The Department of Psychology has fostered excellence in research and scholarship for more than 100 years. The department provides graduate students with the best available training to prepare them for a variety of professional careers in academic, clinical, research, and other settings. Emphasis is on both extensive academic training in general psychology and intensive research training in the student's area of concentration.

The department expects students to become creative scientists and to exhibit an early and continuing commitment to research and scholarship. All students initiate a first-year research project and present the results to the entire department in the fall of the second year. Typically, students are admitted for graduate study in psychology only for the PhD program; however, students admitted to psychology may obtain a master's degree after they have completed their first-year research project if they find it necessary to have a degree as formal evidence of progress toward the PhD.

Faculty members and graduate students have many affiliations with other departments, institutes, and training programs: Institute on Aging, Waisman Center, Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, Health Emotions Center, Neuroscience Training Program, Keck Neuroimaging Center, Hearing Training Program, Women's Studies Research Center, Institute for Research on Poverty, NSF National Consortium on Violence Research, Mass Communications Research Center, and Survey Research Laboratory. There are strong ties to the departments of Anatomy, Anthropology, Communicative Disorders, Educational Psychology, Entomology, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Industrial Engineering, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Sociology, and Zoology.


The department has an extraordinary array of research facilities. Virtually all laboratories are fully computer controlled, and the department's general purpose computing facilities are freely available to all graduate students. The Brogden Building and the Harlow Primate Laboratory have special facilities for housing animals, as well as for behavioral, pharmacological, anatomical, immunological, and physiological studies. The department is well-equipped for studies of visual, auditory, and language perception and other areas of cognitive psychology. In addition, the Psychology Department Research and Training Clinic is housed in the Brogden Building. See Research Labs for further information about individual faculty research labs and facilities. Connections with other departments and research institutes on campus (e.g., W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, and others) have been described above.


Students apply to the Master of Science in Psychology through one of these paths:


Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement See Named Option for policy information.
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement See Named Option for policy information.
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement See Named Option for policy information.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required. Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
Other Grade Requirements See Named Option for policy information.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements None.

Required Courses

Select a Named Option for courses required.

Named Options

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. Students pursuing the MS in Psychology must select one of the following named options:


Students should refer to one of the named options below for policy information:

Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop a proficiency in statistical analysis and experimental design relevant to research on human behavior
  2. Develop critical thinking skills for research in human behavior
  3. Develop skills communicating experimental results
  4. Develop a broad understanding of the field of Psychology


Professors: Bennett (chair), Abramson, Alibali, Auger, Berridge, Brauer, Curtin, Davidson, Devine, Gernsbacher, Glasford, Green, Gooding, Harackiewicz, Marler, Niedenthal, Pollak, Postle, Rogers, Ryff, Saffran, Shutts

Associate Professors: Austerweil, Li, Lupyan, Saalmann, Schloss, Walsh

Assistant Professors: Buttrick, Chadwick, Ferrigno, Hawkins, Jerald