Psychology Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy

To complete the Ph.D. in Psychology a student must complete 90 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. The individual student, in consultation with a faculty advisory committee, will design a unique course of study that reflects the student’s interests and career goals. Successful completion of all coursework, the Ph.D. general exams, and the dissertation is required for the Ph.D.

Students interested in our Quantitative program also take two courses from the mathematics department: Calculus-based mathematical statistics and linear algebra. The pre-requisite calculus courses for these may be taken at OU if the student does not have them at the time of admission.

General Requirements for MS and Ph.D.

A continuing involvement in directed or independent research is expected to be a part of the student’s program of doctoral study. The department has no foreign language requirements, but a student’s Advisory Committee may recommend the development of competence in other areas of study (e.g., computer science, industrial engineering, mathematics, philosophy of science, history of science, physiology) of potential benefit to the student’s particular professional development and interests.

As a vital part of the graduate training program in psychology, all graduate students are required to be engaged in a training assignment each term. These assignments vary according to the needs and professional aspirations of the student. They are designed to supplement the more formal coursework by a variety of pre-professional activities such as assisting in research, teaching, etc., under faculty supervision. The training assignment increases in responsibility as the student progresses. The amount of time required of the student varies from 10–20 hours per week, depending upon level of progress, the type of assignment, etc. The purpose of these assignments is to train the student in some of the types of activities that the student will ultimately be engaged in after the degree is received.

A student’s progress toward the Ph.D. degree is evaluated annually. Additionally, first-year students are evaluated after the first semester. The purpose of these evaluations is to provide feedback to the student and to assess the student’s proficiency based on academic coursework, progress in research, and potential for significant contributions to the profession.