College of Science and Health > Academics > Psychology > Graduate Programs > Psychological Science (MA/PhD) > Degree Requirements
The Psychological Science MA/PhD is a combined degree. The MA is non-terminal and, therefore, only students intending to confer the PhD are admitted.
The MA portion of the combined degree program requires a minimum of 48 quarter hours beyond the completion of a bachelor’s degree.
One elective course required taken during any quarter. The elective can be any graduate-level psychology course, or any graduate-level non-psychology course, with permission from the faculty advisor. In addition, 3rd year students may substitute one seminar requirement with an elective in each area with permission from the faculty advisor.
Cannot count towards core requirements listed above if taken as an elective.
Students must complete a thesis on a topic approved by the program. Research experience is considered an integral part of the training. Students are expected to begin directed research during their first year under the supervision of an advisor. During their second year, students are expected to conduct research and complete their master’s thesis. Research experience during the third year might involve a continuation of the line of research initiated in the thesis project or other projects that students develop.
For both the proposal and the completed project, an oral defense of the research must be passed and the written document must be approved.
The PhD portion of the combined degree program requires a minimum of 28 quarter hours beyond the completion of the master’s degree, including four quarter hours of dissertation research. The following requirements must be completed to confer the PhD.
The psychological science faculty consists of members from each of the following major experimental areas: cognition, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology (child, adolescent, and lifespan), social cognition, and social psychology. Students may specialize in an area in which a faculty member has expertise.
This requirement is completed after the student has defended the master's thesis and before defense of the dissertation proposal. PhD students in PS have two options for fulfilling the requirement for admission to doctoral candidacy: Writing a grant proposal or writing a journal-appropriate review article.
Formally given to the student with satisfactory coursework performance who has successfully completed the master’s thesis and passed the Doctoral Candidacy Project. The candidate has no more than five years from the date of admission to doctoral candidacy to complete the PhD requirements or dismissal from the program will ensue.
Students denied candidacy will be required to withdraw from the program or withdraw after completion of the MA.
Departmental committee approval and acceptance of topic and outline of dissertation is given only after admission to doctoral candidacy. Research for the dissertation should normally be completed during the student’s fourth year in the program.
For both the proposal and the completed project, an oral defense of the research must be passed and the written document must be approved. Students are expected to defend their dissertation and demonstrate competence in psychological science and their area of specialization.
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