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4+1 Masters in Psychological Science

The 4+1 terminal Master's Programs in Psychology provide qualified students earning a baccalaureate degree in Psychology from Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana with graduate training in psychology. Students either may pursue the M.S. with an empirical thesis, concentrating in depth on a particular area of psychology OR students may pursue the M.S. with a broad training base without a thesis. The 4+1 M.S. degrees are in psychological science (i.e., degrees are not offered in applied areas of psychology). Admissions criteria and curricular requirements are detailed below.

General Psychology M.S. (Non-Thesis Track)

General Track Checklist (pdf)

This option provides a broad background in the theories and methods of Psychology at the graduate level, and comprises 30 graduate credit hours. No thesis is required. Students electing to pursue this option desire a broad background rather than specialization in a particular area. The average completion time in this track is 9 months (i.e., almost all students can finish the coursework in two semesters).

Courses must include 3 credits in quantitative methods beyond PSYC 6090 (typically PSYC 6110), 3 credits in each of the distribution areas, 6 credits of core courses (i.e., courses numbered 7000-7090, which also may satisfy distribution requirements), no more than 3 credits independent study, and no more than one course outside psychology.

Up to 6 graduate credit hours may count toward both the bachelors and the M.S. degree. In addition up to 6 additional graduate credit hours taken as an overload during undergraduate study may be applied toward the M.S. degree. It is generally understood that students will complete some coursework toward the M.S. during their senior year at Tulane.

For advice on senior year courses that are appropriate for 4+1 M.S. applicants who do not plan to conduct an empirical thesis, please consult Dr. Ruscher.

Area-Specific M.S. (Thesis Track)

Thesis Track Checklist (pdf)

This option provides an in-depth examination of the theories and methods of a specific area of psychology, including the completion of an empirical thesis in that area. The degree requires 24 credit hours plus the thesis. Students electing to pursue this option usually have initiated research as undergraduate students, and have identified a specific area of interest. A regular full-time faculty member in Psychology must commit to thesis supervision prior to admission; in some instances, adjunct and research faculty may serve as co-directors. The average completion time for the thesis track is 12 months (i.e., students often defend their theses during the summer for the August degree).

Courses must include 3 credits in quantitative methods beyond PSYC 6090 (typically PSYC 6110), and 3 credits of core courses (i.e., courses numbered 7000–7090). Thesis directors advise their thesis track students; thus, the thesis advisor will provide guidance as to the particular courses appropriate to each student's unique interests.

Up to 6 graduate credit hours may count toward the bachelors and the M.S. degree. In addition up to 6 additional graduate credit hours taken as an overload during undergraduate study may be applied toward the M.S. degree. It is generally understood that students will complete some coursework toward the MS during their senior year at Tulane. It also is generally understood that students pursuing the thesis option have conducted empirical research as an undergraduate student.

Admissions Information

Criteria for Admission

Students at Tulane University and Xavier University of Louisiana working toward the baccalaureate degree in psychology would apply for admission no later than March 1 of senior year. [Note: Students graduating in May should apply by March 1 for fall admission of the same year, whereas students graduating a semester early (i.e., December graduates) should apply by March 1 for spring admission of the following year.] To be competitive for admission, students should meet the following criteria:

  • Grant the Department of Psychology permission to access your SAT/ACT scores from your undergraduate record.
  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher
  • A letter grade of B or higher earned in PSYC 3090 (Univariate Statistics I)
  • Baccalaureate degree from Tulane or Xavier University of Louisiana pending successful completion of requirements
  • Letters of Reference:
    You must obtain letters of recommendation from TWO full-time faculty members in the Department of Psychology.  For applicants to the thesis track, one recommendation MUST contain a graduate faculty member’s commitment to supervise the thesis research (and at least 3 credits of independent empirical research in psychology should have been earned as an undergraduate).

Required Application Materials

  1. On-line Application (will open September 9th)
  2. 4+1 Supplemental Application (pdf).
  3. Current Transcript (a copy of the unofficial audit is acceptable)
  4. Letters of Reference for the track to which the student is applying. These letters should provide an assessment of the qualifications for graduate study.


Enrolled students will be assigned a faculty advisor by the Graduate Training Committee. The faculty advisor will help assure that the student's uniquely tailored curriculum satisfies degree requirements, as well as helping to facilitate the student's own academic goals. Students adopting the specific area (thesis track) option will be advised by their thesis director. Non-thesis students will be advised by the department chair, Dr. Janet Ruscher. The checklists that highlight the requirements may be helpful in planning your curriculum with your advisor.

