Master of Arts in Psychology

The Department of Psychology and Education at Mount Holyoke College has a small graduate program for persons interested in pursuing a master of arts degree in psychology and education. The department has a strong research orientation with opportunities for study in the following areas of psychology: cognitive, developmental (including adolescent development), educational, history of psychology, learning, perception, personality, physiological, psychology of women, sensation and social.

For students interested in eventually pursuing clinical training, the program offers a strong foundation in theory and research in psychology, although we do not offer clinical training. The graduate program provides opportunities for interdisciplinary study in the biological and social sciences. Students also may enroll in the graduate courses offered at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The department accepts a small number of teaching assistants each year. These assistants receive remission of tuition and a stipend during their graduate work. The acceptance of all graduate students is contingent upon the willingness of at least one faculty member to commit him/herself to serving as that individual's academic and thesis adviser.

Programs of Study

The Psychology and Education Department at Mount Holyoke College offers courses and research opportunities leading to the master of arts degree in psychology. Some opportunities are also available for students who wish to do interdisciplinary work in neuroscience and behavior. The academic year runs from September to May, with no summer courses offered. Requirements for the masters of arts in psychology degree include 28 credits at the graduate (300-400) level (16 of which must be taken as courses rather than independent work or research), the writing of a thesis, and a final examination. Most students complete the requirements for the degree in two years. The department has research in several areas according to the interests of faculty members. These include, but are not limited to, developmental, social, cognitive, personality, educational psychology, and neuroscience and behavior; the department does not offer a master's degree in clinical psychology.

Five Colleges

Through the Five College Consortium, Mount Holyoke students may take courses at no additional charge at Amherst, Hampshire, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, thus having access to their libraries and laboratory facilities as well. With the approval of the department concerned, up to eight credits of the 28 required for the M.A. degree may be taken at the other institutions. The Five Colleges are located within ten miles of each other and are linked by free and frequent bus services during the academic year. Students may also participate in social and cultural events at the other institutions.

The College and the Community

Mount Holyoke is an independent, nonsectarian, liberal arts college founded in 1837; it has a graduate student body of approximately 10 and a total undergraduate enrollment just over 2,000. Mount Holyoke remains a college for women at the undergraduate level, but the graduate program is open to men. All regions of the U.S. and more than forty other countries are represented in the student body. Mount Holyoke has always sought and welcomed students of all backgrounds and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, handicap, national or ethnic origin, or sexual preference in its admissions, financial aid and employment policies, or any of its programs or activities.

South Hadley was first settled more than 200 years ago and is located in the Connecticut River Valley, near the small cities of Holyoke and Springfield, and near the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts. Situated in the Pioneer Valley, in the shadow of the Holyoke Range, the 800-acre campus with two lakes includes squash, basketball, racquetball, and tennis courts, a swimming pool and a diving pool, a well-equipped field house, indoor and outdoor tracks, an equestrian center, and a golf course.

All campus activities are open to graduate students, and include lectures and seminars by distinguished scholars and public figures, a concert series, films, an active laboratory theatre, and art exhibits.


Completed applications are due in the office of the senior administrative assistant of the Psychology and Education department by February 15 each year. Late applications may be considered at the discretion of the department. New students generally begin the program in the fall; there may be admission opportunities for students who wish to enter in the spring, but it is unlikely that assistantships would be available.

Admission is based on evidence of the ability to pursue work on the graduate level as presented in the undergraduate record, recommendations, and other credentials. All international applicants must submit their scores for the GRE General Test and TOEFL.

Applications should be submitted to:

Janet Crosby
Senior Administrative Assistant
Psychology and Education
50 College Street
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA 01075-1462


Graduate tuition is $1,330 per credit in 2014-2015: there is also a Student Activities fee of $186 for the year. Most graduate students are enrolled in a minimum of two 4 credit courses each semester. Graduate students are required to have health insurance; the Health Insurance Plan available through Mount Holyoke College is $1,755 for 2014-2015.


Finding housing is the responsibility of the student. There are apartment complexes available in the area.

Financial Aid

The Psychology Department offers a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships, for which students are expected to devote approximately 20 hours a week to assisting in undergraduate courses. The stipend is $11,000, plus a waiver of tuition. No separate application for the assistantship is required. In addition, students are eligible for an Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan.  Students may contact Student Financial Services for additional information.

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