Our Ph.D. in experimental psychology is a mentor-based program with concentrations in the psychological sciences and health/neuroscience. We offer a master's-in-passing option for those who have a bachelor's degree and are interested in earning a master's while working toward their Ph.D. Our students have multiple opportunities to conduct original research, publish in well-known journals, submit competitive grants to prominent funding organizations, participate in national and international conferences, and obtain highly-coveted summer internships.
About The Program
Our 67-hour degree offers broad training in experimental psychology with a strong scientific emphasis in traditional areas such as cognitive, developmental, evolutionary, human learning and memory, neural network modeling, neuroscience, personality, quantitative, social, and industrial/organizational. The curriculum is designed to develop students' keen understanding of research, statistics, and data science in order to hone the skills that are highly sought in today's modern workplace. Students will be prepared for job opportunities in myriad industries, such as academia, business, health care, technology, and government.
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in psychology requires distinguished accomplishments in both scholarship and original research, and a deep understanding of the strategic role of thoughtful research in the development of empirical science. Although the student must meet the minimum requirements of a planned course of study, the ultimate basis for conferring the degree must be the demonstrated ability to do independent and creative work and the exhibition of a profound grasp of the subject matter of the field.
Specializations in Psychological Sciences (Graduate Advisor: Dr. Jared Kenworthy) and Health/Neuroscience (Graduate Advisor: Dr. Yuan Bo Peng)
The specialization in Psychological Sciences allows students to work in a general experimental context while specializing in one of several areas (e.g., cognitive, social, developmental, personality, industrial/organizational, etc.) The specialization in Health/Neuroscience Psychology is designed to train researchers in health/neuroscience and behavior, working at the cutting-edge of interdisciplinary, biomedical, and biobehavioral investigation in areas such as pain, addiction, stress, psycho-immunology, memory, cancer, and aging. Most research activity is based on the neurophysiological, bio-behavioral, or biopsychosocial model of health and illness.
Core Course requirements: Graduate students entering the Psychological Sciences specialization will be required to take the following core courses during their first four semesters of enrollment (24 hours). Exceptions may be made only with the written permission of the Graduate Studies Committee. It should also be mentioned that students are expected to maintain their GPA at or above a 3.0 average each term to ensure the successful completion of the program. Therefore, a grade of D is not considered to be acceptable at the doctoral level and if earned, the student risks being dropped from the program. Grades of C have been found to slow down adequate academic progress and should not be taken lightly. All students are expected to consult their faculty mentors if such grades are earned to see how the GPA can be improved.
PSYC 5110 --- Professional Development --- 1
PSYC 5405 --- Advanced Statistics I --- 4
PSYC 5407 --- Experimental Design --- 4
PSYC 5307 --- Research Methods --- 3
or PSYC 5324 --- Applied Research Design
PSYC 5333 --- Behavioral Neuroscience --- 3
or PSYC 5334 --- Human Physiology
PSYC 5313 --- Cognitive Psychology --- 3
PSYC 5322 --- Social Psychology --- 3
PSYC 5391 --- Research In Psychology (*Or a combination of 5191/5291 or 5600) --- 3
Having fulfilled the above, the following are also required:
Four courses (12 hours) from among electives and seminars (PSYC 6300), including Human Physiology (PSYC 5334) or Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 5333), Personality Psychology (5321), Human Learning & Memory (PSYC 5345), Neuropharm (PSYC 6320), Group Processes (PSYC 5323), Social & Personality Development (PSYC 6318), Health Psychology (PSYC 5309). The other required elective course must be approved by the appropriate Graduate Advisor and/or Committee on Graduate Studies and can include a graduate-level course in statistics, genetics, immunology, endocrinology, or another specialized biomedical topic available at UT Southwestern or another UT Arlington department.
Two six-hour research courses. These may be taken from Thesis PSYC 5698 or Advanced Research PSYC 5600. Students who plan to obtain the MS should elect PSYC 5698 as one of the research courses and students who do not plan to obtain the MS should select two sections of PSYC 5600. If the student does not elect to obtain the MS, one of the research courses must result in a formal thesis-equivalent paper, which will be evaluated by a committee and defended in an oral examination. The two research courses are a minimum requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to take Research in Psychology PSYC 5391 before taking PSYC 5600 and PSYC 5698. Please note that Psyc 5698 should not be taken more than 4 times. Students should only enroll in Psyc 5698 once they have successfully proposed their thesis.
