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Graduate Newsletter


Advancement to Candidacy
Announcements (updated 6/25/09)
Colloquia Requirements
Contact Information (updated 6/18/09)
Continuous Enrollment
Department and University Awards (updated 6/18/09)
Educational Leave/Leave of Absence
GA/SA Positions
Grad Check (AKA Request to Graduate)
GS 700/Continuous Enrollment
MA/MS Program Grads (updated 6/18/09)
PhD Program Application Questionnaire
Registration/Registration Concerns
Seven Year Rule/Change of Program (updated 6/18/09)
Thesis (updated 9/17/09)
Web Sites helpful links (updated 6/18/09)
When to do What (updated 6/18/09)


from the computer of Diane:

Fall 2009

     Please remember to check this Graduate Newsletter portion of the department web site frequently for recent updates, as well as answers to your questions as they arise (the most asked questions are addressed there).  Listed here is information about going through the Commencement ceremony, Advancement to Candidacy, GS 700, and thesis.
     Also, please remember to check the department web site regarding my office hours and availability – I will be taking vacation time during the semester, which will be posted as it is scheduled.
     The Psychology Department attempted to hire a new professor, but the candidacy who was offered the position declined.  With the on-going budget crisis, it may be awhile until we get to try again.
     A couple of faculty members are continuing to participate in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP): Ralph Hupka and Kevin MacDonald.  While FERPing, these professors will be teaching part-time (either one full semester on/one off, or part-time during both fall and spring semesters).  Faculty may FERP up to five years, but also may choose to fully retire earlier.  (Please keep in mind that once a professor fully retires, he or she may no longer serve as your thesis chair or second committee member.)  Virginia Binder, Keith Colman, Michael Connor, Joellen Hartley, John Jung, Robert Kapche and Sara Smith have retired, and we wish them all the best! 
     The MA/MS Thesis Abstracts continue to be updated:
           MSIO –
           MAR –
           MSHF –
           Theses abstracts and sometimes full text may also be accessed through
            the ProQuest database.

     The University Thesis Office is now accepting theses printed on 20 lb paper – the special Southworth business paper is no longer a requirement!  However, there have been a couple new developments that must be taken care of prior to thesis submission: Students must now register on-line via the Thesis Office’s web site, and the Associate Dean’s signature much be obtained prior to thesis submission rather than after approval by the Thesis Office as had been the prior procedure.

Financial Aid
    There have been two links added to the Current Students’ web menu: the Boeing Company’s Human Factors Scholarship and the California Pre-Doctoral Program (AKA Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars).  The Graduate Equity Fellowship (GEF) has been replaced by the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF).  Don’t forget to file your 2010/2011 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) beginning January 1, 2010.  You may still submit a 2009/2010 year FAFSA to be considered for loans, and the Graduate Research Fellowship.  There’s a web page that explains "Satisfactory Academic Progress" and how your unit cap is determined: 

     A reminder that the Enrollment Services office sends notices via email.  The system will use the email address you have listed on your MyCSULB account.  If you have not already received your registration notice, please check to make sure that the email account you’re most likely to check your mail through is listed correctly on MyCSULB.
      Please remember that if you wish to sign up for thesis or Directed Research units you must have me place a permit on the registration system.  Don’t use any code numbers that might be printed in the Schedule of Classes or on the MyCSULB system — you’ll wind up in the wrong section.  This is extremely important, as faculty now put grades on the system through their account, rather than through the paper grade sheets.  Therefore, grades can only be posted by the professor with whom you are registered.  If you register using the default code, you’ll wind up taking your thesis units through the Department Chair or possibly another faculty member — this could result in disenrollment or a failing grade.
      The registration system no longer allows me to designate the number of units you are signing up for with either PSY 697 (Directed Research) or 698 (Thesis).  Therefore, you will need to make sure that when you do sign up for the units, after I’ve placed the permit on the registration system, that you put in the correct number of units.  MA-R students who wish to use one semester of Directed Research for their 30-unit program must take 3 units of PSY 697 during that semester for it to count.
    Please be sure to refer to the Registration/Registration Concerns portion of the Graduate Newsletter.  This includes links to the master’s programs’ coursework charts.

See also:
     Department and University Awards

PhD Programs
     If you have applied to any PhD programs, please complete our PhD program inquiry questionnaire.  Please do let me know if you have applied and more importantly when you are accepted into a program.  I won’t release your name if you’d prefer.  But potential applicants will ask me for the percentage of students from our program that go on to PhD programs — I can’t provide this information if you don’t let me know (it’s rather embarrassing when I have to admit that I don’t have the data).  And of course I’m personally interested in you — I’d like to know what you’re doing post-Master’s.  (Even if you don’t go on for a PhD — do let me know from time to time what you’re doing.  You’ve got my email address.)

