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Ph.D. Program - Experimental Psychology

The Ph.D. Program in Experimental Psychology is designed to allow students to select from a variety of specializations oriented toward careers in research, teaching, and application of psychology in academic, institutional, or industrial settings. The program is flexible, individualized, and emphasizes a professional apprenticeship model of training.

Doctoral Committee

When the student receives approval from the full faculty, he/she may then complete the Recommended Doctoral Committee Appointment form. This form must be signed by each faculty member, and given to the Graduate Programs Coordinator for completion. The Doctoral Committee will consist of at least four faculty members, one of whom must be from outside the Department of Psychology. Three of the members, including the chairperson, must be faculty of sufficiently senior status and research accomplishment to have been approved by the Graduate Council to direct doctoral research (i.e., to be "Chair Eligible").

Time Limits

The UT Graduate School has two time limits. First, you must complete the Comprehensive Exam within five years of being admitted. Second, you must complete the doctoral dissertation (i.e., finish all of your requirements) within eight years. The Graduate School may be petitioned for extensions of these limits upon recommendation by the departmental faculty.


Each year in March, the Experimental faculty will review the progress of all students in the Doctoral Program. These evaluations will be based on coursework, research activities, the fulfillment of assistantship duties and on the recommendation of the Student Advisory Committee. It is essential that an annual meeting with the Student Advisory Committee take place prior to the student evaluation meeting.

The evaluations arrived at in this manner directly determine your status in the program, such as whether you will be allowed to continue. They are also a major factor in determining whether you will receive financial assistance in the following year. Separate parts of this information will be relayed to you in two separate communications: A first communication, covering the comments made by particular faculty members when making their initial ratings, and summarizing the discussion at the evaluation meetings, will be given to you in writing by the Program Director. Second, a letter from the Department Head will inform you of any decisions regarding your status in the program. For example, you may be granted permission to proceed in forming a doctoral committee, or be told that you may do so contingent upon your completing the integrative review paper. Alternatively, you may simply be told that your progress has been acceptable, and to keep up the good work.

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