Department of Psychology
The Graduate Program in Psychology
Each year the Clinical Training Program, as well as the three areas within the General/Experimental Program, conduct seminars for their students, and offer courses for their own students and students from other programs. Graduate course offerings in the Clinical Program are guided, to a great extent, by the accreditation requirements of the American Psychological Association. We currently exceed all of the APA requirements for course offerings in the four core areas of psychology (biological, social, and cognitive bases of behavior), and a series of required clinical courses and clinical electives. We supplement these with an Advanced Professional Research Seminar and with course offerings in Cross-Cultural Clinical Intervention and Research, History of Psychology, Advanced Statistical Methods, and Seminar in Psychological Research Methods.
Students have a number of options in designing their individualized program of study. In addition to standard seminars and required thesis credits, students may choose to pursue readings in a specialized area under supervision of one or more faculty members, or to design and carry out a project to develop other professional skills (Advanced Readings and Research). Other nontraditional curricular options can be arranged at the student's request and with the agreement of the advisor and studies committee. Students' programs are designed to respond to their particular strengths and weaknesses, which are reviewed each year.
Monitoring and Review of Student Performance
All graduate students are reviewed annually by the faculty. Students' progress and performance are reviewed through course work, evaluation by clinical, research, and other placement supervisors, presentation of research in their program's Research Seminar, and by thesis and dissertation committees. Each student receives a written summary of the faculty review and meets with her or his advisor to discuss the contents of the review. Intermittent performance and personal problems are dealt with by the students' advisors yearly and, when necessary, with the assistance of a Program Director or the Department Chair. In the Clinical Program, students receive a letter from the Director regarding their progress and status in the program.
Among our current graduate students there are people of a range of ages, ethnicities, years since completing their undergraduate degree, family status, sexual orientations, work histories, etc. Over the years we have made considerable efforts (e.g., through course scheduling, student placements) to make the Graduate Program accessible to people with family or work responsibilities. We believe that we provide a "safe" and nurturing environment for all students and this, together with sensitivity to special needs as reflected, for example, in flexibility of scheduling and assignments, is our major way of accommodating the needs of all our students.
Teaching Opportunities Through Summer Continuing Education
The Department strives to offer eligible students opportunity to direct their own undergraduate course during the summer through Continuing Education. A call for summer course proposal will go out from the Chair in the preceding October. Continuing Education has a very short time window for proposals, so please be prepared. Please keep in mind that to be eligible for summer teaching doctoral students must have defended their masters degree or second year project at the time the course is proposed (i.e., the October prior to the summer in which they wish to teach). Department policy also gives priority to eligible students who have not taught previously.
Thesis and Dissertation Policy
Thesis and dissertation defenses are publicly held. At least three weeks prior to defense, the student must send out announcements to the entire department of the time and place of the defense along with the thesis or dissertation abstract. The Chairperson's office must also be informed of a defense at least three weeks prior to its date. The Graduate College must be informed of a defense at least two weeks prior to its date. Only in exceptional circumstances and with the unanimous consent of committee members may defenses be held during June, July, or August. Please see the Graduate College policies for theses and dissertations for information.
Master's Thesis/Ph.D Dissertation Committee Criteria
It is strongly recommended that students include on their committee a within-department faculty member from the other program (Clinical for General/Experimental student, and vice versa). Proposals for thesis or dissertation research must be approved by the full committee in advance of substantive work on the project. Changes in thesis or dissertation plans are to be discussed with the committee for approval as the research is in progress. It is the responsibility of the student to keep her or his committee up to date.
Master's Thesis Defense Committee
The committee consists of at least three members, two of whom (including the thesis advisor) must be members of the Graduate Faculty and the Psychology Department. The third member must be outside of the Psychology Department (i.e., does not have a primary or secondary appointment), must be a member of the Graduate Faculty, and serves as the Chair of the Thesis Defense Committee. For Human Behavioral Pharmacology or Communication Sciences students, at least one member of the committee must be a full-time member of the Biobehavioral, Clinical, Developmental, or Social cluster. Clinical students do not complete an M.A. thesis, while General/Experimental students are required to do so.
Doctoral Dissertation Defense Committee
The committee consists of at least five members, three of whom (including the dissertation advisor) must be members of the Graduate Faculty and the Psychology Department. The fourth member must be from outside the Psychology Department (i.e., does not have a primary or secondary appointment), a member of the Graduate Faculty, and serves as Chair of the Dissertation Defense Committee. The fifth member can be inside or outside of the Psychology Department and need not be a member of the Graduate Faculty. For Human Behavioral Pharmacology or Communication Sciences students, at least one member of the committee must be a full-time member of the Biobehavioral, Clinical, Developmental, or Social cluster.
Graduate students should complete the Program Completion Form (pdf) and submit it to the department at least one month prior to defending.
Support for Professional Development
The Department provides funds to assist students in attending professional meetings, encouraging (and assisting with) student applications for Graduate College funds, and by supporting travel to professional meetings from research grants when such funds are available. Students have appeared as co-authors on the majority of faculty members' professional presentations and publications over the last seven years. In addition, we encourage students to establish contacts with researchers at other institutions who are engaged in research similar to their own. This interaction broadens their experience and lays the groundwork for facilitating finding jobs in the future.
Last modified November 11 2013 10:22 AM