General Announcements
The decisions for our new master’s programs’ students have been made.  The numbers were as follows (number of applicants, number given an offer, and number that accepted the offer):
          MSIO:     62  –  23  –  6
          MAR:      81* – 32  – 15
          MSHF:      9   –   5  –   1
              * We had a record number of MAR applicants!
     Reoccurring nag: please update your address, phone numbers, and especially email addresses whenever they change, with the Graduate Advisor.  She will gratefully appreciate it!  Make sure that you update your MyCSULB account as well, particularly your email address.  University announcements, including your registration information, is sent via email.
      As always, please let me know if there’s anything you need, whether that be in the area of information, resources or tools (such as the on-line Orals Announcement template).  If it’s not within my ability to deliver it myself, I’ll pass it on to your MA/MS program faculty committee, the department chair, or other "Powers That Be."

Have a great fall semester!  GO DUCKS!


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Advancement to Candidacy

     The formal process of setting your master program’s requirements is known as "Advancement to Candidacy."  This establishes your "catalogue rights."  Part of the process is to file paperwork that lists your program coursework.  Your program requirements are set based upon the university Catalogue year you Advance.  The most recent program change is for the 2008/2009 Catalogue year, where the IO program has changed from MA to MS, and replaced the 1-unit PSY 590 course requirements with one 3-unit course to be selected from an approved list – all IO students who Advance for Fall 08 and beyond will be under the new MS requirements: MSIO 
     The university requires fulfillment of four requirements to be eligible to Advance to Candidacy: successful completion of the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) requirement (either the WPE exam itself or documentation of a 4.0 or higher score on the GRE Analytical Writing exam), minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.0 GPA in all units undertaken for the program (min. 6 units), classified status, and enrollment in regular session (at the time of Advancement).  From the university web site regarding the WPE:

"Master’s candidates must attempt the WPE (or departmental alternative) during their first semester of attendance, or a hold will be placed on their records and they will not be allowed to register for classes until after the test is completed.The WPE must be passed prior to Advancement to Candidacy. Certificate candidates must pass the WPE as a requirement for completion of the program. University policy now recognizes a score of 4 or higher on the essay portions of both the GMAT and the GRE as WPE equivalents at the graduate level. Students must take their score reports to Enrollment Services, Room 123."

     Our students typically Advance during their second, or if necessary after their second, semester.  The university requires students to have Advanced prior to or during the first semester they register for thesis units.  Also, students must Advance prior to the semester in which they graduate, and prior to filing the Request to Graduate form (AKA "grad check").  The Psychology department does not require our masters students to have Advanced in order to go to Preliminary Orals; however, MAR students must have the required number of colloquia attendances to go to orals.
     The department Graduate Advisor completes the paperwork with the student, and then files it with the university.  As it takes approx. 30-45 minutes to complete the form and discuss requirements, students should schedule an appointment with the Graduate Advisor.
     Occasionally, a student will not take a course listed on the Advancement to Candidacy form.  A substitution, if it meets the requirements of that student’s program (as set at the time of Advancement), may be made via a "Change of Program" form.  Contact the Graduate Advisor to file the paperwork.  (This is least likely to happen to an IO student.)
     If a student breaks continuous enrollment (that is, goes two consecutive semesters (not including summer or winter) without being enrolled), the student loses all rights to the program set by the Advancement to Candidacy procedure.  See GS 700 for additional information regarding continuous enrollment.  Also, additional information regarding university Advancement to Candidacy regulations may be found in the university Catalogue.

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MAR Colloquia Requirements
     MA-Research students who Advance to Candidacy Fall 1998 or later are required to attend 12 Psychology department colloquia.  Six must be completed prior to going to Preliminary Orals, and all twelve must be attended before Final Orals.
     MA-Research students who Advance to Candidacy Fall 2004 or later are required to attend 6 Psychology department colloquia.  Four must be completed prior to going to Preliminary Orals, and all six must be attended before Final Orals.
     It is suggested that a minimum of three to four colloquia be attended each semester.  A schedule of the current semester’s colloquia series is posted on the department web site, and flyers are posted around the Psychology building announcing each presentation.
     Although it is preferred that you attend the Psychology Department’s colloquia, on occasion MAR students may petition the MAR Committee to have related lectures/presentations hosted by other departments or at professional conferences count towards the attendance requirement.  Please contact the Graduate Advisor to petition.  Also, the MAR Committee will encourage attendance at certain Psychology Department or other related departments’ events, with colloquia credit awarded for attendance.  An email notification will be sent out for such events by the Graduate Advisor with appropriate details.

