Psychology (Ph.D.)

The Department of Psychology offers a four- or five-year program of study leading to the doctor of philosophy degree. The basic goal of the program is the development of behavioral scientists who have a broad knowledge of psychology, can teach and communicate effectively, and can carry out sound research in an area of specialization. Although some students seek employment outside academia, the program is oriented toward developing the skills required by the research psychologist who intends to become a college or university teacher.

Specialization Areas
The three areas in which a student may specialize are:

  • brain, behavior, and cognition
  • developmental psychology
  • social psychology/personality

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

PSYC 805Research Methodology and Statistics I4
PSYC 806Research Methodology and Statistics II4
First-year students participate in a noncredit graduate proseminar which indroduces students to the research programs of the faculty.
PSYC 901
PSYC 902
Graduate Pro-seminar
and Graduate Pro-seminar
Required Courses
PSYC 904First-year Graduate Seminar4
PSYC 907Research Methods and Statistics III4
PSYC 991
PSYC 992
Practicum and Seminar in the Teaching of Psychology
and Practicum and Seminar in the Teaching of Psychology
Select six advanced graduate seminars

Depth in a particular area is obtained through participation in advanced seminars and by independent reading and research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Prior to the doctoral dissertation, the student carries out original research that culminates in either a master's thesis or a paper of publishable quality. A master's degree is awarded upon the successful completion of a program approved by the department and dean of the Graduate School. This typically takes place by the end of the second year.

The third year of the program is dedicated to the practicum and seminar in the teaching of psychology in conjunction with the teaching of introductory psychology.

Advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree depends on receiving the master's degree, passing a specialist examination in one of the department's areas of specialization, and identifying a topic for doctoral research. Advancement to candidacy is usually accomplished by the end of a student's fourth year in the program. During the fourth year, students typically begin dissertation research and teach an introductory course in their specialty area. Most students complete the Ph.D. degree in the fifth year.

  • Demonstrate mastery of existing theory and research.
  • Develop the ability to conduct sound, independent ethical research.
  • Demonstrate abilities to conduct scholarly and professional activities in an ethical manner.
  • Demonstrate teaching abilities.