Doctoral Degree Programs
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
The department offers the Doctor of Philosophy in psychology in four emphasis areas: clinical, counseling, experimental, and school psychology. These doctoral emphasis areas are designed to ensure that students receive strong preparation in the research and theoretical literature of psychology as an experimental behavioral science.
Students are admitted to one of these doctoral programs and earn a master's degree (M.A.) in psychology en route to the doctorate. Applicants are judged on the basis of prior academic record, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study, and scholarship personal statement. Applicants are expected to have completed appropriate undergraduate foundation courses in psychology (e.g., statistics, experimental, and history and systems). A student may be invited to come to campus for a personal interview as part of the application process. The department typically receives applications from a larger number of qualified applicants than it can enroll. Prospective students should specify their intended emphasis area at time of application. Descriptions of each of these areas are available online at www.usm.edu/psychology. New students are admitted only for fall semester. Applications received by December 1 (clinical, counseling) or January 3 (school, experimental) will receive a full review.
The Department of Psychology values diversity, and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Additionally, whereas participation in on-campus admissions seminars and interviews is highly recommended for applicants who enter the final selection pool, alternative arrangements may be requested through the director of training for those individuals who are unable to travel to Hattiesburg.
Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php. - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Doctoral qualifying exams may be required. A comprehensive exam is required for all doctoral students and must be passed before proceeding to the dissertation. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirements specified in the front section of this Bulletin for continuous enrollment.
Common Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
Research tools are completed as part of the master's in psychology (MA) earned en route to the doctorate.
PSY 661 - Research Evaluation in the Behavioral Sciences 3 hrs.
PSY 662 - Quantitative Methods I 3 hrs.
PSY 663 - Quantitative Methods II 3 hrs.
Thesis, PSY 698 - Thesis 9 hrs.
Completion of 3 of the following 4 content areas is required for the MA in Psychology earned en route to the doctorate:
(Completion of the remaining 4th content area is required for the doctoral degree.)
Individual Differences and Life Span Development area:
Other Departmental Requirements
All choices between core courses as well as selection of elective courses must be approved by the student’s major advisor and the emphasis area director of training.