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Contact Information

Diane Roe, MA – Graduate Advisor                Office Hours for Fall 2009:
PSY 107                                                            TBA

Psychology Main Office                                 Hours:
PSY 100                                                            Mondays-Fridays
562-985-5001                                                    8:00-12:00, 1:00-5:00 pm

Subject Pool Coordinator
Contact Psychology Dept Receptionist

University Thesis Office                                Visit web site or call for hours
LIB 501, 5th floor

Dean’s Office – COLA                                   Call for appt or to leave thesis
Dr. Mark Wiley, Associate Dean

Bookstore Copy Center                                Call for hours

University Research (IRB)                            Call for hours
Foundation building rm 310                                         

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Department and University Awards
     Nominations will be sought mid-December to mid-January from our faculty for the Graduate Dean’s List (with the top-ranked student receiving the Gilbert J. Padilla Memorial Award).  Students who are nominated will be informed via letter; those nominated but not selected by the College for the Graduate Dean’s List receive the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award for the Department of Psychology.  To be eligible for consideration for the Graduate Dean’s list, a graduate student must have/will graduate the fall, winter, or spring of that academic year, or the following summer.
     At the time of final orals, the student’s thesis committee may recommend a thesis for Best Thesis Award.  Just prior to the award’s deadline, these rankings are reviewed by the Graduate Advisor and the high-ranked theses are selected.  The Graduate Committee reviews them and selects one thesis to represent the Psychology Department, which is forwarded to the College for consideration of Best Thesis Award (one is awarded per each College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony).  To be eligible for consideration for the Best Thesis award, a graduate student must have graduated the previous summer; have/will graduate the fall, winter, or spring of that academic year, or the following summer.
     Students chosen for either award are required to attend the corresponding academic year’s Commencement ceremony in late May.  The Psychology Department’s ceremonies have been scheduled on Thursdays, 1 – 3pm.  For additional information on Commencement: click here
     The Psychology Department Awardees for the Spring 2009 Commencement ceremony were:  
           Graduate Dean’s List
                Kristin Drumheller
                Deborah Nelson
           Best Thesis
                Thuan Kim "Mary" Ngo
           Distinguished Graduate Students
                 Fredrick Garcia
                 Elliott Kruse
           Gilbert J. Padilla Memorial Award
                 Kristin Drumheller

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Educational Leave/Leave of Absence

     If you are planning to skip one or two consecutive semesters, you should file for an Educational Leave (AKA Leave of Absence) from the Enrollment Services office.  An Educational Leave Form should be filed during the semester before the leave is effective; this form must be signed by the Graduate Advisor.  Please note: If you have enrolled in GS 700 during a prior semester, you are no longer eligible to take an Educational Leave.
     The Enrollment Services office now has the Educational Leave form on-line so that you may print it out, complete it (you need to get my signature), and submit it to that office: 
     Additional information regarding university Educational Leave, copied from the Enrollment Services web pages (, appears below:

Why Take an Educational Leave 
     To maintain continuous enrollment at CSULB, you must attend at least one class every Fall and Spring semester after you are admitted to CSULB, unless you are on an approved educational leave.
     If you do not attend a Fall and Spring semester without taking an approved educational leave, you will not be able to register for the next semester, will have to re-apply to CSULB, and may be subject to the requirements of the Catalog dated the year you re-apply.

     You may take a leave of absence from CSULB for one or two consecutive semesters without having to re-apply to the University. You are eligible to apply for an educational leave if you:

  • Are registered at CSULB
  • Are in good academic standing with the University
  • Have completed at least one semester (Fall or Spring) and have earned some units
  • Have not filed to graduate in the semester of requested educational leave

How to Request an Educational Leave  

  1. If enrolled, drop all your classes, at MyCSULB, for the term in which you plan to take the leave.
  2. Pick up the ‘Application for Educational Leave’ form from Enrollment Services (BH-101), complete and obtain the required signatures.
  3. Submit your completed, signed application form to Enrollment Services (BH-101) by the last day of the previous semester.
    • Fall 2009: May 29, 2009 Deadline to file Request for Educational Leave without $10 missed deadline fee
    • Spring 2009: December 24, 2008 Deadline to file Request for Educational Leave without $10 missed deadline fee
  4. If you miss this deadline, you must pay a $10 missed deadline fee. Late applications will be accepted only until the last day of the semester in which you plan to take a leave.
    • Fall 2009: December 24, 2009 Deadline to file Request for Educational Leave with $10 missed deadline fee
    • Spring 2009: May 29, 2009 Deadline to file Request for Educational Leave with $10 missed deadline fee

If you are subsequently placed on academic disqualification, the University will revoke the approval of your educational leave. For more information, refer to the University Catalog.

