Jul 22, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin 
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology (School), Ph.D.

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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 programs after completing a master’s degree (M.A.) in psychology as described in the section on master’s degrees. Students who apply to a doctoral program and have not completed such a master’s degree must do so at Southern Miss en route toward their doctorate. As stated in the master’s degree program section, completion of a master’s degree does not guarantee admission to one of the doctoral programs. Admission to a doctoral program requires completion of the master’s degree AND approval by the program faculty and the department chair. 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 evidence of creative scholarship. 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. Brochures describing each of these are available from the department and online. 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. All students interested in applying for admission to the program are encouraged to contact the department prior to submitting their applications.

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.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

All faculty holding regular or associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy or training information.

Comprehensive Exam

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 Tool(s)

Research tool(s) are required. Check with department chair for specific requirements.

Doctoral qualifying exams may be required. Doctoral comprehensive exams are required. Check with training directors for information on these exams. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.

Psychological Foundations (3 hours):

Completion of the remaining 1 of the following 4 content areas:

(3 content areas are required for Southern Miss master’s degree; students who enter Southern Miss with a master’s degree must complete all 4 content areas for the Doctor of Philosophy degree


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.

Requirements for an Emphasis in School Psychology

In addition to the requirements listed under common requirements for the doctor of philosophy degree, the student must take the following:

Electives (12 hours)


All electives must be approved by the student’s major adviser and the emphasis area director of training. The selection of an internship must conform to NASP and CDSPP standards.

Students completing the doctoral degree program with an emphasis in School Psychology will be eligible to apply for Mississippi Class AAAA school psychologist licensure. Each student, in consultation with the major professor, should identify any additional requirements necessary for licensure in the state in which the student plans to work.

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