Graduate Studies

What is our Training Mission?

We prepare students for academic, scientific, and industry careers that emphasize research and teaching. We offer a rich and dynamic intellectual community with outstanding opportunities to study behavior at multiple ages, using state-of-the-art methods and varying levels of analysis. Our training activities are organized into the core areas of Biological & Health, Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, and Social psychology, with flexible option for cross-training within and outside of the department

What makes us Distinctive? 

Our graduate students and faculty are highly accomplished. Our department is one of the very best Psychology doctoral training programs in the country. Our students are the recipients of numerous awards and are highly productive in research, averaging more than 6 publications during their graduate training. After completing their degrees, our students typically move into faculty and postdoctoral positions at top-tier institutions throughout the country.

We nurture multidisciplinary, collaborative training. We structure our training requirements with the aim of eliminating barriers and encouraging collaboration across our core areas of study. More than half of our students participate in some form of cross-training. Popular options include or joint Clinical-Health an Clinical-Developmental training programs, and a Cognitive Neuroscience certificate program. In addition, informal opportunities for interdisciplinary training inside and outside the department are abundant.

Students and faculty engage in both basic and applied research. Our department leads the way in integrating basic and applied perspectives within the field of psychology. Our immersion in real-world problems enriches our theoretical work, and our theoretical work contributes to the understanding of real-world problems. The research interests of our faculty extend across the human lifespan and involve a diverse range of research populations (e.g., individuals with Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, autism, brain injury, depression, reading disability, Parkinson's disease, or schizophrenia).

We have a collegial and supportive environment. We use an apprenticeship model, in which students engage in an increasing independent program of research over the course of their training under the supervision of a primary research mentor. At the same time, nearly 75% of our students participate in collaborative research with two or more faculty members during their training, and all students receive guidance from a faculty mentorship committee that meets at least annually. Program brown bags create intellectual communities in which faculty and students develop collegial ties with one another. Program and department-level student representation helps to maintain strong lines of communication between students and faculty in the department.

We care deeply about graduate student mentoring. We have implemented a set of mentoring practices that align with the current recommendations of a blue ribbon panel of experts in the STEM sciences [eLife 2020;9:e59806 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.59806].  Students work with at least one other mentor figure beyond their main supervisor; new students are assigned a more senior student for peer support and mentorship; faculty mentoring performance is regularly addressed by graduate program chairs and the Director of Graduate Studies, and new faculty mentors receive mentoring training; graduate students complete anonymous exit surveys to identify mentoring strengths and weakness and the aggregate data are distributed to faculty; graduate students receive clear guidelines and timelines that are not solely dependent on the primary faculty mentor; and graduate students participate in a full range of career and professional development workshops and seminars throughout the year.

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