PhD Psychological Sciences: Program Requirements

The Ph.D. Program in Psychological Sciences consists of 90 credit hours of coursework and a non-credit course in library and information use and research. The program consists of 33 core credits, 6 thesis credits which serve as a foundation for dissertation research, 27 credits in advanced research, theory, and integration methodology, and 24 dissertation research credits. The program is completely online with both synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities.

Degree Time Limit

All students admitted to the Ph.D. Program must complete all degree requirements within seven academic years from the date of admission to the Ph.D. program, with an academic year comprising a fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester. Doctoral students must remain continuously enrolled until they have completed all program requirements, including the dissertation.

Doctoral Dissertation

A doctoral dissertation must be completed and successfully defended. This requires a minimum of 24 credit hours. The doctoral dissertation takes the form of an independent and original research project in the field of psychology including an empirical component.
The dissertation topic must be developed in close consultation with the student’s Dissertation Chair and a dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee. The dissertation is expected to meet scholarly standards and be of publishable quality. To be successfully completed, the written dissertation must be approved by the Dissertation Committee and successfully defended orally before the dissertation committee. 

Ph.D. students must begin enrollment for dissertation credits in the semester following the completion and defense of the scientific thesis which functions as a precursor and foundation of the dissertation research work, typically in the fall of the second year in the program. Once students have their Dissertation Chair appointed, they must be continuously enrolled and registered for PSY 899 until all dissertation requirements are completed, or will be considered withdrawn from the program.