Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

The psychology graduate program is designed primarily to lead to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Students intending to earn the doctoral degree may enroll for the Master of Arts with special permission. The department’s requirements for the Master of Arts include Psychology 384M, Advanced Statistics: Inferential; one course from two of the core content groups (the core content groups are available on the Department of Psychology website); and fulfillment of the general requirements of the Graduate School. A thesis is required.

Doctor of Philosophy

Graduate training in the Department of Psychology is flexible and every effort is made to permit students to take courses that fit their own interests and goals. Thus, individual students may engage in considerable work in computer sciences, biology, sociology, mathematics, or other fields. All graduate students must complete at least two advanced statistics courses, one to be taken during the first year, and three core courses from at least two of the following core content groups: (1) behavioral neuroscience/psychopharmacology; (2) cognitive/perceptual systems; (3) social/developmental/clinical/evolutionary psychology. One core course must be taken the first year; the remaining requirements must be fulfilled during the first three years.

Students are formally evaluated by the entire faculty at the end of the first year. This evaluation is based on the student’s performance in the first-year core courses and other coursework, demonstration of research aptitude, and, when appropriate, potential for professional competence. In subsequent years, students are expected to demonstrate competence in their area of specialization, develop research skills, and, when appropriate, develop professional skills. Each of the areas has established criteria for evaluating student performance.

The department’s general requirements for the doctoral degree include completion of the core courses and other appropriate courses, completion of area requirements, and preliminary and final oral examinations related to a dissertation that gives evidence of the student’s ability to carry out independent investigation in the major field. Clinical students are also expected to complete an internship and to demonstrate ultimate suitability for the practice of professional psychology. Further information about requirements for the doctoral program is available from the graduate adviser and the heads of the areas of specialization.