Additional hours of coursework to be determined by the Graduate Advisor and dissertation committee. The student should plan to take approximately 67 hours including PSYC 6999. Please note that a total of 9 dissertation hours are required for graduation (a combination of 6399, 6699, 6999, and 7399). At least 31-34 of these hours must be in organized courses, lectures, or seminars. No student may enroll in a dissertation course until the dissertation committee has approved a proposal for the dissertation project.
Students with prior graduate work may be waived up to 9 hours from any of the above requirements by a written request to the Graduate Studies Committee. The request should include a syllabus or other documentation showing that a prior course and one of our required courses are equivalent. Students should discuss course equivalency with the professor(s) who teach the course(s) in question before submitting the request.
A student has completed the course requirements when he or she has maintained at least a B average in all courses.
Below are only some of the successful careers our graduates have had:
Behavioral Research Scientists
Why Choose Us?
Award-winning educators and renowned researchers in such fields as cognitive psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience
Ranked best psychology department in North Texas by the National Research Council
There are no fixed criteria for admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in Psychology; many aspects of the student's application inform our admission decisions, but a complete application package before February 1st is highly recommended to ensure a timely review of the student file. There are, though, some standard requirements. A student is expected to have successfully completed the appropriate work prior to admission, including an undergraduate B.A. or B.S. degree. The Office of Graduate Studies requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate work for unconditional admission to the program. Graduate coursework will also be reviewed for those who are applying to a degree-bound or direct Ph.D. program if any. For those applying to the direct Ph.D. program already having earned or will earn a master's, a minimum of 28-30 graduate hours with a GPA of 3.0 or better as calculated by the Graduate School is typically required. The Department of Psychology strongly encourages undergraduate courses in statistics and experimental methods prior to admission.
A. Admissions Focus
Graduate admissions committees are subcommittees of the Graduate Studies Committee. Each specialization (i.e., Psychological Sciences, Health/Neuroscience, I/O) will convene an admissions committee to make recommendations to the Graduate Studies Committee regarding advisors of applicants. Each is composed of faculty representatives from the specialization, the graduate advisor, and the Department Chairperson. Admissions decisions are based on the interpretation of indications of potential success in the program. The following points are generally considered:
Grade point average. Most candidates for admissions present averages greater than 3.2. We do, however, examine the applicant's coursework as evidence of research interest. Positive indicators of success in our program include greater than average work in biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and psychology. In a similar fashion, evidence of research experience is viewed as a predictor of future research potential. For students interested in specialization in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the Master's level, appropriate coursework is taken into consideration.
Submission of Verbal and Mathematics GRE scores is required. High GRE scores are viewed positively, but lower GRE scores need not exclude a candidate who shows positive indicators in other areas. We do not require the GRE Subject Test in Psychology.
If applicable, submission of language-based tests for applicants who do not have a US-based degree: An applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate a sufficient level of skill with the English language to assure success in graduate studies. This requirement will be waived for non-native speakers of English who possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution. Applicants are expected to submit a score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, a score of at least 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, a minimum score of 40 on the TSE, a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS, or a minimum TOEFL IBT total score of 79. Further, When the TOEFL IBT is taken, sectional scores of at least 22 on the writing section, 21 on the speaking section, 20 on the reading section, and 16 on the listening section are preferred. However, admission to any graduate program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance and programs may give preference to students with higher scores. Only scores submitted directly by ETS or IELTS to UT Arlington are acceptable. English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistants: Students whose native language is not English must provide a score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) of at least 45, a minimum score of 23 on the Speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT exam, or a minimum score of 7 on the Speaking portion of the IELTS exam. The English proficiency requirement will be waived for non-native speakers of English who possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution.
Letters of reference. These are important insofar as they offer evidence of commitment to research, the ability to think independently, critically, and creatively, and to integrate knowledge. Letters also provide additional information about a candidate's experience and interests. Evidence of success in employment relevant to I/O psychology will be considered for the Master's degree in that area.
A personal statement ("essay on educational goals") is required. Please note that this is a separate and more detailed essay than the graduate application essay. It is not acceptable to copy and paste your graduate application essay and use it as your personal statement. The personal statement is meant to be more specific concerning your career goals/interests regarding our program. This should describe the applicant's laboratory, field, or applied interests, career plans, and a discussion of how the UT Arlington program can serve to further these interests and plans. The statement is required and will be examined for evidence of the appropriateness of the candidate to the UT Arlington program. The personal statement should contain information about the student's intended specialization and preferred faculty mentor(s). Students are encouraged to contact specific faculty members during the application process.
Finally, successful completion of a Master's degree in another department may be viewed positively even when the degree was received in an area outside of psychology. In this latter case, some conditions in terms of make-up (or deficiency) coursework may be specified.