Skip to page content
Psychology session with a person

Estimated Completion

32 credit hours (B.S.W. with Advanced Standing)

64 credit hours (Foundation)

Application Process

Start Dates

Fall, Spring or Summer


Locations of Course Delivery


Health Sciences and Human Services

Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Pre-Doctoral Program

One of only three applied psychology master’s degrees in Texas, our MS in Applied Psychology at Tarleton prepares you for doctoral programs, as well as entry-level jobs in psychological sciences. 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.

Our Psychological Sciences Department provides a supportive learning environment that will help you grow personally and professionally while earning a psychology master’s degree in two to three years. You will be exposed to different areas within psychology from faculty with a wide range of research interests to help you gain a broad knowledge base, diverse set of skills and valuable hands-on experience.

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 jobs 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.

What is Applied Psychology?

Applied psychology 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. From corporate settings to the public sector, the expected job growth rate for psychologists over the next several years is much faster than average at 14%.

Addressing changing needs in the field, our psychology master’s program continues to evolve and grow. From additional courses to new program tracks, our MS in Applied Psychology 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 Your Master's Degree in Applied Psychology?

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, you will be prepared 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

Request More Info

Why Study Applied Psychology?

Our pre-doctoral graduate degree 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.

female student in a classroom

Publish and present your research with faculty

We regularly publish work with graduate students and encourage you to present your research at local, regional, state, national and international conferences, such as the Southwestern Psychological Association.

A group of Tarleton State University Students participate in service day

Get involved in the community

Many of us lead service-learning projects and activities related to subdisciplines of psychology that you can participate in for additional experience in your field. For example, graduate students in neuroscience teach local students as part of a campus-wide initiative in partnership with the biology and mathematics departments for K–12 outreach in local, low-socioeconomic status schools.

two students speaking to an advisor at a desk

Get instruction and mentorship from award-winning scientists

Our diverse research training and interest areas that you can get involved with 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.

a group of Tarleton State University study abroad students

Expand your study of psychology and human behavior abroad

Graduate students can travel on faculty-led trips to international destinations such as Mexico, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, India, Galapagos Islands and Ecuador. Study abroad provides a global perspective and deeper understanding of human behavior across cultures. Our students have stood on the equatorial line, toured the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, swum with sharks, visited Sigmund Freud’s home, toured Charles Darwin’s home and gardens and more.

male student holding up a sign for scholarships

Get help paying for your graduate studies

Our short, 30-hour program can save you money when compared with tuition for other graduate schools in psychology. 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 with the Common Application.

What Classes Will You Take as an Applied Psychology Graduate Student?

Preparing you for graduate school and successful careers in psychology, our master’s in applied psychology program curriculum 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 faculty, you will 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.

How Do You Get Started on Your Master's Degree in Applied Psychology?

Take the next step toward earning your master's degree in applied psychology. We have the resources to help you get started.

a group of students talking

Psychology Research Labs and Groups

The Numerical Cognition Lab researches human learning, action and performance in numerical thinking. The Applied Cognition Lab investigates memory and cognitive processing with a focus on eyewitness identification using eye-tracking. The Behavioral Neuroscience and Perceptual Psychophysiology Research Group explores brain activity in sensory, cognitive and emotional dimensions of pain.

group of Tarleton State University at a table

Graduate Student Activities

Join organizations based on your interests, such as The American Psychological Association, Society for Neuroscience, Association for Psychological Science, Psychonomic Society, Southwestern Psychological Association, Psychology Club, Psi Chi and Neuroscience Club. These provide opportunities to participate in conferences, research symposiums, applied learning experiences, fundraising, service and more.

a student working with children

Tarleton Center for Child Well-Being

Addressing a mental health care shortage in Stephenville, Texas, the Tarleton Center for Child Well-Being offers prevention, psychological and consultation services and behavioral health resources for children and their families. Tarleton students gain hands-on experience in the Center through internship and research opportunities.

What Master's Degree Programs Are Related to Applied Psychology