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4+1 Masters in Psychological Science

The 4+1 terminal Master's Programs in Psychology provide qualified students earning a baccalaureate degree in Psychology from Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana with graduate training in psychology. Students either may pursue the M.S. with an empirical thesis, concentrating in depth on a particular area of psychology OR students may pursue the M.S. with a broad training base without a thesis. Admissions criteria and curricular requirements are detailed below.

General Psychology M.S. (Non-Thesis Track)

General Track Checklist (pdf)

This option, comprising 30 graduate credit hours, provides a broad background in the theories and methods of Psychology at the graduate level. No thesis is required. Students electing to pursue this option desire a broad background rather than specialization in a particular area. The average completion time in this track is 9 months (i.e., almost all students can finish the coursework in two semesters as long as they completed two graduate courses during their senior year).

Courses must include 3 credits in quantitative methods beyond PSYC 6090 (typically PSYC 6110), 3 credits in each of the distribution areas, 6 credits of core courses (i.e., courses numbered 7000-7090, which also may satisfy distribution requirements), no more than 3 credits of independent study in Psychology, and no more than one graduate course outside psychology (which must be approved by the Psychology Department’s Graduate Training Committee)..

Up to 6 graduate credit hours may count toward the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. Also, up to 6 additional graduate credit hours taken as an overload during undergraduate study (i.e., above the minimum 120 credit hours required to graduate) may be applied toward the M.S. degree. It is expected that students will complete some coursework toward the M.S. (typically two graduate courses) during their senior year.

For advice on senior year courses that are appropriate for 4+1 M.S. applicants who do not plan to conduct an empirical thesis, please consult Dr. Janet Ruscher at ruscher@tulane.edu.

Area-Specific M.S. (Thesis Track)

Thesis Track Checklist (pdf)

This option provides an in-depth examination of the theories and methods of a specific area of psychology, including the completion of an empirical thesis in that area. The degree requires 30 graduate credit hours consisting of eight graduate courses (24 credits) plus the thesis (3 credits of graded PSYC 9980 Master’s Thesis Research each semester).

Students electing to pursue this option usually have initiated research as undergraduate students, and have identified a specific area of interest. A regular full-time faculty member in Psychology must commit to thesis supervision prior to admission; in some instances, adjunct and research faculty may serve as co-directors. The average completion time for the thesis track is 12 months (i.e., students often defend their theses during the summer for the August degree).

Courses must include 3 credits in quantitative methods beyond PSYC 6090 (typically PSYC 6110), and 3 credits of core courses (i.e., courses numbered 7000–7090). Thesis directors advise their thesis track students; thus, the thesis advisor will provide guidance as to the particular courses appropriate to each student's unique interests.

Up to 6 graduate credit hours may count toward the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. Also, up to 6 additional graduate credit hours taken as an overload during undergraduate study (i.e., above the minimum 120 credit hours required to graduate) may be applied toward the M.S. degree. It is expected that students will complete some coursework toward the M.S. (typically two graduate courses) during their senior year. It also is generally understood that students pursuing the thesis option have conducted empirical research as an undergraduate student.

Admissions Information

Criteria for Admission

Students at Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana working toward the baccalaureate degree in Psychology who are graduating in May should apply by March 1 of senior year for fall admission of the same year, whereas students graduating a semester early (i.e., December graduates) should apply by November 1 of senior year for spring admission of the following year.

To be competitive for admission, students should meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher (Note: the mean GPA of applicants admitted to our 4+1 programs over the past 6 years is 3.683)
  • A letter grade of B or higher earned in PSYC 3090 Univariate Statistics I (Note: the 4+1 Admissions Committee generally does not offer admission to students who earn less than an A- in 3090)
  • Baccalaureate degree from Tulane or Xavier University of Louisiana pending successful completion of requirements
  • Standardized test scores (i.e., SAT, ACT, GRE) are NOT required for applicants to the 4+1 M.S. Program in Psychological Science 
  • Letters of Reference:
    You must obtain letters of recommendation from TWO full-time faculty members in the Department of Psychology.  For applicants to the thesis track, one recommendation MUST contain a graduate faculty member’s commitment to supervise the thesis research (and at least 3 credits of independent empirical research in psychology should have been earned as an undergraduate).

Required Application Materials

  1. On-line Application (will open September 9th)
  2. Current Transcript (a copy of the unofficial audit is acceptable)
  3. Statement of Purpose uploaded to the online SSE application
  4. Curriculum Vitae uploaded to the online SSE application under “Optional Document(s)
  5. Two letters of reference from full-time faculty members in the Department of Psychology for the track to which the student is applying. These letters should provide an assessment of the qualifications for graduate study.


Enrolled students adopting the specific area (thesis track) option will be advised by their thesis director. Non-thesis students will be advised by the department chair, Dr. Janet Ruscher. The faculty advisor will help assure that the student's uniquely tailored curriculum satisfies degree requirements, as well as helping to facilitate the student’s own academic goals. The checklists that highlight the requirements may be helpful in planning your curriculum with your advisor.

