Bachelor of Arts to Master of Arts in Psychology (BA-to-MAP)

The accelerated 5-year Bachelor of Arts to Master of Arts in Psychology allows students to pursue a Master of Arts in Psychology a full year sooner than the traditional track. Students receive a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Psychology in five years. Learners in this program can complete graduate-level courses during their final semester as an undergraduate. Students can choose this program as Freshmen, but they will need to apply for it to continue with graduate coursework once they have completed 60 credit hours.

How do students apply?

Freshmen or undergraduate transfer students can apply for this program using the HCU Online application and begin in their first semester. In order to continue with the graduate coursework, students must have completed 60 credit hours (12 credits must be in Psychology) and must have met the eligibility requirements. The 5-Year MAP Application will be available through the  Psychology Department’s website.

Students apply for HCU admissions and indicate 5-year MAP as their major. After 60 credit hours, they will complete the application and the following.

    • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member
      • This will be submitted through the Application link
      • Letters must be submitted in PDF format
    • Proposed thesis topic
      • Developed through PSYC 3410 Experimental and/or with an advisor
      • Topic must be a unique and original proposal that is empirical and testable.
      • Topic should not exceed 15 words.
    • Successful interview with PSYC admission committee

Future opportunities for MAP degree holders

Graduates with a bachelors and master’s in psychology have the foundational methodology and experience for many different career fields. The accelerated psychology master prepares graduates for immediate employment in a range of professional environments including community college teaching, law enforcement agencies, and private industry.

An MAP can also provide students with the background necessary to submit a competitive application to a doctoral program, such as Clinical Psychology.  HCU also offers a doctoral program in Executive Leadership in Mental Health and Human Services which aims to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills to be hired and retained as high-quality
administrators in mental health and human service agencies or to start business of their own.

Obtaining a bachelors and master’s in psychology does not provide training that leads to licensure, which is required for independent practice. Psychology students seeking to be licensed as a professional psychologist or counselor should enroll in one of our graduate degrees which meets the state requirements for licensure:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Well-suited students will take 2 graduate level courses during their Senior year that will count as 6 credits for their undergraduate degree as well as the first 6 credits towards their Master of Arts in Psychology.

    The two courses selected cover similar content areas, albeit in greater depth at the graduate level.

    This Fast Track eliminates some of the overlap between the two programs. Thus, allowing these students to complete both degrees in a 5-year period.

  • Students will apply for the graduate portion of the program during their junior year (minimum 60 credit hours) for admission into the program for their Senior year.

    Only students who meet the following requirements will be considered:

    • 3.5 GPA or above
    • Letter of recommendation from a professor
    • Proposed thesis topic
    • Successful interview with the admission committee
    • October 1 for Spring admission
    • February 1 for Fall admission
  • YES! Transfer students who have completed 60 credit hours (12 credits must be in Psychology) and have completed at least one semester of coursework at HCU may apply for the 5-year MAP as described above.

  • This is a highly competitive program for advanced students who are prepared for graduate level work.  Students who are not admitted into the 5-year MAP program may apply one additional time in the following semester.

    If the student is still not admitted into the program, the student will be dropped from the 5-year MAP degree program and automatically switched into the regular BA Psychology program.  Coursework will continue towards graduation with the BA degree.

  • Students will enter the graduate portion of the program in their Senior year and graduate with their BA in Psychology after completing the required 120 hours. Students will then complete 3 additional semesters (including Summer) and complete their MA in Psychology one calendar year later. Below is an example of the credit hours required if a student enters the program in the Fall of their Senior year.  The timeline would be adjusted depending on when the student enters the program.

    Credit Hours
    Senior Year Year 2
    Fall 3 12
    Spring   3*    10**
    Summer 9

    *Graduation with BA in Psychology

    ** Graduation with MA in Psychology

  • Admitted students will select two of the four courses listed below to take as seniors. The four courses are major requirements for both the BA and MA in Psychology. Please see the 5-Year MAP Degree Plan for more information.

    The courses include:

    • PSYC5330 – Psychology of Learning
    • PSYC5332 – Social Psychology
    • PSYC5353 – Physiological Psychology (16-weeks online)
    • PSYC6301 – Principles of Human Development
Admission Requirements

Only students who meet the following requirements will be considered:

  • 3.5 GPA or above
  • 60 credit hours or more
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor
  • Proposed thesis topic
  • Successful interview with admission committee

Two of the MAP courses online will be 16-week courses and cannot be taken in the same semester (PSYC 5353 Physiological Psychology & PSYC 6199 Thesis Defense).


Houston Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral degrees.