Degree Requirements, Psychology

Graduate handbook information is updated and maintained by each program. Graduate handbooks are available within each program's office and online at https://utexas.box.com/v/UTAustinGraduateHandbooks. Please contact the program with concerns or questions.

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 does not admit students solely for a Master’s degree. The department’s requirements for the Master of Arts are 30 hours of coursework, including Psychology 384M; one course from two of the core content groups (the core content groups are available on the Department of Psychology website); at least two thesis courses (Psychology 698A and 698B); and fulfillment of the general requirements of the Graduate School. An empirical 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 professional goals. 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, an ethics course, coursework in their area of specialization, research hours, dissertation courses, 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 expected to maintain a 3.0 (B average) in all coursework and must complete up to 99 hours for the PhD in Psychology.

In addition, students are expected to participate in professional development. This includes participation in seminars, workshops, research, and teaching positions. It is also expected that students attend annual conferences and present on their research.

Clinical students complete additional coursework specific to Clinical training as governed by the American Psychology Association.  They are also expected to complete an internship and to demonstrate ultimate suitability for the practice of professional psychology. Upon confirmation of completion of degree requirements in clinical psychology, the following will appear on the clinical students' transcripts: name of the internship, location (city and state), start and end dates, and if it was accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (Per the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)).

Students are formally evaluated by their faculty supervisor and research area at the end of each year. This evaluation is based on the student’s performance in their coursework, demonstration of research aptitude, and potential for professional competence. Annual evaluations provide students feedback on their progress, areas needing growth, and setting goals for the upcoming year.

The department’s general requirements for the doctoral degree include completion of the core courses and other appropriate courses, research, 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.