Program Graduates ▾

Jonathan Abrams, M.S., May 2015
User Experience Researcher at Google in San Francisco, CA

Jonathan Becker, M.S., May 2004
Residency Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Sophia Belay, M.S., May 2004
University of Connecticut, Ph.D. Program, Clinical

Ryan Bigelsen, M.S., May 2013
Student, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Kady Bourgeois, M.S., May 2007
HR Professional, Key Energy Services, Houston, TX

Jennifer Braaten, M.S., May 2007

Ryan Brennan, M.S., May 2018
Mental Health Professional, Empowerment Behavioral Services, New Orleans, LA

Haley Broughton, M.S., May 2021
National Opinions Research Center (NORC), Chicago

Christopher Burchett, M.S., December 2012
Quality Assurance Specialist, Epic Systems, Madison, WI

Elizabeth Carey, M.S., May 2008
School Psychology PhD Program, Tulane University

Lee Ann Carnes, M.S., 2007
Ph.D. School Psychology University of Maryland

Kyla Chenier, M.S., May 2021
Recovery Coach, Monte Nido Chicago

Samantha Couch, M.S., May 2014
Employed in Industry, New Orleans LA

Maya Cohen, M.S., August 2020
Student Service Specialist, College of Lake County, Waukegan, IL

Max Daigh, M.S., May 2010
Manager of School Performance at the Louisiana Department of Education in New Orleans, LA

Joshua Dillon, M.S., May 2015
School-Based Program Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region in Philadelphia, PA

Jacob Firestone, M.S., May 2012
La Salle University, Psy.D. Program

Riana Gaudet, M.S., May 2021
TAPIF - Teaching Assistant Program in France

Phillip Glotser, M.S., May 2007
Student, Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport

Dhruv Gupta, M.S., May 2013
Student, St George's University School of Medicine

Brooke Hansen, M.S., May 2010
Ph.D. School Psychology, Oklahoma State University
Heartspring Pediatric Services, Wichita

Briana Hedman, M.A., 2006
Executive Coach and Consultant in Los Angeles, CA

Trenesha Hill, M.S., December 2013
Ph.D., School Psychology Tulane University

Lauren Hitt, M.S., August 2008
New Product Manager for Emergent Capabilities at Intralox in New Orleans, LA

Kelly Holmes, M.S., August 2009
Project Fleur de Lis, New Orleans

Kyle Hucke, M.S., May 2008
PhD Psychology, Tulane University

Timothy Jackson, M.S., May 2007
Student, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Galen Jones, M.A., 2006
Program Manager II, UAB Department of Medicine Division of Gerontology & Palliative Care in Birmingham, AL

Justin Kordys, M.S., August 2014
Student, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Jennifer Kuhn, M.S., August 2008
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Western Michigan University

Sarah Kurash, M.S., May 2015
Human Resources Generalist at Benefit Street Partners in New York, NY

Samia Lalani, MS., December 2015
PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland in Washington, DC

Erika Larson, M.S., May 2015
Animal Trainer, Gulf World Marine Park, FL

Emma Lewis, M.S., December 2017
PhD Program, Human Nutrition/International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore MD

Meagan Magaldi, M.S., August 2017
Law School, University of Florida

Idan Mark, M.S., December 2014
School Psychology intern, Tel Aviv

Steve McAfee, M.S., May 2021
Behavior Technician, Reach for the Stars Learning Center, Brooklyn 

Marina Mery, M.S., December 2014
PhD student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma

Yamile Molina, M.S., May 2005
University of Washington, Ph.D. Program, Animal Behavior

Anise Muir, M.S., May 2020
HR with the Federal Government

Matthew Nonnamaker, M.S., May 2015'
Support Engineer at HubSpot in Boston, MA

Cathrine Paul, M.S., May 2021
Medical Assistant, Sports Medicine Division, Orthopedic Surgical Department, Newton Wellesley Hospital

Alexandra Payne, M.S., December 2016
Internship, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Isaac Perkins, M.S., August 2003
Master's Program, I/O

Lauren Peterson, M.S., May 2012
Community Relations Coordinator in Houston, TX

Sarah Podesta, M.S., August 2016
Project Assistant, Neuroscience Program Tulane

Lily Rabinow, M.S., December 2013
Medical student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Brooke Rappaport, M.S., May 2013
Ph.D. Program in Counseling & Human Development Services, University of Georgia
Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University

Emily Ramier, M.S., May 2020
Human Capital Consulting Business Analyst, Deloitte Management Service

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Reeb, M.S., May 2021
Medical Student, Tulane School of Medicine

Nicole Renke, M.S., May 2017
Market Research Analyst for Brain Corporation in San Diego

Alexandra Roselli, M.S., December 2013
Law School, Loyola New Orleans

Anisah Sahibul, M.S., May 2022 

Christine Sassane, M.S., 2010
Law Student, Temple University

Iina Savolainen, M.S., December 2016
Social Psychology PhD Program, University of Tampere Finland

Samantha Siegel, M.S., May 2004
University of North Texas, Master's Program Counseling

Brad Silk, M.S., May 2019
Research Assistant on the Medical Team at Buoy Health

Carly Silvers, M.S., May 2019
Child Life Intern at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Nicole Simoes, M.A., 2006
Director of Graduate Support, Excel Academy Charter School in Boston, MA

Evan Smith, M.S., May 2009
Nova Southeastern, PsyD program

Ariel Blue Stevenson, M.S., May 2020
Research Associate at Clinical Outcomes Solutions, Chicago

Lindsay Stewart, M.A., 2005
PhD student, Clinical Psychology, Nova Southeastern University

Juliana Vanderburg, M.S., 2017
AmeriCorps, Washington DC

Cristina Weeks, M.S., August 2004
Georgia State University, Ph.D. Program, School Psychology

Gretchen Williams, M.A., 2006
Medical School, Osteopathic Medicine

Claire Yanta, M.S., May 2011
Founder and Trainer at Fleur de Lis Fitness in Virginia Beach, VA