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The department offers graduate training leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology. Specialization in the fields of biological and health psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology is available, along with joint programs in clinical/developmental and clinical/health psychology. A specialization in Cognitive/Neuroscience is also available. The area of concentration in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Daniel S. Shaw
Main Office: 3137 Sennott Square
Fax: 412-624-4428




Applications for admission must be submitted online by December 1. Admission is in the fall only. Applicants for admission to graduate study in psychology must submit academic transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, a statement of goals, and certified scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants to the clinical and joint-clinical programs may also submit scores for the GRE Subject test which is recommended, not required. Students may obtain information concerning the dates and places of administration of the GRE from the Graduate Record Examination, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001; from; or from the testing service of their own college or university. International students must submit certified TOEFL scores; the minimum acceptable score is 90 on the Internet-based exam.

As preparation for graduate study, the department recommends broad undergraduate training including courses in biology, mathematics, the physical sciences, the social sciences, and effective oral and written expression. The department recommends college-level mathematics and 12 credits of psychology, including experimental psychology, statistics, and, for applicants to the clinical program, abnormal psychology.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Psychology provides tuition and stipend support for students admitted to its graduate programs. Support may be in the form of a fellowship, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship. Qualified students are encouraged to apply for relevant fellowships. Historically, the department has been able to continue support for most students throughout their graduate training; however, funding is only guaranteed  for four years.

Requirements for the Master’s Degree

Normally, students are only admitted for graduate study leading to the PhD. If a student wishes, he or she may also obtain a master's degree by submitting an approved master's thesis and fulfilling the additional requirements described in the front of this bulletin under General Degree Regulations. Satisfactory completion of the program’s specific core courses (as described in the following links: biological and health, clinical,  cognitive, developmental, and social) constitutes the comprehensive examination for the MS.

Requirements for the PhD

A minimum of 72 credits is required for the PhD. The credits are readily earned in the course of completing the regular requirements. Up to 24 credits may be granted for a master’s degree awarded by another institution.

In addition to the credit requirement, the PhD in psychology requires:

  1. Demonstration of proficiency in the program-specific core and required courses as described in the following links: biological and health, clinical, cognitive, developmental, and social.
  2. Demonstration of competence in research at the master’s level, with an oral defense of a master’s thesis or equivalent work. (This may be waived for students entering with a master’s degree.)
  3. Maintenance of a B average (3.0) in all course work.
  4. A comprehensive examination in a field of specialization.
  5. Demonstration of teaching competence in a formal course setting.
  6. A dissertation based on empirical research.
  7. An oral examination concerned primarily with the dissertation.

It is possible to complete these requirements in four years, although most students take four to six years to complete the work for a PhD.

Clinical Program Note: Clinical students are also required to complete a one-year internship in an approved setting. This internship normally takes place after the student has met the requirements for admission to doctoral candidacy. For this reason, the minimum time in which a PhD may be earned in clinical psychology is one year longer.

Supervised Teaching: Each student is required to fulfill a requirement of teaching at least one supervised course.


Course Listing


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