MA Program Admissions | Social-Organizational Psychology | Organization and Leadership

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Social-Organizational Psychology

In Organization and Leadership

Admissions Information

We are excited you are considering an application to the MA Program in Social-Organizational Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Please read below for key information related to the admissions process.

We admit students to the social-organizational psychology program for Summer or Fall entry terms. Each year, we attract a large and varied pool of applicants who bring a wealth of experiences and organizational backgrounds to the program. Primary consideration for admission is given to previous academic record, work experiences, letters of reference, GRE scores, and the personal statement.

A strong applicant is one with a solid and consistent record of achievement in various domains, who is now cognizant of the value of obtaining a degree in social-organizational psychology. The best applicants express an openness to learning about self, curiosity and interest in learning about others, analytical and critical thinking skills, an ability to synthesize complex information and apply it in real-world situations, a willingness to work in groups and to build a learning community, and a passion for understanding the connection between social-organizational psychology and social justice.  

Interested applicants must be committed to the academic training offered by the program, including a strong emphasis on the scientist-practitioner model that combines both theory and practice. Further, they must be prepared to bring their own lived experience into the classroom for analysis, and to take the theory and research from the classroom back to the workplace. Applicants are required to have work experience following the successful completion of undergraduate studies and prior to applying to the program. Two or more years of work experience is preferred. Applicants applying directly from undergraduate programs will not be considered for admission.

In general, our admissions process focuses on four areas:

  • Intellectual capacity
  • Fit to the social-organizational psychology program
  • Relevant background and experience
  • Dedication and commitment to obtaining the MA degree.

Our goal is to determine your individual merits and potential contributions to the field as well to the entering class.

The chart below answers specific application-related questions. To download the chart in PDF form, please click here: MA Program Admissions Information

Program

M.A. in Social-Organizational Psychology

Major Codes

ORGM

Entry Term

Summer, Fall

Students Admitted Each Term

The number of students we admit varies from year to year and semester to semester. Typically, the range for an entering class is as follows:

Summer: 20-25

Fall: 95-100

Required Examinations

GRE General Test or GMAT. The GRE general test is required for MA applicants. In lieu of the GRE, applicants may submit GMAT scores. Scores are not accepted after five years have lapsed.

Average GRE Score

We do NOT require a minimum GRE score. As a point of reference, in the most recent applicant pool, the average GRE scores were:

Verbal: 162

Quantitative: 160

Writing: 4.00

Number of Required Letters of Recommendation

2

Are Official Transcripts Required?

Yes. Of note, we have no absolute cut-off for GPAs, but at least a B average is expected. In the past, GPA’s have been:

Average GPA of those accepted: 3.56

Range of GPA of those accepted:  3.0-4.0

Is a Statement of Purpose Required?

Yes

Is my Resume Required?

Yes

 Is an Academic Writing Sample Required?

No. You are welcome to include a writing sample, but this is not required. If you decide to submit one, it should be an individually authored paper. Writing samples can take on many forms. For instance, you may submit a research-oriented paper such as an honors project, master’s thesis, or class paper. Generally speaking, a writing sample is a paper that shows your writing skills and your ability to present ideas coherently, concisely, and convincingly.

Is work experience required?

Yes. Work experience helps students grasp the practical significance of the various theories and research they study, and it helps students to complete the varied assignments that require application of theory/research to lived work experience. Thus, you should have some previous organizational experience. This may be in the form of full-time or part-time work. We also value volunteer work. We have found that the students with at least a few years of work experience thrive here while those with little to no work experience have more difficulty. If you are a current university or college senior, we strongly urge you to defer applying to our program until you have worked a year or more following your graduation.

Do I need to have an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology?

No. Although many of our students majored in psychology for their baccalaureate studies, it is not essential under the current 45-credit MA program. Our students come with a rich mix of undergraduate majors including biology, business, chemistry, communications, economics, engineering, English, history, political science, sociology, theology, and more.

Are There Supplemental Documents Needed?

No

How do I submit my Application?

Online. To apply for admission, please visit the  Teachers College Office of Admission. The Teachers College Application System is exclusively online. You may call the Admissions Office at (212) 678-3710 for more information, or may email our representative in Admissions, Nicole Siniscalchi (siniscalchi@tc.edu)

Application Fees

Yes

Priority Application Deadlines

January 15. The priority deadline is for consideration for financial aid (typically student loans).

Final Application Deadlines

April 15. All applications are evaluated on their merits irrespective of the date they are received. That is, applying early does not give you an advantage in being admitted; it does, however, mean you will receive your admissions decision that much earlier.

What is the time frame for admission decisions? When will I know if I have been accepted?

Applications are reviewed regularly. Generally speaking, we notify applicants around the following time periods:

  • Fall and Summer Priority Applications: Mid-March to Beginning of April
  • Fall and Summer Applications Received by the Final Deadline: Early May to Late May

 

Applicants often inquire about how they might increase their chances of being accepted*. We suggest you:

  • Review your application thoroughly before submitting it to ensure that you have provided all requested information, and have corrected any typos and errors.
  • Make sure your application file is complete and submitted by the deadline.
  • Take the GRE more than once if your scores are low the first time.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation from people who know your academic, research, and/or work experience well enough to provide detailed information and thorough evaluative comments.
  • Clarify your career goals before applying. Consider why you need an MA to meet those career goals.
  • Learn about and demonstrate an understanding of the area of social- organizational psychology.
  • Gain relevant work experience if you do not have any, which can include part-time work or volunteer activities.

*Notably, talking with or meeting with faculty members prior to applying will not promote your chances of acceptance. However, faculty members and current students are available to discuss any additional questions you might have about the program. We offer three Open Houses during the Fall semester and three during the Spring semester where you can learn more about the program and meet in groups and individually with current faculty and students. Check our event calendar for Open House dates. If you are not able to attend an Open House and have additional questions you can email the Program Director, Dr. Sarah Brazaitis or the Program Adviser, Dr. Gina Buontempo, for answers to your queries at info_SOP_MA@tc.columbia.edu. Further, an additional resource is the Organization and Human Development Consulting Club (OHDCC), which is available to answer questions about the program from the student perspective, contactOHDCC@gmail.com.

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