Accelerated (4+1 or 3+1) MA in Psychology Research Methods

The MA in Psychology with a Research Methods Concentration (RMC) is a suitable career track for students who may want to gain a strong background in research methods before they apply to other advanced degree programs in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, or Data Sciences. In addition, by providing a rigorous education in research methods, the MA in Psychology with RMC empowers students with the tools to be competitive as applicants for jobs requiring expertise in methods and analysis and expertise in a subject area of psychology. For example, knowledge of research methods in social psychology is attractive to employers in advertising, knowledge of research methods in psychobiology is attractive to employers in the pharmaceutical industry, and so on. 


  • What is an Accelerated MA? The +1 MA program in Psychology offers current UVA students a streamlined admission to the graduate school for the purpose of obtaining a Master’s degree after one additional year at UVA.
  • Who can apply? Only the UVA students who are majoring in any program (BA or BS) are eligible to apply anytime, but no later than April 15 of their 4th year (or the 3rd year if they are slated to complete all undergraduate requirements in 3 years). While the applications will be reviewed three times a year (wirh November 15, February 15 and April n15 deadlines), we recommend early applications since the cohort size is limited.
  • How can I apply? Students who are interested in the program should fill this form, and send an email to the MA Admissions Advisor Prof. Schmidt as early as they can to receive guidance and to verify that their schedule will accommodate the program. There is no application fee or GRE test requirement. Applicants should submit: 1) their transcript, and 2) a letter addresed to Prof. Karen Schmidt, outlining their background and the career goals. At the time of the application, students are expected to have taken, or registered in, two courses from the prerequisite courses below (PREREQUISITE COUSES). The application materials will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee in the Department of Psychology. The Graduate Committee will separately seek an endorsement from one or more of the professors of the qualifying courses. A decision will be provided shortly after the review cycle.  Selected applicants will need to submit the graduate application by May 1.
  • How is it possible to complete a Master of Arts Degree in 1 year?  Students who previously enrolled in courses offered through GSAS (5000 and above) while completing an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the University of Virginia may count up to six credits of such coursework towards a master’s degree. This makes completing the requirements of the MA degree in only 2 additional semesters feasible, while saving the student 6 credits of graduate tuition.
  • Is it possible to continue for PhD in UVA Department of Psychology after completion of MA? Accelerated Psychology MA in Research Methods is a terminal program, meaning that students who wish to continue on a PhD program should go through the usual admissions process. Depending on the PhD program, some of the courses they take in the MA program may count toward their advanced graduate degree.
  • Do students receive a stipend while they are in the MA program? No. Students are expected to pay all tuition and fees for the Master of Arts Program. These are currently $16,962 (resident) and $28,592 (non-resident) for tuition $2800 (resident) and $3500 (non-resident) for comprehensive and student fees.  The MA students may be invited to work as graduate teaching assistants or graders in undergraduate Psychology Research Methods courses, and they may be compensated by a stipend or wages. 


Degree Requirements for +1 MA in Psychology:

  1. Two semesters of full-time study in residence.
  2. 30 credit hours of graduate-level courses at the 5000 level or above. A course grade of B- and above is required for all courses that will satisfy this requirement.
    • No transfer credits are accepted.
    • At least 15 credits should come from quantitative methods courses, listed below. Two of those courses (6 credits) should be taken prior to the admission in the program (prerequisite courses), 
    • The remainder of credits may come from elective psychology courses, listed below. 
  3. Passing a Master’s Exam: Typically, students in the terminal MA Program will take their masters exam during their second semester, and graduate in May. Alternatively, they can take their exam during the Summer and graduate in August. Please note that graduating in August requires registering for Degree Conferral in Absentia over the summer and paying the associated fee.  
  4. OPTIONAL THESIS: With the permission of the program director and the thesis advisor(s), up to 6 credit hours (in excess of 15 required quant credits) may be satisfied through PSYC 9501 Topical Research. In this case, a Master’s Thesis demonstrating mastery in research methods should be completed for course grades. A thesis does not replace the Master's Exam requirement.


6 credits (2 courses) from this list is expected for applying to the program

Psyc 5270: Computational Neuroscience 

PSYC 5720-Fundamentals of Item Response Theory (or equivalent)

PSYC 5705-Introduction to Bayesian Methods (or equivalent)

PSYC 5710 (or 5559)- Introduction to Machine Learning for Psychologists (or equivalent)

PSYC5559-x Research Methods: R in Psychology Research

PSYC 5559- Computer Science for Neuroscientists

PSYC 5559-  Quantified Cognition

*PSYC7710- Quantitative Methods I: Probability and Statistical Inference

*PSYC 7720-Quantitative Methods II:   Experimental Design

EDLF 5310: Data Management for Social Science Research

PLAD 8320 Generalized Linear Models

                *7000 level courses can be taken as an undergrad only by the instructor’s permission. Equivalent courses taken from other UVA programs can be petitioned as substitutes for prerequisite courses prior to applying to the MA+1 program. 


At least 15 credits (5 courses) from this list are required for the degree. Students may choose to take all 30 credits from quantitative courses based on availability. 

*PSYC 5720-Fundamentals of Item Response Theory (or equivalent)

*PSYC 5705-Introduction to Bayesian Methods (or equivalent)

*PSYC 5559- Introduction to Machine Learning for Psychologists (or equivalent)

*PSYC5559-x Research Methods: R in Psychology Research

*PSYC 5559- Computer Science for Neuroscientists

* PSYC 5559-  Quantified Cognition

*PSYC7710- Quantitative Methods I: Probability and Statistical Inference

*PSYC 7720-Quantitative Methods II:   Experimental Design

PSYC 7670-Longitudinal Data Analysis 

PSYC 7760-Intro to Applied Multivariate Methods

PSYC 8730-Dynamical Systems Analysis

PSYC 8735-Intro to Structural Equation Modeling

PSYC 8559-Advanced Applied Regression Analysis

            *Courses that count toward MA if taken as an undergraduate or during the program. Note that 5000 level courses may have other prerequisites. 7000 level courses can be taken as an undergrad only by the instructor’s permission.


Up to 15 credits (5 courses) from 5000-7000 level PSYC courses are needed to fulfill 30 credits required for the degree.  Examples of such courses are listed below.  

PSYC 5160       Emotion and Cognition

PSYC 5360       Brain Systems Involved in Learning and Memory

PSYC 5265       Functional Neuroanatomy

PSYC 5325       Cognitive Neuroscience

PSYC 5328       Cognitive Aging

PSYC 5326       Neuroscience of Social Relationships

PSYC 5355/PSYC5559-x       Neurobiology of Speech and Language

PSYC 5410       Juvenile Justice and Violence

PSYC 5559-x    Cerebral Cortex

PSYC 5559-x    Development of Sensory Systems

PSYC 5559-x    Genetic and Epigenetic Research in Behavior

PSYC 5559-x    Topics in the Evolution of the Mind

PSYC 5559-x    Neurodevelopmental Disorders

PSYC 5559-x    Morality and Honor

PSYC 5559-x    Quantified Cognition

PSYC 5703       Cultural Psychology

PSYX 5704       Social Ecological Psych

PSYC 5xxx        Human Neuroscience/Imaging Lab