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M.S. in Psychology, Experimental Psychology

Degree: Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Experimental Psychology
Format: In person on the Statesboro Campus
Credit Hours: 36
Completion Time: Four semesters (fall admission only)
Thesis: Required
Optional teaching emphasis offered
Admission Priority Deadline: Feb 15, 2024
Final Deadline: April 1, 2024

Are you interested in conducting psychological research?

As a graduate student in experimental psychology, you’ll conduct experiments and study human behavior- the way we think and learn, our attention, motivation, feelings, decisions, responses to our social environments, and more. You’ll join a steadily growing career that offers a median salary of more than $80,000 per year and make a contribution to an important scientific field.

Our MS in Psychology, Experimental Psychology Degree

Georgia Southern University’s psychology master’s degree with a concentration in experimental psychology is a 36-hour program on the Statesboro Campus — a charming and dynamic college town built around a shop-lined Main Street, and recently voted one of America’s Best Communities.

Our experimental psychology master’s program will give you a deep understanding of psychological research, and offer you the flexibility to learn to teach psychology, take an advanced clinical psychology course, or complete additional research projects with the supervision of our world-class faculty.

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Curriculum for Experimental Psychology

Advanced training in statistics and research design and a required empirical thesis. Students will learn advanced research skills to prepare for doctoral training and to be competitive on the job market.

Advanced theoretical and empirical content in physiological psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, affective and cognitive psychology and learning. Students will learn advanced theory and empirical content in core subdisciplines of psychology.

Choose from several electives, including:

  • Seminar in Teaching Psychology
    Involves lecture, discussion, activities and homework designed to explore how to effectively teach psychology classes at the university level. Using readings from books and journals, along with personal experience, the class will discuss and apply issues such as how to plan effective lectures, test writing and grading, demonstrations, leading discussions, handling controversial issues, dealing with disruptive students, seeking out opportunities for experiential learning, and so on.
  • Psychopathology
    Focuses on descriptions, hypothesized causes, and treatment modalities of major classes of mental disorders as classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
  • Research Experience
    Students work with a faculty member on a research project in progress, obtaining experience and skills to enhance their understanding of the research process.

Many of our students pursue doctoral programs in experimental and applied psychology. Approximately 80% of our graduates who pursue doctoral admissions are successful. 

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Experimental Psychology?

Experimental psychologists can find career paths in a wide range of fields. They are experts in using the scientific method to collect and analyze vital data regarding psychological and social issues.

Experimental Psychology careers can include:

  • Data Analyst
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Product User Researcher
  • Neuroscience Researcher
  • Medical Researcher
  • Instructor at the College Level

Admissions Requirements

New students in the Master of Science in Psychology, Experimental Psychology are admitted to the program in Fall semester only. The program is limited to 10-12 new students.

To apply, each applicant must have:

  • A successful completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. 
  • Record of having taken Introduction to Psychology, psychology statistics, psychology research methods, and at least two other psychology courses. 
  • A 3.0 (4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average (GPA) or higher on undergraduate work. The average undergraduate GPA of successful applicants was 3.65 for the Fall 2021 class and 3.63 for the Fall 2022 class.
  • The GRE is optional for applicants applying for Fall 2024 admission. You may still provide GRE scores but you are not required to do so.

Each applicant must submit:

  • A personal statement that includes a description of career goals, reasons for applying to the experimental MS program at Georgia Southern University; a description of previous research experience, list of academic achievements, non-academic achievements, and a self-evaluation of maturity level and character. Finally, please describe three psychology faculty whose research interests are a match to your own.
    • The following Statesboro Campus faculty are accepting a new student to mentor for Fall 2024:
      • Developmental: Ty Boyer, Nicolette Rickert, Rebecca Ryan
      • Social and Personality: Cassandra Baldwin, Amy Hackney, Mike Nielsen
      • Decision Making and Behavioral Economics: Jon Friedel
      • Cognitive Psychology: Larry Locker
    • The following Armstrong Campus faculty are accepting a new student to mentor for Fall 2024:
      • Clinical: Virginia Wickline, Wendy Wolfe
      • Experimental Psychology: Josh Williams
  • Recommendations from three individuals who can speak of the applicant’s undergraduate academic performance, potential for graduate study, and maturity level and character. At least one letter must be from a former professor or faculty research supervisor.
  • Optional: A current Curriculum Vitae.
  • Optional: Submission of a writing sample of past work provides an opportunity to showcase your writing skills, tone, and style. The sample should be no longer than two double-spaced pages. Consider submitting an excerpt or passage from a research paper or writing assignment for class, a manuscript, or other relevant works.