Program Graduates ▾

Jonathan Abrams, M.S., May 2015
User Experience Researcher at Google in San Francisco, CA

Jonathan Becker, M.S., May 2004
Residency Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Sophia Belay, M.S., May 2004
University of Connecticut, Ph.D. Program, Clinical

Ryan Bigelsen, M.S., May 2013
Applicant, Medical School

Kady Bourgeois, M.S., May 2007
HR Professional, Key Energy Services, Houston, TX

Jennifer Braaten, M.S., May 2007

Ryan Brennan, M.S., May 2018
Mental Health Professional, Empowerment Behavioral Services, New Orleans, LA

Christopher Burchett, M.S., December 2012
Quality Assurance Specialist, Epic Systems, Madison, WI

Elizabeth Carey, M.S., May 2008
Educational Psychologist at Surrey County Council, London, UK

Lee Ann Carnes, M.S. 2007
Ph.D. School Psychology University of Maryland

Samantha Couch, M.S. May 2014
Employed in Industry, New Orleans LA

Maya Cohen, M.S. August 2020

Max Daigh, May 2010
Manager of School Performance at the Louisiana Department of Education in New Orleans, LA

Joshua Dillon, May 2015
School-Based Program Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region in Philadelphia, PA

Jacob Firestone, M.S., May 2012
La Salle University, Psy.D. Program

Phillip Glotser, M.S., May 2007
Neurology Residency at Banner - University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ

Dhruv Gupta, M.S., May 2013
Doctor of Medicine, St. Georges Global Scholars Program
Medical Resident, Mt. Sinai, New York City

Brooke Hansen, M.S., May 2010
Ph.D. School Psychology, Oklahoma State University
Heartspring Pediatric Services, Wichita

Briana Hedman, M.A., 2006
Executive Coach and Consultant in Los Angeles, CA

Trenesha Hill, M.S., December 2013
Ph.D., School Psychology Tulane University

Lauren Hitt, M.S., August 2008
New Product Manager for Emergent Capabilities at Intralox in New Orleans, LA

Kelly Holmes, M.S., August 2009
Project Fleur de Lis, New Orleans

Kyle Hucke, M.S., May 2008
PhD Psychology, Tulane University

Timothy Jackson, M.S., May 2007
Associate Attorney at Wexler Wallace LLP in Chicago, IL

Galen Jones, M.A., 2006
Program Manager II, UAB Department of Medicine Division of Gerontology & Palliative Care in Birmingham, AL

Justin Kordys, M.S., August 2014
Law School

Jennifer Kuhn, M.S., August 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA

Sarah Kurash, M.S., May 2015
Human Resources Generalist at Benefit Street Partners in New York, NY

Samia Lalani, MS., December 2015
PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland in Washington, DC

Erika Larson, M.S., May 2015
Animal Trainer, Gulf World Marine Park, FL

Emma Lewis, M.S., December 2017
PhD Program, Human Nutrition/International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore MD

Meagan Magaldi, M.S., August 2017
Law School, University of Florida

Idan Mark, M.S. December 2014
School Psychology intern, Tel Aviv

Marina Mery, M.S. December 2014
PhD student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma

Yamile Molina, M.S., May 2005
University of Washington, Ph.D. Program, Animal Behavior

Anise Muir, M.S. May 2020

Matthew Nonnamaker, M.S., May 2015'
Support Engineer at HubSpot in Boston, MA

Alexandra Payne, M. S., December 2016
Internship, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Isaac Perkins, M.S., August 2003
Masters Program, I/O

Lauren Peterson, M.S., May 2012
Community Relations Coordinator in Houston, TX

Sarah Podesta, M.S., August 2016
Project Assistant, Neuroscience Program Tulane

Lily Rabinow, M.S. December 2013
Medical student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Brooke Rappaport, M.S., May 2013
Ph.D. Program in Counseling & Human Development Services, University of Georgia

Emily Ramier, M.S. May 2020

Nicole Renke, M.S., May 2017
Market Research Analyst for Brain Corporation in San Diego

Alexandra Roselli, M.S., December 2013
Law School, Loyola New Orleans

Christine Sassane, M.S., 2010
Judicial Law Clerk at Superior Court of New Jersey

Iina Savolainen, M.S., December 2016
Social Psychology PhD Program, University of Tampere Finland

Samantha Siegel, M.S., May 2004
University of North Texas, Master's Program Counseling

Brad Silk, M.S., May 2019

Carly Silvers, M.S., May 2019

Nicole Simoes, M.A., 2006
Director of Graduate Support, Excel Academy Charter School in Boston, MA

Evan Smith, M.S., May 2009
Nova Southeastern, PsyD program

Elizabeth Steen, M.S. August 2018 (anticipated)
Associate Teacher, Green Trees Early Childhood Village, New Orleans LA

Ariel Blue Stevenson, M.S. May 2020
Research Associate at Clinical Outcomes Solutions, Chicago

Lindsay Stewart, M.A., 2005
Clinical Psychologist in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Juliana Vanderburg, M.S., 2017
AmeriCorps, Washington DC

Cristina Weeks, M.S., August 2004
Georgia State University, Ph.D. Program, School Psychology

Gretchen Williams, M.A., 2006
Medical School, Osteopathic Medicine

Claire Yanta, M.S., May 2011
Founder and Trainer at Fleur de Lis Fitness in Virginia Beach, VA