Ph.D. Requirements

Our program emphasizes research and scholarship. Our goal is for most students to finish within five years and get a job; students in the clinical program will need a 6th year to complete an APA-approved clinical internship.

Requirement Timing Description
P&N First Year Seminar Fall and Spring of 1st year
Year-long course that meets weekly to guide students through program requirements. Topics covered include the preparation of competitive fellowship and grant applications (e.g., NSF GRFP), ethics, and the basics of scientific talks.
 

The year ends with a First Year Festival where all 1st years tell the department about their research interests. 

Four Core Courses typically completed in years 1-3
  • Psychopathology
  • Cognitive Development OR Social Development
  • Social Behavior & Personality
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral and Computational Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience I OR II
 
Each program has the option of selecting one course outside of P&N to be approved for inclusion on this list.
 
Students in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience training area have approval to count both Cog Neuro I and II towards this requirement. 
 
If a needed course is unavailable, the DGS will work with instructors to approve courses that may substitute for the ones listed above.  However, students are not advised to wait years for a specific class; instead, a different course should be used to fulfill the requirement.
Successful defense of the Major Area Paper Fall of 3rd year is recommended; latest possible date is Spring of 3rd year The Major Area Paper (MAP) and oral examination  serves as the preliminary examination in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience.  More information can be found by clicking on this link.
Dissertation Proposal 4th year

Forming a dissertation committee is the first step towards the dissertation; the committee will advise on the content of the proposed dissertation. Students are encouraged to meet with their committees prior to writing their proposal. During the proposal meeting, the student and the committee finalize the plan for the dissertation. 

Area-Specific Requirements see area pages In addition to the department-wide requirements, each training area may require practica, talks in brownbags, and/or additional courses (or, in the case of the Clinical program, an internship).  Please refer to each area page for the additional requirements: Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Systems and Integrative Neuroscience.)
TA'ing typically years 2 - 4
  • 4 TA'ships are required for most students
  • Students in the Clinical program are required to complete 3
  • Students transferring from the CNAP program are required to complete 3
 Thesis and Final Defense

5th year

(6th year for Clinical students)

The final requirement for the PhD is the dissertation; both the written document and an oral examination must be passed.  Our policy is that part of the final defense is open to the public; this consists of a colloquium-style talk followed by audience questions. The second part of the oral exam is closed to the public, and consists of questions from committee members.