Evolutionary Psychology Master's Programs in California

Individuals interested in evolutionary psychology or a closely related discipline can choose from graduate programs at several California schools. An in-depth overview of the eligibility criteria and coursework at these programs is provided for prospective students.

The field of evolutionary psychology focuses on how evolution shapes the human brain and behaviors. Prospective students can learn about the training they'll receive in the master's and doctoral programs below.

School Comparison

These three public universities offer graduate tuition fees ranging from under $9,000 to over $28,000.

Institution Location Average Graduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)*
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA $13,003 (in-state) / $28,105 (out-of-state)
California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA $8,284 (in-state) / $17,788 (out-of-state)
University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA $13,569 (in-state) / $28,671 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

California Evolutionary Psychology Graduate Programs

University of California - Los Angeles

The University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) offers a Master of Arts in Social Psychology that has faculty with experience in evolutionary psychology. This degree is available as part of UCLA's doctoral program. Students will complete two years focusing on a research topic before earning their master's degree. Coursework offered includes evolution and behavior analysis, the biology of memory and learning, and human neurophysiology.

UCLA requires that all applicants for graduate admissions have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher. A degree in psychology is preferred, with statistics and advanced math courses required. Applicants will need to provide three letters of recommendation, GRE general scores no older than five years, a statement of purpose, and a resume. They will also need to complete an interview as part of the admissions process.

California State University - Fullerton

Students can earn a Master of Arts in Psychological Research at California State University - Fullerton. Coursework is offered in the focused area of evolutionary psychology, which focuses on how evolution influences areas such as parenting, conflict, and mating processes. Other courses offered include social psychology and biopsychology. Students will need to complete 36 credits for graduation, which includes a thesis project.

Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree with the following:

  • Overall 2.5 GPA
  • 3.0 GPA for psychology classes
  • 2.5 GPA for last 60 credits

Students will also need research experience and prerequisite courses in areas like statistics and research processes in psychology. They will need to complete a university and departmental application and provide a statement of purpose, three recommendation letters, transcripts, and verbal, quantitative, and analytical GRE scores.

University of California - Santa Barbara

The University of California - Santa Barbara awards a Master of Arts in Psychological and Brain Sciences with training offered in evolutionary psychology. The degree is offered as part of the doctoral program and can be earned after completing 30 credits and a master's thesis. Students can opt out of the program after earning their master's or continue on to complete their doctoral one. Available coursework includes how motivated behavior evolved, the evolution of relationships, and evolution and cognition.

A bachelor's degree in psychology is preferred; however, the university will accept students with degrees in other fields. Potential students will submit an application, GRE general scores, transcripts, a statement of purpose, a personal contribution statement, and recommendation letters. Students will need to indicate their interest in the area of evolutionary psychology at the time of application.

Students will need a bachelor's degree to pursue a graduate degree in evolutionary psychology or a related field. If interested, they can enroll in a program that will also lead to a doctoral degree.


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