MS in Experimental Psychology Student Work


  • William T. Cagle (2021)
    Applicant Religion and Work Qualifications Impacting Hiring Decisions
    Michael Nielsen, Advisor
  • April Carr (2021)
    Effective Weather Messaging: Applying the Bad News Response Model to Hurricane Warnings
    Lawrence Locker, Advisor
  • Bradly McGinnis (2021)
    Do the Age and Drama Type of Individuals Affect Their Perceived Social Status?
    Nicholas Holtzman, Advisor
  • Jaqueline Miranda (2021)
    Understanding Racial Experiences and the Influence of Family on Stress and Familism Attitudes
    Jessica Brooks, Advisor
  • Connor Samuelson (2021)
    Which Toys are Right for Boys? How Threat and Confirmation of the Gender Hierarchy Impact Purchase Intentions for Stereotypical and Counter Stereotypical Products
    Amy Hackney, Advisor
  • Ahmad Sarris (2021)
    A Research Assistant’s Perceived Skillset When Utilizing Deception
    Karen Naufel, Advisor
  • Robert Southern (2021)
    Influence of Increased Options on Performance Generalization Across Two Variations of the Monty Hall Dilemma
    Lawrence Locker, Advisor
  • Chelsea Thweatt (2021)
    The Relationship between Posttraumatic Growth, Social Support, and Rurality
    Brandon Weiss, Advisor
  • Taylor Bradish (2020)
    The Smartphone Addiction Measure
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • Vincent Edwards (2020)
    Alternatives: The Video Game. An Assessment of Bias and Preferences in Uncertain Situations.
    Kent Bodily, Advisor
  • Alexandra Gilbert (2020)
    An Examination of the Relationship between Community Engagement and Military Spouse Marital Satisfaction
    Janice Steirn, Advisor
  • Samantha Gnall (2020)
    Who Deserves to be in STEM? How Threat and Confirmation of the Gender Hierarchy Impact Helping Behavior Towards Prospective STEM Majors
    Amy Hackney, Advisor
  • Tyler Mueller (2020)
    Attitude Formation and Malleability in Response to Visual Cues and Counterattitudinal Information
    Dorthie Cross, Advisor
  • Jaelyn Nixon (2020)
    Does MAGA Affect Legal Decision Making in a Criminal Case?
    Amy Hackney, Advisor
  • Danielle Oehring (2020)
    Prayer as a Potential Buffer Against Ego Depletion
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • Jenay Stone
    Smartphones, Stress, and the Reduction of Cognitive Resources
    Daniel Webster, Advisor

