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2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Apr 14, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Experimental Psychology, Ph.D.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Ph.D. students will be able to demonstrate fundamental knowledge in the areas of behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology as well as expert specialization within one of these domains.
  • Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge in behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience or developmental psychology at a good or better level. 
  • Students will conduct and describe ethical psychological research that advances the state of knowledge in the field of inquiry in their dissertation at a good or better level. 
  • Graduating students and alumni from the Experimental Psychology Ph.D. program will achieve placement in the type of teaching, research or industry position that is compatible with their individual goals. 

Degree Requirements (60 Post Baccalaureate Hours)

A minimum of 48 credit hours of specified course or lab work plus 12 hours of dissertation work (PSYC 899 ) are required.

Course work includes:

  • 9 credit hours of research methods and quantitative courses
  • 2 hours of ethics courses
  • A minimum of 25 hours of approved elective and complementary courses.


At least 6 hours of the complementary course work must be taught by someone other than the student’s major professor. With the approval of their advisory committee, students may take one course from PHPH 752B, PHPH 752B, PHPH 752C, PHPH 752D, PHPH 752E,PHPH 752F, or PHPH 752G, instead of one of the courses from PSYC 702A, B, C, and D or PSYC 703A, B, C, and D. Approval of elective and complementary courses is by the student’s advisory committee.

Thesis and Comprehensive Examination

The Ph.D. degree in experimental psychology also requires successful completion of a qualifying examination, a written comprehensive examination, and a doctoral oral comprehensive examination. Also required is an approved Ph.D. dissertation. Students have the option of declaring a concentration in Quantitative Methods in Psychology. Concentration requirements are: a. Must be accepted to a University of South Carolina Psychology Department Doctoral Program (Clinical-Community, School, or Experimental) b. Make a B or better in four courses (12 hours) that have 710 as a pre-requisite (i.e., advanced quantitative courses.) 709/710 do not court, nor do assessment or methods classes. Courses must be at the 700 level or higher. c. Two of the four courses (6 hours) are required to be taught in the department d. The third and fourth courses can optionally be taught in another department contingent upon approval from the Concentration Program Director.

The sequence of events and more details concerning specific aspects are in the current Graduate Program in Experimental Psychology Student Handbook, which is posted on the Web.

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