The department offers a graduate program leading to a PhD in psychology. There are four main areas of specialization, behavioral neuroscience, cognition, perception, and personality/social, with cross-cutting themes in health, affective science, and lifespan development.
The main objective of the program is to train a select group of students to become experts in the multidisciplinary field of psychological science. To accomplish this goal, the department takes a mentoring approach whereby the graduate students are apprentices in faculty laboratories, working closely with their faculty mentors throughout their time in the program.
The department admits a small group of students to its doctoral program each year in order to maintain its apprenticeship model, with students admitted to work with a particular faculty mentor. In the laboratory, responsibility for collaboration in research gradually shifts from the faculty mentor to the student, culminating in the student’s doctoral dissertation. The program is five years in length, with students earning a Master’s degree at the end of their second year, in the course of working towards their PhD. Some students enter with a Master’s degree in an appropriate field; they are not required to earn another one.
The basic apprenticeship relation is supplemented by other activities, such as required courses (concentrated in the first and second years), advanced seminars and/or coursework in this as well as other departments or universities, a colloquium series, assignments as teaching assistants, the master’s project, and the dissertation and its oral defense. Graduate students also develop their teaching and research skills through close mentoring of undergraduate research assistants.
Requirements for the PhD degree include:
- 4 proseminars
- 2 quantitative methods courses
- 1 research methods course
- 1 ethics and professional issues course
- At least 3 elective courses/seminars
- First-year paper
- Master’s project (including proposal, oral presentation, and write-up)
- PhD research (including proposal, dissertation, and defense)
- Fifty semester hours (for students entering with a bachelor’s degree; 20 semester hours for students entering with an appropriate master’s degree)
For information about how to apply and the application requirements, visit the College of Science website.
Questions about the PhD program can be addressed to:
Dr. Judith Hall
Director of Graduate Studies