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GA/SA Positions

     Graduate Assistant (GA) applications for Spring 2010 were due by October 15th – the deadline has been extended to November 2nd – and will be reviewed during the latter part of the semester or early winter session.  Please submit an application as soon as possible to be considered, but by November 2nd.  An SC-1 form is also required for those not currently working as a GA.
     To be eligible to work a GA position, you must be a graduate student enrolled in at least 6 units ("face value"), unless you have fewer than 6 units remaining to complete your degree.  (Enrollment in GS 700 will count.)
     Some department courses are considered "over-sized," and therefore are allotted Student Assistant (SA) positions.  If you are interested in being placed in a pool for consideration by professors who need SAs, please contact the Graduate Advisor
     GA positions are also available through other departments — see the list of Graduate Student Assistantships for information

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Grad Check (AKA Request to Graduate)

     You should file your grad check with the Enrollment Services Office one year prior to graduation or at least the semester prior to the semester you plan to graduate, using the Request to Graduate (Master’s) formFiling periods/deadlines are dependent upon the semester you plan to graduate:

        May (Spring) or August (Summer):
                file between the previous
                May 1st and October 15th

        December (Fall) and January (Winter):
                file between the previous
                December 1st and March 1st

     Those who file by the appropriate deadline listed above will appear in the Commencement Program published each Spring.  If you file after the deadline, please contact the Graduate Advisor during early March to have your name added to the program (this may no longer be possible).  (You should contact the Advisor anyway, to have the listing of your name and thesis title checked.)  Please note: you must have filed your Advancement to Candidacy paperwork prior to filing for graduation.
     Also, if you missed the deadlines above, you may still file for graduation late – obtain the Request to Apply for Graduation After the Published Deadline form.
     Please be sure to take a look at the information listed on the Enrollment Services web site:
     If your original graduate date has passed, and you have not completed all requirements to graduate (including thesis), you will need to file the Request to Change Graduation Date form to move your grad date in order to maintain continuous enrollment.

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Please click on this link for a PDF document that describes your upcoming Commencement ceremony in detail.  Congrats grads!

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GS 700/Continuous Enrollment

When to be enrolled in GS 700:  
     (You must have completed all of your program coursework and registered for all of your thesis units in previous semesters to be eligible to enroll in GS 700.  If not, an Educational Leave – AKA Leave of Absence – may be appropriate to avoid breaking continuous enrollment.) 

1) You need to be enrolled in GS 700 every fall and spring semester (summer and winter not included) once you have completed all of your courses (do not register for GS 700 until you have taken all of your program coursework, including thesis).  Enrollment in GS 700 allows you to access the library, computer labs, IRB and other campus facilities, to conduct orals, even to talk to and meet with your thesis committee members and other professors.  Enrollment during the previous spring semester allows you access to these services during the summer.  See below discussion regarding breaking continuous enrollment.

2) You need to be enrolled the semester you graduate (this could be a fall, winter, spring or summer semester).  This would be the only condition where you would need to be enrolled in either Summer or Winter (and of course supersedes condition #1).

What is GS 700?  How do I register? 
     GS 700 is a zero unit, non-credit "course" that allows you to continue working on your thesis if not completed by the time you finish your other program coursework.  You cannot enroll in GS 700 if you have not completed your coursework and/or registered for all of your required thesis units (you may, however, take a one or two semester leave of absence instead before starting GS 700). 
     You must register for GS 700 following the same deadlines as for regular course enrollment – THIS IS A CHANGE FROM PAST PROCEDURE!
     To register for GS 700, you need to obtain permission from your department’s Graduate Advisor and enroll through the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) office, located in the Foundation building (562-985-5561).  A list of students who need to register for GS 700 will be sent to CCPE (formally UCES).  Contact the CCPE office to register via phone with a credit card. 
     A Leave of Absence may be desirable if a student has finished all MA/MS program coursework but not the thesis, and wants to take a break before finishing up coursework for a teaching credential or certificate program, or even taking courses in addition to the 30/36-units required for the Master’s degree.  Once you begin registering for GS 700, you are no longer eligible for a Leave of Absence.  The university policy on Leave of Absences is one or two consecutive semesters; however, it is possible through a petitioning process to do up to a limit of two Leaves of Absence or four semesters total Leave of Absence (it is not clear if the latter needs to be consecutive — please check with the Enrollment Services Office for clarification). 
     Please note: your "grad date" must not have passed in order to be able to register for GS 700.  You must update it with the Enrollment Services Office (in Brotman Hall), which requires a fee of $10.  Your grad date is based upon when you will be submitting your thesis – please estimate it as closely as possible, so that you do not have to continuously change the date (and continue to pay $10 each time).

What is "Breaking Continuous Enrollment"? 
     If you do not keep current with the University through GS 700 or other course enrollment every fall and spring semester, or take a Leave of Absence before you begin GS 700, you break what is termed "continuous enrollment."  If you do, you will lose your program rights (your program coursework established through the Advancement to Candidacy procedure).  If this happens, you would have to reapply to the University as well as submit an appeal to your committee (MA-R, MSIO or MSHF) for reinstatement into the Psychology Department and your Master’s program.  Please don’t let this happen.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact your Graduate Advisor.

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MA/MS Program Grads

Congratulations to the following Psychology students who received/will receive their Master’s degrees for the semester indicated.  The Spring 2010 Commencement will be Thursday, May 27th at 1:00 pm (our usual time).

