PhD in Psychology



Applicants are not required to have an undergraduate degree in psychology, but must have completed courses in general psychology, psychological statistics and experimental psychology. Applicants to the clinical psychology program also are required to have completed a course in history and systems of psychology with a B- or better.


Application for admission should be filed with the dean of the Graduate School and the psychology department by December 1 for the clinical psychology program and January 15 for the community and human factors programs, for enrollment the following fall. Students applying after the deadlines may be considered if any openings in the programs remain. Applicants are informed of admission decisions around April 1 of each year.


Applicants will be required to fill out the online Graduate School Application1, where they will be required to upload/provide the following:

  • Contact information for three people to serve as references (people acquainted with the applicant’s academic background and potential);
  • Personal essay;
  • Supplemental information (honors, scholarships, employment history, etc.);
  • Professional article sample (articles, presentations, projects, etc.); and
  • Scores (verbal and quantitative) on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Applicants are evaluated with respect to their undergraduate grade point average; stated career goals; amount, type and scope of undergraduate preparation; reference letters and GRE scores.


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Program Requirements 

Required of all students. Must be completed with a B (3.000 or better).

Course Title Hours
Methods Courses
PSY 902Advanced Research Methods I4
PSY 903Advanced Research Methods II4
Teaching and Ethics
PSY 911Teaching of Psychology: Principles, Practices and Ethics3

Note: a grade of B (3.000) or better must be earned in each of the methods courses. Students may retake these courses once. Failure to meet this requirement may lead to dismissal from the program.

Second Year Project

All students must complete a predoctoral research program resulting in a document similar to a manuscript ready for journal submission. The student must enroll in PSY 901 each semester (excluding summers) until the project is completed.

Post Second Year Project Research

After completion of the second year project requirement, all students will enroll in PSY 909 each semester until the successful completion of qualifying exams.

Community and clinical students must have completed a minimum of 10 credit hours of PSY 901 and/or PSY 909. Human factors students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of PSY 901 and/or PSY 909. (Note: Neither PSY 901 nor PSY 909 may be used for electives.)

Qualifying Examination

Students take a qualifying examination upon completion of all foundation and method courses and most program courses. On passing this examination, students can be admitted to doctoral candidacy.


All students seeking the PhD are required to complete a dissertation. The dissertation ordinarily is a major research project. A formal written proposal must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee prior to beginning the project. A student must be enrolled in PSY 908 any time a student is working on his or her dissertation (including summers). A minimum of 12 credit hours of PSY 908 must be earned. In addition to regular course examinations, all students must pass an oral examination based on their dissertation.

Additional Program Requirements

Human Factors (90 credit hours total)

Required Courses (Must be completed with a B (3.000) or better.)

Course Title Hours
Foundation Courses
PSY 904Biological and Philosophical Foundations of Psychology3
PSY 905Cognitive/Learning Foundations of Behavior3
Program Courses
PSY 920Psychological Principles of Human Factors3
PSY 921Seminar in Human Factors3
PSY 922Seminar in Software Psychology3
PSY 925Seminar in Perception3
Select sufficient electives to total (all courses) 90 credit hours, 12 of which must be taken outside the human factors program.

Calculus Tool

HFES accreditation requires that human factors students demonstrate a competency in calculus before admission to candidacy. This requirement may be satisfied by:

  1. Satisfactorily completing a college-level calculus course;
  2. Demonstrating proficiency on an exam; or
  3. Providing other evidence of such skills.


Students must complete a three-month research internship (1 credit hour). It is the student’s responsibility to develop his or her internship setting.

Community (90 credit hours total)

Required Courses (Must be completed with a B (3.000) or better.)

Course Title Hours
Foundation Courses
PSY 912Seminar on Cultural Diversity3
Program Courses
PSY 940Seminar in Community-Clinical Psychology3
PSY 941Applied Research Methods in Community Settings3
PSY 942Seminar in Community and Organizational Intervention3
PSY 943Seminar in Prevention3
PSY 948Seminar in Professional Consultation and Leadership Development3
PSY 949Seminar in Community Advocacy and Social Policy3
PSY 951Program Evaluation Theory and Design3
PSY 952Action Research Approaches in Community Psychology3
Select a minimum of 9 credit hours of the following:9
Practicum in Community Psychology
Select sufficient electives to total 90 credit hours. Two of the electives must be statistics and/or research methods courses as approved by the advisor.

Clinical (101 credit hours total)

In addition to courses required for all psychology tracks, the following are the required clinical courses:

Required Courses (Must be completed with a B (3.000) or better.)

Course Title Hours
Foundation Courses
PSY 904Biological and Philosophical Foundations of Psychology3
PSY 905Cognitive/Learning Foundations of Behavior3
PSY 907Social and Developmental Foundations of Behavior3
Program Courses
PSY 912Seminar on Cultural Diversity3
PSY 940Seminar in Community-Clinical Psychology3
PSY 960Ethical and Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology3
PSY 961Seminar in Cognitive-Behavioral Assessment3
PSY 961LCognitive-Behavioral Assessment Lab1
PSY 962Seminar in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy3
PSY 962LCognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lab1
PSY 975Seminar in Psychotherapy3
PSY 976Advanced Psychopathology3
PSY 979Seminar in Personality Assessment3
PSY 977Internship in Clinical Psychology 13
Community Required Courses
Select two of the following:6
Applied Research Methods in Community Settings 2
Seminar in Community and Organizational Intervention
Seminar in Prevention 2
Practicum Requirements
Select a minimum of 12 credit hours of the following:12
Practicum in Clinical Psychology (repeat for a minimum of 9 credit hours)
Practicum in Community Psychology
Clinical Elective Courses 3
Select 3 credit hours in assessment courses3
Select 6 credit hours in intervention courses6

A one-year (2,000 hour) predoctoral APA accredited internship is required. To apply for a clinical internship, students must have completed all required courses, qualifying examinations, their dissertation proposal, and be internship ready as defined by APPIC and verified by the Director of Clinical Training.


Note: If PSY 941 or PSY 943 is used here it cannot be used to satisfy the clinical elective requirements.


Elective course choice depends on the student’s unique professional goals, and is made in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. Students must take sufficient electives to total 101 credit hours.

Accreditation Status

The clinical psychology program at Wichita State University has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association since 2005. Its accreditation status can be confirmed at:

Commission on Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979

Time Limits

Students should be aware that the Graduate School requires completion of the degree no later than 10 years after admission. The psychology department expects all degree-bound students to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree program.

Applied Learning

Students in the PhD in psychology program are required to complete an applied learning or research experience to graduate from the program. The requirement for PhD students can be met by completing a dissertation ( PSY 908). For students being awarded a Masters along the way to the PhD, the requirement can be met by completing a minimum of three research hours ( PSY 901).