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Department of Psychology

M.A./ Ed.S. Admission Requirements

A four-year undergraduate degree is required for acceptance as a graduate student. A GPA of 3.0 or better in psychology undergraduate courses as well as a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA are typically minimal expectations for successful applicants.

Those who earned a BA or BS in degrees other than psychology are admitted but must complete the undergraduate course prerequisites before admission.

Acceptance into our graduate programs is based on multiple criteria and there are no absolute cutoff scores for admission.

In addition to previous coursework, applicants are evaluated with respect to:

  1. GRE (and CBEST for Ed. S. applicants) scores
  2. Essays submitted in the application process
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Interview performance

High previous grade point averages are preferred. We evaluate essays, letters and interview performance for motivation and ability to complete an advanced degree in psychology, and good fit between the applicant and the strengths of our faculty and department.

See below for more details about the various admission requirements.

Graduate Record Exam

All students are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission to California State University, Fresno. Students must submit scores for the General Test only; not the Subject Test in Psychology. The GRE General Test is considered an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their potential for future academic success. However, acceptance into the graduate programs in the Psychology Department is based on multiple criteria and there are no absolute cutoff scores for admission.

Students should access the ETS website at for testing dates, deadlines, and registration. The General GRE is a computer-based exam and is offered every month. Students should register and take the exam well in advance in order to receive scores on time. Graduate applications will not be reviewed if GRE scores are missing. Original GRE test scores from ETS must be submitted directly to the Graduate Admissions Office; a copy of your scores should also be included with the department application materials in order to ensure consideration. Scores must be received in the Psychology Department office by the application deadline.

Letters of Recommendation

At least three letters of recommendation are required from individuals familiar with the applicant’s previous academic work. Letters of recommendation for applicants to the School Psychology program should also include comments related to the applicant’s ability to work closely with people in the human services area. Letters should be on letterhead stationary and should be mailed directly from the recommender to the Department of Psychology at the following address:

Graduate Programs
Department of Psychology
California State University, Fresno
2576 E. San Ramon ST 11
Fresno, CA 93740-8039

Personal Interviews

Complete application packages are screened by the Psychology Graduate Committee. Selected applicants are invited to participate in either personal or telephone interviews before final selection of candidates is complete. Interviews are held on campus, or by telephone if an on-campus interview is not convenient for candidates. Selected applicants will be interviewed by at least two faculty members approximately one month after materials are reviewed by the Psychology Graduate Committee.

Additional Requirements (by Program)

Additional Requirements for School Psychology (Ed. S.)

CBEST Scores

Students applying to the School Psychology Program must also take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). Scores are to be sent directly to the Department of Psychology. This examination must be taken no later than November for the Jan uary 1st deadline. Passing scores must accompany application materials in order for a student to be considered for the School Psychology Program. Information on the CBEST test can be obtained at

or by writing:

CBEST Program
National Evaluation Systems, Inc
P.O. Box 340880
Sacramento, CA 95834-0880

Students may also contact the Testing Office at (559) 278-2457, located in the Family and Food Sciences Building Room 110 for test dates and deadlines.

Additional Requirements for International Students

In addition to fulfilling the above requirements, International Students must possess the equivalent of a four year U.S. degree, must present TOEFL scores of at least 79-80 (paper-based=550), and must have adequate financial support. Please refer to the webpage for more information.

Statements of purpose and letters of recommmendation are to be mailed directly to the department. All other official supporting documents, such as transcripts, must be mailed to the appropriate admissions office:

Domestic Students mail documents to:

California State University, Fresno

5150 N. Maple Ave. JA 57

Fresno, CA 93740-8026

International Students mail documents to:

California State University, Fresno

Attn: International Admissions

5150 N. Maple Ave. JA 56

Fresno, CA 93740-8026