Overview of Graduate Group and Graduate Students

Psychology Graduate Group

The Psychology Graduate Group offers a full-time Ph.D. program with curricular and research opportunities in a broad range of areas, including: sensation and perception, cognition, language, learning, memory, motivation, psychopathology, judgments and decisions, and social processes.  Biological, cultural, developmental, experimental, mathematical, and neuroscience approaches to these areas are used in teaching and research. The Graduate Group has an APA accredited clinical psychology PhD program, the purpose of which is to train research investigators, rather than training practicing clinicians. The Graduate Group includes 75 faculty and 50 graduate students.  IIt is one of the most distinguished groups of its kind in the world. The Psychology Department and Graduate Group function as a unit. The Psychology Department does not have “area groups”; rather, students and faculty are free to define their fields of interest. These fields often combine two or more of the traditional subfields of psychology, or a subfield of psychology and some other discipline.


Graduate Student Profile

Students are selected for admission who show evidence of a high level of intellectual talent, a strong interest in psychology, and a commitment to scholarship and research.  We can accommodate about eight new graduate students each year.  Admissions decisions take into account many factors, including the clarity of the candidate's personal statement, its appropriateness to this program, evidence of research experience and accomplishment, letters of recommendation, test scores, grades, and selection of course work that is relevant to the student's plans. An outstanding record in one of these areas may compensate for poorer performance in another area.  In general, we look for students who are likely to become passionately committed to some intellectual or scientific problem or problems. Students are typically admitted to work with a specific advisor, although a small number of students opt to rotate through two or three labs in the first year before settling in one.

The median time to completion in our program was 5.7 years for the most recent three-year period (although this figure includes the 6th year of full-time clinical internship that students on the clinical track are required to do). Most graduates of our PhD program have secured positions as tenure-track faculty or research scientists. For those who graduated between 2008-2012, 67% were in academia five years after completing the PhD, 22% were in for-profit jobs, 7% were in not-for-profit jobs, and the remainder were employed by the government. The types of positions included tenured or tenure-track (41%), non-tenure track (11%), post-doctoral (15%), science-related (22%), and other (11%). 


Interdisciplinary Training

We have strong connections with other disciplines at the University and we are committed to interdisciplinary training. Our members play pivotal roles in two of the most important interdisciplinary areas on campus, the cognitive sciences and the neurosciences, both of which have been fostered by the Department as a matter of policy. Our faculty direct MindCORE (Mind Center for Outreach, Research, and Education), the Social and Behavioral Sciences Initiative, the Computational Neuroscience Initiative, and the Center for Neuroscience and Society. They are also involved in a range of other interdisciplinary initiatives and centers, including (among others) the Behavior Change for Good Initiative and the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research.

Although there are no formal sub-areas, faculty in the department conduct research in a number of overlapping Areas of Interest.

Details about the program can be found in the Graduate Manual.