PhD Program of Study

The Department of Psychological Sciences offers a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Quantitative Psychology and Social/Personality Psychology, as well as a dual program in Child Clinical and Developmental Psychology. Master of Art degrees are earned enroute to doctoral degrees. Graduate students typically complete their coursework and Master's degree within the first three years and their dissertation in the following years.

The main focus of the graduate program is research. Students are affiliated with a research lab and a faculty mentor. Much of the coursework involves theoretical, statistical, and empirical research issues. Students are expected to conduct original research. Many have published their work in top rated journals; some have acquired their own federal funding for research.

The Department of Psychological Sciences offers an integrated teaching program, Teaching of Psychology Practicum, or TOPP. Graduate students in the third and fourth years are eligible to teach an undergraduate course. They do so in a supervised manner, meeting with a teaching mentor and other graduate student teachers to discuss teaching issues. This unique supervised teaching experience prepares students to excel in teaching.

The Master of Arts Requirements

  • 30 credit hours, including research credit and distribution courses
  • A written Master's thesis
  • Oral examination on the thesis research

Doctoral Degree Requirements

  • 83 total hours of coursework
  • Distribution courses from four different content area, including abnormal psychology, biological foundations, cognition and learning, developmental psychology, motivation and personality, and social psychology (12 hours)
  • Training area courses (24 hours)
  • Statistics (9 hours)
  • Ethics and Professional Issues (1 hour)
  • Completion of Masters
  • Completion of comprehensive examination
  • A written doctoral dissertation
  • Oral examination on thesis research

Transfer of Graduate Credit
Credit toward the PhD degree for graduate work, as well as for an MA degree completed elsewhere, is arranged by the student's advisory committee and the Council of Directors after the student has begun study here. A maximum of 6 hours of graduate coursework taken elsewhere can count toward the MA and 30 hours can count toward the PhD. Transfer of credit must be recommended by the student's adviser and approved by the Graduate School. Students with a non-thesis master's degree may be given the option to conduct an empirical research project and obtain approval of the resulting thesis from a three-member committee.

Hannah Volpert- Esmond

Hannah Volpert- Esmond was a recipient of the Graduate Excellence in Diversity Award. The Committee for Diversity and Inclusion noted Hannah's efforts and interests.

Hannah has consistently dedicated herself to understanding racial disparities experienced by Black youth at Mizzou. She has led several focus groups discussing issues of racial disparities with Black youth and has incorporated this into her active research. Her research record is impressive and demonstrates her commitment to better understanding the impact of race and discrimination on mental health. 

Graduate Students and Mentors at PhD Reception

New doctoral students and their mentors at the department's graduate reception in May 2019.