Degree Timeline, Course Checklists, and Directed Study

Degree Timeline

First & Second Years:

In general, the first two years of graduate work are designed to provide the graduate student breadth of knowledge in the field of psychology with a more focused, intensive coverage of theories and research than would have been received in an undergraduate program. A three-course statistics sequence and first-year research project provide basic research knowledge for use in subsequent years. The second year of the program provides more specialization in the student’s major and minor areas, more advanced quantitative courses, and development of the student’s own research program.

Third Year:

The third year consists primarily of advanced seminars, and in some areas, completion of C-Exam requirements. A large portion of the student’s time should also be devoted to research with greater specialization leading toward the development of a dissertation problem. Students typically complete major and minor area course requirements by the end of the third year.

Fourth & Fifth Years:

The Preliminary Oral Qualifying Examination (Prelims): This exam must be completed no later than the Spring Quarter of the fourth year. All course requirements and written qualifying examinations must be completed prior to taking the oral qualifying exam. A doctoral committee of at least four faculty members is appointed.

Final Oral Exam/Doctoral Dissertations: It is a strong tradition in the department that the doctoral dissertation concern itself with original investigation of an empirical character. The specific form and content of the dissertation proposal and of the final dissertation filed with the University should be worked out in consultation with your dissertation committee advisor and your doctoral committee.

Sixth Year:

All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed by the end of the sixth year following admission.

Course Requirement Checklists

Please visit the site below to access the appropriate course checklist for your area. You can use these documents to track you progress through the program. As always, please consult the Graduate Handbook for the most detailed information.

Area Specific Course Requirement Checklists

Directed Study – 596, 597, 599 courses

Enrollment in individual study (Directed Study) courses is the formal mechanism for providing students, instructors, the department, and the University with the appropriate credit for time devoted to research. Beginning in the second year, students are required to enroll in a minimum of 4 credits of directed study courses each year (596 before Advancement to Candidacy, 599 after Advancement to Candidacy). Syllabi for each Directed Study course is available for faculty and students to view below.

Directed Study syllabi:

Faculty and students are strongly encouraged to discuss expectations for progress on goals related to Directed Study during the beginning of every quarter. The template documents at the links below can be used to help faculty and students collaborate on and communicate expectations for progress during each quarter that a student is enrolled in a Directed Study course. The faculty of record for the Directed Study course and the student enrolled can discuss and complete the document together. The templates are works-in-progress, and may be updated based on additional guidance from the campus. If faculty or students would like to share examples of similar documentation with their colleagues, we can make them available for download. Contact Lisa if you’d like to share an example.

Template for students that are enrolled in Directed Study, and are not employed as a Graduate Student Researcher by the faculty of record for the Directed Study course:

Template for students that are enrolled in Directed Study and are employed as a Graduate Student Researcher by the faculty of record for the Directed Study course: