Stephen F. Austin State University

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What type of graduate training in psychology does SFA offer?
The SFA Department of Psychology offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in General Psychology.
Does the SFA Graduate Program in Psychology offer any specialized training tracks (e.g., clinical, industrial/organizational)?
No. All students pursue an M.A. in General Psychology, emphasizing methodology training and research experience.
What kind of training do students receive in a "General Psychology" M.A. program, like the one offered by SFA?
Students receive intensive training in the area of statistics and research methodology. In addition, instruction is provided in ethics, teaching, and several subdisciplines of psychology.
For what sorts of career opportunities will my M.A. in General Psychology from SFA prepare me?

With the solid grounding in research methodology, students are well prepared to enter the workforce (or return to it) to apply those research skills in any agency. They could conduct market research or design studies to answer a wide variety of questions related to agency practices.

In addition to competence in research, graduates of the program are prepared to teach at the community college level. Some graduates, should they so choose, will have been given full responsibility for a freshman-level course, receiving supervision for that work.

Will I be eligible to apply for licensure as a master's-level clinical practitioner (i.e., as a Licensed Psychological Associate [LPA] or Licensed Professional Counselor [LPC]) when I complete my M.A. at SFASU?

No. The M.A. program at SFASU is in General Psychology. The program does not provide the clinical coursework and practicum experience necessary to be eligible for licensure.

Applicants interested in pursuing a career as master's-level clinicians may be interested in applying to the Community Counseling program in the Department of Human Services at SFASU. That program prepares students to qualify for LPC licensure (but not for admission to a doctoral program in psychology).

How many graduate credits earned at other institutions may I transfer and apply to my M.A. degree at SFASU?
The Department of Psychology permits students to transfer a maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit earned at other institutions. However, any request for transfer of graduate hours is subject to the review and approval of the Department.
If I gain admission to a doctoral program after completing my M.A. in Psychology at SFASU, will my doctoral program accept some or all of my SFASU course work for transfer credit?

Programs vary considerably in their willingness to accept transfer credit; the general rule of thumb is 6 to 9 semester credit hours. Many doctoral programs will not accept any of the courses you complete at the master's level. Some might accept one or two courses, a few have accepted more. They have to meet requirements to continue their program accreditation. In order to do so, they must retain control over course content.

Students should not assume that any of their course work at SFASU will be credited toward their doctoral degree. You should only enroll in a master's degree program if you are unsure whether you want to pursue a doctoral degree, or if you need to improve your credentials for doctoral admission by demonstrating your ability to complete graduate course work successfully and produce independent research.

What is the Nacogdoches community like for students?

Nacogdoches is a town of approximately 30,000 residents located in the Piney Woods of East Texas. It is located 90 miles east of Tyler, approximately 125 miles north of Houston, and about 200 miles southeast of Dallas. Being so near the Louisiana border, one might also like to know that Nacogdoches is 90 miles southwest of Shreveport.

As you might imagine, everything about a small town exists here. However, only 20 miles south is Lufkin which has a shopping mall and several popular restaurant chains. For more information about these two communities, visit their chamber websites at:

Lufkin: www.lufkintexas.org
Nacogdoches: www.nacogdoches.org

What is the apartment market like in Nacogdoches?

Incoming students should plan to come to Nacogdoches early to locate and secure an apartment or house. The closer it gets to the beginning of the fall semester, the fewer options there are available. The following website provides information on Nacogdoches apartments (be sure to read all reviews rather than relying on strictly the recommendation percentage)::

http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/TX-Nacogdoches.html

Is any financial assistance available to students accepted in the master's program?

There are no scholarships available through the department for graduate students. However, a number of 20-hour per week graduate assistantships are available, with stipends currently at $9225 for the 9-month academic year. This covers the fall and spring semesters; summer assistantships are sometimes available but never guaranteed. Students are assigned to work with an individual professor, either as a teaching assistant or a research assistant depending upon the needs of the professor.

Based on feedback received from current graduate students, for those receiving student loans, you should be sure not to over borrow during the fall and spring semesters so that money is available to you during the summer. Check with financial aid for the maximum loan amount allowed per year.