College of Natural Sciences Colorado State University Department of Psychology

Applied Social and Health Psychology Frequently Asked Questions

Top 5 Questions:

Q: What is the deadline for the application materials to be received by CSU?

A: All materials are due on January 15 of the year you plan to enroll.

Q: Are there minimum GRE and/or GPA Requirements?

A: The Psychology department graduate admissions standards, effective for 2007, are: Undergrad GPA >= 3.6, GRE Verbal >= 500, and GRE Quant >= 560. Applicants not meeting these criteria will be considered for admission, however, the program must provide a rationale to the department for believing that the individual will successfully complete the PhD and special permission must be obtained from the department.  In these cases, remedial course work will sometimes be a condition of admission.

Q: Is funding available?

A: Numerous sources of funding are available for students in the program. It is our intention and practice to provide 3 to 4 years of financial support to all our graduate students who remain in good academic standing (3 years for those entering with a masters degree).  Although funding is contingent on availability of funds, our policy is to prioritize funding of continuing students before new students are admitted with an offer of funding. Funding sources include Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, and Graduate Fellowships, all of which typically include tuition coverage. The Carol Lynne Baird Memorial Scholarship is available for Applied Social students after their first year.  Colorado State University has a variety of fellowships including the Bridge to the Doctorate and McNair graduate fellowships. 

Q: What opportunities are available to publish and present at conferences?

A: Students are expected to conduct research each semester, to present research at conferences, and to publish their research as co-authors or sole authors. 

Q: What kind of jobs do graduates of the Applied Social program typically get?

Click here to go to the list of past graduate student jobs!

Application Materials

Q: Is there a program for a terminal Master's Degree in Applied Social Psychology at Colorado State University?

A: No.  A master's degree is awarded as part of the requirement toward attaining the Ph.D. Students seeking admission should be firmly committed to the completion of the Ph.D.

Q: Can the application materials be completed on the Internet or downloaded off the Internet?

A: Yes. For more information visit the application web page.

Q: What is the deadline for the application materials to be received by CSU?

A: All materials are due on January 15 of the year you plan to enroll.

Q: When will applicants received notification about selection decisions?

A: Notification will be sent approximately March 1.

Q: How many letters of recommendation are required to apply to the program? Are forms available for those who will write the recommendation?

A: We require three letters of recommendation.  There are no forms that letter writers need to use.

Q: Is the selection of a specific faculty member as an advisor required to apply to the program?  If a specific faculty member is requested, how will it affect the selection decision?

A: Applicants are encouraged to contact specific faculty with whom they would like to work.  Matching of faculty interests to student interests is important in the admission process.  Students often conduct research with more than one faculty member.  Because of current loads, sabbatical plans, funding opportunities, or other considerations, specific faculty members may or may not be seeking to advise new students in a given year.

Q: Is the GRE Psychology Subject Test required to apply to the program?

A: The GRE Psychology Subject Test is encouraged for applicants to the Applied Social Program.

Q: Are there minimum GRE and/or GPA Requirements?

A: The Psychology department graduate admissions standards, effective for 2007, are: Undergrad GPA >= 3.6, GRE Verbal >= 500, and GRE Quant >= 560. Applicants not meeting these criteria will be considered for admission, however, the program must provide a rationale to the department for believing that the individual will successfully complete the PhD and special permission must be obtained from the department.  In these cases, remedial course work will sometimes be a condition of admission.

Q: Is a previous degree in Psychology required?

A: No.  Students who do not have a background in Psychology may, however, be required to complete undergraduate courses as a condition of admission.

Q: Is previous work experience considered when making the selection decisions?

A: Research interests and research experience are weighed heavily in the admission process, along with matching of faculty interests. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account.

Q: Is previous research experience considered when making the selection decisions?

A: Research interests and research experience are weighed heavily in the admission process, along with matching of faculty interests.

Q: What other factors are considered during the admission process?

A: Research interests, research experience, academic background and performance, GRE scores, experience and promise of working independently as a contributing member of a team, commitment to and persistence in carrying out several years of arduous, but rewarding, work.

Q: What is the average number of applications received each year, and how many are usually accepted?

A: 20 to 50+ applications are received each year. Admissions offers are usually made to 2 to 10 applicants.

Education Background

Q: What undergraduate coursework is most useful and relevant for the program?

A: Psychology and/or human development courses, statistics, other coursework consistent with student interests.

Q: Can a person who already earned a Master's Degree at another institution apply to the program?

A: Yes. Credit may be given for coursework at another institution if the CSU instructor affirms that another course covers the equivalent material as a required CSU course; a second M.S. thesis would not be required.

Financial Support

Q: What is the cost of tuition for the year?

A: In 2007-08, the in-state tuition costs were $4,887/yr, and out-of-state tuition costs were $16,425/yr.  Most students (excluding international students) are eligible for in-state tuition status after their first year in Colorado.

