The 4+1 terminal Master of Science Programs in Psychology provide qualified students earning a baccalaureate degree from Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana with graduate training in psychology. The goal of the 4+1 program is to prepare students for their next step of graduate training (e.g., doctoral program, medical school, law school) or entry into the workforce. Students may pursue the M.S. in Psychological Science (PSYC) or in Behavioral Health (PSBH). Thesis and non-thesis options are possible in both programs. The average completion time in the non-thesis track is 9.96 months (i.e., almost all students finish the coursework in two semesters). The average completion time for the thesis track is 11.91 months (i.e., students often defend their theses during the summer for the August degree). Thesis students in both the Psychological Science and Behavioral Health Programs will be advised by their thesis director. All non-thesis Psychological Science students will be advised by Dr. Janet Ruscher. All non-thesis Behavioral Health students will be advised by Dr. Julie Alvarez.
Note: Applications for the 4+1 programs are accepted only from students pursuing a baccalaureate degree from Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA). Per the Tulane-XULA MOU, Xavier students who earn the BS in Psychology or Neuroscience may earn the MS in Psychology or Neuroscience at Tulane University. Xavier students should consult the Consortium policy available at: https://registrar.tulane.edu/consortium). Applications must be submitted through the on-line application system.
Application Deadlines: (a) March 1 of Senior Year for May graduates, and (b) November 1 of Senior year for December graduates. [Note: Students graduating in May should apply by March 1 for fall admission of the same year, whereas students graduating a semester early (i.e., December graduates) should apply by November 1 for spring admission of the following year.]
The 4+1 program in Psychological Science began in 2002, with a single graduate in 2003. Enrollments have increased steadily since 2002. The 4+1 program in Behavioral Health began in 2014 with a cohort of seven students. For an optimal graduate class size and faculty/student ratio, the department generally restricts total annual enrollment across both 4+1 programs to 12 students.
Since its inception, 102 students have graduated from our 4+1 programs: 52% of our graduates have entered the workforce where they are employed by schools, hospitals/clinics, or in research positions (for non-profits and the private sector), 30% have pursued doctoral degrees (in clinical, counseling, developmental, industrial/organizational, school, and social psychology), 10% have entered medical school, and 8% have entered law school. Our 4+1 graduates and career trajectories after the degree are detailed in the “Program Graduates” sections for Psychological Science and Behavioral Health.
Undergraduate GPA is weighted heavily in admissions decisions, insofar as a graduate GPA of 3.0 must be maintained. As seen in the table below, undergraduate GPAs have been relatively stable across applicants over the last six years. Letter grade in PSYC 3090 (Univariate Statistics I) also is weighted heavily in admissions decisions, insofar as at least one graduate statistics course is required for the M.S. For admission to the thesis track, undergraduate research in a faculty lab and a psychology faculty member’s commitment to supervise master’s research is critical.
4+1 master’s students may petition the Graduate Training Committee in the Department of Psychology to change tracks (e.g., from the thesis track to the non-thesis track, from the Behavioral Health program to the Psychological Science program, etc.). It is recommended that students craft their petition with the faculty adviser’s support. Ultimately, the Faculty will vote on whether or not a student’s petition to change tracks is granted.