        Fall 2009
        Hoskins, Lisa (MAR)
        Maria Lopez (IO)
        Kelley, Nicholas (MAR)

        Summer 2009
        Boyce, Ayesha (MAR)
        Drumheller, Kristin (MAR)
        Kruse, Elliott (MAR)
        Kurtis, Kimberly (IO)
        Ledford-Yang, Tiffanie (IO)
        Rabas, Audrey (MAR)
        Sarkissian, Lara (IO)

        Spring 2009
        Fredrick Garcia (MSHF)
        Julie McMath (MSHF)
        Deborah Nelson (MSHF)
        Jeff Weibe (MSHF)

        Winter 2009
        Joaquin Castro (MAR)
        Jennifer Venegas (MAIO)

        Fall 2008
        Jennifer Dickson (MAIO)
        Peggy Ferguson (MAR)
        Emily Sanford (MAR)
        Thuan Kim "Mary" Ngo (MAR)
        Mallory Ruleford (MAIO)
        Akane Wada (MAIO)


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PhD Program Application Questionnaire

     Have you applied to any PhD programs?  If so, we’d like to know where you applied and what the outcome was.  I ask this not only because I am interested in you, but also because it will help in guiding future students.
     It is not necessary to include information about schools which may not have accepted you.
     Information about acceptances will be kept confidential unless you authorize me to publicize it to the Department.  I very much wish to do so, so that other people may be happy for you, too.  Please email me the information below for each institution (you may cut and paste), or print and send me the pdf form (thanks for your trust, cooperation and help – and best of luck! -Diane):

___ Yes, you may publicize my acceptances.*
___ No, I’d prefer you did not publicize my acceptances.

*Please provide the following for each institution to which you were accepted:
       University name         
       Ph.D. field (social, learning, etc.)        
       Funding?  (if so, what?)         
       Are you going?

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Registration/Registration Concerns

Spring 10 tentative course list 
Word doc                PDF doc 

Program Coursework
    Please refer to your Master’s program handbook for your program coursework.  Or click on the appropriate link here (PDF documents):

    MAIO (entry prior to F08)
    MSIO (entry beginning F08 / Advanced after S08)


    MSHF (entry prior to F06)
    MSHF (entry beginning F06)

    Also, please keep in mind that the MSIO and MSHF program coursework is sequential.  Please be sure to take courses in the correct order.  If you are unsure, contact the Graduate Advisor or the head of these programs.
    A tentative list of MAR Seminar and Research courses may be viewed by clicking on these respective links.

500-600 level courses
    Due to the increasing number of MAR students, they cannot be "guaranteed" admission to all of their preferred program courses.  Therefore, they need to register as soon as possible to get their first choices.  Also, the sooner the better, as low enrollment courses are subject to cancellation.  IO students are "guaranteed" a seat in their restricted program courses; however, courses that are open to MAR and MSHF students, including 511 and 512, may fill up quickly — again, register early to get your preferred classes.  MAR 600-level seminar courses that will count towards the IO elective may be taken by IO students ONLY after the Graduate Advisor gives the go-ahead (this is an agreement the IO program entered into with that of the MAR).  Please let me know if you’re having difficulty registering for a 500 or 600 level course – the system now enforces all prerequisites, and if you didn’t take them here, it won’t recognize them.

300-400 level courses
    If you need to take a 300 or 400 level course to fulfill your Master’s program’s prerequisites, you may have trouble registering.  There are usually prerequisites for these courses; if you did not receive your Bachelor’s Degree at CSULB, I probably will have to put a permit on to over-ride the computer looking for the prerequisite fulfillment.  But please keep in mind that you are in competition with undergraduates for enrollment in these courses — register for them as soon as possible to take advantage of your priority as a graduate student.  Also, I can only put on the permits: 1) up until the end of open enrollment (before instruction begins), and 2) if the course is not full.  So the sooner you register for these courses, the better.  If the course(s) is full, you might want to email the professor(s) and explain that you are a new Master’s student taking care of required prerequisites, and have been told to take the course(s).

Directed Research (PSY 697)
    If you are interested in a Directed Research course, you must sign up for PSY 697; PSY 599 (Independent Study) is for non-program graduate students only.  Don’t use the course code number printed in the "Schedule of Classes" or used by the MyCSULB system — contact the Graduate Advisor for the correct number (it will be provided on the contract form).  Submit a completed contract signed by your faculty supervisor (forms are available either from the Psychology front office or from the Graduate Advisor) to the Graduate Advisor (don’t return it to the front office!), and a permit to register for that course will be placed in the campus registration system, allowing you to complete your registration, if you register during computer registration (after that, adds are through the Add/Drop paper form).  Please be sure to sign up for the correct number of units.
    After the second week of the semester, there are much more steps and paperwork involved in registration — try to avoid it by completing your registration by the computer registration deadline.
    Please note: PSY 697 is for work done assisting a professor with his/her research, or being supervised by a professor on your own research project other than your thesis.  It can be for work that leads to your thesis project, but cannot be for your thesis work itself – you already get units for the thesis project (see next topic).