Q: Is funding available?

A: Numerous sources of funding are available for students in the program. It is our intention and practice to provide 3 to 4 years of financial support to all our graduate students who remain in good academic standing (3 years for those entering with a masters degree).  Although funding is contingent on availability of funds, our policy is to prioritize funding of continuing students before new students are admitted with an offer of funding. Funding sources include Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, and Graduate Fellowships, all of which typically include tuition coverage. The Carol Lynne Baird Memorial Scholarship is available for Applied Social students after their first year.  Colorado State University has a variety of fellowships including the Bridge to the Doctorate and McNair graduate fellowships. 

Q: What are some tasks associated with the assistantships?

A: GTAs' tasks are to assist faculty with class management, prepare exams, maintain records, help students understand class materials, etc. Some GTAs teach a lab associated with a large section of a psychology course. GRAs' tasks include assisting faculty in designing and conducting research.

Q: Can students request a particular assistantship?

A: Students' preferences will be solicited.

Q: What is the average stipend for an assistantship?

A: The average stipend for a GTA or GRA is $1,350 per month (for nine months) for a 20 hour/week appointment.  These assistantships also typically include tuition coverage.  Students often will receive some summer funding during their time in the program. 

Q: Do students usually need to take out loans or seek outside employment?

A: These decisions depend upon individual circumstances. Some students choose to take out loans or seek outside employment, others do not. Please visit the Financial Aid page for additional information regarding student loans.

Program of Study

Q: What courses does the program require?

A: Please view the Typical Course Schedule and Course Requirements sections of the Applied Social Psychology brochure. Click here to download the brochure.

Q: How long does it normally take to complete the program?

A: The program of study is designed to be completed in 4 to 5 years. Students admitted with a masters degree in Psychology or a related discipline can expect to take 3 to 4 years to complete requirements for the PhD.

Q: What is the percentage of students that complete the program? What are some reasons why students do not complete the program?

A: Approximately 80-90% complete the program. Change of interest and failure to make timely progress are the primary reasons for noncompletion.

Q: What opportunities are available to publish and present at conferences?

A: Students are expected to conduct research each semester, to present research at conferences, and to publish their research as co-authors or sole authors. 

Q: What opportunities are available to learn about obtaining grant funding for research?

A: Many of the research projects students are involved in are grant-funded (please see the Research Projects page).  (link)  In addition to working on publications, students often assist faculty in preparing grant proposals.  Moreover, many students submit grant proposals to fund their dissertation or other research projects.

Q: What opportunities are available to teach?

A: Students complete a competency project which typically involves a series of teaching assignments.  The level of responsibility for these assignments increases as the student progresses through the program.  In addition, many students participate in certificate programs through CSU’s Institute for Learning and Teaching.

Q: What research facilities are available at Colorado State University?

A: Modern labs, computer facilities, video and PC-based projection and recording, survey capabilities, and numerous field research settings.

Learning Climate

Q: Do Applied Social faculty conduct research and engage in projects with faculty in other psychology sections or in other departments?

A: It is common to collaborate in projects with faculty in Psychology, Human Development and Family Studies, Technical Journalism, Recreation Resources, Natural Resources, Environmental Health, and other departments.

Q: What is the typical relationship between faculty members and students?

A: Applied Social operates on a mentorship model, where students work closely with one or two advisors and as part of a research team.  However, students are encouraged to work on projects with faculty other than the advisor when their interests make such collaborations appealing.

Q: How are students assigned to advisors?

A: An initial assignment is made based on mutual interests. Changes may be made with the consent of a new advisor.

Student Life

Q: What is the climate of the program?  How do the students get along?

A:  The Applied Social Program meets as a group once each week to discuss research and professional issues.  This helps to build a sense of community.  In these meetings students give each other constructive feedback on their research projects so that students can benefit from the expertise of their peers, as well as the faculty.

Q: Do the students tend to work collaboratively or independently?

A: Typically, the research that students conduct is a mix of independent and collaborative projects.  Students often pursue research projects with other students, either independently or under the supervision of a faculty member. 

Q: Do the students socialize with one another?

A: Yes.  Typically, students who enter the program together become friends and will socialize in the evenings and weekends.  Also, students who share the same advisor often become friends and spend time together away from campus.

 

After Graduation

Q: What kind of jobs do graduates of the Applied Social program typically get?

