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Students accepted into the general/experimental Ph.D. program enter an environment that places strong emphasis on mentorship. Each student works closely with a particular faculty member. Since the alignment of each student’s interest with the expertise of our department is critical, the faculty member's scholarly interests generally match those of the student.

The learning goals of the General/Experimental Psychology Ph.D. program are to help students to: 1) Gain a foundational understanding in their area of research specialization and additional subfields of General/Experimental Psychology; 2) Develop strong research skills; and 3) Develop effective skills in communicating psychological science. Graduates from our program pursue careers in teaching, research, and applied settings.

We believe it is critical to help students achieve their educational objectives. Students always have the option of changing mentors during their early career should their interests change. In addition to 10 full-time general faculty and five faculty in the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, there are, in any given year, about ten adjunct, joint, and research faculty associated with the program, mainly on a part-time basis.

Application Process

The general/experimental Ph.D. program receives 50-80 applications each year and admits about 3-10 of those students. Of the students who have enrolled in our program, approximately 90 percent have stayed and completed their Ph.D. here. (Please note that we do not offer a terminal master's degree.) When you apply, specify the names of up to three general/experimental faculty members that are potentially accepting students that you wish to do research with, since particular attention is paid to the match between a student's interests and the expertise of our department. Also, be sure to specify which general/experimental psychology sub-program (biobehavioral, developmental, social, human psychopharmacology) you are interested in.

Faculty Accepting General/Experimental Program Students for Fall 2021

Learning Outcomes:

  1.  Foundational Understanding in Area of Research Specialization and Additional Subfields of General/Experimental Psychology. a) Identify key theories and research findings that have shaped the student’s area of research specialization; b) Understand the breadth of theoretical and empirical approaches in General/Experimental psychology and related fields, including foundational knowledge and research in areas outside of the student’s area of specialization; c) Identify interrelations among subdisciplines of General/Experimental psychology and related fields.
  2.  Development of Strong Research Skills. a) Recognize excellent research in the literature, including critiquing methodological strengths and weaknesses; b) conduct literature reviews that synthesize theoretical perspectives and empirical findings; c) conceptualize and design research, conduct research, and analyze research data; and d) understand and adhere to ethical principles in scientific research.
  3. Develop Effective Skills in Communicating Psychological Science. a) Communicate research orally to multiple audiences; b) communicate research in writing to multiple audiences; c) develop interactive teaching skills.