Expectations of an Enrolled Student

Successful applicants are notified in writing of their offer of admission to the department as well as to a specialty area of Psychology by April 15. At this time, students will be assigned a faculty advisor. Students should plan to meet with their advisor at registration and periodically thereafter, as necessary. It is not until this time that applications will be reviewed for possible credit transfer and/or thesis acceptance.

The department offers training in the following primary specialty areas: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Industrial/Organizational Psychology and School Psychology. By mutual agreement between the student, the major professor and the department, it is also possible to arrange study in a subspecialty area not readily subsumed under the five major ones listed. In the unusual case that you desire specialty training in an area other than the one to which your original application was made, you must submit all credentials for consideration in competition with all new applicants to that graduate program. Please note that transfers from any other area into the clinical area are actively discouraged and highly unlikely to occur.

All students, regardless of specialty area, will begin their education with coursework in general areas of Psychology. Students must demonstrate proficiency in the core areas of Psychology and statistics & methodology by passing the core courses and 2 statistics/methods courses.

The Qualifying Core Courses are: Biological Basis of Behavior (7034), Cognitive Basis of Behavior (7030), Social Basis of Behavior (7040), History of Modern Psychology (4008) and two of the four following statistics and methodology courses: Intermediate Statistics (4111), Measurement of Behavior (7020), Advanced Statistics (7111), and Methodology and Research Design (7117).

These courses must be completed with a grade of “A” or “B”. Each course is generally offered once a year and each student will be required to complete this core of courses by the end of their fourth year. Students with a particularly strong background in one or more of the four core areas can take the final exam in any course and will be considered to have satisfied the core requirements if they earn a grade of “A” or “B” on this exam. A letter stating the exam grade must be presented for inclusion in the student’s file as evidence of satisfying this requirement. Whether or not the core course or examination option is exercised, the qualifying process must be completed in two years.

Students who do not complete the Qualifying Core Courses in the first four years will be dismissed from the program. A Qualifying Core Course must be retaken if a “C” or below is earned. One and only one Qualifying Core Course may be retaken within the two year time period to remain in the program. A grade of “C” or below on more than one Qualifying Core Course will result in dismissal from the program.

After completing the required Qualifying Core Courses, students may begin the coursework for their specialty area to which they were admitted. Seminar and practicum classes are stressed at this level to provide you with experience that will strengthen both specialty area and research skills. During this and subsequent years, you may wish to expand your educational background by completing work in a related minor field. At some point, you will normally gain teaching or research experience as a teaching assistant or laboratory assistant. In addition, you must complete both a master's-level thesis and depending on the area, a second independent investigation (“intermediate project”) before beginning work on a doctoral dissertation.

It is your responsibility, in consultation with your major professor, to make certain all requirements of the department and the Graduate School are fulfilled. The graduate coordinator in charge of graduate student records maintains a file for each graduate student.