Thesis Units (PSY 698)
    To register for thesis units, contact the Graduate Advisor.  You will need to provide the name of your thesis chair (this will be verified).  The Graduate Advisor will place a permit on the registration system under the thesis chair’s class number and then give you that number.  You will then add the units, using the class number.  (Please note: you will need to request a permit every semester you register for thesis units and be given the new class code number – they are semester specific.)  You may "break up" thesis units over more than one semester, but please be sure not to sign up for more than the total number of thesis units required for your program (MSIO – 4, MAR and MSHF – 6).  If you do, you will have trouble graduating and will wind up with a grade of "W" for your excess units once it is resolved.  (See me if you would like to discuss a thesis registration strategy to possibly save money on registration for one or perhaps two semesters.)
    To be eligible to register for thesis units you must have Advanced to Candidacy or Advance during the semester you begin to register for thesis units.  Please contact the Graduate Advisor if you wish to discuss how to break up your thesis units to possibly save money.
    When grades are posted, your thesis units will initially have a grade of "RP" – this is a holding value until the final grade is assigned.  Your thesis committee will assign the grade at your final oral (thesis defense) and a "Change of Grade" form will be put through at that time.  If you do not finish your thesis, the grade value of "RP" will remain (it will not affect your GPA).

PSY 696 – Research Methods
    Registration for PSY 696 is by Graduate Advisor’s permit.  To take this course you must have successfully completed an Advanced Stats course as well as have had a professor agree to be your thesis chair (this will be verified prior to assigning you a permit – please email the Graduate Advisor with the name of your thesis chair and your desire to take PSY 696).  Please ask a fulltime Psychology professor to be your chair – a list of faculty who are willing to serve on theses committees is available (not all faculty on this list are willing to chair).

Adding Courses
    Beginning the first day of instruction, Psychology Department class enrollment is monitored by the individual instructor.  Therefore, any adding of classes, including 500-600 level courses, requires the instructor’s permission.  She or he will ask the Graduate Advisor to place a permit on the CSULB registration system, which will then allow you to add the course through IVR or  Please do not go directly to the Graduate Advisor to be added once instruction begins (PSY 697 and 698 are exceptions).

Registration Tips
    Be sure to register for each semester by the end of open enrollment, which usually closes the middle of the week before instruction starts.  If you are not registered for something (a one unit PE course would do it — you can adjust your schedule once instructions begins), you will be charged an additional $25 late fee.  Also, remember that you must pay your fees within 30 days of registering for the course(s), otherwise your classes will be dropped.

Course Call Numbers
    Contact the Graduate Advisor for the correct number to the following courses: PSY 697 (Directed Studies) and PSY 698 (Thesis).  To sign up for Thesis units, you must have your Thesis Committee Chair selected at that time, so that he or she gets credit through your enrollment.  Also, you must have been Advanced to Candidacy in order to register for Thesis units.

Financial Aid/Full Time Status
    Most Financial Aid requires only halftime status.  Possible exceptions to the need to be "halftime only" status may include loan deferments if you have gone into repayment, insurance eligibility requirements, or if you are an International student.  If you have any questions regarding enrollment requirements for receiving your Financial Aid awarded funds, please check with either that office or myself — I now have limited access to view Financial Aid screens.  9 units of graduate level (500s & 600s) courses is full time, 5 units of graduate level is minimum for halftime status.  You should check with the Financial Aid Office if your enrollment includes undergraduate level courses to determine halftime/full time status.

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     If a graduate student breaks continuous enrollment, he or she will no longer be a matriculated student at CSULB and loses program rights as set by his or her Advancement to Candidacy.  The University requires students that have broken continuous enrollment to reapply to CSULB, using the university application and paying the associated fee (deadlines: Fall semester – July 1st, Spring semester – December 1st), after obtaining permission from their department. 
     The MSIO, MAR and MSHF programs require the student to petition the appropriate program committee for readmittance back into the master’s program, and reinstatement to his or her program coursework as set by the student’s Advancement to Candidacy where appropriate.  The petition should include an explanation as to why there was a break in continuous enrollment, why it is no longer a hindrance (i.e., how the situation has changed) and a statement as to when the student plans to complete his or her program (including thesis) and expected semester of graduation.  The student’s position in regards to thesis progress should also be addressed (the name of your chair should be the minimum provided — if you don’t have at least a thesis chair, you are not ready to request readmittance).  The petition is to be submitted to the student’s program committee via the Graduate Advisor.  
     If the student’s coursework is considered too outdated by the committee, he or she may be instructed to reapply to the appropriate master’s program, thereby competing with other applicants.  All required paperwork for the department application must be submitted/resubmitted, including valid GRE scores (most GRE scores are valid for a maximum of five years). 
     If the student’s program committee rules in favor of the student being readmitted to his or her master’s program and reinstatement to his or her program coursework (where Advancement to Candidacy had occurred), the Graduate Advisor will send a formal memo, via the College office, to the Enrollment Services office, requesting reinstatement of the student’s program coursework.  The College office requires that the student’s expected date of graduation be listed, as well as where the student is in regards to completion of coursework (and acknowledgment of revalidation needs where appropriate) and thesis progress.

