Master of Science in Applied Psychology – Pre-Doctoral Program

One of only three applied psychology master’s programs in Texas, Tarleton State University’s Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Psychology prepares you for doctoral programs and entry-level jobs in psychological sciences. Tarleton’s Psychological Sciences Department provides a supportive learning environment that helps you grow personally and professionally while earning an affordable applied psychology degree in two to three years. 

The curriculum offers exposure to different areas within psychology to help you gain a broad knowledge base, diverse set of skills, and valuable hands-on experience. You also have the opportunity to study with faculty who have a wide range of research interests. 

Choose from three tracks based on your academic interests and career goals:

  • The thesis track is a pre-doctoral program for graduate students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree or a career as a psychological researcher and includes a thesis project under the mentorship of a faculty member.
  • The applied track is for graduate students interested in psychology careers that don’t require research and includes an applied project under the mentorship of a faculty member.
  • The teaching track is a pathway to become a freshman or sophomore level psychology instructor in community colleges and includes a teaching internship under the mentorship of a faculty member.

Tarleton offers the M.S. in Applied Psychology at its Stephenville and Fort Worth, Texas campuses. 

Designed to be rigorous yet flexible, our courses are offered through a mix of online classes, face-to-face evening classes, and hybrid classes that meet both face-to-face and online.

What is Applied Psychology?

Applied psychology is a subset of the field that uses scientific principles, methods, and findings to come up with practical solutions for problems in human and animal behavior and experience, including health, law, product design, and more. Addressing changing needs in the field, Tarleton’s master’s degree in Applied Psychology continues to evolve and grow. Our graduate program combines psychological principles and research methods with best practices for the contemporary challenges facing today’s organizations, their employees, and consumers.

What can you do with a master’s degree in Applied Psychology?

An M.S. program in Applied Psychology equips you with a unique combination of skills and knowledge in human behavior, scientific inquiry and critical thinking, research methods, statistical analysis and interpretation, communication, and teamwork. The master’s degree prepares you for doctoral degree programs or an entry-level career in applied research, data science, training, development, or other areas. 

Applied psychologists are employed and in high demand in jobs such as these:

  • College or University Adjunct Professor
  • Educational Program Coordinator
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Learning Specialist
  • Marketing Data Analyst
  • Psychological Research Assistant
  • Research Project Manager
  • Training and Development Consultant
psych session

Estimated Completion

30 credit hours 

24 hours of PSYC coursework and 6 hours of a milestone thesis, applied project, or teaching track.

Application Process

  1. Admission to Tarleton State University – Graduate Studies
  2. Additional Program Entrance Requirements including Exam Scores

Start Dates

Fall, Spring or Summer


Locations of Course Delivery


Why Study Applied Psychology?

Tarleton’s pre-doctoral master’s program in applied psychology provides opportunities for hands-on experience inside and outside the classroom and labs through transformative service learning, study abroad, research training, and more. Our award-winning faculty prioritize student mentorship and facilitate a number of professional development opportunities. The study of applied psychology leads to a wide diversity of career paths including experimental, industrial-organizational, and consumer psychology. 

Publish Research with Award-winning Faculty

We regularly publish work with graduate students. Students in the psychology master’s program are encouraged to present locally in Texas at the Southwestern Psychological Association, nationally, and internationally. Faculty research interests include: child psychology, youth development, numeracy, best teaching practices, neuroscience, eye-witness identification and testimony, group dynamics, Bayesian statistics, cognition, applied learning, addictions and group collaboration, and work with adolescents and veterans.

Expand your Study of Human Behavior

Service-learning projects and other opportunities broaden students’ traditional education in the classroom. For example, neuroscience graduate students teach in local low-socioeconomic status schools as part of a campus-wide initiative, partnering with the biology and mathematics departments. 

Exploring human behavior across cultures, faculty have led student trips to destinations such as Mexico, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, India, Galapagos Island, and Ecuador. Our students have visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, swam with sharks, and toured the homes of Sigmound Freud and Charles Darwin.

Experience an Affordable Psychology Program

Our streamlined, 30-hour applied psychology degree provides an affordable, academically-rigorous program when compared with tuition for similar graduate programs. Plus, over $150,000 in grants and scholarships are available to Tarleton graduate students each year. Learn more about qualifying for graduate program scholarships, and apply for federal financial aid.

What classes will you take as an Applied Psychology graduate student?

The curriculum for our Master of Science in Applied Psychology is designed to be rigorous and challenging, yet exciting and rewarding. Coursework covers a wide variety of topics in psychological sciences, including research methods, history, and systems of psychology, statistics, and learning.

Under the mentorship of expert faculty, you develop a milestone experience that includes either research practice, a teaching internship, or an applied project based on your chosen track. The milestone experience provides you with marketable job skills that you can use in doctoral degree programs and your future career in psychology.

Applied Psychology Student Resources

What master’s degree programs are related to Applied Psychology?

Earning your Master of Science in Applied Psychology is one path to a fulfilling career in psychology or the social sciences. Tarleton State University also offers these master’s degree programs: 

Learn More About Earning Your Master’s in Applied Psychology

Tarleton’s Master of Science in Applied Psychology connects students to a variety of research and industrial careers in the psychology field. Explore human behavior and cognitive processes and then apply that knowledge through laboratory and experiential learning opportunities. Our affordable psychology master’s program at our Stephenville and Fort Worth, Texas campuses offers opportunities for online or hybrid coursework.

Request information to take the next step toward earning your master’s degree in applied psychology.

For individualized information on Tarleton’s M.S. in Applied Psychology, please contact Dr. Jonali Baruah, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor, at [email protected] or 817-484-4400.