electronically (PDF attachment) to her: Deadlines for submitting your thesis manuscript to Dr. Thien will be posted on the Psychology Thesis Guidelines web page once announced, and is also listed on the new College of Liberal Arts Thesis page.  Your Approval/Signature Sheet is now done electronically.

The Psychology Thesis Guidelines publication is updated early fall semesters.  It includes templates and PDF versions of several documents, and links to important web pages.  

You are asked to give copies of your thesis drafts to all your committee members at points designated by your thesis chair, and at least one-two weeks prior to the date of your Orals – please give them a hard copy.  Do NOT email it to them, unless you ask them first if they would like it emailed and they say yes – they might even ask for both.  You are always to give a hard copy to the Graduate Advisor at least a week before your Orals for your Prelims; please email a copy of your final PDF version – same as that submitted to the Thesis Office (a hard copy of your final draft or manuscript is not needed for the Graduate Advisor). 

Theses are now submitted electronically, after your Thesis Authorization Signature Sheet is signed electronically by your Thesis Committee members as well as the Associate Dean.  Your thesis must be submitted within five days after you receive an instructional email from the Thesis Office (this will be sent after your Electronic Signature Sheet is received by that office).

A Title Page, including committee members’ and the Associate Dean’s names, is part of the thesis manuscript.  A template for this page, as well as other formatted pages of the thesis, are available on the Thesis Office’s web site.:   

Lists of published Psychology department theses abstracts by program have been added to the department, back to 1999:




Information regarding thesis unit registration is listed on the Registration Concerns page of the Graduate Newsletter.

Please see note under Ethical Use of Subjects below regarding requirements for IRB.

Students are to send their self-produced Orals announcement to their thesis chair, via email attachment, at least one week in advance of their scheduled date.  Templates, generated in Word, are at the bottom of the Psychology Thesis Guidelines web page for your use.  Please remind your thesis chair that she/he is to distribute your announcement via email to the faculty and to cc: me on the email – by doing so, your chair gives her/his approval.

Our masters’ students may use the electronic hookups in rooms Psy 101 or 232 for PowerPoint presentations at their orals.  You must supply your own computer. 

You may obtain the latest edition of the University Thesis Format Manual via the university library web site (in PDF).

The published submission time periods are listed on the University Thesis Office’s web site.

You may submit your thesis as soon as the beginning date of the submission period.  Theses are processed “first in, first out.”  Those submitted towards the end of the submission period will take longer to process than those submitted at the beginning.  Please be aware that you need to submit your completed thesis to our Graduate Dean prior to Thesis Office submission, 1-2 weeks prior to the Thesis Office’s deadline.  

The University Thesis Office will be checking for the following only: clear margins, permission letters, font size and other formatting issues.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to make sure that all references are correct, the University and APA formats are being followed and that there are no typos.  It is recommended that you contract with your typist for her or him to check references, and that you choose a typist familiar with the APA style and University requirements.

Thesis Guidelines/Faculty Research Areas

The latest edition of the Psychology Department Thesis Guidelines (not to be confused with the University publication) is updated sometime early Fall semester and available on-line.  This web site takes you through the process of completing your thesis step-by-step via a detailed timeline/order of events.  Also included are templates and visual examples of how to do your Orals Announcements. 

Added to the bottom of the on-line version of the Guidelines is a list of links associated with the thesis process.

Also available is a list of research areas of faculty willing to chair or be a member of a Thesis committee (if available).  This list is updated early Fall semesters.  

PAM (Psychological Assessment Materials)

To borrow measures from PAM, please follow the steps below:

1. Check the list to see if the measures you need are available to borrow.  Please note that, for copyrighted materials, you can borrow to review only; you’ll need to buy the materials directly from the publishers if you want to use them.  The list is currently posted outside of the PAM office, Room 204 of the Psych bldg.

2. Fill out a Loan Authorization form (also posted outside of PAM office – if not available, please email Dr. Amirkhan).  You will need to ask your thesis chair to sign this form.  You can borrow up to 5 measures at a time, for a 2 week time period.

3. Leave the signed form for Dr. James Amirkhan in his dept office mail box and email him to let him know you have done so (  He will gather the measures together and let you know when to pick them up.

Ethical Use of Subjects (Animal & Human)

University policy on the use of human subjects requires screening by the University Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Any study involving human subjects, whether from the Psychology department subject pool or otherwise, must be reviewed by this committee.  Please check their web site regarding instructions on filing IRB paperwork.

At the time of preliminary orals, you will receive a packet containing the URL of the IRB’s web site.  You are required to fill the protocol form via the IRB’s web site (with your thesis chair’s guidance) and submit to the IRB.  No study involving human subjects may begin until IRB approval is obtained.  Please plan your time schedule accordingly.

If you are using animals in your research, you must submit your proposal to the University Animal Welfare Board.

Requirements for Preliminary Orals

Prior to announcing Preliminary Orals, students must have their Thesis Committee approved by the Graduate Advisor.  Please contact the Graduate Office as soon as you have determined your three committee members, so that the appropriate required paperwork may be sent to the College Office.  The tentative title of your thesis is also required at that time.

Please don’t forget to submit a copy of your thesis PROPOSAL (i.e., a copy of the same draft you’re submitting to your committee) to the Graduate Office.  A copy of your Final Orals thesis draft is NOT required when announcing Final Orals.

Extended Loans from the Library

If you are enrolled in PSY 697, 698 (Thesis) or GS 700, you may obtain a special loan card from the library which enables you to check out books for extended periods (basically throughout the entire semester).  The Graduate Advisor’s signature is required.

Department copies of earlier thesis draft copies are available for check out from the Graduate Advisor, for those who are preparing for Preliminary Orals. Students may also read published theses on-line via the Disertation and Thesis database – just click on the “Full Text – PDF” link on the right of the page.  Department theses titles may be read on the department web site by program, and the abstract and full text accessed through the links listed by program: MAPRMSHF; MSIO.

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Web Sites (helpful links)

Psychology Department Web Site

University Thesis Office  


Research databases and COAST

CSULB Library

MA/MS IO Student and Alumni Page

CSULB Commencement

CSULB Graduate Students Home Page

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When to do What

A brief order of events during your MA/MS program:

1) Enter program (first semester)
Fulfill GWAR through bachelor’s degree earned in the US or approved non-US institution, a GRE Analytical Writing Score of 4.0 or higher, or taking the WPE   

2) Advance to Candidacy (usually 2nd – 3rd semester)
After you have completed at least 6 units of your program (with at least a grade of B in each)
After you have fulfilled the GWAR requirement
NOTE: you must Advance before you can register for thesis units or file for Grad Check (AKA Request to Graduate)

3) Select your committee and thesis topic
Have committee member paperwork filed by Graduate Advisor

4) Preliminary Orals
MAPR: after you have attended at least 4 Colloquia

5) Conduct research and write, write, write
Confer with committee as needed

6) File for Graduation
Between the previous March 2nd and October 15th for Spring or Summer graduation
Between the previous October 16th and March 1st for Fall or Winter graduation

7) Final Orals
MAPR: after you have fulfilled all 6 required Colloquia

8) Submit thesis to CLA Graduate Dean and to the University Thesis Office
See Psychology Thesis Guidelines and Thesis Office’s web site for details

9) Graduate! (Of course, complete all your program courses as well as your thesis before you graduate)

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