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Seven Year Rule/Change of Program

Please note: our program committees are discussing the possibility of eliminating revalidation of coursework.  Please get your thesis done ASAP to avoid the possible situation of having to repeat coursework because it has become outdated!  

     You have seven years from the end of the first semester’s coursework used for your program to complete your Master’s degree.  Any courses older than that must be revalidated.  It is highly suggested that you do not let your coursework go over seven years – revalidation is a lot of work for both the student and the thesis committee, who must revalidate the coursework (see below).  Contact the Psychology Grad Office before final orals for further information.  Please don’t let your entire program (courses other than thesis units) go over seven years — it gets much more complicated.  Please, please avoid this! 
     If your entire program is not over the seven year limit, your thesis committee revalidates your outdated coursework by either a written or oral process during your final orals.  The University expects you to be up-to-date on the course content — the current theories and knowledge in the field, not necessarily what was covered when you took the course(s).  Your committee will be provided paperwork from the Psych Grad Office that lists the courses requiring revalidation; however, you should check with your committee well in advance regarding any suggested articles or other publications to aid in preparation. 
     For those whose entire program is over seven years, the revalidation process is more formalized.  Your entire program coursework will need to be revalidated, via written exam only.  Again, you would be tested on course content as the classes would be taught today. 
     Revalidation of a course is considered valid for no more than two semesters.

Change of Program 
     If you want to make a change in your program after advancing to candidacy, you must file a "Change of Graduate Program" form with the Psychology Grad Office.  This tells the Master’s Evaluator in the Enrollment Services Office what courses to check for when he or she does your grad check and/or your actual clearance for graduation.  Also, you will not be cleared for graduation until the University Thesis Office notifies Enrollment Services that your thesis has been received (i.e., paid for — you need to give your receipt number to the Thesis Office).

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The Psychology Thesis Guidelines publication has been updated:
      PDF version (comes with formatted forms pages, and is handy for printing some or all pages) –
      HTML version (has helpful links, including to formatted forms and on-line templates) – the link is contained in the department web site’s goldenrod menu bar, to the left of this page.

You are asked to give copies of your thesis drafts to all your committee members at points designated by your thesis chair, and at least two weeks prior to the date of your Orals – please give them a hard copy.   Do NOT email it to them, unless you ask them first if they would like it emailed and they say yes – they might even ask for both.  You are always to give a hard copy to the Graduate Advisor at least a week before your Orals (both Prelims and Final orals).

The Thesis Office is now requiring students planning to submit a thesis to register prior to submitting thesis via a "Thesis Author Login Form," as well as obtaining the Associate Dean’s signature prior to submitting your thesis:

Also added by the Thesis Office is a more comprehensive Title Page, adding committee members and the Associate Dean’s names.  I have constructed a template in Word to assist you in producing this page, as well as providing a visual example:

HTML and PDF versions of the Psychology Thesis Guidelines are available (note: links are active on html version only, not PDF – the department Guidelines are updated just before the fall semester):

The University Thesis Office is now accepting theses printed on 20 lb paper – the special Southworth business paper is no longer a requirement!

     A list of published Psychology department theses abstracts has been added to the department, back to 1990:
     Information regarding thesis unit registration is listed on the Registration Concerns page of the Graduate Newsletter. 
     Please see note under Ethical Use of Subjects below regarding coming requirements for IRB. 
     Students are to send their self-produced Orals announcement to their thesis chair, via email attachment, at least one week in advance of their scheduled date.  A template, generated in Word, has been posted on the department web site for your use.  Please remind your thesis chair that he/she is to distribute your announcement via email to the faculty and to cc: me on the email – by doing so, your chair gives his/her approval. 
     Our masters’ students may use the department’s projector for PowerPoint presentations at their orals.  Your thesis chair must check out the projector for you; you must supply your own computer.  It is suggested that arrangements for using the data projector be made well in advance — more and more the professors are using it for their courses. 
     A thesis committee Approval Sheet (formally known as the Signature Sheet) template is available to assist you — it is generated in MS Word.  (This is for your completed thesis manuscript – you may wish to have it printed out and available for your final oral for your committee to sign – see the Psychology Thesis Guidelines web page for details and advice:
     You may obtain the latest edition of the University Thesis Guidelines via the university library web site (in PDF). 
     The published submission time periods are listed on the University Thesis Office’s web site:
           Semester              Submission Period       For Theses Dated
           Fall 2009                 9/11/09 – 10/23/09         December 2009
           Winter 2010            11/30/09 – 1/8/10           January 2010
           Spring 2010             2/12/10 – 3/26/10           May 2010
           Summer 2010          TBA                               August 2010
           Fall 2010                 TBA                               December 2010 
     You may submit your thesis as soon as the beginning date of the submission period.  Theses are processed "first in, first out."  Those submitted towards the end of the submission period will take longer to process than those submitted at the beginning. 
     The University Thesis Office will be checking for the following only: clear margins, permission letters, faculty signature and font size.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to make sure that all references are correct, the University and APA formats are being followed and that there are no typos.  It is recommended that you contract with your typist for her or him to check references, and that you choose a typist familiar with the APA style and University requirements. 
     Out-of-town students are responsible for arranging for someone to walk their thesis through the process between the various offices and the Bookstore.  The department does not handle this.

