Students are expected to maintain full-time status in the program. Full-time status is defined, minimally, as 9 credits during each of the Fall and Spring semesters. Students on assistantships should enroll in 10 credit hours per semester prior to passing the comprehensive exams and 12 hours thereafter and in 3 credits for all summers.
The program's primary emphasis is research. Students engage in research, under the supervision of one or more faculty members, throughout their tenure in the program. Students participate in all phases of the research project, ranging from literature searches, preparing research materials, collecting data, analyzing data, interpreting the results, presenting the research at professional conferences and preparing research manuscripts for publication. Students should strive to be colleagues of the faculty with whom they are working. That means that students should participate in the give and take of ideas, exchanging their ideas with their supervisors, and constructively criticizing their supervisors' ideas to sharpen them. Full-time commitment to the program includes a strong emphasis on research during all academic semesters, including summer. In addition to engaging in research, students regularly attend program and departmental colloquia and professional conferences to learn of other's research.
Students master a series of core courses designed to provide a thorough grounding in theory, methodology, and content in applied and basic research in psychology. These courses are taught by faculty who are involved in research and practice in the relevant areas. In addition, seminars reflecting the specialized foci of our program and faculty are offered. There are opportunities for practice and occasional internships with businesses for students to gain firsthand experience in the application of psychological knowledge to real challenges of organizations.