Course Requirements

Minimum of 76 quarter hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including the following: 

Core Courses

Statistics and Methodology Courses

Other Recommended Courses


    Areas of Specialization

    The Psychological Science faculty consists of members from each of the following major experimental areas: cognition, cognitive neuroscience, child and adult development, emotion and social psychology.  Students may specialize in an area in which a faculty member has expertise.
    Research experience is considered an integral part of the training and will begin in the first year. Students are expected to begin directed research during their first year under the supervision of an advisor. During their second year, students are expected to conduct research and complete their master’s thesis. Research experience during the third year might involve a continuation of the line of research initiated in the thesis project. Alternatively, students may begin to develop a new line of research in preparation for their dissertation, which is usually conducted during the fourth year. The program incorporates research skills within a major content area in psychology, and thereby prepares students for future employment in a wide variety of scientific, academic, and applied settings.

    Other Program Requirements

    Doctoral Candidacy Examination or Alternative Project

    Also known as the Comprehensive Exam or Alternative Project, this requirement is completed after the student has defended the thesis and before defense of the dissertation proposal.

    Admission to Doctoral Candidacy

    Formally given to the student who has successfully completed required coursework, passed the Doctoral Candidacy Examination or Alternative Project, and completed the Master’s thesis. The student has no more than five years from that date to complete requirements for the doctorate.

    Candidacy Continuation

    Registration in course(s) or for resident or nonresident candidacy continuation required each quarter between admission to candidacy and graduation.


    Departmental committee approval and acceptance of topic and outline of dissertation given only after admission to candidacy. Research for the dissertation should normally be completed during the student’s fourth year in the program.

    Oral Examination

    Student to defend his or her dissertation and to show competence in the general field of psychology and in the area of specialization.

    Time Limitations

    1. Between admission to the MA/PhD program and admission to doctoral candidacy: not more than four years
    2. Between admission to candidacy and the final examination: not less than eight months and not more than five years.