Thesis Support Groups  
     The UCLA-area MAR thesis support group is celebrating the successful completion of its members’ theses, and is no longer meeting.  If you’re interested in helping to establish a local thesis support group, please let me know.

Thesis Guidelines/Faculty Research Areas 
     The latest edition of the Psychology Department Thesis Guidelines (not to be confused with the University publication) for Fall 2008 through Summer 2009 is available on-line.  This handout takes you through the process of completing your thesis step-by-step via a detailed timeline/order of events (except for new developments, listed above).  Also included are visual examples of how to do your Orals Announcement and your thesis committee’s Approval Sheet (formally known as the Signature Sheet). 
     Added to the bottom of the on-line version of the Guidelines is a list of links associated with the thesis process. 
     Also available is the updated list of research areas of faculty willing to chair or be a member of a Thesis committee. 

Ethical Use of Subjects (Animal & Human) 
     University policy on the use of human subjects requires screening by the University Institutional Review Board (IRB).  Any study involving human subjects, whether from the Psychology department subject pool or otherwise, must be reviewed by this committee.  Please check their web site regarding instructions on filing IRB paperwork
     At the time of preliminary orals, you will receive a packet containing the URL of the IRB’s web site.  You are required to fill the protocol form via the IRB’s web site (with your thesis chair’s guidance) and submit to the IRB.  No study involving human subjects may begin until IRB approval is obtained.  Please plan your time schedule accordingly. 
     If you are using animals in your research, you must submit your proposal to the University Animal Welfare Board.

Requirements for Preliminary Orals
Prior to announcing Preliminary Orals, students must have their Thesis Committee approved by the Graduate Advisor.  Please contact the Graduate Office as soon as you have determined your three committee members, so that the appropriate required paperwork may be sent to the College Office.  The tentative title of your thesis is also required at that time. 
     Please don’t forget to submit a copy of your thesis PROPOSAL (i.e., a copy of the same draft you’re submitting to your committee) to the Graduate Office along with your Preliminary Orals announcement (abstract).  Along the same lines, a copy of your thesis draft is required when announcing Final Orals — again, a week before your Oral date.

Extended Loans from the Library 
     If you are enrolled in PSY 697, 698 (thesis) or GS 700, you may obtain a special loan card from the library which enables you to check out books for extended periods (basically throughout the entire semester).  The Graduate Advisor’s signature is required.
     Department copies of published theses may be checked out from the Grad Office for 2-3 weeks.  Some earlier draft copies are also available, for those who are preparing for Orals.  Students may also check out published theses from the University Library.  Department theses abstracts may be read on the department web site and are linked from the Current, Perspective and Alumni web sites.

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Web Sites (helpful links)

Psychology Department Web Site

University Thesis Office


Research databases and COAST

CSULB Library

MA/MS IO Student and Alumni Page

CSULB Commencement

CSULB Graduate Students Home Page

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When to do What

A brief order of events during your MA/MS program:

1) Enter program (first semester)
        Take Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) or report GRE Analytical Writing Score of 4.0 or higher to the Testing Office by end of first semester
                Note: WPE from another CSU may be used to satisfy WPE requirement — contact Enrollment Services for details

2) Advance to Candidacy (usually 2nd semester)
        after you have completed at least 6 units of your program (with at least a grade of B)
                (classes that will be counted for your graduation)
        after you have fulfilled the WPE requirement

        NOTE: you must Advance before you can register for thesis units or file for Grad Check (AKA Request to Graduate)

3) Select your committee and thesis topic
        have committee member paperwork filed by Graduate Advisor

4) Preliminary Orals
        MAR: after you have attended at least 4 Colloquia

5) Conduct research and write, write, write
        confer with committee as needed

6) File for Graduation
        between the previous May 1st and October 15th for Spring or Summer graduation
        between the previous December 1st and March 1st for Fall or Winter graduation

7) Final Orals
        MAR: after you have passed 3 comps and all 6 required Colloquia

8) Submit thesis to University Thesis Office
        see Psychology Thesis Guidelines and Thesis Office’s web site for details

9) Graduate! (Of course, complete all your program courses as well as your thesis before you graduate)

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