Ph.D. Program

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The purpose of our Ph.D. program is to prepare students for careers in academic or research settings.  Our curriculum is designed to provide the coursework, mentored research experience, and professional skills training necessary to pursue careers in academia or industry.  All students entering the program without a master’s degree will earn a M.S. in Psychology en route to the Ph.D.  Students will work closely with a primary faculty advisor to achieve their educational and employment goals.

Program Requirements

Coursework: Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program will complete 31 didactic credit hours, including coursework in research methods and analysis (9 credits), core areas of psychology (i.e., cognitive psychology, health psychology, neuroscience, social psychology; 12 credits), grant writing (3 credits), college teaching (3 credits), and electives (4 credits). 

Mentored Research experience: We select students for our program who have the interest and desire to engage in intensive, cutting-edge research with faculty members in our department.  Consequently, we expect students will maintain research productivity throughout their time in the program.  In addition to enrolling in research credits each term (PSYC 793), students will develop independent research projects to fulfill the thesis (M.S.) and dissertation (Ph.D.) requirements. 

Grant Writing Experience: In addition to completing the didactic course Grant Writing for Psychological Scientists (PSYC 763), all doctoral students are required to prepare and submit a fellowship or grant application.  This is a mentored experience for which each student will choose a faculty mentor (typically the primary advisor) and work together to identify appropriate funding mechanisms, develop specific aims, and prepare and submit the proposal.  The purpose of this requirement is to provide students with skills that will be beneficial to careers in academia, service, or industry, including written communication, proposal design, and critical thinking.

College Teaching Experience: Following the completion of didactic coursework in college teaching (STEM 810 or COMM 702), all doctoral students will teach one psychology course as the instructor of record.  Each student will identify a faculty teaching mentor who will advise the student on the organization of the course and development of course materials, as well as provide support throughout the semester. The purpose of this requirement is not only to provide valuable experience in teaching, but also to enhance presentation and communication skills applicable to a broad audience.

In addition to these formal requirements, students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Psychology program have access to a broad range of professional development experiences, including journal clubs, brown bags, colloquium speakers, professional workshops, and training opportunities from the Department of Psychology, NDSU, and the broader research community of Fargo-Moorhead.  Individual labs provide training in specific methodologies, analytic techniques, and data collection strategies.  In addition, graduate students often have the opportunity to work closely with undergraduate research assistants, providing mentorship and guidance to their junior colleagues. 

How to Apply

Enrollment for the Ph.D. program begins in the fall of each year.  Applications will be reviewed beginning January 15 for the upcoming academic year, and will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis as space and funding allows.  

GRE scores will be optional for the upcoming application cycle.  Prospective students who submit applications to the Ph.D. program between August 17, 2022 and May 15, 2023 need not submit GRE scores to be given full consideration for admission.

Application fees are waived for McNair Scholars and Native American applicants. Contact to ask for an application fee waiver.

For more information, please contact the graduate program co-chairs, Dr. Jeremy Hamm and Dr. Michael Robinson

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