Department of Psychology

Graduate Coordinator

PO Box 173440, Bozeman, MT 59717-3440


The Graduate School application process can be completed online; however, during the application process applicants will be asked information listed on the Psychology Department's supplemental application form. Take a moment to review this information before applying. Please note, the application process also contains an essay requirement. Applicants must include a 1-2 page letter of intent/personal statement that summarizes one's academic background in psychology or related field, career plans, research experience, research interests, and why the applicant is applying to Montana State University's M.S. program in psychological science.

Overall, the Psychology department requires the following application materials during the online application process:

  1. Supplemental information (found on link above)
  2. GRE scores; subject test not required*
  3. All previous college/university transcripts (official transcripts only); MSU graduates do not need to supply official transcripts
  4. Three letters of recommendation (be prepared to supply your recommenders contact information)
  5. Letter of intent/personal statement

* The Psychology Department also requires that applicants submit Graduate Record Exam Scores (General test, which yields a Verbal and Quantitative score). The GRE Psychology Subject Test is not required, but recommended. Please arrange to have scores sent to Montana State University (code: 4488). All successful candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of psychology, as well as undergraduate-level training in statistics and research methods


The closing date for receipt of completed applications is February 1. For detailed admission requirements, review the Admission Policies and Application Requirements sections on The Graduate School website. Successful applicants must have their applications accepted by The Graduate School (with departmental endorsement) before an individual is considered a graduate student at MSU. 

Financial Assistance

Teaching Assistantships or Research Assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis, are usually available to formally admitted graduate students during their two years of study. See the Financial Support for Graduate Students section on the departmental home page for more information (assistantships are requested by the student's home department).

Graduate Program

The Department of Psychology at Montana State University offers a research-oriented Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychological Science. Psychological Science is a broad term for scientific research in the core academic areas of psychology.  These areas include cognitive, developmental, health, learning, physiological, and social psychology.   Psychologists conducting psychological research work in a wide range of settings such as colleges and universities, health care facilities, federal & state government, small & large businesses, and many other places.

The goal of our two-year graduate program is to train students to conduct psychological research. The psychology department at MSU does not have graduate faculty who specialize in clinical, counseling, community, or school psychology.  Moreover, we are not a practitioner-oriented or MBA-type program.  We are a program for students who want to continue on to a doctoral program in psychology and conduct research. 

To satisfy the degree requirements, students must work intensively with their advisor to complete a research project culminating in a written master's thesis. Six graduate-level psychology courses and one additional supporting course (e.g., biology, statistics, and sociology) are also required. General areas of faculty research interest include: cognitive psychology, physiological psychology, social psychology, health psychology, applied statistics, and research methods.

The psychology faculty at MSU uses an individualized mentorship approach to graduate training. Students and their advisors work together to devise a program of coursework and research best suited for the students' career goals. The opportunity to conduct research with a faculty member is a unique component of our graduate program as it provides training useful for the ultimate pursuit of a doctoral degree or work in various organizations.