Students entering Rice without a master's degree in psychology or in a related field are required to complete a master's at Rice. Make sure you are aware of the required timeline for a master's degree.

Master's Committee

Towards the end of the first year, or no later than September 15 of the second year, the student should have selected an advisor for his or her master’s-level research. The student and advisor will put together a committee composed of the advisor and two other faculty members from the Department. The main function of this committee will be to guide the student through his or her master’s-level research, and to ensure that the thesis meets the standard for the M.A. degree. Students should ask potential committee members to join the committee before April 15 of the second year of graduate study.

Admission to Master's Candidacy

Student must petition for approval of candidacy for a master's degree before their fifth semester. The requirements for candidacy are specified by the RIG.

Download the form for approval of master's candidacy. Please note that you will need to attach a statement of the department's candidacy requirements and a checklist indicating how you have fulfilled those requirements; the master's candidacy checklist found on your individual RIG's page will serve as both the statement and the checklist. The petition also requires a transcript, but the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prefers ones printed from Banner, the staff database, so your Graduate Coordinator will prepare one for you when you submit the documents.

Master's Thesis

Students are required to submit a formal M.A. thesis proposal. The proposal must be approved by the thesis advisor before distributing it to other committee members. Students should allow ample time to permit their advisor to read and comment on their proposal for revisions. A complete draft of your thesis should be given to your advisor one month before it is given to the whole committee. The full version of the thesis (complete with all references, figures and tables) should be given to your committee at least one week prior to the scheduled defense; a copy should be emailed to the department office ( as well.

The oral examination must be advertised at least one week ahead of time, via the Rice Events online form; Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will send a hard copy to the Department, which will be posted in the mailroom and copy room. They will also email an announcement to Jennifer, who will forward it to all members of the department.

Be sure to follow the thesis procedures described on the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.