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Course Requirements and Timeline

Psychology Department Course Requirements

Each student has department-wide requirements and as well, area-specific requirements for achieving their PhD. In order to achieve some familiarity with the field of psychology as a whole, each graduate student must enroll in the Proseminar (which provides an overview of research across all the areas of psychology represented by our department) as well as a Research Ethics course.  All graduate students also have statistics requirements consisting of at least 2 courses (sometimes more, depending on the area), and all students have breadth requirements (a requirement to take courses, apart from Prosem, outside of one’s area).  The core first year courses include:

Psych 401-1: Pro-Seminar 1: Biological and Cognitive Bases of Behavior

Psych 401-2: Pro-Seminar 2: Social and Emotional Bases of Behavior

Psych 519:    Ethics:  Responsible Conduct of Research


Psych 405:    Psychometric Theory

Psych 450:    Fundamentals of Statistics

Psych 451:    Statistics in Experimental Design

Psych 453:    Linear Models: Correlation and Regression

[Because different areas utilize different research methods, each area requires a subset of the above core statistics classes.  See Area Specific Milestones for exact requirements.]

In addition to the above department requirements, each area  (BBC, Cognitive, Social, Personality and Health, Clinical) has additional requirements for achieving a PhD.  Please see Area Specific Milestones for exact requirements.

Sketching out the Path to the Ph.D. in Psychology

[Note that clinical students will have slightly shifted timelines – see Area Milestones.]

Year 1

Full-time enrollment in classes (including prosem, ethics, and stats).

Involvement in research with advisor.

TA 2 courses (clinical: 3TAs)

Year 2

Full-time enrollment in classes.

M.A. research project completed in the second year.

TA 2 courses (clinical: 1TA)

Year 3

Full-time enrollment in classes. The student has typically met the full-time

residency requirement and now enrolls in TGS 500 plus any additional

courses as needed to fulfill program requirements.

Comprehensive Qualifying Exam/Paper completed by end of third year.

TA 2 courses

Year 4

The student is now in candidacy.

Dissertation proposal defended by end of fourth year.

TA 2 courses

Year 5

The student works on and ideally completes dissertation.

Dissertation defense by end of fifth year.

TA 1 course