Graduate
PhD  Granted
Title
Institution
Andrej A. Birjulin 
1997
Research Director & Educational Consultant Self-Employed
Patricia A. Ellison-Potter
1997
Management Analyst Department of Transportation, Washington DC
Cheryl L. Asmus
1998
Founder and Owner e-Training for Dogs (see E-TrainingforDogs.com) 
Amy L. Cota-McKinley 
1999
Associate Professor Worcester State University
William D. Woody
1999
Professor University of Northern ColoradoO
Britt L. Mace
1999
Professor and Chair Department of Psychology, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT 
Steven M. Elias 
2001
Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Professor New Mexico State University, Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship Program
Steven Yalowitz
2001
Principal Audience Viewpoints Consulting
Scott C. Bates
2001
Associate Vice President for Research & Associate Dean Utah State University
Jacob Eisenberg
2001
Academic Director UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
Jennifer B. Yaffee
2002
Lecturer California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Dawn K. Nannini
2003
Research and Evaluation Specialist TEAM Fort Collins
Sarah Tragesser
2005
Associate Professor Washington State University
Marc Broderson
2005
Senior Researcher Marzano Research Labratory
Nick Perrine
2005
Director, Knowledge Management and Implementation Support Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson 
2006
Director of Data Program Evaluation and Reporting, Colorado Department of Education
Patricia Gonzales
2006
Research Assistant Professor San Diego State University
Sara Anne Tompkins
2006
Owner/Consultant Madipen Group, LLC
Patricia Romano
2008
Assistant Professor St. Edward's University
Shannon Altenhofen
2008
Psychologist Namaqua Elementary  School
Itsumi Kakefuda
2008
Director at Center for Child Daycare Nursery Safety Research and Training, Tokyo, Japan
Monica Rosales
2008
Research Analyst Los Angeles Department of Public Health
Megan O'Grady
2009
Research Scientist, Associate Director of Health Services Research The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
Gretchen Nurse
2009
Adjunct Professor California State Sacramento
Julie Taylor-Massey
2009
Assistant Professor Colorado State University
Kristina Wilson
2010
Director Office of Performance Improvement, Florida Department of Health in Duval County
Jake Benfield
2010
Assistant Professor Penn State-Abington
Laurie Chapin
2010
Lecturer Victoria University
Helena Chui
2010
Post Doctoral Research Fellow Flinders University
Julie Maertens
2011
Lead Evaluator Colorado State University STEM Center
J. Taylor Moore
2011
Program Evaluation Manager Mental Health Center of Denver
Rob Jakubowski
2011
Program Effectiveness Manager  Denver Public Schools
Lindsey (Harkabus) Fast
2012
Assistant Professor Western State Colorado University
Janet Craighead
2012
Healthcare/Measurement/Research Psychologist/Research Nurse Scientist Clinical Education and Innovation Center, University of Colorado Health
Danielle Dickens
2014
Assistant Professor Spelman College
Annette Shtivelband
2014
Founder/Principal Consultant Research Evaluation Consulting, LLC
Adam Zaleski
2015
Instructor Kauai Community College

Click this link for a list of graduates prior to 1997.

City of Fort Collins

Q: What is Fort Collins like?

A: For a broad overview of the town, see http://www.fcchamber.org/ or http://www.ftcollins.com/. Fort Collins has many amenities including top-notch restaurants, shopping, parks, and recreational facilities. It is also in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, many national parks, and the major metropolitan area of Denver. Overall, residents enjoy a moderate, four season climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine and 14.5 inches of precipitation a year.

Q: What is the size of the town?

A: The population of Fort Collins is about 144,000 people. There are about 30,700 students enrolled at Colorado State University, so a large portion of the town is comprised of college students and university faculty and staff.

Q: What is the cost of living in Fort Collins?

A: The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average. For example, it's much cheaper to live here than Southern California or the East Coast. However, it's significantly more expensive than the Midwest and part of the south. To compare the cost of living in Fort Collins to where you live, check out http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/salcalc.html. Overall, the average rent in Fort Collins for a one-bedroom apartment is $650 and a two-bedroom is $740. Colorado State University offers appartments in the University Villages for all students. Please visit Housing and Dining Services web site for more information or http://ocl.colostate.edu/home for off campus rental information.

Q: What do people in Fort Collins do for fun?

A: Outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, boating, biking, and skiing, are major pastimes for Fort Collins residents. Fort Collins also has several museums, theaters, and a historical old town shopping district. Additionally, Fort Collins is home to several breweries.

Q: What activities are available in the surrounding areas of Fort Collins?

A: Within a 15-minute drive, there are many hiking, running, and mountain biking trails. Some of the most famous ski resorts (e.g., Aspen, Vail, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Purgatory) are within short driving distances. For example, it is about a 2-3 hour drive to Vail and about 5 hours to Aspen and Purgatory from Fort Collins. Other ski resorts, such as Loveland and Arapaho Basin (which are still great and usually less crowded), are about 1½ hours from Fort Collins. Also, within a 45-minute drive are Denver, Boulder, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Many activities, such as shopping, hiking, sightseeing, and (good!) eating, are available there. Even closer in proximity (about a 15-minute drive) is a large outlet mall in Loveland, which includes the outlet stores of J Crew, Bass, Tommy Hilfiger, etc

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