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.


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 Application (, 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.

Program Requirements 

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

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

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

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.


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

Foundation Courses
PSY 907Social and Developmental Foundations of Behavior3
PSY 912Seminar on Cultural Diversity3
Select two of the following:6
Biological and Philosophical Foundations of Psychology
Cognitive/Learning Foundations of Behavior
Assessment of Personality and Individual Differences
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 Community Leadership3
PSY 949Seminar in Community Advocacy & Social Policy3
Select a minimum of 9 credit hours of the following:9
Practicum in Community Psychology
Select sufficient electives to total 90 hours. Two of the electives must be statistics and/or research methods courses as approved by the advisor


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)

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

Time Limits

Students should be aware that the Graduate School requires completion of the degree no later than 9 years after admission The psychology department expects all degree-bound students to make satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree program.