Frequently Asked Questions

General Information


What does MSAP stand for?

Master of Science in Applied Psychology.

Are there opportunities for hands-on experience?

Yes, students work on many real world projects throughout their time in the MSAP program. In our program, education is not limited to the classroom. It only begins there. As implied in the program name, approximately 85 percent of MSAP courses involve hands-on applied learning.

Do you accept part-time students?

Yes, but it will take longer to get the degree.

How long does it take to complete the degree?

Usually it takes two years, but it may take longer.

Are there online, summer or night classes available?

Yes, but most core classes are held during the day, on campus during fall and spring semester.

Are classes small enough?

Yes, usually fewer than 20 students.

Is there group and independent work in classes?

Yes, there are many opportunities for both group and independent work in each class.

What is a normal course load to take each semester?

The number of courses taken each semester is a personal choice. Many students take the majority of their courses in the first three semesters thus leaving the final fourth semester to complete the thesis or field problem and provide the opportunity to intern in any location. Due to the program’s structure, students can move anywhere for an internship if needed or desired in the fourth semester. For example, a student who finds a great internship in Washington D.C. is free to move for the internship while also completing the thesis.

Are faculty accessible for students?

Yes, we pride ourselves in being able to provide close contact with our students. We strive for a mentoring model of education.

I noticed the program plans list the credit hour requirements but do not list all of the courses/selectives, what does this mean?

One of the greatest strengths of the MSAP program is that you can customize it to your interests. Beyond the required courses, students can choose to take any graduate level course that they feel would be of value or benefit and is agreed to by the program director. Students will discuss course options with the program director during scheduling time.


Application Deadline


Is there an application deadline?

Students are only admitted for the fall semester. Applications are due February 1 for fall semester admittance. Applications received after this date will be considered on a space-available basis.

The GRE

No. GRE scores are preferred but not required. If you submit your GRE scores with your application they will be taken into consideration for acceptance into the program. If you do not submit your GRE scores with your application this does not harm you for acceptance in any way. There is much more to consider besides GRE scores. More information on the requirements for applying for the MSAP program can be found here.


Graduate Assistantships


Are there assistantships available?

Yes. Many students gain additional applied experience through an assistantship. There are a variety of assistantships available each semester, and opportunities vary from semester to semester. You can learn more about graduate assistantships in general here and MSAP program-specific information here.

How do I apply for an assistantship with the Psychology Department?

The procedure can be found here.

How do I apply for an assistantship outside of the Psychology Department?

You can apply for a general Graduate Assistantship here.

How much would I get paid for a Graduate Assistantship?

This varies depending upon the hours you work each week. A pay chart and other useful information about Graduate Assistantships is available here.

How often would I get paid for a Graduate Assistantship?

The first of every month.

Are there other job opportunities besides Graduate Assistantships?

Yes. MSAP students often work in the Office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality (PARQ) performing various research-oriented tasks such as data entry, analysis and survey development. Other on-campus and off-campus options are available as well, such as working at the library or local shops.


Internships


Are there internships available?

Yes. We maintain an internship site database. Many internship opportunities are in Menomonie and surrounding communities such as Eau Claire, Wis. and the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.).

Do I have to do an internship?

Yes, it is a requirement.

Do professors help students get an internship?

Professors do notify students of internships that may be suitable to their specific interests. Any information provided to the MSAP program regarding internship opportunities is distributed to students. Searching for, obtaining and securing an internship is largely a student’s responsibility. Professors do assist students by providing resources and passing along opportunities.


Concentrations


Can I take more than one concentration?

Yes, taking two concentrations is very popular. We call this a “dual concentration.” It decreases your opportunities to take electives, but it does not drastically increase the total number of credits you need to take. Typically only one more course is required of you. The most popular dual concentrations are Health Promotion and Disease Prevention paired with Evaluation Research or Industrial Organizational Psychology paired with Evaluation Research.

Does having a dual concentration benefit me?

Yes, the additional knowledge, skills and experience you gain from a dual concentration is of great benefit to you and will make you a more marketable graduate.

If I take more than one concentration can I still graduate in two years?

Yes.


Thesis and Field Problem


Do I have to write a thesis?

Each student is required to complete an independent research study. There are two options for this: A field problem or a thesis.

What is the difference between a field problem and a thesis?

A field problem and thesis are very similar. A thesis is the more traditional idea of what is associated with a master's degree and is the best option for those who plan on continuing their education into a doctorate program. A field problem can be paired with the student’s internship site. It involves investigating a “real-world” topic of interest to the internship supervisor. A thesis and field problem are equally involved and time intensive.

Why does it give a range for thesis or field problems and internship credits?

There is a credit range because students have many options -- i.e. a student can take thesis or field problem and internship credits all at once or in increments. For example, a student can register for two credits of thesis or field problem over the summer and take additional thesis or field problem credits the following semester. There is an internship range because students can take however many credits they wish for their internship. Keep in mind that you must meet the core credit hour requirements.


Job Outlook and Opportunities


Are there good jobs available?

Yes, you can work in industry, health organizations, education and government doing applied research, testing, evaluation and programming.

What is the average starting salary?

The mean salary for recent graduates is $42,000. Graduates worked in these jobs from three months to four years before changing jobs. The salary range for graduates five to 10 years out from graduation is $50,000 to $100,000.

What is the average salary for someone with an M.S. in Applied Psychology?

The salary of an applied psychologist with a master's degree is highly variable. Most applied psychologists earn between $30,000 and $100,000. Salary really depends on how the degree is applied and what area of applied psychology one pursues.


Housing and Location


What types of housing arrangements are available?

In the Menomonie area there are a variety of housing arrangements available ranging in price, location and style. A student can chose to live on-campus in a dormitory or off-campus. There are many area rentals ranging from apartments to full homes. Menomonie is a college town which means there are always students looking for roommates as well as plenty of housing arrangement options.

How far away is Menomonie from St. Paul, Minnesota?

Approximately one hour.