2019-2015 Theses

  • Jorge R. Noguera – Sepulveda (2019)
    Does Enhancing Mind Perception Affect Conspiracy Belief?
    Nick Holtzman, Advisor
  • Ryan Arflin (2019)
    The Impact of Language Complexity in Weather Warnings: Does It Matter?
    Karen Naufel, Advisor
  • Meghan Lacienski (2019)
    Are Chronic Inflammatory Diseases Associated With Trauma Exposure and Gender? An Empirical Analysis of Self-Reported Trauma and Health Histories of Men and Women
    Dorthie Cross, Advisor
  • Clint E. Johnson (2019)
    Does Sharing Information with Friends and Family Cause Men to Adhere More Strongly to Masculine Norms?
    Nick Holtzman, Advisor
  • Rebecca E. Burchette (2019)
    Ambivalent Prejudice in News Media: Does Social Hierarchy Threat Change How We View
    Amy Hackney, Advisor
  • Victoria E. Forgea (2019)
    Ego Depletion: Buffering Through Touch
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • Alexandria D. Booth (2019)
    The Effects of SES Stereotypes on Hurricane Decision Making
    Larry Locker, Advisor
  • Serena K. Murphy (2019)
    Does Emotion-Regulation Moderate Ostracism and Risk-Taking?
    Ty Boyer, Advisor
  • Demi M. Culianos (2018)
    The Effects of Inhibitory Control Training on Food Preferences
    Janice Steirn, Advisor
  • Susan A. Talley (2018)
    Predicting Student Learning: The Roles of Rapport, Immediacy, Learning Alliance, and Citizenship Behavior
    Rebecca Ryan, Advisor
  • Allyson H. Schmidt (2018)
    Does Person-First Language Increase Empathy and Feelings of Closeness for Those With HIV and Cancer?
    Karen Naufel, Advisor
  • Joshua T. McMains (2018)
    Dietary Patterns and Food Stimuli
    Janice Steirn, Advisor
  • Brooks B. Kolberg (2018)
    The Effects of Alcohol Priming on Age Perception and Attractiveness Ratings
    Jessica Brooks, Advisor
  • Rain Marie Carroll (2018)
    An Experimental Assessment of Empathy Compared to Perspective Taking on Minority Group Members in Intergroup Exchanges With Majority Group Members
    Amy Hackney, Advisor
  • Lindsey Bradley (2018)
    Induced Moods, Warning Messages, and Gambling Behavior
    Ty Boyer, Advisor
  • Courtney Swank (2018)
    The Effect of Religious Dress on Perceived Attractiveness and Trustworthiness.
    Mike Nielsen, Advisor
  • Natalie Branch (2018)
    The Effects of Preceding Stimuli Formats on Proportional Reasoning Ability in Elementary
    School Students.
    Ty Boyer, Advisor
  • Lindsey Bradley (2018)
    Induced Moods, Warning Messages, and Gambling Behavior
    Ty Boyer, Advisor
  • Lotte J. Pummerer (2017)
    Cognitive and Emotional Processes Involved in the Experience of Objects as Holy or Transcendent
    Mike Nielsen, Advisor
  • Donald G. Sullens (2017)
    Dual Task Testing of the Adaptive Combination View in Spatial Reorientation
    Kent Bodily, Advisor
  • Zebulon K. Bell (2017)
    Examining the Effects of Enclosure Size at Training and at Test in Spatial Reorientation
    Brad Sturz, Advisor
  • Spencer Dobbs (2017)
    The Influence of Resource Scarcity and Childhood Socioeconomic Status On In-Group Inclusiveness
    Dan Webster, Advisor
  • Addison Price (2017)
    The Effect of Disability Language on the Stigmatization and Dehumanization of a Novel Disability
    Karen Naufel, Advisor
  • Julie Odom-Dixon (2017)
    The Effects of Ostracism on Seeking Social Situations as Moderated by Narcissism
    Nick Holtzman, Advisor
  • Jason A. Parker (2017)
    The Effect of Social Influence on Perception of Tornado Warnings
    Larry Locker, Advisor
  • Emily N. Lasko (2017)
    Psychopathy and the Effect of Imitation on Empathetic Pain
    Amy Hackney, Advisor
  • Robert L. Altman (2017)
    Persistence and Achievement in Academics
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • Daniel A. Zuardo (2016)
    Rudeness and Ego Depletion
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • David Welden (2015)
    Preventing and Repairing Ego Depletion Through Humor
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • Sawyer, K. (2015)
    Religion and Interpersonal Trust: An Individual Differences Analysis.
    Mike Nielsen, Advisor
  • Shannon A. Summerlin Jr (2015)
    The Truth About Lying: Does a Lie Cause Ego Depletion?
    Janie Wilson, Advisor
  • Justin Ford (2015)
    A Stress-Diathesis Model of Depression: Examining Self-Compassion and Savoring
    Jeff Klibert, Advisor
  • Joseph Todd (2015)
    Hypomania and the Effects of Working Memory Load on Risk-Taking
    Jeff Klibert, Advisor

Have Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Amy Hackney
MS Program Coordinator
Phone: 912-478-5749

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Last updated: 3/2/2023